Saturday, March 29, 2014

Interview with Debut Author Cynthia Toney

What does humor, hope, and ... Italian cooking have in common? Cynthia Toney, that's what. Or should I say who? :)

Howdy y'all! Crystal here with a sweet, new, debut author to introduce to you. Cynthia Toney is a fellow ACFW author, and I know you'll enjoy getting to know more about her and her new book, Bird Face.

Tell us a bit about yourself, Cynthia.

I’m an animal lover and the owner of a few dogs, all rescued from animal shelters. I’ve lived in three Southern states, and let me tell you, each Southern state is different, with its own blend of cultures, ways of speaking, cuisine, you name it. I have a kind husband who is also creative, although he doesn’t write, and we have three grown children. In addition to writing fiction, I also write decorating articles. 

I know Bird Face is your debut novel. Congratulations! What is the story about?

My marketing copy says it best:

Anonymous sticky-notes, a scheming bully, and a ruined summer send almost-fourteen-year-old Wendy Robichaud down a trail of secrets and self-discovery.

At the end of eighth grade, Wendy doesn't care one bit about being popular like her good-looking classmates Tookie and the Sticks—until Brainiac bully John-Monster schemes against her, and someone leaves anonymous sticky-note messages all over school. Even her best friend, Jennifer, is hiding something. But the Spring Program, abandoned puppies, and high school track team tryouts don’t leave much time to play detective. When secrets and failed dreams kick off the summer, will Jennifer still be around to support her?

Using humor and offering hope, this story for ages 10 to 14 (grades 5-8) delicately addresses issues of bullying, eating disorders, imperfect families, and teen suicide.

Sounds like a timely story. Where did you get the inspiration for your story?

From my life and my daughter’s, and by observing young people everywhere I went. Trouble and heartache were all around me. There were serious issues I wanted to address in fiction, but I knew I had to use humor and hope to entice kids to read my story. 

What made you decide to write for the young adult audience?

I’ve always enjoyed reading middle grade and young adult books. I loved the Bingo Brown series by Betsy Byars. It had that combination of humor and angst that I wanted to write, but it was more juvenile than I desired for Bird Face. I define the audience as ages 10-14, but older teens as well as adults are reading it too.

Do you have a favorite scene in the book? If so, can you tell us a bit about it?

Without spoiling it for readers by giving details, my favorite scene in Bird Face is the one where Wendy finds out who wrote the notes. My second favorite is when she’s alone in front of the mirror. I mean, haven’t we all done that? (You’ll understand when you read it!)

What do you plan to work on next?

I’d love to write a sequel to Bird Face. Wendy would be a freshman in high school. I hope readers will tell me which characters they enjoyed the most in the first book so I can include them in the second.

Where can readers connect with you?

Follow me on Twitter: @CynthiaTToney
I blog at

Last but not least, apart from writing, what is your favorite creative outlet? 

Italian cooking! Now I’m hungry.

Me too. :) I love Italian food. Thanks so much for sharing with us today, Cynthia, and I hope Bird Face touches many hearts. 

Does anyone else have questions for our lady in the spotlight? 

Remember those who comment on this post, or any post this week, will be entered in this week's drawing! Check out all our fantastic giveaways on our Prizes Galore page! 


  1. i'll have to look into it my granddaughter might like it

  2. Thank you, Anonymous. I hope she does.

  3. I like the interview! And I've dealt with 8th graders and they are quite the challenge. Bird Face sounds like a great book.

    1. Hi, Patricia! Thanks! Adult women have been telling me they wish they'd read it when they were that age.

  4. This sounds like a great book. These are very relevant issues. I enjoyed your interview.

    1. Thanks for dropping by, Stacey. :) It does sound like a great book, doesn't it?

  5. As a mom of 3 teens and a tween girl, this book sounds like exactly what my house needs.

    1. I hope y'all enjoy it, Kim. :) Thanks for stopping by.