Welcome, Cindy. Tell us how much of yourself you write into your characters.
I definitely write my heart. If there are subjects that make my heart cry, then I can easily draw those into my work. I was raised in the
Appalachian Mountains, though not on a farm, I spent lots
of time there with my grandmother and at an aunt and uncle’s small farm. So I
learned the tools of the mountains, the ways, the heart of the Appalachian
people. It makes it very easy to write this knowledge, first hand, into my
What is the quirkiest thing you have ever done?
Oh my – I’m impulsive, so quirky is right up there. But I suppose becoming an outbacker on the
in my younger years. (If that qualifies as quirky.) I’m impulsive, but not
ridiculous or haphazard. So, something like skydiving would never be in my
When did you first discover that you were a writer?
As a child. That seems to be the classic answer but for me it’s true. I am 12 years younger than my brother, so basically an only child. He was grown before I was in 3rd grade. My friends were in my imagination, so I was spinning tales in a hole at the base of an oak tree when I was just small.
Tell us the range of the kinds of books you enjoy reading.
I actually like reading Christian Living books. I love books on the aspects of prayer and knowing God better. As far as fiction goes – I’m a lover of everything but fantasy and I don’t have the brain for that. My two favorite books are Christy and Redeeming Love.
Two of my all-time favorite novels, too. How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
I am grounded in prayer. This summer I gave a friend a prayer bowl with cards for her to write her prayers on. She surprised me with one at Christmas. Every time I walk past it, I glance at a prayer card. It keeps me grounded when life is overwhelming.
How do you choose your characters’ names?
Some are old family names. Others are regional names I learned when I worked the Appalachian Trail or when I lived in south Knoxville, traveling back and forth with work to Sevierville, Pigeon Forge, and Gatlinburg, Tennessee. I worked for a newspaper and got to deliver stacks of papers to lots of out of the way places in the
. Smoky Mountains
What is the accomplishment that you are most proud of?
I can say, beginning a ministry with a good friend. The ministry of Christian Devotions is now 10 years old and we’re worldwide, putting devotions out daily. I’ve learned a lot through saying yes when God called – even when I was afraid. Without a doubt, seeing Christian Devotions thrive in the industry is an accomplishment I share with my ministry partner and give all the glory to God for calling and making a way for us.
If you were an animal, which one would you be, and why?
Easy! I’d be a hound dog. I’ve often been told I was as faithful as an old hound. So, as we say in the mountains, I reckon I can’t beat that with a stick.
What is your favorite food?
The obvious is chocolate. But I digress. Chicken and dumplings.
What is the problem with writing that was your greatest roadblock, and how did you overcome it?
Well, I learned things backward. By that I mean, I attended my first conference not knowing what classes to take and I ended up in author’s classes that I’d read their books. To my dismay, I was a new writer in advanced classes and I learned things out of sync. To overcome – well, I had to put the brakes on and go back to the basics. It took me a year or two, but I actually think I’m a better writer. I understood why I needed to do specific things. Don’t be like me. Learn the craft in the right order.
Tell us about the featured book.
Liar’s Winter – An Appalachian Novel – is the story of Lochiel Ogle, a young woman born with the portwine birthmark on her face and neck. In the mountains this was called the mark of the devil, mainly because folks just didn’t understand what the birthmark was. In Liar’s Winter, Lochiel was stolen from her mother’s arms at birth and raised, hidden away from the world. She was told she was a devil and folks would as soon kill her than look at her. So her plight begins when she meets up with a peddler who helps her escape the bondage she was in and as she moves through this phase of her life, she meets her father and grandmother who lovingly teach her about the good Lord and how their prayers were answered. It’s a story of hardship, learning to make good choices, and understanding the choices we make have consequences. Along the way, she learns, and the reader learns, that God has a plan even when we don’t see it. The Christian message is threaded very gently through the story. It’s not a preachy, come to Jesus book. But it’s the story of how determination and perseverance build who we are, and when we learn to trust in the Lord, that is strengthened.
Please give us the first page of the book.
The first time I ever seen that girl she was squallin like a banshee. Her whole face was beet red so I didn’t notice her mark right off. She was such a tiny thing. Before I could think twice, I’d picked her up.
Her screams was what brought me to the door of the shack. The door wasn’t latched. I poked my head in and hollered, but there wasn’t no answer. Probably couldn’t hear me over the racket of the baby. I’d been squirrel huntin and left my catch on the front step.
The baby was wrapped tight by its momma’s side. Its momma laid real still. “You alright?” She didn’t wiggle so much as a finger. If she didn’t hear that baby bellerin, she sure wasn’t gonna hear me. When I grabbed aholt and tugged that baby outa its momma’s arm, her arm flopped and I about jumped outa my skin.
That baby commenced to nuzzle at me and quieted to a whimper. Then I hightailed it outa there. I was smart enough to know I couldn’t talk a body back to life. Momma would know what to do with the baby. She needed a new youngin anyway, to replace the ones she’d lost, the ones that kept on dyin when they was born. Momma just sit and stared these days. Hardly ever talked. Havin this youngin would make her happy again. I smiled just thinkin about it. This baby would do just fine. And Poppy would be proud I’d done such a fine thing for Momma.
I forgot my squirrels on the step though. And it was a ways back home. I’d wandered farther than I’d figured. Long before I made it home, I was right tempted to just leave the baby lyin in the woods. My arms was tired.
Wasn’t ’til I got home I realized I’d left my gun leanin against that shack.
It goes without sayin that Poppy wasn’t happy I’d lost my gun. And Momma wasn’t happy when she laid eyes on the mark that spilled down one side of that baby’s face. That marked baby for my gun, worst trade I’d ever made. Right from the start, that girl brung me nothin but trouble.
Love the voice. How can readers find you on the Internet?
On my website at http://www.cindysproles.com/viewproduct/2
Or Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Liars-Winter-Appalachian-Cindy-Sproles/dp/0825444535/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1515109793&sr=8-1&keywords=Liar%27s+winter
Or with Kregel Publications
Thank you, Cindy, for sharing this book with us. I'm eager to read it.Liar's Winter - Christianbook.com
Readers, here are links to the book.
Readers, here are links to the book.
Liar's Winter: An Appalachian Novel - Amazon paperback
Liar's Winter (Appalachian) - Kindle
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