Friday, October 28, 2011

Interview with Cidney Swanson and 'Rippler' Giveaway!

Today I am interviewing Cidney Swanson, author of 'Rippler' and 'Chameleon'Welcome to Hardcover Feedback, Cidney! I am sure everyone who has read 'Rippler' and 'Chameleon' would like to know - when is the next book in the 'Ripple' series coming out and what are you currently working on?
The release date is set for December 20 of this year! So, I am finishing up with Book Three at the moment. I also have a Sci-Fi series in the works, and a book I’ll just refer to as The Satire.

What or who made the biggest influence on you wanting to become a writer?

A bit of a tricky question as I can barely remember a time before I wanted to write. I think the decision became conscious when I was seven. Librarians were hugely influential people in my life at that time, but the decision to be a writer was very much something I came to by myself.

What was the first book you ever wrote about and was it ever published?
OMG, it had a crazy title like The Mysterious Shack of Spook Hill or something. I wrote it in seventh grade for a writing contest where we were supposed to create Nancy Drew-type fiction. All the other kids turned in two to five page stories. Mine was book length. Well, novella length, anyway.

Do you have any writing habits that people might find unusual?
Chameleon (The Ripple Series)Um, see the next question! JK! I write first thing in the morning when my inner editor is still asleep. That way, I don’t censor my creativity too much. I’m not awake enough to consider whether something is a brilliant or ridiculous idea. This means lots of re-writing down the road, but I adore revision and edits. Which might also be considered unusual. A funny habit I have during one of my revision passes is to spread pages out in totally random order and look at single pages to try and find dull stretches that need fixing. I try to make sure each single page has a sparkling bit of humor or lyrical writing or profound emotion upon it. If it (the page) doesn’t, it gets re-worked until something shines.

I have heard that many authors listen to music while they write. Do you? If so, what do you usually listen to? 
I am one of the smaller (or so I suspect) group of writers who Absolutely. Can’t. Write. When. Music. Is. Playing. I get all caught up listening to the words in songs and I can’t pay attention to the words in my head. I am not physically capable of ignoring lyrics. Nor can I simultaneously listen to lyrics and compose prose. Sometimes I’ll put on some Ragtime or Mozart when I’m editing for errors. (A different complete pass-through of the manuscript than the one I described above.) Those two forms of music are lively enough to keep me from falling asleep over my keyboard as I search for mistakes. I keep meaning to get a really good Celtic (instrumental) mix together, but I haven’t yet, so I keep hitting Mozart on my Pandora. Open to Celtic suggestions! Please!

Rippler (The Ripple Series, #1)Do you have a favorite character or one that is especially close to your heart?
Absolutely. Sam, the heroine of Rippler, is very dear to me. My heart just really goes out to teens who have to hide an essential part of their lives, because they don’t know anyone who would “get it.” And I’m not talking about Sam’s invisibility gene. (Although, obviously she has to hide that.) But there are so many teens with an abusive parent or a parent who’s never sober, or kids who’ve lost someone important, and when you go to school or work each day, you just do your best to hide that part of yourself even though it’s this HUGE thing that kind of feels like it defines your life at times. And that hiding, year after year, it takes a toll on you. That’s what happened to Sam for those years after her mom died. The book starts when she’s just decided to step up and re-define who she was, apart from that horrific loss. I hope that teens in situations like Sam’s can find their own courage whether it’s on their own or with the help of a trusted friend or group of friends.

What is the best gift you have ever received and who gave it to you?
Well, it might not be my favorite thing I’ve ever received, but the best gift award would have to go to my “boomerang” Vuarnet sunglasses, given to me by my sister two decades ago. They refuse to leave or be destroyed. Once I absent-mindedly left them on the roof of my car before driving three-hundred curvy miles down the California Coast. When I arrived home, my sunglasses were still on the roof, intact. Another time they washed out in the ocean at St. Maarten. The man who rented cabanas to sunbathers found them and walked up and down the beach asking, “Are these yours?” No one claimed them until the man made his way over to me. I have several of these stories surrounding these sunglasses. The really funny part is that other than that pair, I usually lose or break 3-4 pair a year. I think they are, like, supernatural shades.

What are three things (not people) that you wouldn't want to live without?
Books. Books. And Books. Next question? LOL! Um, let me think. I really, really need dark chocolate in my life. And sunshine. Of course, living in Oregon’s Willamette Valley, I do kind of live without sunshine. But I’m not happy about it.

