"I’m telling mom!" As a child, that exclamation became my mantra as I cried all the way to her feet while trying to recount why those tears flowed. Each time, I found that unless the situation could be remedied by me that I’d weep - again. I wrote diaries galore about being the ‘middlest’ child in the middle of dysfunction; therefore, my first nom de plume could have been Cry Baby; mom jokingly nicknamed me Cinder Ella. Was she insinuating that my siblings might not be fully related to me or that I was worthy of Prince Charming?
My latest release is a children’s book called Just ME; the main character daydreams about being someone famous and special; she’s wishing her life away! Going back to my roots, strangely, God led me to my first published book when I was aged thirty-three; it’s a tale that may make everyone cry with me before they spot the miracles inside that book entitled: Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down. Before I wrote that story about ‘life after death,’ Christian based NDEs, and dying, my career centred on computers as a ‘system analyst’ college major. It makes sense that my first book would be non-fiction; although, some might call it fantasy. Those readers who make it to the end call it things such as fantastic, amazing, compelling, miraculous, and wonderful.
Now, that that’s out of the way, when I write non-fiction, I’m telling the whole truth and nothing but the truth and use my name or Cynthia Meyers-Hanson. If I’m going to embellish, take poetic license, and tell my side of - I mean the main character’s side of - a story this author uses my pen name or Sydney S. Song. We both tend to write in the first person point of view but Sydney writes novels and fiction - or does she? Most of my nom de plume’s tales are merging of things I witnessed or heard about - you know gossip. My stories come from real life because I once heard that’s the best way to write. I take facts then twist, turn, and embellish them while stringing an array of unrelated tales into one unit or novel, which means those around me as well as my readers should NOT know I wrote about them but they should totally relate to the storyline. I hope!
Without a strong literature background, being a system’s analyst and computer programmer after college, having a math background, I write linear. My chapters are subsets, unions of facts, and compartmentalised with my own flare for keeping secrets and punch lines until needed to finish a short story within a larger piece. I do remember a high school writing teacher saying, "New authors tend to bring the reader to their height of the plot too soon, which makes the last parts of their book the denouement an unending reiteration or rant of their punch line." Another instructor’s favourite line was, "Show me; don’t tell me!" Both teachers wanted more left to the imagination as well as fully developed and clarified storylines but not essay style tales. In the beginning, my job was to take my endless diaries of a Cry Baby and convert them to inspirational tales if I could. If not, with a bit more embellishing or clever weaving of unrelated tales, Sydney writes fictions and fantasy for adults. By the way, I publish my children’s books under my real name, Cynthia or Cindy.
Most of my novels take place in Florida but I tend to describe the places more like Hemingway would. I don’t mean I cuss; I mean I use fewer adjectives than most fiction authors. I tend to write less frilly than those who start out to be a novelist. In fact, my first few books and half of them to date are non-fiction. Meanwhile, I’ll lead the reader to my idea but never force them to accept my thoughts. Plus, I love to leave people second guessing what just happened until they solve the problem themselves. Thus, as I put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard, the question that haunts me and my work is, "Am I leaving too much to my audience’s imagination?"
Speaking of questioning literature, my novels tend to focus on real life issues and questions such as, "What if a similar murder occurred more than one time in a family? Is there a serial killer after them? If so, who or what is plaguing the main character as she searches for resolution to deaths?" This story is not just about this generational issue; it follows a true love story or two as the plot unwinds pointing to the true killer. When you figure out Helen’s stalker, you’ll see why I call this novel Surreal- The Hell in the Family. That narrative was revised so many times over four years that it became three separate manuscripts - at one point. In the end, I merged two back into that novel; it follows a love story triangle and consequences of the first murder through a second or third generation. The third piece is in a book entitled, The Vision, a much more upbeat saga by the end.
My books from non-fiction to novels take varying amounts of time to compose from years to months. The Choice only took three months to write and is a fun, light hearted, love story with a heavy theme. The plaguing issue is, "What if you fooled around then fell in love but had HIV?" This book gives one set of answers to that question as well as asking "How would you or would you suffer your unrequited love? Would you take the chance of killing your best friend and best partner otherwise known as the love of your life?" The storyline borrows from true love stories that I heard in the past fifty plus years merging them with the potential realities of AIDS. You’ll never see the end of this story coming - unless you read that book backwards. It was my favourite one to combine into romance literature or "chick lit." I did so while listening to upbeat music and travelling from my childhood in Miami to my current location in Florida; most of
my fiction unfold in tropical or subtropical settings because it’s what I know. I share it all with my reader leaving some things to the imagination, which is why this novel could be PG-13 rated.
