Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Mary Cunningham Interview

Tell us about your new book!

I'm thrilled with Cynthia's Attic: Legend of Lupin Woods (Book Five). I believe it's the most exciting story, yet.

First, a little explanation of the series: Twelve-year-old best friends, Cynthia and Gus, discover a magic trunk in Cynthia's Attic that sends them through time having adventures and solving mysteries with their ancestors.

Much to the dismay of Cynthia and Gus, mysteries previously solved are coming undone! Aunt Belle is missing…again! Cynthia’s great-grandfather, Beau was never found, and their nemesis, the evil circus clown, Blackie, appears to be, once again, making life miserable for everyone. This storyline gives me the opportunity to bring back some of my favorite ancestors and characters. Since part of my family is from France, I place the time-traveling duo in a small French village and send Gus, alone, to fend off danger in a terrifying woods.

What inspires you to write?

For someone whose family traces back to the late 1300s, genealogy  led, quite naturally, to my time travel series. Ancestors are scattered throughout the books portraying some very interesting characters. While not perfect, I suppose this is my way of making up for the fact that, as a child, I didn't pay enough attention to my grandparents' stories about their parents and grandparents; something I'd love to do today. Instead, I've sent Cynthia and Gus back in time on journeys their ancestors might have enjoyed.

 What genre of music is your favorite?

I used to write country music, so I lean toward that, but I also love blues, classic, and 70s pop (shows how old I am!).

What other authors do you look up to?

J. K. Rowling's writing gave me permission to write "outside the box," and let my creativity go in directions it may not have, otherwise. J. R. R. Tolkien was also a huge influence along with H. G. Wells (Wow! Initials are running amok!). Other 'tween and YA authors I admire are Kerry Madden, Kate DiCamillo, Kirby Larsen and so many more!   

Chicken Noodle or Wonton Soup?

I enjoy both, depending on whether it's homemade. One of my favorite all-time Chinese restaurants, Golden East Garden, is in East Brunswick, NJ. Their Wonton soup is the best I've ever had! My mouth waters just thinking of it! Okay…what was the question? LOL!

What are some of your hobbies?

I used to enjoy playing sports, but now I'm pretty much into watching, especially my Indiana Hoosiers (college basketball). I do enjoy a round of golf every now and then, and walk every day, especially with our adopted Shih-Apso puppy, Lucy. While the up and down hills in West Georgia are challenging, the calorie-burning benefits are priceless. I also enjoy water aerobics in the summer.

Which character in your new book are you most like and why?

I ran a contest to bring a new character into Legend of Lupin Woods! I asked readers, on Cynthia's Attic Blog,  about their favorite character in previous books and why that character was special. A young woman named Veronika, who lives in Siberia, won with her choice of Molly, the little brown 'clue-digging' dog  from The Magician's Castle. Veronika lived in France for a while, which is a destination for Cynthia and Gus in the Book Five, so her character evolved naturally onto the pages!

Who is your role model?
That would be my dad. Aside from being a fabulous writer and journalist, he was kind, honest to a fault, and non-judgmental; something we all need more of today. He had a wonderfully dry sense of humor that I've been known to borrow from time-to-time. I wish he had lived to see the series come to print, but I still feel him standing over my shoulder as I write.

Dogs or Cats?

You probably already know that from the question above. My family has always had dogs, so I'm partial. I love all animals, however.

Thank you! Is there anything else you'd like to say?
Here's a short blurb for Cynthia's Attic: Legend of Lupin Woods (Book 5).
Cynthia and Gus have solved a lot of mysteries across time, but something is seriously wrong and things are beginning to unravel.
Aunt Belle is missing…again! Cynthia’s great-grandfather, Beau, was never found! And now they are wondering if Blackie is still making life miserable for Lilly and Annie.
This time, the twelve-year-old girls journey into a strange woods full of frightening creatures and dark secrets in search of answers.
From Aunt Belle's cottage to a small village in France, they meet new friends and discover a connection to New Orleans that may lead to the devious source behind these alarming developments. Or bigger trouble.
Mary Cunningham Bio: Like Cynthia and Gus, my childhood best friend, Cynthia and I grew up in a small, Southern Indiana town…the setting for the series. Not one summer day passed that we weren’t playing softball, hide and seek, badminton, or croquet with friends in the vacant lot behind Becky’s house.
In my attempt to grow up, I joined The Georgia Reading Association, and the Carrollton Creative Writers Club. When giving my fingers a day away from the keyboard, I enjoy golf, swimming and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where I live with my husband and adopted furry, four-legged daughter, Lucy. Together we’ve raised three creative children and are thrilled with our 2 granddaughters.
At last count, I’ve moved 9 times to six different states (all after the age of 36), and aside from the packing and unpacking, it’s been a great experience, having made some very dear and lasting friendships. My non-writing time is spent showing power point presentations on gathering ideas and the writing process to schools and libraries.
Visit Cynthia's Attic Blog for a schedule of The Legend of Lupin Woods Blog Tour!
Thanks, so much, for inviting me to share in your Blogaversary! For information on the series and other books and short stories, please visit me at: Mary Cunningham Books: http://www.marycunninghambooks.com

Buy Links:
Smashwords Ebooks
B & N Book Nook

Youtube Cynthia's Attic Series For Tweens video: embed


  1. Thanks, so much, for the incredibly fun interview with Princess Reviews!