What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Cordelia Dinsmore. I was born in Independence, Missouri, and I now live in Kansas. I’ve moved around a lot, as far as Europe, Colorado, Alabama, Texas, so how I ended up in Kansas I’ll never know.
Did you always want to be a writer? If not what did you want to be?
Nope. Never even imagined it until I got really old and realized I wasn’t going to be a professional dancer or a country music star. Actually, when I was in high school I wanted to be an airline hostess, but then I actually flew on a plane and realized I am terrified of flying.
Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
I’m a full-time mom and grandmother. Plus I try to keep up with a house that’s over a hundred years old, and a horse, dog, and numerous cats. Then there are thirty acres of farmland, and a two acre yard that constantly needs mowing. And I garden, and teach Sunday School, and volunteer in other ways, so I don’t really have a lot of time to go out and actually make money. It would be nice, but being poor has its advantages. It helps you appreciate the importance of small things. If I had more time, I would love to find a way to eliminate dust, but I doubt if anyone would want to pay me for that.
What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
Michaela’s Gift is the title of my MG novel. Twenty words or less? Wow. Hard one there. Perhaps: Life’s greatest gifts are often found through tremendous pain, but if we embrace them we can find amazing joy.
Who is your publisher? or do you self publish?
Michaela’s Gift is published through the Euterpe imprint of Musa Publishing.
Do you have a "lucky charm" or "lucky routine" you follow when waiting for your book to be accepted by a publisher?
No, I don’t think I’m a superstitious person. God rules my life. Once I scrounge up the courage to submit, I turn it over to Him. That enables me to keep a lot of stress out of my life.
What can we expect from you in the future? ie More books of the same genre? Books of a different genre?
I’m really hoping to eventually attract the attention of a publisher for some of my picture books, but I have several more MG novels in the works. I’m comfortable with MG, and love reading that genre, so I plan to stick with that.
Do you have a favourite character from your books? and why are they your favourite?
Michaela is one of my favorites, because she is so much spunkier than I ever was at that age. I never questioned things, or rebelled against my parents in any way. If my mother had told me I couldn’t use my magical gift, it would have remained to this day. Fortunately, my mother encouraged me to use every gift I was given, and told me often that if I didn’t use them, they would be lost.
Where do you get your book plot ideas from? What/Who is your inspiration?
I have no idea, seriously. Sometimes the characters simply begin speaking in my head. I have no idea who they are at the beginning. It totally freaked me out the first time it happened. But it makes it a lot easier, for me, at least, to have them do that than to try creating them on my own. Sometimes they are ghosts from the past, or combinations of several people that I combine into one. I will probably never know where the cow came from, but she’s another story.
Do you have anybody read your books and give you reviews before you officially release them? ie. Your partner, children, friends, reviewers you know?
I would never submit something without having several pairs of eyes go over it. I use critique partners from difference sources. I nag my brother into giving me feedback. Sometimes I share with trusted friends, but they tend to be way too lenient with me and so I know I’m not going to get a really good critique from them.
Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?
I have and I do. But I still hope for an honest review.
Do you read all the reviews of your book/books?
Of course. And I try very hard to be subjective. I can’t grow as a writer unless I’m open to honest criticism. But I also realize that not everyone likes the same thing. And when I critique, I’m pretty much a tell-it-like-it-is reader. I think it’s important, however, when giving a review, that I review based on structure and not on my personal tastes. If I read a well-written book, even if I don’t care for it, I’m still going to critique it based on it’s merits rather than my tastes.
What was the toughest/best review you have ever had?
I haven’t had but a few, and they’ve all been great, so I don’t really know how to answer this question.
Would you ever ask a reviewer to change their review if it was not all positive about your book/books?
Absolutely not. I’ve read books from authors wanting reviews, and I am always honest in my feedback. If there are problems with the writing, I will contact the author and tell them the issues I’m having, and give them the choice of whether I post a review or not – even though my blog is definitely not an official review site. I also have to remember that not all people possess the ability to offer criticism with tact. I fall into that category at times. If someone says that my book sucks without offering some evidence of why they feel that way, I may be slightly offended, but if they offer an explanation, then there might be something I can learn in the comments that will help improve my writing.
How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books?Who designed the Cover of your books?
Kelly Shorten from Musa Publishing designed my cover. She asked me for ideas on what I wanted, and I told her. At first I wanted a girl sitting under an ancient tree, with a sketchpad in her lap. But then I realized that I didn’t want to limit my readers into my conception of Michaela, so I changed it to the Black Newfoundland with the castle in the background. The Newfoundland is Blackie, the dog in Michaela’s Gift, and since the black Newfies pretty much all resemble each other, I figured that was okay. The title may seem quite simple, but it isn’t. Although there is a magical gift in the book, there are many more possibilities that the gift encompasses.
Where can readers follow you and your work?
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Here are the buy links for Michaela’s Gift