Today we have a guest author for you to meet, Cinda Mackinnon. Over the last two days we’ve had a review of Cinda’s book from review team member Jessie and my own review of Cinda’s book “A Place In The World” you can catch up with both of these reviews
Jessie’s review http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5ZN
My Review http://wp.me/p2Eu3u-5VC
Let’s find out more about Cinda and her writing
Interview for Rosie Amber
1) Where is your home town?
Well I never really had one growing up overseas, nor even a state, even though my parents were Americans. I used to say I was from Costa Rica (having lived there the longest) but then people would say “no you’re not” ( being that I’m blondish with blue eyes). Now I say I am from northern California, having now lived here longer than anywhere else and feeling quite comfortable.
2) How long have you been writing?
Since I was about twelve – on and off – but only in the last 10 years was I able to have the luxury and discipline to treat it as a second career. When we were still little kids, I was making up stories for my younger brother every night.
3) What was the one idea behind A Place In the World?
I wanted to write about the sights and sounds of the Andean forests and the Latino culture, but the main theme is “belonging”… finding your place in the world.
4) Describe briefly the Cloud Forest for the readers.
Cloud forests in the tropical latitudes are similar to rainforests, but located in less extensive zones in the mountains. Thus they are cooler, often misty, and have an abundance of mosses, ferns and other “epiphytes” like orchids. The diversity of flora and fauna in both is incredible and I tried to convey the grandeur. Here’s a sample:
“Ropy lianas draped every tree with magically twisted vines, and tender foliage competed with other greenery for space and light in the understory. Every square foot held a new fascination: a patterned leaf, an exotic flower or a brilliantly coloured insect to behold. A flamboyant, blue-green caterpillar with yellow spines zigzagged along a wet philodendron.”
5) Tell us about your cover art. (photo)
I love how it captures the essence of the book. The book designer sent me photos, but none were quite right as I had a definite notion of what I wanted. The art work is a painting by Martin J. Heade that has been a favourite of mine for years – my husband gets credit for saying “what about that painting you like?”(in a San Francisco museum).
6) Can you tell us about the constant coffee growing season the cloud forest provided?
In the novel, the finca is ideally located for growing coffee, nestled between a cloud forest and the rainforest down slope. The ability of the forests to attract and hold moisture is vital to climate stability. Just as important are the uniform temperatures and the amount of light available near the equator, where the days are the same length all year.
7) Tell us about the Jorge and other characters.
Alicia is swept off her feet by Jorge’s charisma and romantic, fun-loving nature; plus they have in common the experience of living as expats and her ties to Colombia. Jorge changes in the book and we are not sure if his immaturity is unveiled or if an accident is to blame. His gentle brother Pepe is the responsible family man in the picture. My favorite character is barefoot Carmen who has worked for the family most of her life. She is usually indefatigably cheerful and hard-working in spite of hardships and becomes Alicia’s loyal companion.
8) How are Latin Americans different from North Americans in your book?
Latinos are warm people and close family ties are central to their lives; all ages get together often. The Carvallo family is shocked by the seemingly uncaring attitude of Alicia’s family and her father-in-law “… felt sorry for Alicia, as if she were an orphan… From that day forward don Felipe treated her with tenderness, as though she were his own daughter.“ The men take care of women and children, but that can be a double-edged sword if women are not regarded as capable as men by the older generation. Alicia is independent and her decision to run the finca alone, in spite of a dangerous situation, is admired by her American friend, but viewed as fool-hardy by the Colombians.
9) How dangerous did people think the volcano was?
The volcano was some distance from them so there was no imminent danger of flying rocks or gases, however winds can carry fine ash many miles and this is what practically smothered the coffee plants. People living on the flanks would be in danger of explosions, hot ash and other hazards and have to evacuate. I based it on a real-life volcano in Colombia named Nevado (snow-covered) del Ruiz, which is located in coffee country and continues to pose a threat.
10) What are you working on at the moment?
At least two things: a family memoir and a novel set in Hawaii and California about a woman with a dark secret. There is another story bouncing around in my head too. I hope one of them “wins” soon so I start concentrating on just one!
11) Where can readers find out more about you?
My main URL is my website/blog: http://cindamackinnon.wordpress.com
See more reviews at: http://amzn.to/19wSFfX
A Place in the World : the Kindle Best Book Award 2014 (Semifinalist in Literary Fiction); 2nd place at the San Francisco Writer’s Conference in the indie category and an Honorable Mention in the Mainstream/Literary Fiction category for Writer’s Digest’s Self-Published Book Awards.
I’m on Goodreads too if you want to see my favorite books (but the author page says much the same thing!) http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7039858.Cinda_Crabbe_MacKinnon
If anyone is interested in seeing some wonderful (I can say that because I didn’t take most of them!) pictures of Colombia, rain forests and more go to: www.pinterest.com/CindaMac/ (I also have a board for writers on Pinterest.)