About Cynthia Townley
Part of the challenge of writing is putting myself in a position to think like someone who isn't me. I don't draft my ideas into a beginning, middle and end but I do have an idea of what the book will be about since it's based, in part, on a real event. From the first line, the book takes off and I'm never sure what's going to happen. I follow the storyline and sometimes I introduce a new character or event which forces me to go back and make changes to what I'd previously written to make that fit the story.
Where do I find my inspiration? I watch the news and read articles. All of my mystery-crime novels will be based on true-life events, in one way or another, and there is no shortage of ideas. When I wrote Trained To Kill - A Detective Oliver Rousseau Novel, I had read an interesting article about an upstanding District Attorney who turned out to be slightly dirty with skeletons in his closet. Imagine that? A dirty politician. Ahhh! I knew that would be my first book.
I chose Oliver's wife to be involved with helping solve his cases because one of my favorite TV shows from the 70's was McMillan and Wife starring Rock Hudson as San Francisco's police commissioner and Susan Saint James as his wife. If you are old enough to remember this show, Sally (Saint James) was always helping Mac (Hudson) solve his cases of murders and robberies. A police commissioner working murders and robberies you might ask? It's about as likely to happen as all the Reagans sitting down to a Sunday dinner in the popular TV series, Blue Bloods. It is fiction after all, and meant to entertain.
The idea to use psychics came from a personal experience I had when I visited a psychic in Las Vegas. I did it on a whim, not believing or disbelieving, but just killing time and I thought it would be fun to hear what she had to say. I did not schedule an appointment ahead of time, nor did I show her any identification. This woman was well known in assisting police with missing people. When I introduced myself, one of the first things she said to me was my birthday was either on the 6th or 16th of September. I laughed nervously and said, "It's on the 6th." Lucky guess? At this point she had my attention! Then she said I would meet someone important to me whose birthday was September 16th. That left an impression on me. Here what's bizarre about that whole experience. That was over twenty-five years ago. Fast-forward to 2010 and my youngest son married a beautiful girl whose birthday is September 16th. She and I are close and she is very important to me. I wanted my novels to be different from all the other detective novels that have saturated the market so I drew on that experience and decided to incorporate psychics with my true event, although my books are not paranormal novels, per se. I've been asked if I believe in psychics and I will say this. I think we all have gifts and I am in no position to judge others.
People have asked or commented about Quest - the C.I.A. organization in the Detective Oliver Rousseau novels, and some may even think it too far-fetched for a police detective to be involved with this type of organization. Quest is a real "covert" operation (although I have changed the name) involving civilians commissioned by the C.I.A. to perform "certain acts" as I describe in my novels. Such operations within the C.I.A. have existed since it was formed in 1947. Official documents can be found on the internet. A trained operative may only have performed his/her duty on a handful of occasions but that person was paid enormous sums of money (millions) for their specific job. The operations that I found recruited individuals with either past military or law enforcement training but they are civilians and with everyday jobs such as policemen. Inspired by this very real organization, I added this element to my detective novels.
I don't write with a lot of fluff and as a result my novels are fast-paced, or at least I hope they are. I like cliff-hangers at the end of my chapters and use them whenever I can. I add "explosive action" when possible because I think it adds an element of danger and suspense. Personally, I enjoy series novels and the familiarity of the characters, bringing them to life and watching their lives develop. I hope to write many more Detective Oliver Rousseau novels.
I live in Houston, Texas with my husband and best friend, Harvey. I am a proud mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. You can see all of us on the "Photos" tab.
Most importantly, I want to thank you for buying my books. Without your 4 and 5 STAR reviews and Facebook comments I don't know that I would have continued writing. Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to entertain you.