Helen is the lead character in Surreal- The hell in the Family, The Choice, and The Vision, which are three of my four novels and Sydney’s trilogy. The main lady in all of them is definitely strong-willed but very aware of others around her. The three books have been interwoven to distract people from trying to discover who Helen or the other characters may be in ‘real life! In other words, even though I drew from my experiences, the three literary pieces are NOT a bit related in reality; the storylines are gross exaggerations as well as COMPLETE fabrications! Any similarities to my family, friends, or anyone’s life are purely a coincidence. Meanwhile, these novels grew to be a bit of a soap opera as I doled out ‘presumed gossip’ with poetic license and embellishments! By the way, I have a friend that went from casual reader to helping me with my work; she edits my books for free just to be able to be the first to know what becomes of Helen; she wants to see how the soap opera unravels, turns out, and ends.
If something sparks my interest, I’ll write about it. Recently, I tried my hand at children’s books coming up with three very unique and happy books. I’m doing the artwork myself. In fact, I do my own covers for all my books; my goal is to owe no one for my success or failure - except maybe my friends and family. Because - I write based on inspiration, when I do, I’m extremely focused. Usually, the words drop into my text readily and a book completes without any outline, planning, or forethought. My only exception is the cutting and pasting I did to tear The Vision from Surreal- The Hell in the Family’s pages. My style and writing developed from my first book by Cynthia Meyers-Hanson entitled: Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down. I wrote furiously trying to capture the nuances of each miracle within that story as well as my mother’s predictions before I forgot them. Tweaking came later but plopping all the text into a manuscript before editing, organizing, or cleaning up my thoughts became my style. It’s important to mention why I became a writer here. I compiled mom’s book due to popular demand. Many miracles, predictions, and renditions of her Christian based NDE filtered into my community via Hospice; I wanted people to get the story right. This book led to two more non-fictions before I did my first co-authored piece with a new friend. In my fourth book, Wavie and I wrote about her accident induced coma during a pregnancy as well as her daughter’s and her miraculous recovery from that car wreck. It’s another Christian based NDE as well as real life drama. That book is entitled Through the Storms HE Performs. After that production, ghostwriting, co-authoring, and mentoring followed resulting in seventeen published stories that I’ve touched in some way, shape, or form in the past twenty years.
I keep no rejection letters or negativity around me; it weighs you down in life - not just in your writing. It hasn’t been an easy road that I’ve travelled! I’ve fallen prey to cheats! A publisher took advantage of me with my first book never paying me a dime of royalties. Instead of suing and wasting time, after mastering the school of hard knocks, I went indie. Unfortunately, to date, that theft has been the most memorable experience for me; I read my contracts better now. The incident launched me into self-sufficiency. I rely on advice from other writers more than from the counterpart world of book writing or publishing groups. That experience explains why I’m on my own not even trying to establish my books on the traditional route; I’m leery and suspicious of people’s true intentions. Instead of query letters to editors and agents, I’m focused on book deals in the arena of made for TV movies, big screen scripts, and, other similar media ventures.
My area for improvement has got to be establishing more and better PR. That’s why I volunteer to answer blogger’s questions. It’s why I freely donate fiction and non-fiction stories to good causes such as the With Love Project, which aids Japan after their tsunami and earthquake damage. It explains why I quickly composed an essay featured as the first one in You Don’t Know My Story. My thoughts from that book inspired The Vision, which was my last adult level fiction. As long as a link back to my work for sale gets mentioned in the anthology, blog, or any media based story; I’m as happy as a clam on the beach in Florida where I live and my fodder for my books comes from.
I hope that all my writing will one day see the light of day! I think that my books and novels reveal how I’ve grown as an author. The book I’m most proud of when it comes to non-fiction is my first saga entitled Mom’s on the Roof and I Can’t Get Her Down. That one has many afterlife experiences in it as well as predictions about future events. It now has a companion book. As my last non-fiction, the counterpart to my mother’s tale, or My ArmOr unfolds - its text proves that my mom’s predictions’ source was God. Her prophesy is coming true years after that book’s copyright date. Meanwhile, MyArmOr is also about my life changing trip that made me a bionic woman and writer. In spite of my many tragedies and losses, you see the triumph and candor in that book. While in the emergency room, I say things to my doctor and his staff such as, "I lost my Humerus bone but not my funny bone AKA the humorous one!" After reading that non-fiction, you’ll know that I’m no longer a Cry Baby. I’m Just ME - Cynthia Meyers-Hanson AKA Sydney S. Song. Additional links: Paperbacks; Smashwords; LARGE TYPE Excepts; Blog.