3 Questions Wednesday with Cynthia Toney

Cynthia Toney

Cynthia Toney

Today’s guest is Cynthia Toney, author of the young adult contemporary fiction series, Bird Face. I borrowed a passage from a review of Bird Face Book One, 8 Notes to a Nobody, to illustrate the importance of the Bird Face series–“I wish I’d read this book as a teen or pre-teen. It offers perspective and solutions for the struggles teens face.”–This also shows you that the books are of interest to adults, as well.

Welcome to 3 Questions Wednesday, Cynthia–

What books have fortified you as a writer? How?

Cynthia: When I was certain I wanted to write for teenagers, I purchased a copy of Wild Ink: How to Write Fiction for Young Adults. It opened my eyes.

The Write Great Fiction series from Writer’s Digest Books helped me build the structural bones and meat of my first novel.

The Emotion Thesaurus has assisted my “secret talent.”

–It’s always helpful to research and study the genre you set out to write. And what would we writers do without The Emotion Thesaurus? You mentioned a secret talent…

What secret talents do you have?

Cynthia: I can read your body language. My interest in the subject begin with reading a book, The Definitive Book of Body Language, but I’ve researched the art further. Now I observe body language to interpret what politicians are really saying, rather than relying on their words. Teens also are fascinating to watch, and I gain information for my YA books from their body language.

I’m kind of glad you can’t see me right now…but let’s get to the final question.

If we came to your house for dinner, what would you prepare for us?

Cynthia: Perhaps sausage-stuffed manicotti if I can locate some fresh Italian sausage meat (without the sausage casing). Cannoli for dessert if I can locate some good preformed cannoli shells. I haven’t been brave enough to try making my own, which requires special tubes to bake them.

Sounds wonderful. Italian cuisine is always a winner with me. Thanks so much for participating in 3 Questions Wednesday!

Readers – you can win a Kindle copy of 8 Notes to a Nobody, Bird Face Book One (see details about the book in the next section). When you leave a comment we’ll add your name to the drawing.

Cynthia Toney is a former advertising designer, marketing director, and interior decorator with a BA in art education and a minor in history. While employed by a large daily newspaper, she rewrote some ad copy without permission and got into trouble for it. At that point, she knew she was destined to become an author. She has a passion for rescuing dogs from animal shelters and encourages people to adopt and save the life of a shelter animal. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking Cajun and Italian food and studying the complex history of the friendly southern U.S., where she resides with her husband and several canines.

Website:  http://www.cynthiattoney.com
Blog:  http://birdfacewendy.wordpress.com
Facebook Author Page:  https://www.facebook.com/birdfacewendy
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7872181.Cynthia_T_Toney
Twitter:  @CynthiaTToney https://twitter.com/CynthiaTToney
Pinterest: Cynthia T. Toney, YA Author https://www.pinterest.com/ctoney1376/

8 Notes to a Nobody (Bird Face Book one)

8 Notes to a Nobody FC MedAnonymous sticky-notes, a scheming bully, and a ruined summer send fourteen-year-old Wendy down a trail of secrets and self-discovery.

Wendy Robichaud doesn’t care one bit about being popular like 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 the best friend she always counted on, Jennifer, is hiding something and pulling away. But the Spring Program, abandoned puppies, and high school track team tryouts don’t leave much time to play detective. And the more Wendy discovers about the people around her, the more there is to learn. When secrets and failed dreams kick off the summer after eighth grade, who will be around to support her as high school starts in the fall?

This story uses humor and hope to address issues of bullying, eating disorders, imperfect families, and teen suicide.

8 Notes to a Nobody received the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval. The first edition of this book, under the title Bird Face, received a 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, Bronze, in the Pre-teen Fiction Mature Issues category.

Buy Links for 8 Notes to a Nobody:


10 Steps to Girlfriend Status (Bird Face Book two)

10 Steps to Girlfriend Status FC MedA Cajun family secret, two very different boys, and a fight to keep a grandmother’s love—who would’ve guessed that looking through old photo albums could get Wendy into so much trouble?

Wendy Robichaud is on schedule to have everything she wants at the start of high school: two loyal best friends, a complete and happy family, and a hunky boyfriend she’s had a crush on since eighth grade—until she and Mrs. Villaturo look at old photo albums together. That’s when Mrs. V sees her dead husband and hints at a scandal down in Cajun country. Faster than you can say “crawdad,” Wendy digs into the scandal and into trouble. She risks losing boyfriend David by befriending Mrs. V’s deaf grandson, alienates stepsister Alice by having a boyfriend in the first place, and upsets her friend Gayle without knowing why. Will Wendy be able to prevent Mrs. V from being taken thousands of miles away? And will she lose all the friends she’s fought so hard to gain?

This story uses humor and hope to address issues of adapting to a blended family, having a loved one suffering from Alzheimer’s, and struggling through that first innocent romantic relationship.

Buy Links for 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status: