Variety is the spice of life. Maybe, that is why I’ve written over twenty, unique books to date; by the way, I started writing in 1991. Honestly, I prefer to write nonfiction sagas about the ‘inspiration of’ and ‘miracles in’ life but I won’t fabricate testimonies just to write another book. Plus, sometimes, my goal is to touch on a societal ill in order to provoke compassionate thought; that is why I write novels, too. While writing fiction, I usually wish to remain neutral and non-confrontational; therefore, I attempt to show that there are two sides to every story. My hope is that the audience finds the middle or common ground through empathy. Other times, my fictions are my vehicles to let off steam while entertaining others- or even making people laugh at life. While storytelling, when I’m being one-hundred percent honest, I write my nonfiction sagas as Cynthia Meyers-Hanson. If I’m telling a children’s tale, I create those books with that same name because it is obvious that my anecdotes are meant to entertain youngsters. When I come up with novel ideas, my pen name- Sydney S. Song- is my alter ego; that part of me writes books full of half-truths. Nevertheless, those stories contain some insights and validity based on the realities of contemporary society. In short, I love to inspire people to better lives whether I am retelling an account factually or not.
When I first started writing in 1991, my life was in turmoil; that’s an understatement. However, I don’t write for my therapy; I write to give clarity to other souls trapped in unhappiness; my stories should be the light at the end of the darkness of their tunnel. Going back to my first book, at the time of its compilation, I held a full time job in the telecommunications industry as a computer programmer, was coping with my parents’ deaths spaced less than four weeks apart, and had moved my orphaned niece to my home- permanently. Stacey was being raised by my parents at the time of my folks’ departures to the afterlife. Back then, I wrote in my spare time and was driven to finish my first book. Why was I so obsessed to write every detail and nuisance of my first nonfiction? My favorite question during book interviews is the following related question: How did you get started? The short answer is that my mother died. Some people dream of being authors; my writing began as what could be described as a nightmare! HOWEVER- as she died, mom’s experiences ran the gamut from going through all the grieving steps a terminal soul follows to having what would be called a Christian Near Death Experience (NDE). When most of her messages from God panned out, people in my area buzzed with the story of my parent’s death. My witness became my first book entitled Mom’s on the Roof and I can’t Get Her Down. After that book, I dabbled in other people’s testimonies and witness writing mainly nonfiction. Meanwhile, since I became semi-retired five years ago, I have had plenty of time to write but I only do that activity when I have something worth talking about. When I do scribble thoughts, my obsession to finish the story returns; I write nonstop barely witnessing the present as my new tales are woven.
When I have an idea, I create my next edition. Over the past twenty plus years, I’ve moved into novels as well as children’s books. I first added adult fiction (not X rated) to allow for the description of suicide as well as other societal ills. My dad couldn’t live without his mate; she’d just passed due to terminal breast cancer, thus, my father ended his life through self-murder. He destroyed some of his offspring as well. Writing that cautionary tale as a fiction entitled Surreal the Hell in the Family allowed more range; I reached into broader areas depicting how crazy or zany life runs as well as showing how random acts of unkindness influences this world and clouds souls; this style of writing allowed me to delve into collateral damage as well as a psyche bombarded by confusion. Calling it fiction allows my family to remain autonomous. I have written about other taboo subjects as well but only if I understood many of the possible outcomes and could express the fullest story.
Born of trials and tribulations, I have a wicked sense of humor. Therefore, not all my novels are about forbidden acts or are they? I’ve written historical YA, love stories, and a trilogy. My favorite character is Ruthie from my “Life’s Crazy” trilogy including the following titles: The Knot, My Warped Tours, and Works Out. These novels follow two friends through marriages, divorces, crazy vacations, and their careers. While the main character remains on the straight and narrow, her friend Ruthie gets to say everything my posse of real life coffee mates might say when we get together. Although, both friends are honest and outspoken, Ruthie gets to say and do things I may not say or do in real life. She is fun as the foil adding brevity to hard topics or becoming the comic relief when the subject wades through difficult topics. I write to tell a story about what I’ve learned in life; she makes that saga more enjoyable, amusing, or entertaining. All three of these sagas in fiction were wrote in the same year and published in 2013 but the last one released was Works Out, which has multiple connotations as the ladies discuss work and being a woman in a man’s world. For instance, it could mean I hope it all works out by the end or someone appears healthy because he or she works out. For me, work’s out as in I’m never going to work for “the man”, again’ However, if my books don’t sell better soon, that last idea may fade into another change in careers.
Allow me to elaborate about selling books in today’s marketplace, publishing has been an enduring struggle especially the marketing or PR end of it. My first publisher was small and stole from me- even though they had a Christian brand. After that bad experience, I took control by self-publishing but that task is harder than I ever dreamed. I have to perfect my craft, hire the editors and proof readers, learn the formats to upload to POD and online publishers of eBooks and paperbacks, do my own public relations, etc. Plus, I have to do all the social networking; for me, that is the hardest part of my job because it is always better if a third party calls you a Hemingway or your book as good as The Shack, Heaven is For Real, or The Glass Castle. Even though I’ve found tons of writers willing to help me; no one can read the thousands of books on the market due to the explosion of eBook providers. Finding booklovers in my niche especially my nonfiction has been an uphill trek! People that do find my books especially my nonfictions are usually fans for life but differentiating oneself to find those readers is a daunting task.
My biggest reward is randomly meeting someone that says they were searching for me before or after discovering my books. Either they really needed my messages in print or after consuming one or more of my books, they prayed to talk to me in person. I have had a few experiences in malls or in distant cities where I was spotted and told the soul’s prayers were answered. Those encounters with fans are a joy and kind of freaky- at the same time. If only more people read my books, I’m sure my fan base would blossom. I have found that it is hard to get normal people to write reviews even as they bless me in person. Furthermore, I don’t like to rely on other writers because there is a ‘reciprocating favor mode’ that begins; it’s hard to be honest if the other author’s book is not my type or not well written. For that reason, I don’t trade reviews. I want my books to touch hearts, minds, and souls; plus, if I write a review, I want it to be just as spontaneous.