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Interview with Cynthia Roemer

What message do you hope readers take away from your newest release?
Beyond Wounded Hearts has several spiritual threads woven through it—self-worth, God’s grace in response to our failings—but the one that stands out most is the Lord’s far-reaching love for His children. At the onset of the novel, my heroine, Adelaide Hanover, has suffered a great deal of loss and pain. In her grief and anger, she turns her back on her faith. But God sets people in her path, including a faith-filled hero, who help rekindle her faith and draw her back to Him.

You love to take motorcycle rides in the country. Have you ever taken a literary pilgrimage for research on your bike? What was your favorite research trip and what did you discover or learn?
I do enjoy the open feel of riding with my husband on our motorcycle (though recent bouts with cancer and weakened bones have kept me from it the past couple of years). I’ve never ridden great distances or taken a literary pilgrimage on a motorcycle. Though it sounds like fun.

I had high hopes of traveling to Maryland and Virginia to visit the Battle of Monocacy site and Dr. Samuel Mudd's home in research for Book One in my Wounded Heart Series (Beyond These War-Torn Lands). But it hit right at the onset of Covid as well as my first bout with cancer, so I didn’t make that trip. Though I found some wonderful virtual online resources that made me feel as if I were there.

In research for my third novel, Under Moonlit Skies, my husband and I traveled (by car) to the National Road Interpretive Center in Vandalia, Illinois, to learn about the First National Road (Cumberland Road), which stretched from Cumberland, Maryland to Vandalia, Illinois. My characters had to travel to Cincinnati, Ohio, from Illinois and utilized that road built in the 1830s. I love incorporating real history into my novels, so I drink in any historical knowledge I can.

This is book 2 in your second series. What have you learned from writing full-length fiction, and also from writing a series?
Writing novels is very time consuming, especially historical novels due to the abundant research. But also so rewarding. I just completed my first Christmas novella, and while I enjoyed this new venture, I find you can go so much deeper into your characters in a full-length novel. That’s one reason I enjoy writing series. I can create my own little story world and revisit beloved characters throughout the series. My characters become almost real to me, and I love it when I hear the same from readers.

One of the challenges in writing novels, especially series, is to keep all your description and character details consistent. It takes me a good year or more to complete a novel, so it can be difficult at times to keep all that straight. Character profiles are a great help in that area.

Another thing I’ve learned when writing novels is how important side characters are. If done well, they provide added layers to the story that bring depth and reinforcement to the book’s theme. So vital to a good story.

What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
I would say the best money I’ve spent as a writer was joining the ACFW. Getting those Christian writer connections made all difference. I found critique partners, took online writing courses, and entered the First Impressions and Genesis Contests, which gained me valuable feedback in shaping and improving my writing skills.

What kind of research do you do, and how long do you spend researching before beginning a book?
My research never ends. LOL! I basically do the research I need to get a good feel for the times and then start writing and research as I go. I never quite know where my characters are going to take me, so am constantly pausing to research places, people, and situations they encounter.

Though this makes for slow writing, I’m a stickler for accuracy. I go so far as to ensure the words my characters use are accurate for the times and find when items were invented. If I include a historical person, I do my best to track down their eye color, age at the time, height, mannerisms, etc.

I ask tons of questions. Were the streets dirt or cobblestone? Were there screen doors around then? What would a soldier carry? When something arises that I don’t know the answer to, I investigate. Sometimes it’s difficult to stop researching to write. But accuracy is essential to historical novels. It brings a character to life. Plus, learning about history is fun and interesting.

As writers, we often must be careful of our word count. Sometimes, that means snipping bits of what we write during the revision process. That being said, what did you edit OUT of this book?
Hmm. Though in previous novels, I’ve had scenes highly edited or deleted altogether, I don’t recall any major scenes being discarded with Beyond Wounded Hearts. My publisher cut the entire opening scene in my first novel, Under This Same Sky, which nearly killed me. I learned very quickly to start my novels in the midst of the action rather than lead up to it. I’ve tried to follow through with that knowledge in each of my subsequent novels (likely from the threat of having a scene cut).

With Beyond Wounded Hearts, I’ve mostly made smaller scene edits and have actually added a couple of scenes to enrich the depth of my characters. The longer I write, the more I think like an editor and recognize unnecessary wording and scenes. Though I admit I tend to go a bit over my optimal word count.

You have over 100 articles and short stories printed in various Christian teen and adult publications. What led you to writing full-length fiction and do you still write other content?
I’ve aspired to write Christian novels since I was in high school and actually wrote the rough draft for my first novel while in college. After receiving a few rejection slips from publishers, I became discouraged and set my novel aside. It was easier to fit writing short-stories and Christian articles into my schedule while I married and raised our two boys.

Nearly two decades passed before the novel writing bug hit me again. By that time, many of the Christian magazines I’d written for had either ceased publication or gone to other formats so, with the help of my new writing friends at ACFW, I honed my novel-writing skills and began an extensive rewrite of my original novel, Under This Same Sky. Two years later, it found a home with a publisher, and how humbled and blessed I am to now be seeing my fifth novel go to print.

Your life’s path has seemed to point straight and true to writing with your first-place prize as a junior in high school followed by your degree in English. How has your degree and creative writing emphasis impacted your everyday life?
One important thing I’ve learned since those early aspirations to become a published author is that it isn’t where or when you’re published that’s important. It’s following God’s calling on your life that counts. I feel called to write stories that inspire. But I also seek to use my writing skills to help and encourage others.

You often compare your passion for writing to that of planting and sowing seeds. How do your faith and spiritual walk play out in your novels?
I consider writing my ministry, so I take seriously the spiritual aspects woven into my novels. Nothing brings greater joy to my heart than when I hear something I’ve written has impacted a reader’s heart. One of my ARC readers in her review for Beyond Wounded Hearts said she actually felt compelled to stop reading and pray for a non-Christian friend. Another reader after reading a segment about my heroine’s forgiveness of her verbally abusive father in Beyond These War-Torn Lands, called the book “life-changing”. Nothing brings me greater joy or satisfaction than knowing the Lord has used something I wrote to speak so powerfully to readers. It brings tears to my eyes. That’s what writing is about for me—sowing seeds of hope into the hearts of readers.

Finish this statement: In the future, I will…
In the future, I will do my best to be faithful to God’s calling in my writing. Without His inspiration and approval, my writing is merely words on a page.
Tiffany Amber Stockton has been crafting and embellishing stories since childhood, when she was accused of having an active imagination and a flair for the dramatic. Today, she has honed those skills to become an award-winning author and speaker who works as a homeschool mom and independent contractor, helping others become their best from the inside out. She lives with her husband and fellow author, Stuart Vaughn Stockton, in Kentucky. They have a daughter and son, and 2 cats. She has sold over 25 books so far, three of which have won annual reader's choice awards. She is represented by Tamela Murray of the Steve Laube Agency. (

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