What is something that you have always wanted to do, but just haven't gotten around to it yet?
Publish a book with Scholastic. When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait for those monthly book order forms from the Scholastic Book Club. And getting books when they arrived? OMG, totally better than Christmas morning. They are still the publisher I most admire, in terms of titles that are in my “faves” list in Young Adult literature. (Of course I love you, too, Williams Press—my imprint!)

All the music in the world is being destroyed and you can only save one album, what would you save and why?
¡Ay caramba! Seriously? Only one? Okay, well, it would have to be Lilo and Stitch’s Island Favorites, Volume One. And if all the music were destroyed, I’d be pretty sad, so I would really need a happy album to listen to. The vintage stuff, the Elvis covers, the Hawaiian children’s chorus numbers . . . simply the happiest music I know. I even like the movie score pieces on that album. The desperation of the “Lilo is getting taken to outer space forever” music just breaks my heart every time.

What is your all-time favorite book? What is your favorite book you have read this year?
All time fave=The Lord of the Rings. Fave this year? Hmmmmm . . . . I really liked Brenna Yavanoff’s THE REPLACEMENT and Garcia/Stohl’s BEAUTIFUL DARKNESS, but I probably liked Maggie Stiefvater’s FOREVER best so far this year. But I’m about to start THE SCORPIO RACES, so we’ll see!

The Lord of the RingsForever (The Wolves of Mercy Falls, #3)

What do you like to do in your spare time?
I like to eat, and since I’m kind of picky about avoiding fake food, I end up cooking from scratch a lot. Of course I love reading, and I’m also a big movie-goer.

Are you an early bird or a night owl? 
How I wish I was an early bird. How I have tried. And tried. But the truth is, I am 100% night owl. (Remember the part about the inner editor not coming online first thing when I get up?)

If you were throwing a dinner party and you could invite five people (fictional or real, dead or alive) who would you invite? 
Jane Austen (for her wicked wit) and Suzanne Collins (for her brave examination of humans and war) and Albus Dumbledore (who gets it that love triumphs and matters) and J. K. Rowling (so she could hang with her wonderful creation!) and C. S. Lewis, because he’d be able to moderate a great discussion between all of the above seeing as I would be completely dumbstruck in the face of such genius.

You are given a ticket that will bring you anywhere that you want to go, at anytime in history. Where would you want to go and why?
I guess I can’t say Middle Earth or Hogwarts, if we’re going with historical venues. Hmmmm. How about London, 1616, to attend a performance of The Tempest at the Globe Theatre. (I couldn’t go much earlier because it was written late in Shakespeare’s career.) I would love to hear how rapidly they spoke the lines! We have reports of Hamlet (which runs 3-4 hours in modern theatres unless cut) being done in two hours back in Shakespeare’s day. The Tempest is sweet and darkly funny and profound all at once, and I bet it rocked the stage in 1616.

Where can people connect with you online?
Oh, yes! Please do! I always answer reader emails at
I try to never miss a chance to tweet back @cidneyswanson and I’d welcome your comments on my blog I try to hang out at Librarything and Goodreads, but I don’t get as much time there as I would like. It’s too addictive for me, I’ve found!

Thank you so much Cidney for being on Hardcover Feedback!

Now for the giveaway. Cidney has offered to give away an e-copy of her book 'Rippler'! To enter, all you have to do is follow this blog in at least one way and leave a comment on this post. This giveaway is open internationally.

Blogaholic Designs”=


  1. This book looks really interesting. I like the idea of ripples. And I want to know the connection to the Nazis!


  2. This book sounds like it is a very different concept than the usual paranormal type genre, and I always like to find and read and review a more unusual book! Would love to win!!

  3. This book looks and sounds interesting and I'm always open to trying different authors. I would love to own a copy!

  4. Please see my blog post about this giveaway at

  5. Please visit my blog at :)
    I put your button on the right-hand side of my blog page.

  6. Good luck, Geo, Jenez, and Lisa! Re. the Nazi connection, I think that was the biggest surprise for me as I wrote the story. I was like, "What? Nazis?" when I first "discovered" my bad guy's connection to them. And then the whole story came together after that discovery!

  7. Wow, this book sounds like a very good read. And I would love to win a copy.

  8. I haven't heard about this book, but it sounds like something I would like. I like to read something a lil different every once in a while. Thank you for the giveaway!