Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Welcome Cindy Johnson from Shortcomings

Today we have a special guest with us.  Cindy Johnson the heroine from Ginger Simpson’s upcoming young adult release has reluctantly agreed to be interviewed.

Interviewer:  Welcome Cindy.  It’s nice to have you visit us at Muse It Up’s Blog.  I spoke with Ginger earlier and she’s quite excited about Shortcomings and the message she hopes to deliver to young readers.  How do you feel about having the staring role?

Cindy:  *shifts nervously in her director-type chair*  Thank you for inviting me, although I do try to avoid being the center of attention.  I’m more comfortable at home than anywhere else, but this was important to Ginger so I promised I’d make an appearance.

Interviewer:  You’re such a beautiful girl.  Most would kill to have that natural blonde hair and those big blue eyes.  What makes you so uncomfortable?

Cindy:  The name of Ginger’s novel should give you a big hint.  *extends both legs out straight*  I was born with one leg shorter than the other and my classmates can’t get past my deformity.  Once people notice that I walk with a noticeable limp, the cruel stares and comments are soon to follow.  I can’t believe how unkind people can be.

Interviewer:  So, did Ginger consult much with you about the story?

Cindy:  I’d say I bugged her more than she bugged me.  I really wanted her to tell my story with the hope that people will get the feeling of what it’s like to be different.

Interviewer:  How old are you, Cindy.  You look to be a junior in high school.

Cindy:  Good guess.  I’m seventeen and I live at home with my parents and four siblings.  Things have been tough for my family since Daddy lost his job and we had to relocate.  I was much more comfortable attending school with people I grew up with.  They were much more accepting of me as a friend.  At Jamestown High, I haven’t really felt welcome.  I only recently made a friend in Kim Delaney, and I really like her.  She’s never had many friends either, so we make a good pair.

Interviewer:  Well, we all know that every good novel has a hero too.  Tell us about yours.

Cindy: *cheeks turn red*  And it’s always the best looking male in the story, right?  Cory Neil is the high school quarterback and in need of tutoring.  I was flattered when he picked me, and I had a hard time focusing on our studies with him so close.  He’s every girl’s dream date.

Interviewer:  So, did you tutor him?
Cindy:  Only for a while.  When he asked me to the dance, I realized I was the brunt of someone’s joke. Think about it.  I have a hard time walking so how could I possibly dance?  I felt certain he only invited me on a dare.  I shut him down really quickly.  I’ve had enough joking about something I can’t help. I think I bruised his ego because he didn't seem to want to take no for an answer.

Interviewer:  Well, don’t leave us hanging.  We know that most publishers require a happily-ever-after….

Cindy:  Like I’m gonna tell you how the story ends.  Ginger’s in this to make money and she’d have my hide if I gave away too much.  I guess if you want to see how everything plays out, you’ll have to wait and buy the book.  I can tell you that I learned a great deal during the writing process and I hope I can convey the message to other young people with disabilities or anything that makes them feel different from everyone else.  Our shortcomings only define who we are if we let them.

Interviewer:  That’s a great message and I wish you luck in your 2011 debut.  Do you have anything else you’d like to add?

Cindy:  Yes, please buy Ginger’s book.  She’s worked so hard on this genre which is really outside her comfort zone.  Most of her stories have been historical romance set in the old west, so this has been quite a stretch.  She’s very thankful to Lea for taking a chance on her first attempt into writing a Young Adult, and she wants to make her proud. I'd like to share an excerpt, but at Muse It Up Publishing we only want to put our best foot forward, so I'll wait for edited copy.  Thanks for having me.  This wasn't nearly as bad as I imagined.


Lin said...


Excellent Interview. Cindy is going to be a hit. And so are you. As a former Special Ed teacher, I love your chosen topic and the sensitivity you display in revealing what Cindy is feeling about her differences.

One of the most delightful people I have ever met was a five year old Zachary born with Down Syndrome and its many other debilitating sub-conditions. His smiles and abundant joy in things the rest of us take for granted made me realize just how rich my own life is.

Bless you for making your heroine someone who will hopefully shine that same message into every reader's heart.


MuseItUp Publishing said...

Cindy, it's a pleasure to meet you. As a children's hairstylist I have to say that the joy I received from my little clients who had one form of a disability or another touched my heart because they were caring individuals, and as young as they were, some were oblivious to the stares others gave them. Then I had the little ones who noticed every stare, every whisper, and I wanted to grab these people and ask them what the hell is wrong with you?

A disability does not make a person the way beauty does not make a person. It's always what's in the heart and you sound like a girl I am eager to read about.

Katie Hines said...

I really liked this interview. I have a physical disability myself, and well I know about the staring public, especially from children. They don't know any better, and apparently their parents don't know how to teach them, either.

Unknown said...

Thanks to everyone who came to meet Cindy today. She's really matured from the start of the novel and garners strength from the negative aspects that face her. I love her chutzpah the most. I can't wait to be able to share some excerpts, so I have to get my butt in gear. :)

Nancy Bell said...

Hey Cindy, Sounds like you and Ginger have a winner here! It was great to have a chance to meet you. Nancy

Jannine said...

Ginger, I can certainly identify with Cindy. I was extremely shy, and I had the same handicap of one leg shorter than the other. So I know how cruel other kids and adults can be.

I wish you mounds of sales and success with this book. This is an important story to tell, not just for young adults but for everyone.

Margaret Tanner said...

Hi Cindy,
Nice interview. I am glad Ginger has written about you. You have a great author telling your story.
Good luck with it.



Paul and Karen said...

I am really looking forward to reading this book! Great interview.

Karen :)

Cheryl said...

Love the interview, Cindy. I can't wait to read your story.


Viviane Brentanos said...

Wonderful interview and a beautiful person.