Our gnome is back with another in our series of author interviews! You asked, we’re delivering ? Today we have Cynthia Luhrs, author of the medieval time travel series Thornton Brothers, and Merriweather Sisters.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
For the medieval characters, I peruse websites listing popular names in the 1300s. For my heroines, who are usually southern, they pretty much show up, hands on hips and tell me their names and what they look like.
Are you like any of your characters?
There are bits and pieces of me in all of my characters. Even the ones my readers detest. I’m reminded of the interview ages ago with Diana Gabaldon when her fans were discussing how repellent they found Black Jack Randall and she said she was sitting there thinking, “You really don’t have any notion that you’re talking to Black Jack Randall, do you?” I would say the same is true about me.
How do you choose the characters for your story?
Each story begins with the character and many of the books have themes of family, betrayal, redemption, and wanting to belong, woven throughout. Once I have the character’s name, the picture forms in my head and I’m off and running. As I delve into each character’s psyche, I know what their character arc will be for that book or over several books. And I’m always listening…in grocery stores, at the farmer’s market, and out and about. People say the most interesting things. So beware, there may be a writer behind you in line, shamelessly eavesdropping on your conversation.
What inspired you to write time travel romance? Was there any one influence?
I grew up reading voraciously. Once I finished my stack of library books, I’d look around the house and read whatever my dad had lying around. Everything from Tom Clancy to James Patterson to Stephen King. One day, he handed me a book and said, this was different, I think you might like this book. It was Outlander. After that, I read every time travel I could find and started making up my own stories. It was years later before I’d sit down and write the first book, A Knight to Remember.
What is your method of time travel and how did you come up with it?
There are three components to traveling through time in all of my books: The first is an ancient object that either belonged to the hero or heroine. Second is a terrible storm and third is blood. For instance, Charlotte Merriweather is drawn to an antique bracelet which she purchases. Later there’s a terrible storm, she’s run off the road and cuts her hand. When she wakes she’s in medieval England. I like the idea of the immense power of nature and blood is life so I combined them and added the object to direct the person to the right time period.
Why do you think readers and authors are fascinated by the idea of time travel?
I think everyone likes to think about “what if”. Things we could change if only we had a chance.
Describe your writing cave.
I have an office with a desk and a treadmill desk. It’s decorated with quilts I’ve sewn or crocheted and pictures of family and inspiration. The treadmill desk allows me to sneak in some exercise during the day without feeling like I’m giving up writing time. When it’s nice outside, I sit on my screened in porch or on the deck and work. My backyard is wooded with no one else around and is very conducive to keeping me focused. My three cats are usually close by.
What music, if any, do you like to listen to while writing?
During the draft process I listen to alpha brain wave music. As soon as I turn it on, my brain knows it’s time to create. During revisions I listen to music my heroine likes and will often create a playlist to share with readers.
What do you do when you are not writing?
Reading, sewing, painting, crochet and I love to catch up on movies and a few fave tv shows. Let me take a moment and drool over Daryl Dixon.
What was the first thing you wrote, and how old were you when you wrote it?
In the third grade, I wrote Fluffy Goes to School. It was a book about my cat deciding he wanted to go to a magic cat school.
How do you balance marketing one book and writing the next?
Marketing activities usually take place in the late afternoon or evening. The mornings and day are when I’m most productive so that’s reserved for writing. And it doesn’t hurt I’m a bit of a workaholic. So many stories to tell and so little time.
Cake or Pie?
Cake. Angel food with cream cheese frosting is my all time favorite.
Sweet tea with mint and lemon.
Hot summer days or chilly winter nights?
Hot and humid. Here in the south, I wear flip flops almost year round.
About the author
Cynthia Luhrs idea of the perfect day is no interruptions and the freedom to live in her head all day, writing the next book, an icy beverage next to her as both tiger cats sit on the keyboard and demand treats. Stop by and say hello. You can find her on your favorite social media sites as well.
Cool! It was great getting to know you a little better, Cynthia. Now the gnome is turning it over to you–do you have any questions for Cynthia?
Latest posts by Cynthia Luhrs (see all)
- New Release – Fall through time to medieval England - September 2, 2016
- Cynthia Luhrs Interview - August 1, 2016
- Medieval knights…come meet Robert Thornton in Forever Knight by Cynthia Luhrs - June 24, 2016