Cynthia Leitich Smith

Today, I am absolutely thrilled to be welcoming Cynthia Leitich Smith to the blog. Cynthia was kind and generous enough to introduce herself to me via Twitter, because she liked my books' titles, and offered her support and advice. How awesome is that? Way awesome. ;)


Cynthia Leitich Smith is the New York Times and Publishers Weekly best-selling author of ETERNAL, TANTALIZE, and BLESSED (Candlewick). 
Her award-winning books for younger children include JINGLE DANCER, INDIAN SHOES and RAIN IS NOT MY INDIAN NAME (all HarperCollins) and HOLLER LOUDLY (Dutton).

She is a member of faculty at the Vermont College M.F.A. program in Writing for Children and Young Adults.

Her website at http://www.cynthialeitichsmith.com/ was named one of the top 10 Writer Sites on the Internet by Writer's Digest and an ALA Great Website for Kids. Her Cynsations blog at cynthialeitichsmith.blogspot.com/ was listed as among the top two read by the children's/YA publishing community in the SCBWI "To Market" column.


"You’ll try to fight it. But you’ll only be fighting your true self. It’s done. It’s destined. In time, you’ll come to accept it." He pulled back his sleeve to reveal two dress watches. "In time, you’ll come to me."

Quincie P. Morris, teen restaurateuse and neophyte vampire, is in the fight of her life -- or undeath. Even as she adjusts to her new appetites, she must clear her best friend and true love, the hybrid werewolf Kieren, of murder charges; thwart the apocalyptic ambitions of Bradley Sanguini, the seductive vampire-chef who "blessed" her; and keep her dead parents’ restaurant up and running. She hires a more homespun chef and adds the preternaturally beautiful Zachary to her wait staff. But with hundreds of new vampires on the rise and Bradley off assuming the powers of Dracula Prime, Zachary soon reveals his true nature -- and a flaming sword -- and they hit the road to staunch the bloodshed before it’s too late. Even if they save the world, will there be time left to salvage Quincie’s soul? With a wink and a nod to Bram Stoker, New York Times best-selling author Cynthia Leitich Smith unites the casts of Tantalize and Eternal in a delicious dark fantasy her fans will devour.

"Even in undeath, Quincie has a zest for life that shines through as she balances supernatural duties with schoolwork and running her family restaurant, the vampire-themed Sanguini's. Romance blossoms, too, as she and her beloved werewolf, Kieren, prove their devotion to each other under deadly duress. A hearty meal for the thinking vampire reader." —The Horn Book

"Wild and ultimately fascinating"…"..the pages fairly smolder in describing their [Quincie and Kieren] attraction to one another." —Kirkus Review


MAUREEN: What’s your favorite kind of story to get lost in?

CYNTHIA: I like smart, spooky stories with humor and romance.

MAUREEN: What’s the first book you remember reading?

CYNTHIA: I don't know the title, but it was a how-to on doing magic tricks. As a little girl, I very much wanted to become a professional magician. Sometimes, I think I still should.

MAUREEN: Storytelling is a form of magic, so by my estimation, you are a professional magician. What turns you off like nothing else?

CYNTHIA: People who don't log off when you've set aside in-person time for them. If I've stepped away from my professional life to spend personal time, I don't expect whomever I'm with to be glued to their hand held or, worse, taking calls.

MAUREEN: What sound or noise do you love?

CYNTHIA: The sound stylings of Ms. Eartha Kitt.

MAUREEN: What was the first story you remember writing?

CYNTHIA: In second grade, I wrote a story about going crawdad fishing for school, and it was read over the intercom.

MAUREEN: Who’s your favorite villain?

CYNTHIA: Drusilla from Joss Whedon's "Buffy, the Vampire Slayer."

MAUREEN: Oh, I love her, too. Damaged and unpredictable. What do you like on your burger? (and do you take your burger veggie or beefy?)

CYNTHIA: I prefer a turkey burger with mustard, Gouda Cheese and mushrooms.

MAUREEN: Yum! Tea or Coffee? And how do you take it?

CYNTHIA: Tea with a smidgen of sugar. Orange flavored, if it's hot.

MAUREEN: If you could talk to your teen self, what would you tell her?

CYNTHIA: Don't worry so much about your hidden geekiness--the comics, the speculative fiction. Someday, you'll make a living at it.


MAUREEN: Some of your books include non-human characters. Do you think creatures like vampires and werewolves really exist? If not, do you wish they did?

CYNTHIA: Certainly, there are blood drinkers. Some of us are overtaken by the animal within. Whether they're supernatural or not, I don't know. But stories of vampires and shape-shifters persist in cultures around the world, from ancient to modern times, for some reason.


My series includes not only werewolves, but also werecats, wereopossums, werebears, weredeer, and werearmadillos. If you could shift to any animal form, which would you choose and why?


Thanks so much, Cynthia! It was wonderful to learn more about you and your latest release.

Tune in tomorrow when Cat hosts Maisey Yates.



  1. I would choose a werecat (panther, jaguar, lion, tiger, etc) because I think they are beautiful animals. I would not like a wereopossum...ick! I can not stand them!

  2. Okay...I laughed out loud at werearmadillo. I'm not certain I'd be laughing if I actually met one, but :)

    Thanks so much for coming by GLIAS today! Your stories sound fascinating.

  3. Thanks so much for coming, Cynthia.

    I think I'd have to be some kind of werehawk or other bird of prey. I like the idea of being able to fly, but also like the idea of being powerful. (I could eat in my human form to avoid killing rodents, right?)

  4. June, when I was writing Tantalize, I came downstairs at night, turned on a light in the kitchen, and there was an opossum right out the window, smiling. Their teeth are way more formidable than I'd imagined. I may have shrieked. A very, non-dignified, non-horror-novelist girly shriek.

    Heather, the werearmadillo is a sweetheart. Very shy, RIP. My shifters are drawn from Ice Age mammals. Back in the day, armadillos were the size of Volkswagons.

    Maureen, are you a "Ladyhawke" fan? Yes, absolutely you could eat in human form.

    Thanks so much for hosting me!

  5. I LOVE Ladyhawke. Maybe that's why my subconscious had the idea. :)

  6. I'm with June - apologies to the Poms in my household, but I'd transform into a jaguar. Maybe a little pudgy one, but one, none the less.


  7. I would love to be an eagle or hawk. I think they are so beautiful and majestic.

  8. Cynthia, Sold! Love your first chapter and your glasses! Gosh, what would I be. Probably a mountain lion without the were. There' so mysterious and reclusive and strong. Thanks for joining us here today!

  9. I would be a were-otter. The whole swimming thing seems relaxing, but mostly I've always wanted a job at Seaworld. I'm guessing a wereotter would be a shoo-in. Loved the interview--thanks. And I agree with you Cynthia about your turn off!!

  10. Lynn, so long as your inner werejaguar doesn't eat your Poms, I think you're okay. I had a Pom growing up by the way. Great pups.

    Danielle, the idea of being able to fly is hugely appealing. Especially after a series of author events in those Delta seats.

    Donnell, I'm honored! Hope you enjoy the books! Is a mountain lion the same thing as a cougar? We've had a few sightings here in Austin.

    And, Amy, yes to a wereotter! There's a wereotter in book four. Was that a spoiler? Yes, it was!

  11. Sorry I missed this great interview Monday. So glad you visited Cynthia and I hope you come back !

    Many successes,