Cindy Sabulis, author of Living at the Langster Motel, Author Interview!

1)What got you interested in writing?

All through my growing up years, I kept diaries and journals, so I suppose the interest in writing was always there, but I never really considered writing as a career until I was an adult already in the work force. One day I was in a library leafing through a copy of Writer’s Market, a book that listed all the publications you could submit your work to, and I was shocked by how much freelance writers could make writing articles for major newspapers and magazines. Armed with a copy of Writer’s Market, I started writing query letters to editors with ideas I had for various topics for articles I wanted to write for them, and I also wrote complete articles on all kinds of topics and submitted them to various newspapers and magazines. I wrote at night and on weekends, while working a full-time job and taking college courses in the evening. Little-by-little I started getting acceptances and assignments from publications. Even though I never sold anything that made those big numbers that first wowed me in Writer’s Market, I was paid decently by some major publications that printed my work, plus made plenty of sales to the smaller markets that helped pay the bills. 

2) What book(s) have you written and can you tell us about them/it?

My most recent book is Living at Langster Motel, a contemporary, middle grade novel about a 13-year-old girl who lives in a motel with her family. It is a story about friendship and the importance of community. Embarrassed about where she lives, Cali Jarvis makes a pact with her best friend Rivka, another motel resident, to keep their home life secret at their new school. Cali sets her sights on getting in with the popular kids at school, but getting in with the popular crowd while keeping her motel home life secret proves more trouble than she anticipates. In the process of moving up the social ladder, Cali starts to figure out where she fits in within the unique community of people who live at the motel.  

Living at Langster Motel is my sixth published book, but my first novel. My other published books were all non-fiction. Another book of mine is “The Garage Sale How-To Guide,” which offers tips and advice to help run a successful and profitable garage or yard sale. In addition, I wrote four doll collecting reference guides for collectors and dealers about dolls from the 1960s-1970s era. 

3) What’s your writing routine look like? 

I usually sneak in writing when I have some spare time, which sometimes is no time, and others is hours at a time. In addition to being a writer, I am also a business owner which takes up a big chunk of my time, so all my writing time has to be sandwiched in between running my business and my personal life. 

4) Who has been your favorite character to write? 

My secondary character Rivka in my middle grade book was fun to create. She’s a little quirky and doesn’t care what people think about her the way my protagonist does. Rivka believes that she is psychic and is always trying to convince Cali that she is. It was fun writing about her so-called psychic ability and Cali’s reaction to it. 

5) Where do you normally write and if you could write anywhere, where would you want to write? 

I normally write in my office at home. Years ago, I’d write anywhere I had a piece of paper and a pen—in a library, a restaurant, a hotel lobby, a conference room on my work break, pretty much anywhere. However, the older I get, the more settled I’ve become in my writing place. I’m not sure I could write anywhere else now because I’d probably get too distracted if I tried writing in a different location. That being said, I wouldn’t be opposed to trying to write on the beaches of some tropical island to see how it goes. 

6) What location will you put your next book in? 

I’ve toyed with the idea of doing another book set in a motel, but I have several works-in-process I hope to finish before I start a new book.

7) What is a funny writing story you have?

I once wrote an article for a writing magazine that was a satire about some of the amateurish stuff I’ve done in my writing life, but they misprinted the title so instead of being titled “I’m a Professional Amateur” it was titled “I’m a Professional Author.” While the professional author title was flattering for me, it took away from the piece that was supposed to be a humorous look at always being an amateur at every writing project I took on, and probably left readers scratching their heads, thinking, “Really? She’s a professional author?” 

8) What do you like to do when you’re not writing? 

If I’m not writing, I’m running a business I own, Toys of Another Time, which is a vintage collectibles business, and when I’m not doing that, I’m moving stuff, organizing stuff, cleaning stuff, or doing some kind of physical exercise. Sitting isn’t really my thing, so if I’m sitting at my computer working on my next book or doing administrative stuff for my business, I can only go so long before I need to do something physical. Given the choice of sitting on the sofa watching television or rearranging the furniture, I’ll start rearranging the furniture. 

9) What’s some advice you would give to new authors? 

Get multiple (honest) opinions from many different people–before you submit something–and don’t take it personally if anyone tells you something isn’t that good. Use those opinions to make your work better. On the other hand, if all your friends and family tell you that your work is the best they’ve ever read, it’s brilliant, it’s the next #1 best-seller, take that with a grain of salt because they might not want to tell you the truth. Once you get to the point where you and your beta readers feel you’ve perfected your work, persistence is everything to get it published. If you get rejected, lick your wounds for a few minutes (or an hour if you really need it), then try again. Keep trying again and again, even after dozens of agents or publishers say no. That being said, you also have to be realistic, so if you’ve gotten 100 or more rejections, it’s time to take a good, hard look at it with fresh eyes and see what you can do to change it for the better. 

10) Where can people find you online?

My writing website is at: www.cindysabulis.com 

My blog is:  https://blog.cindysabulis.com/

I’m on Goodreads at: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/240391.Cindy_Sabulis

I’m on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/cindysabulis

My Facebook page is:  www.facebook.com/LivingatLangsterMotel 

Living at Langster Motel book trailer is on Youtube at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNY8Fzdh1DY.

Reviews for Living at Langster Motel can be found on both Goodreads and Amazon https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1736606506

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