** What made you decide to be an author?
I’ve loved to write my entire life, and always have tinkered with it. I had a small ministry for people with depressive disorders from 1999-2002, and I wrote the bi-monthly newsletter. I realized the short, encouraging articles I included were my favorite part of the entire ministry. People also commented how much they liked them and were inspired by them.
Once I ended the ministry, I decided to try writing a book. One day while I was gardening, I was praying. I’d worked hard that day – cleaned the house, done laundry, then the gardening, and I was tired. I was looking forward to the next day when I didn’t have to work so hard, and could focus on what I was writing at the time. I told God that I couldn’t wait until the next day when I could “goof off and write.” (I thought of writing as a reward for my hard work.) It was one of the few times I’ve heard the audible voice of God- He said clearly to me, “Writing isn’t your reward, it’s your purpose.” That completely changed my perspective on writing.
** What is the difference between a print on demand publisher like you use and a traditional publisher?
A traditional publisher is what most authors use. They take care of promotion, editing your book, designing your book covers, publishing and marketing your work. In return, you have deadlines and contracts. Whereas a print on demand publisher, you are in charge of promoting, editing, designing your cover, formatting your book for publishing and marketing it. Whatever you send the publisher, they publish. You don’t have a contract or deadlines, though. It’s the harder way to go for an author in some ways, but in my heart, I believe it is the way God wants me to go about publishing my work.
** Why do you prefer a self publisher?
As much as I love to write, I’m not like some authors who live to write every day. I remember reading once that Stephen King, writes 2,000 words every day of his life. Well that’s not me! I do love to write, but sometimes I can go for days or weeks without writing. Then when I do write, sometimes I write only 500 words a day, other times five thousand. It depends on my mood, inspiration and physical and mental health. I have learned to use his writing as a guideline, and when I am working on a book, I try to do a minimum of 2,000 words each time I sit down to write in a book. It doesn’t always happen, and I don’t beat myself up when it doesn’t. I also do not do well with writing under stress, such as a deadline. Due to my mental and physical health issues, I don’t handle stress well at all. Plus, more importantly, when I prayed about it, I felt this is how God wants me to publish my work.
** I want to be an author. How do I know if I should self-publish or find a traditional publisher?
First of all, pray. Ask God what path He would have you follow, and listen for the answer. (Granted, He doesn’t always speak in an audible voice, but you will know His answer. For me, it’s usually a sense of knowing in my heart what He has to say.) Also, think about how you write. Are you an avid writer, daily or almost daily, or are you more laid back about how you write like me? Do you work well with deadlines or not?
** How do you know what to write about?
I get ideas in different ways. “Sins of the Father” came from a nightmare I had one night about my seventh grade science teacher and his wife. I still have no idea why it was him or why I made him into a serial killer in my dream! He was actually very nice man! The experiences of the wife in that book mirrored my own battle with unforgiveness at the time. “Lessons From The Heart: What Animals Have Taught Me About Life And Love” was inspired by my precious cat, Vincent, in the backyard, and thinking about the things he and my other furkids have taught me about life and love. “The Christian Woman’s Guide To Killing Her Husband” was inspired by my own and my friends’ problems with our in-laws. Inspiration is all around, especially when you have a creative and slightly twisted mind like mine. 🙂
** Why are you so passionate about animals?
I think it’s something God put in me from birth. I’ve always loved animals, and had a gift for understanding them. Then in 2009 after losing my eighteen-year-old tabby with quite an attitude, Sneezer, I felt like it was time to study what the Bible had to say about animals. That’s when I wrote “Pawprints On Our Hearts.” I learned so much about what God has to say about animals, that I knew it had to be a book to get this important message out. Also, writing that book made me realize that caring for my furkids is one of the most important callings in my life, which gave me a new perspective on being their mama. Shortly after, I also wrote, “Lessons From The Heart: What Animals Have Taught Me About Life And Love” after spending some time with Vincent on a lovely fall day in our backyard. He was so grateful I took a little time to wander outside with him (he once was an outdoor cat, but I made him stay inside when I adopted him), that I realized he was teaching me to be appreciative. When I thought about it, I realized my other furkids have taught me plenty, too, and decided to write about it.
** Why did you include information for adults with problem parents in this site?
I grew up with narcissistic parents. As an adult, I have mental health problems that stem from my upbringing. Some of my story is on this link: My Personal Experience. I also wrote “Emerging From The Chrysalis” about my life’s experiences. I’ve learned many ways to cope and heal. Since there are so many others out there with similar situations, I thought I should pass along what I have learned in the hopes of helping them. This site is a way to reach people everywhere around the world with that help.
** Why did you include information on mental health on your website? Are you a therapist or doctor?
No, I’m not. What I am is someone who has battled various forms of mental illness. I went through anorexia and bulimia as a child, low self-esteem, depression to the point of being suicidal, anxiety and a constant fear I was insane all before junior high school. As an adult, I have experienced several nervous breakdowns, depression and anxiety, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, low self-esteem, and what I have heard referred to as “Doormat Syndrome” where I allowed people to use and abuse me while not believing I had the right to protect myself or even be angry about it. I know God did not allow these things to happen to me for no reason. I believe my experiences can help people, and many of my fans have emailed me to tell me that they have been helped by something I have written.
** Do you have children?
No, I do not have children, nor have I ever wanted any. Many people have called me selfish and told me why they think I never wanted children, so I’ll just explain my thoughts before anyone has any comments. It has nothing to do with my mother. It’s due to the fact I never felt overly comfortable around children, always preferring the company of adults, even when I was a child. I’m the youngest on both sides of my family, so I had very little exposure to younger children than me growing up. This doesn’t mean I hate kids, it just means I prefer adults. I did try to convince myself that I wanted children for a while, because I felt so weird for not wanting them. I hoped I could change myself. Upon dating a man who said he wanted to marry me and have a big family, I got tot thinking about all that parenthood entails. I quickly realized there was just no way I could be happy having children.
** Why is your writing so frank?
I believe God wants me to be very transparent, open and forthcoming. People are hungry for people who are real. There is so much fake in the world, and people are hungry for honesty and realism. I try to provide that. I also am tired of hearing preachers who say you can be completely delivered from all of the effects of child abuse if you just have enough faith in God. While I firmly believe God can do miracles, and does them daily, I also think He allows most people to walk through their healing rather than simply delivering them. Walking it out enables people to gain a great deal of wisdom as well as compassion for others they cannot get another way. Anyway this preaching is so discouraging to people, making them feel like failures or they don’t have enough faith. I want to encourage people instead. That’s why I share my mistakes and shortcomings as well as what I learn. I want people to know that although deliverance is possible, most likely you will have to walk out your healing like I am doing. It can be done, it will include a lot of ups and downs, but it can be a truly valuable experience.
** Why don’t you discuss politics or other controversial topics?
For one thing, I have never been overly interested in politics. I believe everyone has certain causes they want to support, but politics just isn’t one of mine. I don’t look down on anyone who votes or is into politics at all. I think that is great, but it’s just not my cup of tea. As for other controversial topics, I try to live at peace with my fellow man as much as possible. While I am fine with agreeing to disagree, not everyone is, and I would rather not be drawn into any debates or arguments. I find it easier just to avoid discussing more controversial topics with people I’m not close to.
Do you have a question? Feel free to email me at CynthiaBaileyRug@aol.com and I’ll answer you as promptly as possible. Also, your question may end up on this FAQ page.