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Home > People > Interviews > Cindy Thomson Tells Ancient Celtic Stories in New Book

Cindy Thomson Tells Ancient Celtic Stories in New Book

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Celtic Wisdom
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Cindy Thomson is the author of Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland (Lion, 2009) and Brigid of Ireland, (Monarch Books, 2006), and the co-author of a baseball biography, Three Finger: The Mordecai Brown Story, (University of Nebraska Press, 2006.)

She is a regular contributor to Internet-Genealogy Magazine and History Magazine. Her work has also appeared in Clubhouse Magazine, War Cry, Wonderful West Virginia, The History Channel Magazine, and others. She is also a frequent contributor to publications of the Society for American Baseball Research (SABR.) She is a writing mentor for youth in the Jerry B. Jenkins Christian Writers Guild. More about her work can be found at:
Cindy’s extensive research on Irish history enables her to write entertaining and inspiring books on Irish culture. She is a former kindergarten teacher and an avid amateur genealogist. She and her husband have three young adult sons and live in central Ohio.

Thank you Cindy for answering a few questions for us!  Please tell us about your latest project.

My newest book, Celtic Wisdom: Treasures from Ireland, is releasing September 1 in the United States. The UK release was last fall. It’s hardcover, full color, which puts it in the gift book category, but it’s filled with the historical background of the ancient Irish saints and stories about their influence along with some amazing photographs. There is also a section on Celtic prayer and Celtic learning and art.

Do you also do speaking engagements, or seminars?

I speak at large and small Irish festivals all over the country. It’s so much fun to meet others who are enthusiastic about Irish culture. I have also done book clubs and other meetings. I’m also open to doing book club meetings over the phone.

What kind of other works (books, scripts, poems etc.) have you had published?

I’ve written a historical novel based on the 5th century legends of St. Brigid. I’ve also co-authored a baseball biography (with my cousin Scott Brown) on the great baseball pitcher of the early 20th century, Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown. He pitched for the Cubs the last time they won a World Series (1908) and he is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. He is also related to us! I write regularly for genealogy magazines, and history and the stories left to us is my passion. I’ve written for a variety of other magazines, including Clubhouse Magazine where I have a few short historical stories for children.

Is there any aspect to your profession that gets you in touch with your readers directly?

I’d have to say those festivals, although with the Internet it’s easier than ever to correspond with readers. You can find me on Twitter, Facebook, and Shoutlife.

What will your next project be?

It’s not clear right now. My agent wants me to work on a baseball novel, but in the meantime a couple of editors have given me directions for what they’d like to see in a non fiction Celtic-themed book proposal. I also wrote another ancient Irish-themed novel that is under consideration. I guess the short answer is that my next project will be whatever someone offers a contract for.

What type of work is the most rewarding or satisfying for you?

Telling ancient stories. Probably as a result of my genealogy interest I’ve realized that there is a legacy left to us by those who lived, loved, and learned a whole lot before they left this earth. I want to tell their stories for others to learn from and be inspired by. Any work I can do that allows me to do that is very satisfying. Of course, making a lot of money at it wouldn’t hurt either! :) I’m still waiting for that, however!

How did you get started as a writer?

I’ve always had an imagination. I used to make up stories when I was a kid and tell them to other neighborhood kids. My next door neighbor and I got in trouble when we made up a story about another neighbor, an elderly couple that we were sure were bank robbers. The problem was, we wrote it down and my friend’s mother found it. I became deeply interested in genealogy when I was about 12.

My parents gave me a book for Christmas that you use to record your family history. But I didn’t start writing until later in life. I was a teacher, and I loved children’s literature. It seemed logical that I would write it someday, but that didn’t happen. I began writing my family story, the family that came to America from Ireland right before the Revolutionary War. I didn’t have enough facts, so I began writing fiction.

Then I discovered how much I didn’t know about the craft and attended writers conferences and reading books. I’ve had some mentors along the way and acquired my first agent. My first published piece was on a web site (but I got paid!) Then magazines, and after awhile someone decided to publish my books. Brigid and Three Finger were published the same year, and what a whirlwind year that was!

What does a typical work day look like for you?

I’m so amazed how often this question is asked. I don’t know why people are interested, really. Plus it’s difficult to answer. As a freelancer, I schedule my day myself, and no two days are alike. I usually begin with email and breakfast. Then I walk and listen to an audiobook. If I’m on deadline, the rest of the day is spent working on that project. If I’m not, my time is spent between crafting new proposals and working on my, hopefully, next book.

I will also spend some time searching for new assignments and pitching article ideas to magazine editors via email. Somewhere along the line I work on promoting my new book and updating Facebook and Twitter and one of my blogs. But several things can interrupt, and usually do, so there is no typical work day. The only relatively consistant thing is that you’ll find me in front of my laptop somewhere.

Have you ever had a mentor, or someone who sparked your passion for writing?

Many, actually. Early on author Tricia Goyer was a mentor for me as was author Sharon Hinck. They have mentored many writers. Also author Cec Murphey (90 Minutes in Heaven) has been a great encourager. My local writing buddies Brenda Nixon and Donna Wyland have provided friendship and encouragement. I’d have to say that if anyone “sparked my passion for writing” it would have to be God. I don’t mean to sound self-righteous, but those who grew up with me never thought I’d be a writer. They are as puzzled by it as I am. It had to come from somewhere.

Finally, a most important question: what was the last song you sang out loud when you were by yourself?

My husband I have been on the road a lot lately. I started finding oldie stations so we could sing along and pass the time. Some songs, not necessarily my favorites, stuck in my head. Lately I’ve been singing “Pretty Little Love Song” by The Marshall Tucker Band. And that’s pronounced “Purty” in case you haven’t heard it!

Thank you Cindy! We wish you great success with your next novel and Celtic non-fiction project!

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