by Cindy McDonald
Wow! How much do we love those courageous characters? You know the alpha males and the gutsy heroines that seem to ooze nerves of steel from their very pores. As authors we send our characters into situations we would never, ever, not-in-a-million-years get into, and we ask them to do it with keen finesse and dashing good-looks—well, okay, maybe a little stubble on their chin.
Ahhh, they are everything that we are not—and that is the beauty of it all.
I love to write in the evening, it is the quiet time of day, and my thoughts turn to my latest Unbridled adventure, and what dodgy debacle I will ask Mike, Shane, Punch, or Lugowski to walk into without hesitation. I finish cleaning up the dinner dishes, check to see what my husband is watching on TV, I pour myself a glass of wine, and then retire downstairs to my office, where my characters live inside my computer. They are waiting for me—sometimes in a panic, depending on what state of affairs I’ve left them in the last time we met. I click on the file, take a deep breath, a sip of the wine, re-read what I wrote the night before, and then I ask myself one question: what if?
Sometimes I could swear that I hear them groan when the what if tumbles from my lips, especially Mike West—his sense of humor doesn’t stretch very far, I’m afraid. Who can blame him? In the first book, Deadly.com I asked him to withstand electroshock treatments at the hands of a madman, walk into the fire to protect the women that he loves, and in this latest book, Dangerous Deception, he must come face-to-face with betrayal of an old reliable friend, and a notorious biker gang.
Ya gotta love Mike’s younger brother, Shane. The youngest West darts toward danger like a bee to honey. A bit on the hot-headed side, he’s also the playboy of the group, but he’s not been exempt from the wrath of my writing. His fierce loyalty to family put him in harms-way in Deadly.com, and in my newest book, Dangerous Deception, the question what if will test his strength and constitution to the limit—it will take all the courage that he can muster to survive at the hands of his malevolent captor.
Punch McMinn is an enormous man and enormously soft-hearted. He keeps a cool head when trouble comes to call and trouble never seems to be very far from Westwood Thoroughbred Farm, or the West clan.
And then there’s Lugowski, Lieutenant Carl Lugowski, that is, he took a bullet for Ava in Deadly.com, but in Dangerous Deception it is Kate West that drags him into deep do-do that will take a whole lotta guts to get him and her out alive.
Truth be told we authors really don’t live that exciting or death defying life styles. Non-the-less at the end of our finger-tips we wield the sword of courage at our characters and expect…no demand that they come through. Is it because we wish that our lives were as exciting as theirs? Are we cowardly thrill-seekers? Truthfully, I must admit that I really don’t care. I’ve just poured myself a glass of chardonnay and my computer screen has just lit up my latest manuscript. Hmmm…what if.
About the author:
For twenty-six years my life whirled around a song and a dance: I was a professional dancer/choreographer for most of my adult life and never gave much thought to a writing career until 2005. Don’t ask me what happened, but suddenly I felt drawn to my computer to write about things I have experienced (greatly exaggerated upon of course) with my husband’s Thoroughbreds and the happenings at the racetrack.
Surprised? Why didn’t I write about my experiences with dance? Eh, believe it or not life at the racetrack is more…racy. The drama is outrageous—not that dancers don’t know how to create drama, believe me, they do but race trackers just seem to get more down and dirty with it which makes great story telling—great fiction.
I didn’t start out writing books, The Unbridled Series started out as a TV drama, and the Hollywood readers loved the show. The problem was we just couldn’t sell it. So one of the readers said to me, “Cindy, don’t be stupid. Turn your scripts into a book series.” and so I did!
In May of 2011 I took the big leap and exchanged my dancin’ shoes for a lap top—I retired from dance. It was a scary proposition, I was terrified, but I had the full support of my husband, Saint Bill. It has been a huge change for me. I went from dancing hard five hours a night to sitting in front of a computer. I still work-out and I take my dog, Harvey, for a daily run. I have to or I’d be as big as a house. Do I miss dance? Sometimes I do. I miss my students. I miss choreographing musicals, but I love my books and I love sharing them with you.