Monday, February 20, 2012

VBTC Interview & Giveaway with Author Cindi Maciolek

Cindi is a writer and business consultant, helping small to mid-sized companies with everything from strategic planning to marketing activities. 

Her writing focus is on books, CDs and screenplays and sharing those lessons, experiences and ideas with others.

Her recently released book, Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion, is the true story of life with a diva-tastic cockatiel, a story any animal lover would enjoy.

Java Jems: 5 Minute Inspirations for Busy People, is both a book and CD, a unique combination of spoken word and original music. Her first book, The Basics of Buying Art, is sold out. There’s more to come. Stay tuned!

Cindi was also a contributing writer for The Robb Report and Luxury Las Vegas for many years and had articles published byDelta Sky Magazine. 

Her travels have taken her to 23 countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. I'm so happy you could join me today on the patio at Grape Street restaurant here in Las Vegas.

BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...

CM: I’m a writer and business consultant living in Las Vegas. I grew up in Michigan, then spent several years working in Silicon Valley after graduating from college. I moved to Las Vegas a few years ago. I work mostly with small to medium-sized businesses, consulting on strategic planning, marketing, communications and public relations. I write regularly for Luxury Las Vegas magazine, and I contributed to the Robb Report for several years. Plus, I have my own projects!

BK: Please tell us a little about your book....

CM: Divatiel, Reflections of a bird’s companion is truly a labor of love. I had the good fortune to live with a loving, intelligent, diva-tastic cockatiel for 17 years. The book starts from the beginning, when I was trying to decide what sort of pet would best fit my lifestyle, shows how she came into and completely infiltrated every aspect of my life, all the way through to when she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. It’s truly a story any animal lover would appreciate and identify with. 

BK: What inspired you to pen this particular book?

CM: Since I was blessed to have Jake’ in my life for so long, there are obviously a lot of stories to share. I really had no idea how much fun it would be to live with a cockatiel and how intelligent she was. As time went on, I learned more about her. I let her out of the cage the very first day I brought her home, and she increasingly had more freedom. Some people might get a bit freaked out having a bird fly through the house, but I thought it was beautiful. It allowed her personality to come through.

BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

CM: I’ve been writing since I was about four-years-old, but I only recently really thought of myself as a writer. I tend to be pretty secretive about my writing projects, so it’s probably difficult for others to think of me as a writer, too. I need to share more in order for it to reflect back.

BK: How do you keep your story flowing?

CM: In this particular case, I think it was relatively easy because it was a memoir. When I write fiction, I tend to work through a lot in my mind before I sit down at the computer so I’m generally happy with what comes out. But, then again, I can’t count the number of times I edit!

BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?

CM: I often work on two or three projects at a time, so if I seem stuck on one, I move to another. I don’t think what people refer to as writer’s block is necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes you just need to process what you’ve written before you move to the next step. At times, I’ll read through the previous several chapters to get myself in gear, or go through my notes. I do whatever it takes, but generally if you’re writing on a regular basis, it flows more easily.

Some people get hung up on names of people, places, and so on. I don’t. I keep the flow going and just refer to it in capital letters as a flag that needs to be addressed in the edit. 

BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?

CM: As I said before, I tend to write a lot in my head before I put it down on paper. I know the beginning and the end, and I have some idea of what I want to happen in between, but I really prefer the story take me on the ride. I enjoy getting inside the head of the characters and letting them have some say in their lives. However, it is quite fun to know that you have complete control over what happens to them!

When I edit, I read aloud and use different voices for each character so I can envision what the project will look like on the big screen some day!

BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?

CM: I’m working on some projects that I hope will showcase my fiction capabilities since I tend to write so much non-fiction. I truly enjoy writing dialog and creating a complete story from just a thought.

BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?

CM: I like to educate people when I write, whether it be fiction or non-fiction. I want people to learn something in the end, or to provoke thought or discussion. In Divatiel, I list several things I learned from my little cockatiel. Who knew a human could learn from four ounces of feathers and ego!

BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?

CM: I think the best thought to hold is that if you want to be a writer, then write. When I meet people and tell them I’m a writer, they start telling me how they have this novel/children’s book/screenplay/song inside of them, just screaming to get out. So, let it scream! Put it down on paper. Writing is a commitment. It sometimes takes years to create what you really love. It doesn’t happen overnight.

BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?

CM: It’s important to write as much as possible so you can develop your own voice. Don’t be afraid to write! Put as much down as you can, and fix it in an edit. And learn how to type! I can’t imagine writing anything by the hunt and peck method.

BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?

CM: I’m currently writing a business book aimed at small businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs. I started it a couple of years ago and although I feel the information is good, it took me a long time to find a structure that worked. I finally decided on what I feel will be the final structure and hope to have that out in a few months.

I’m also working on a chick lit novel that I love, love, love! 

BK: Where can readers find you?

CM: Readers can keep up-to-date with my writing activities at, on Facebook at Cindi Maciolek – Writer, and on Twitter at @cindimaciolek.

Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.

CM: Thank you for the opportunity!


CM: I’ll be giving away one signed copy to one lucky person who is new to my Facebook follow list between now and the end of the book tour on March 12th. I’ll post the winner to my Facebook page on March 17th.

Can four ounces of feathers and personality change a person’s life?

She can if she’s the Divatiel!

Cindi was looking for a roommate, and finally settled on a fine-feathered friend who was a gift from a co-worker. What she got was a loving, intelligent, fun, free-spirited, demanding – Jaké.

After recovering from illness that put her near death’s door, Jaké healed and was let out of the cage so she could spread her wings. She lived her life with gusto. Jaké took risks, used her intelligence to her advantage and loved unconditionally. She took charge, not only over her surroundings but over her owner as well. Luckily, she had a cooperative Mommy in Cindi.

Not only was she demanding, Jaké did things some humans have never done. She flew on an airplane several times, went on numerous road trips and ate fresh vegetables daily.

Jaké lived a very long life and had many adventures along the way, most of which are captured in this book.

Jaké was first a gift to William, then a gift to Cindi, and now a gift to the world.

Divatiel: Reflections of a bird’s companion will tug at your heart strings and bring a smile to any animal lover.