Friday, October 19, 2018

Author Interview, Freebie & Giveaway: Swell Time for a Swing Dance by Cindy Vincent


December 31, 1941. Young Houston socialite Tracy Truworth, Apprentice P.I., can’t imagine a better way to send off the old year and ring in the new than by dancing through the night with her fella, Pete Stalwart. But a swell evening soon takes a terrible turn when a fellow dancer with moves like Fred Astaire ends up dead on the dance floor. And before the hands on the clock can point to midnight, a finger is pointed at Pete, accusing him of murdering the young man.

Then after Pete is hauled away in handcuffs, the night goes from bad to worse . . . and Tracy’s sweet grandmother is accused of stealing an ancient artifact from the museum. Now Tracy must team up with her boss and mentor, Sammy Falcone, in order to find the stolen statuette, unmask the real murderer, and restore the reputations of those she loves the most.

Yet as America becomes embroiled in another world war, the risks and sacrifices intensify—even on the homefront. And Tracy soon finds her own home invaded by a near parade of questionable characters, while unsavory suspects lurk in the shadows, and a ruthless reporter makes her life miserable. With time ticking against her, Tracy must be willing to swing past the setbacks and hop through the hazards if she hopes to solve a mystery that involves a lot of dancing . . . and a lot more danger.

Interview with author Cindy Vincent

Thank you so much, Heidi, for hosting me and my new book, Swell Time for a Swing Dance, here today!

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?

For twenty years, I had a business where I wrote, published, and sold my own line of murder mystery party games.  My games went all over the world, and were shipped to more interesting places than I’ve ever been myself.  One of my large party kits was used for a birthday party at a French restaurant in Cairo.  I also had games shipped to several U.S. embassies in different countries, including China.  Though mostly I just sold my games to wonderful people in the U.S. and Canada.  

I’m also an absolute fanatic when it comes to Christmas.  While I never forget the reason for the season, that doesn’t mean I’m not an extreme decorator.  I put up three large trees in my house (and plenty of small trees, too!), and my entire front hallway becomes a winter wonderland.  We usually don’t even turn on the lights in the front rooms during Christmas, since the twinkle lights provide plenty of light for us to walk around.  The effect is magical!

2. What do you do besides writing?

The truth is, I have so many more things that I love to do than I ever have time to do them.  J  I love to paint, mostly doing landscape scenes with watercolors and acrylics.  My new favorite type of painting is Impasto, which is applied with a small trowel.  It creates thick layers instead of smooth strokes, and gives a painting a nice 3-D effect.  It’s so much fun to paint and there really is no right or wrong to it. 

But my favorite creative outlet, (next to writing, of course), is sewing.  I make everything from tops to skirts to dresses, and creating evening gowns is a favorite hobby.  I especially enjoy art quilting and free-motion sewing.  Then, I’m also trying to learn how to play the piano via a series of DVDs, but that isn’t going so well . . . turns out I really don’t have much musical talent.  Oh, well.

3. Do you have images you can share that come close to how you picture your characters? Do you like to find visual inspiration for your characters before or during your writing process?

I love these questions!  Let’s see, I picture Tracy Truworth, the lead character in my book, as looking a little like Betty Grable.  I’ve always imagined her boyfriend, Pete, as looking more like Van Johnson. Then there’s Tracy’s boss, Sammy Falcone, who bears a striking resemblance to Humphrey Bogart, so much so that he’s often mistaken for the actor.

Unlike lots of authors, I don’t use visual inspirations beforehand.  I usually know what my characters look like in my mind’s eye before I even start to write a book.  My characters come to life in my imagination long before they come to life in my books. 

4. What are some songs that you listened to or inspired you while writing your book?

Great question!  Of course, I love to listen to swing music because it truly puts me into the era of my 1940s books.  This includes any and all Glenn Miller songs, and Sing, Sing, Sing by Benny Goodman. 

But I am also a lover of classical music, and for some reason, I find that having certain songs playing in the background helps my focus and concentration when I write.  Here are a couple of my faves:

5. What message would you like readers to ultimately take away from the book?

First, I hope people will be entertained by this book and have a chance to step back in time for a moment.  There is so much to enjoy about the 1940s—the clothes, the music, the dancing, and the slang.  But I also hope that people will pick up on a few of the lessons to be learned from WWII.  The morale of our country was amazingly high back then, and it played a huge role in our winning the war.  The war also taught us that we needed everyone’s help, regardless of race, age, or gender. 

Of course, it’s also important to know WWII history, so that we never let such atrocities happen again.  The National Socialist German Workers’ Party (Nazis) killed around six million Jewish people and around seven million Soviet civilians.  Imperial Japan invaded a dozen countries, with a death toll in the millions as well.  They brutally murdered anywhere from 200,000 to 500,000 in what was known as the “Rape of Nanking, China.”  During the war, both Germany and Japan were part of what was known as the “Axis Powers,” and they both had fascist governments.  So I am hoping my books will spark an interest in WWII, so readers might be curious and want to learn more.  Because you know the old adage: Those who don’t know history are bound to repeat it. 

6. What can we look forward to coming from you in the future? 

Bunches, if all goes well!  Naturally, there’ll be at least a third Tracy Truworth novel.  And if all goes really well, I’m looking forward to adding a fourth and fifth book to the series, too.  There is simply so much material for a series like this, that I could easily continue her story throughout the entire war.

And then, I’m already well into the next book in the other series that I write, the Buckley and Bogey Cat Detective Capers.   This will be book number five for the crime-solving cats, and this newest title is: The Case of Too Many Clues.  It is such a fun series to write!

Finally, I have hopes to write a third mystery series someday, too, something with a modern setting.  So I’ve got plenty to work on.  Elizabeth Peters and Sue Grafton both wrote books well into their later years, and I hope to do the same!

Thanks again, Heidi, for hosting me here today.  Your questions have been wonderful, and I hope you continue your blog for years to come!

Free E-book

Beginning Tuesday, October 16th, Swell Time For a Swing Dance will be FREE until the end of the blog tour!


Time to get “in the mood” with a fun 1940s-themed giveaway! Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter for a chance to win a pewter ornament from The National WWII Museum, a Glenn Miller CD, and paperback copies of the first two books in the Tracy Truworth series: Bad Day for a Bombshell and Swell Time for a Swing Dance. Due to shipping costs and varying international laws, this giveaway is open to US residents (age 18 or older) only. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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