Interview with Cindy Dorminy author of TUNED INTO YOU

Tuned Into You by Cindy Dorminy is available NOW! To celebrate, Cindy has put together a very cool swag pack, so stay tuned for more information on that! For now, let’s talk Tuned

Tuned Into You_Cindy Dorminy_Cover

 

Title: Tuned Into You

Author: Cindy Dorminy

Publisher: BookFish Books

Genre: YA Romance

Release Date: June 21, 2016

About Tuned Into You

A summer party is the last place Lydia Flowers wants to be. Beer pong? Stupid, foot-wrecking shoes? Random hookups? No thanks. Lydia would rather be in her cleats practicing her bat handling skills.

Enter Abe Fischer, the Nashville Teen Idol superstar. He’s a lip-syncing party animal with a short fuse; or at least that’s what the tabloids say. Except, Abe turns out to be nothing like the guy Lydia’s read about online. He’s sweet, and the way he talks to his horse…sigh.

Then life throws Lydia and Abe a curveball. They are wrongfully arrested for destruction of property. Their choices? Either work on the Fischer Farm for the summer earning nothing more than blisters and a sunburn, or have the arrest go on their records, which would ruin Lydia’s shot at a softball scholarship. It’s a no-brainer. Lydia picks up a pitchfork, pulls out the SPF 40, and prepares for the worst two months of her life.

When the press gets wind of a big secret Abe’s family has been keeping, things become even more complicated. Now Lydia has another choice to make: stick around for Abe’s messed-up life in the spotlight, or go for the scholarship of her dreams.

Cindy’s Interview

When did you start writing?

Hi Mary! So glad to be able to share this special moment with you. You were one of the first people to ever read this manuscript under a different name. Thanks for all the help. I wrote my first manuscript (historical romance called Sister Soldier) back in the early nineties. Funny story. My husband is a musician and when he started playing out with a band, he said I could go with him, but I’d probably be bored, so I should get a hobby. I started researching the Dorminy family and their involvement in the American Civil War (Mark’s great, great, great grandfather was a private for the Confederacy – dirt poor and got nothing from fighting except a whole lot of diarrhea.) Anyway, I ran across a book about female soldiers and even found one grave of one female that her identity was only discovered when she got injured. She was a confederate soldier and many years later, she married a union soldier. That was the basis of my very first story that will never see the light of day. I’ve written on and off ever since.

Did you grow up thinking that you would be a published author?

NO! I never imagined this would ever happen. In fact, I wasn’t even an avid reader growing up (hides in the corner in shame). I think with so much variety out there for young readers, there is definitely something for everyone.

When did you complete your first manuscript? Is Tuned Into You your first? If not, how many have you written?

My first manuscript (Sister Soldier) was completed in the late nineties and I had a few bites on it from publishers, but no takers. I started writing screenplays and so for the next ten years, I wrote five screenplays before I turned my attention back to novel writing. Before Tuned Into You, all my manuscripts (including two other novels) are adult romances.

What drew you to writing YA?

Like I mentioned in the previous question, all my other novels before Tuned were adult. They were sweet romances and I was getting some attention, but no one would offer me a contract. I kept getting similar comments that they liked my voice but didn’t connect with the story.

I went to a conference (Kentucky Writer’s Conference) and I really wanted to get into a pitch workshop. I was on the waiting list and was so bummed that I didn’t get in. I almost went home early, but decided to stay for a ‘how to write YA’ workshop. The presenter had so many John Hughes references that really spoke to me. The presenter spent a lot of time with me afterward and thought that maybe my voice was more suited for YA. And Tuned was my first attempt.

What’s your inspiration for Tuned Into You?

I really don’t know. I know that sounds awful, but it was an idea that hit me. Growing up, I was best friends with a preacher’s kid that was a huge tom-boy so I guess a lot of Susan became the basis for Lydia. I guess the story came from a lot of ‘what if’ questions I threw out to some writer friends.

What is your favorite scene in this book? (no major spoilers!)

This is so hard because I love them all, but I guess if I had to pick one, it would be when Belle, the filly was born. I’ll leave it at that.

Tell us who your favorite character is and why.

I love Lydia. Lydia is my favorite name. My husband and I never thought we’d have kids so I named my dog Lydia. (Sorry Maddie). In Tuned, Lydia is so sweet and I love her entire family. Preacher’s kids are notorious for being wild and I love that even though everyone thinks she’s a hellion, she’s very sweet. I also love the fact that she’s a feisty tom-boy that is driven. Nothing is going to get in her way to get that scholarship.

What was the hardest thing to write in this book?

At one point in the book, Abe’s not the nicest person to Lydia. I hated writing her upset. And I hate that it affects her chances of a scholarship. It was hard to write her crying and I hated that it was because of Abe.

