About the Book:
thought they were her siblings. By the time she realized they weren’t, one of
them was dead.
Emma Kerr had no right counseling them. Adopted and her birth records lost, she
believed she was born a McKinney. Her face, intelligence, and depression
resembled theirs. For years people mistook her for their sister. So she devised
a plan. What begins as a scheme to counsel the McKinney family and determine if
they are blood relatives, quickly causes Emma to wonder if she had truly done
the manipulating. Is someone following her?
Emma clamors to escape the McKinney world of domination and deception.
she Mathew McKinney’s sister? She can’t be. Is he in love with her? He can’t
be. Then how do he and his sisters know more about her than she knows herself?
This is a game to them. Is the game Suicide? Or Murder?
Meet Cyndie Zahner!
Hi Cyndie! Give a brief bio and tell us what kind of books you like to read and write.
I am a hopeless word-lover and dreamer. Odd,
miniscule, life happenings mesmerize me. My imagination will get tangle up in an
incident and then run away with it. Nearly every story and character I create emerges
from a true-life experience. But in the end, neither the tale nor the
characters have the slightest resemblance to what inspired them (except Giff).
Reading a good thriller captivates me. Suspense-ridden
books are my favorite, but I also read anything well written that isn’t too
wordy. A good story or a lovable heroine can keep me turning pages long into
the night. Add a paranormal twist, and I won’t sleep at all.
I, myself, am learning to write thrillers
and loving it. I say “learning” because I certainly haven’t mastered this art.
Thrillers are calculated, precise, and contain lots of hidden clues. I’ve
written two and am currently working on a third. I hope to become better with
each new novel.
Finally, one of my four books is a
historical romance that I wrote many years ago. I’m having fun revising this
one, Within the Setting Sun. My ideas
of love and romance have changed much over the past twenty years!
What's your favorite part of being an author?
Writing. Everything else that goes along
with becoming a novelist—marketing, media relations, finances, file management,
etc—is not nearly as much fun. But I cherish every moment that I am able to
lose myself in my writing.
Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the
night and tell myself it’s too early to get up and write. And other times, I
simply can’t wait. I’ll get up a 3:30 or 4 a.m. to finish a chapter. Once I’m
up and if responsibilities permit, I can spend twelve, thirteen, fourteen hours
at my computer writing with nothing more than one break for an hour run, which
always revives me.
What's your approach to writing? Do you plot or go with the flow?
For my first two thrillers, I flew by the
seat of my pants. I created my first chapters and ran with them. My plots weren’t
written down. They were created during long runs at Presque Isle State Park or on
sleepless nights when I drank too much coffee during the day. But not having
direction makes lengthy revisions inevitable.
For my third thriller, I’m jotting down some
notes in the hope I can shave off some revising time.
LOL, I hear you on that one! I'm usually a pantser too, but the few times I've plotted it out, the books fly by. Okay....If you could have one superpower, what would it be and why?
To fall asleep in a moment’s notice for five
straight hours. Then wake refreshed and ready to write.
I've got the first part down - if only the second part was so easy!! Now, Tell us about your new release!
The Suicide Gene is an amalgamation of fiction and
reality. There are impossible anomalies mentioned, yet the suicide factor is
real and daunting and a great challenge in today’s society.
I have wondered my entire life if there is a
suicide gene. With this book, I wanted to create a story that both entertained
readers but made them think, so I threaded real emotion into a fictitious story
When I began writing this book, suicide was
not as common of an issue, but today the media seems enamored by it. Now, Thirteen Reasons Why on Netflix and A Million Little Things on ABC both
depict the heart-wrenching aftermath of suicide. My novel takes this hard topic
one step further and asks: is this genetic?
Wow. An interesting concept. As the mom of two kids who have thought about suicide, it's a truly SCARY concept. But, moving on. You’re casting the
movie version of your novel – who would you choose for the main characters?
We’re talking dream cast.
Definitely Emma Stone as the lead character,
Doctor Emma Kerr, and Emily Blunt as the bizarre twins, Mary and Minnie
McKinny. These two women would be perfect. And although it is much too small of
a part for her, Anna Kendrick is so like Ally that sometimes I call Ally Anna.
I’d choose one of the Hemsworth boys to play
the cunning Mathew McKinney—probably Chris because, although Liam is my
favorite, Chris’s slanted eyes give him an eerier edge.
As for my favorite character? Attorney
Gifford John Johnson? None other than John Krasinski. Giff’s personality was
patterned after my son, Zak, and everyone says Zak looks like Krasinski. What
do you think?
Wonderful cast - I'd totally watch that as an HBO series (I'm assuming cable because, come on, youn can do so much more on cable, even than in theatres these days.) I love all your choices, and am totally hooked on Krasinski's latest JACK RYAN series - maybe you should contact Amazon Prime!
Thanks SO MUCH for being my guest today, Cyndie. I'm so excited for you and your new release!
About the Author:
Cyndie "CJ" Zahner is a digital-book hoarder, lover of can't-put-down books, runner, author, and Mensa wannabe. That last trait explains the inspiration for her first novel, The Suicide Gene. Her second book, Dream Wide Awake, was inspired during long runs on Presque Isle State Park in her hometown of Erie, Pennsylvania. She is a proud mother of three and an even prouder grandmother of one.
Before becoming a novelist, CJ worked as a grant and freelance writer. Her articles varied from business to women’s health to the paranormal. Her most popular articles can be found on her website at www.cyndiezahner.com.
In 2015, she began looking at life differently when her brother and his wife were diagnosed with dementia and early-onset Alzheimer’s. At that time, her husband pulled her aside and said, “Quit your job. You’re a writer.” After twenty years of service, CJ picked up her purse at work one day and quietly walked away.
Now, she rises before dawn, writes, runs, and smiles much. She completed The Suicide Gene and Dream Wide Awake, and is nearing completion of two other novels, Within the Setting Sun and The Dream Snatchers.
A hard worker and story lover, CJ Zahner is determined to read, write, and run happily ever after.