MA: Cindy Huefner Cromer is originally from Freehold Township, New Jersey and currently resides in Stuart, Florida, with her husband, son, and daughter. She is a scientist and executive, formally the president of a laboratory network. In this role she has written numerous laboratory procedures and research documents. Sounds boring, right? Nope. She was placed in the honors English classes in high school based on a descriptive essay that she wrote in eighth grade. Upon high school graduation she chose science as a college curriculum and earned her B.S degree in Chemistry and Biology. Due to her passion for reading suspense and mystery novels, she had a dream to one day become a writer. Now her dream has not only come true but exceeded her grandest expectations. ‘DESPERATE MEASURES’, Cindy’s debut suspense fiction novel is now released. She crafts her writing style and utilizes her scientific and executive background in the creation of her characters without bombarding the reader with acronyms and scientific jargon.
Tell us the story about how you came to be recognized for your writing skills at an early age.
CHC: When I was in eighth grade, I wrote a descriptive essay. On my way to basketball practice one day, I saw my father come out of the Principal’s office. I immediately became nervous and thought I had gotten into trouble, for what I had no idea. My father informed me that that my essay was written so well that I had been placed in the honors English and Literature classes. You may ask if this bit of my history has anything to do with where I am today. The answer is yes and no. At that time I had plans of grandeur and envisioned myself as a bestselling author, but also wanted to be a professional woman’s basketball player. Hey, I was only a teenager, had big dreams. Back to the point I focused on my favorite subject in school, science and earned my degrees in chemistry and biology in college. Through the many technical papers, contracts, and invaluable experience in my career, I’ve come full circle, realized my dream, and have begun my writing career.
MA: With your technical background, why novels?
CHC: Ever since I was a little, I have been an avid reader for as long as I can remember. Jokingly I always said one day I’d write a book, if I ever had the time. My family teased me mercilessly about reading and encouraged me to write a book since I had read so many. While reading a book, I won’t mention the author or title, I counted four characters with the same name. I slammed the book down and decided to do what I’d claimed. I gave it a shot, started typing away, and created Caitlin, the protagonist. I gave her a career utilizing my scientific and executive background. Since my favorite genre is mystery and suspense, I thought about a story I’d like to read. It didn’t take long for a plot and ending to formulate. I chose the main location as St. Kitts because my family and I do travel there frequently and the island is beautiful. It was really fun creating the characters. Once I got going, the second book started to form. When I finished Desperate Measures, I hoped, but wasn’t sure it would ever become published, at least I achieved my dream and wrote it. I continued on with the second book and am glad I did.
MA: Give me an elevator pitch about Desperate Measures.
CHC: ‘The secret is out AGAIN…! This time lives are in jeopardy. What should have been the perfect vacation soon became a nightmare. Caitlin Martel made a stop before meeting her family at Miami International Airport. A cryptic message waited for her. She dismissed the threat and assumed it was directed toward the brilliant scientist that she recently hired. Caitlin has no idea that a forgotten secret was about to explode and put her life in jeopardy.
When Caitlin and her family arrive on the Caribbean Island of St. Kitts, they find their dream home vandalized. In the kitchen, another message has been left, in blood, leaving no doubt that Caitlin personally is the target.
In a flashback Caitlin recalls the secret that her father, Jack Spencer, revealed to her sixteen years ago. He didn’t tell her everything. Will Jack be able to confront the truth and reconstruct the past in time to save his daughter?
Caitlin’s husband Scott, FBI Assistant Director, also believes the threats are related to Caitlin’s professional life. Once Caitlin points out the significance of what was left in their home, Scott unofficially brings his top FBI agent, Tomas Medina, to St. Kitts.
When Tomas arrives, his status is quickly upgraded and the investigation becomes official. The third threat creates a direct link to multi-billionaire Lukas Bucklin. The suspense escalates through twists, turns, and family secrets yet to be revealed. A powerful climax unveils an unlikely alliance between two deadly and dangerous enemies.
MA: So who’s the antagonist in the story? I assume you a have a particularly nasty one?
CHC: Oh, yes, absolutely! Can’t give too much information here about him or her. You don’t want me to ruin the surprise ending do you?
MA: So what’s next? Is there a sequel in the works?
CHC: I am currently putting the finishing touches and edits to my second book, Desperate Deceptions. It could be considered a sequel, but I have written it as a stand-alone and the reader won’t be lost if they haven’t read Desperate Measures. Of course, my goal is to propel the sales of my first book and make the reader want to read both. I have a third and fourth book in rough draft format, and are completely different from the first two. They are mysteries, but totally different characters and plots. Once I finish those two I would like to get back to a few of the characters I created in Desperate Measures, especially Tomas. I created him as a minor role to provide a bit of comic relief to the reader, but he took on a life of his own and I want to create his own story line. Barry Solerno also needs to be the main focus of a book. I have no idea where I came up with him, but he became my favorite character.
MA: Does Caitlin make an appearance in future books?
CHC: Caitlin is the protagonist in Desperate Deceptions and at this time I don’t have any plans for her in the next novels. Maybe when I get back to Barry’s and Tomas’s storylines she may play a minor role just to update the reader on her achievements.
MA: Anything else you’d like to add?
CHC: Yes, and thank you for asking. I get asked about writers block frequently and would like to share my experiences. Writer’s block does exist. I found a few tricks to get past the frustrating points when words and creativity just wouldn’t come. First I re-read the last three scenes that I had written to build my confidence and boost my self-esteem, convince myself I could do it. When that doesn’t work, I read. At this juncture, I deliberately choose books I wouldn’t typically or a book that I have read before but didn’t enjoy. Sounds a little strange, but this method works well for me. For one thing, at this point I’m not enjoying the material and it motivates me to get going, knowing that I can create a much better book. Also, I can never predict when inspiration will hit. Writing is 24/7, I can’t just say, “oops quitting time”, there’s no such thing for a writer. I also like to share personal story when the walls of writers block came crashing down.
MA: Cindy, thanks for guesting with me today. I encourage my readers to visit her website www.cindyhuefnercromer.com and her publisher’s website www.etreasurespublishing.com for more information and to read some of the wonderful reviews she’s received.