You live in Nashville, the heart of the country music scene, did you get to do any fun interviews or research for this book?

That’s a good question, but to be truthful, no. Nashville is very unique in that we see artists all around us. They are buying groceries at Kroger next to you. They are getting coffee, going to the movies, walking their dogs, etc. We don’t ‘germ’ them, meaning, we leave them alone. I’d never go up to Keith Urban at the movie theatre and ask for an autograph. (No matter how long he’s taking getting his popcorn) That’s just how things are done in Nashville. That’s why they love living here. That being said, you cannot live in this city for almost twenty years without knowing at least a few artists. In my case, it’s mostly songwriters so you wouldn’t know their names. But you’d know their songs!

Are you a music fan? What are some of your recommendations that inspired this book?

I love all kinds of music and in Nashville, there is no shortage of live music (like my bio says, even in the grocery store). I’m not a huge country fan and when Jenn started editing Tuned, she said she can’t think of my book without singing Keith Urban’s Cop Car song. I’m embarrassed to say, I hadn’t heard it before. I Googled it and wow, does it ever fit with my manuscript.

Tell us a fun fact about the book or about Abe and Lydia that we wouldn’t get from reading Tuned Into You.

Abe lives in the ‘rich’ neighborhood, which is Belle Meade, the fifth wealthiest city in the nation. There is a lot of ‘old money’ in Belle Meade and I love driving through it (no faster than 30 mph or you’ll get pulled over). It’s definitely the Beverly Hills of Nashville. The Fischer farm is about 10 minutes outside of Nashville. It’s true that if you get on Franklin Road and drive only ten minutes from downtown Nashville, you are surrounded by rolling hills and horse farms. So, that part about the setting is true. However, no fans would EVER be staking out someone’s property to get an autograph. That part was made up!

What are you working on next?

I finished another young adult novel that is totally different from Tuned. It’s a cross between It’s a Wonderful Life / If I stay and The Breakfast Club. We’ll see how it goes. It’s only a draft right now, so definitely not fit for human eyes. I also just started a spin-off of Tuned. It’s Camille and West’s story and it’s very sketchy right now.

Who are your favorite writers? And why?

I read so many different genres, it’s hard to pin-point who my favorite is. Among the classics, I love Ray Bradbury and George Orwell. I love James Dashner and Rick Riordan (yes, I’ve read every Percy Jackson book!!). Neil Shusterman’s Unwind young adult series is the best dystopian series I have ever read. He’s a wonderful story teller and kept me up at night thinking about all the creepy things that were happening to his main character. Robert Muchamore is a great British author. His CHERUB young adult action-adventure series is really fun to read. Tracy March and Tracie Bannister are my favorite romance authors, along with another British Author, Matt Dunn. And I’ve met some amazing authors on social media that are on the cusp of making it big. I can’t wait for big things to happen for them. For example, Oz Monroe’s Soil Man. I don’t usually read dark fantasy, but he’s a master storyteller.

There isn’t enough space to add all the writers I love. Sorry guys!

Do you have any advice for someone who wants to write a book?

Don’t chase the market. You’ll always be a day late and a dollar short. Write what you feel has to be written. Write that story that keeps you up at night. And if the first one doesn’t get any interest, write another and another. Once you get started, you won’t be able to stop.

And secondly, finish the dang thing. There’s a huge rush that comes with typing ‘the end.’

What’s the most surreal part of this journey?

There are two parts that have been surreal.

  1. Not long after I submitted Tuned Into You to BookFish through pit2pub, they requested the full manuscript. A few weeks later, I received an email and I thought it was the standard, ‘thank you for… blah blah blah… but it’s not for me.’ It wasn’t that at all. It was an email wanting to discuss a contract. I almost deleted that email without even opening it. Gah! What a mistake that would have been.
  2. The second surreal moment happened only two days ago when I received the proof copy of my book in the mail. I cannot describe the feeling of holding this creation in my hands after all the hard work and time I’ve put into it (with a lot of help, mind you). The feeling is second only to holding my daughter for the first time.

About Cindy Dorminy

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Cindy Dorminy grew up on a steady diet of popcorn (the kind you pop in a sauce pan), Tab (pre-Diet Coke), and movies for teenagers. She can’t let a day go by without quoting a line from one of her favorite films, so quirky dialogue is a must in her stories. When she’s not at her research coordinator day job, Cindy is writing funny love stories, walking her dog, or slinging iron the old-fashioned way. She shares her house with her musician husband, her awesome daughter, and a cool, four-footed child that would eat all the cheese ifshe could figure out how to open the refrigerator. Cindy is a member of Romance Writers of America and Music City Romance Writers. She resides in Nashville, TN where live music can be heard everywhere, even at the grocery store.

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