The Stars Among Us is a new blog feature of this website. It’s purpose is to spotlight our members in order to better acquaint our branch members, as well as our blog subscribers, with who our members are, their creative accomplishments and any current news about their latest works.
Today’s Luminary–Cindi Carroll
Our spotlight today is on Cindi Carroll and her recently finished novel, The House on Marquette. Here are a few highlights from the book that made me wish I could read it now!
The House on Marquette
“In 1990, Eleanor Cooper has grown up certain she knows everything there is to know about her family. But on her deathbed, Lilian Moss Shaw, Eleanor’s mother, confesses that she has kept unforgivable secrets from her daughter. Since childhood, Eleanor has lived in her mother’s shadow, a once world-famous violinist, always believing she was a disappointment to her. Now, pressured to please her dying mother, Eleanor gives in to her mother’s wishes and reads old family diaries, written by her grandfather, the grandmother and her mother.
The House on Marquette is the story of three generations that once lived in the house on Marquette Court, in St. Louis. Eleanor’s grandfather, Jake Moss, moved to St. Louis in 1902 from New York. In his search of a better life, he left behind his family, his religion, even his own name, giving no thought to how his choices will affect future generations.
As she uncovers her family’s many secrets, Eleanor finds her world turned topsy-turvy. Let down by her husband and children, she leaves home, just as her grandfather did, knowing in her heart that no matter how the choices made by others might affect her, she must decide how she will respond.”
What’s the Genre?
Cindi confides, “Defining this book’s genre has not been easy. Who knows, maybe you’ll see it someday in the Historical Fiction section at Barnes & Noble or among the Mysteries. My husband says it’s definitely a Family Saga.”
What did Cindi learn through her writing journey?
Cindi reflects, “. . . through this writing journey, I was surprised to discover personal parallels with that of the heroine, Eleanor. She must find herself after discovering her mother’s deep, dark secret. So, she takes a trip to Colorado Springs to visit an old college friend and to hike Pikes Peak. . .and she does. This feat takes every ounce of strength she can find. I too, have hiked that mountain twice before I was fifty years old—I know what it takes. As Eleanor hikes, she receives self-revelation that helps her come to grips with her own journey. I realized that I too, possess that same inner grit, taking form in my push to finish this novel. It too, has taken every ounce of my determination to do it! This discovery also helped me to find the ending to The House….”
The Biggest Challenge Cindi Faced was. . .?
“Just getting it done! Life intervenes and there’s nothing you can do about it. During the writing of this book, I had a stroke, there were serious family medical issues, extended family living with us, a daughter’s wedding, the birth of grandchildren—to name just a few. Then, I would try to write.”
With all this going on, what kept Cindi motivated to write this book?
“I wanted to be able to say, ‘I finished it!’ So now it’s done. At least my kids can read it.”
Ten years later, Cindi Carroll’s book is presently in the hands of a possible agent and she is hopeful that she will find the right publisher for The House on Marquette.
More Insights about Cindi. . .
My curiosity got the better of me as Cindi and I talked about her novel. I was dying to know what authors and books had influenced her through the years. I queried, “What is your favorite book, and why?”
“My favorite book of all time is The Secret Garden, by Frances Hodgson Burnett. I found the book in the school library when I was in fourth grade and fell in love with it. I’ve read it to my own children, and to my third and fourth grade classes. I see the secret walled-garden as a metaphor for looking inside yourself to find strength, love–whatever you need. That ended up (unintentionally) being a theme in my novel.”
Pearls . . .
“Cindi, what pearls of writer’s wisdom could you share with aspiring writers who might be in the middle of writing their own books—tidbits you’ve learned on you journey?”
Without pausing, she threw out a few. I hope they will encourage many who read this blog.
- Learn as much about the craft as you can
- Go with your own instincts as you create
- Do what feels right to you—not necessarily what you think you should do
- Never give up!
Keep your eyes and ears peeled for more news about The House on Marquette, written by Cindi Carroll. I know you’ll want to read it!
Bio: Cindi Carroll, has been a Letters Pen Woman since August 2010. She is also a wife, mother, and grandmother, a retired teacher, a docent for twenty-seven years for the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. If that’s not enough, she’s also a seamstress, a children’s storybook Writer and a novelist. Cindi has served Pikes Peak Branch of NLAPW in several capacities—the longest one being the Flash Fiction Contest Chair, and judge.
Thank you for stopping by our blog today. Please tell your friends about Pikes Peak Pen Women. If you are interested in learning how you can become a member, see our page on Membership.
This post was written by Linda Bridges, Vice President for Pikes Peak Branch of NLAPW