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Blair, Cynthia 1953- (Cynthia Baxter)

Blair, Cynthia 1953- (Cynthia Baxter)

PERSONAL:

Education: Bryn Mawr College, B.A., 1975; Massachusetts Institute of Technology, M.A., 1977. Hobbies and other interests: Travel, quilting, reading.

ADDRESSES:

Home and office—NY. Agent—Faith Hamlin, Sanford J. Greenburger Associates, Inc., 55 5th Ave., New York, NY 10003.

CAREER:

Full-time writer, 1981—.

MEMBER:

Authors League of America, Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, MIT Alumni of Long Island (board member).

WRITINGS:

NOVELS

Once There Was a Fat Girl, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1980.

Lover's Choice, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1981.

Forever Rainbows, Fawcett (New York, NY), 1982.

Commitment, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1983.

Beautiful Dreamer, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1983.

Battle Scars, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1984.

Just Married, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1984.

All Our Secrets, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1985.

The Popcorn Project, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1989.

Summer House, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1989.

Temptation, Ballantine (New York, NY), 1993.

Once More with Feeling, G.K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1996.

YOUNG ADULT NOVELS

The Banana Split Affair, Juniper (New York, NY), 1985.

The Hot Fudge Sunday Affair, Juniper (New York, NY), 1985.

Strawberry Summer, Juniper (New York, NY), 1986.

Marshmallow Masquerade, Juniper (New York, NY), 1987.

The Pink Lemonade Charade, Juniper (New York, NY), 1988.

The Double Dip Disguise, Juniper (New York, NY), 1988.

UNDER PSEUDONYM CYNTHIA BAXTER; "THE REIGNING CATS & DOGS MYSTERY SERIES"

Putting on the Dog, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Dead Canaries Don't Sing, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2004.

Lead a Horse to Murder, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2005.

Hare Today, Dead Tomorrow, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2006.

Right from the Gecko, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Who's Kitten Who?, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2007.

Monkey See, Monkey Die, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2008.

UNDER PSEUDONYM CYNTHIA BAXTER; "MALLORY MARLOW" SERIES

Murder Packs a Suitcase, Bantam Books (New York, NY), 2008.

SIDELIGHTS:

Cynthia Blair once told CA: "In all my writing I strive to create strong, independent female characters who are involved in making emotional decisions and personal choices. I write for the same reason that I suspect a lot of other writers do—to validate my own perceptions and experiences and to appease the compulsion to write. Because of these two driving forces, my novels are a continuation of autobiography; they relate things I've done, or have fantasized about doing, and involve people I have known. Of course, all of this is vastly distorted by my own interpretations and creative embellishments, since real life, despite rumors to the contrary, is rarely as interesting as fiction.

"My female characters, while influenced and perhaps even ensnared by society's demands and expectations, always manage to separate out of all the confusion what it is they really want; and they usually succeed at getting it. My writing reflects my own feminist views and, I hope, presents them in a way that enables readers to see how fundamental and nonthreatening such values really are."

Later she added: "I first decided I wanted to be a writer when I was six years old because books were already so important to me. I took my first stab at writing a novel the summer I turned nine, bringing a notebook and pen to the beach every day. From that point on, I was always writing something. But, as I got older, I realized that choosing writing as a profession wasn't very practical. Instead, I pursued business.

"Yet I couldn't keep away from writing. In fact, I spent every spare moment I could find working on a novel. When it got published and I signed a contract for a second book, I decided to take a year off from my ‘day job’ to try writing full-time. I never went back.

"I went on to write forty-two novels for adults and young adults as Cynthia Blair, but when I decided to write mysteries, it seemed like a good idea to reinvent myself. As Cynthia Baxter I created ‘The Reigning Cats & Dogs Mystery Series,’ which features a female veterinarian with a clinic on wheels, who practices on Long Island, New York.

"My favorite part of writing is crafting an entire scene, losing myself in the characters' actions and emotions. I like mysteries because they provide a basic framework for each book: someone is murdered; several suspects emerge; only one person could be guilty for reasons the protagonist has uncovered. Within that framework, there's room to develop the characters' personal lives and to create quirky characters that only appear in that book. There's also room for humor, which I enjoy as both a reader and a writer.

"I find that writing is almost a compulsion. Ideas pop into my head, and I have to choice but to jot them down. Getting into a scene, watching it unfold in my head and on the page, is as exhilarating as riding a roller coaster. There's something mysterious about the whole process, as if writing involves accessing some secret part of my brain that has been churning out ideas on its own without me being aware of it. Once I invite it to come out, it just takes over."

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