Elk Jerky for the Soul: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Cynthia Carlisle Fields (CCF): I am an author/screenwriter from San Diego, CA. and a graduate of San Diego State University. I am a mother of 1 son, a recent Law School Graduate. I have published 2 books and I am currently working on my first novel. I also host/publish 2 websites; The Derek Morgan Chronicles (www.thederekmorganchronicles) and Writers Stew (www.writersstew.com).
My Feelings on Indie…
I’m proud to say that I am an Indie writer. It gives me the freedom to be as creative and as aggressive as I want to be in marketing my work and myself. For years there has been a stigma against indie writers and many believe that our work or our method of publishing somehow is inferior to traditional methods. That can’t be further from the truth. Indie simply means that we have accepted full responsibility for publishing and marketing our work. In fact, most of books that you see on bookshelves today are authored by indie writers.
I am confident in my gifts as a writer and I don’t feel that it is necessary to wait for a few publishing houses with a limited staff to validate me as an author. I prefer to eliminate the wait and cut the middleman. While traditional publishers have their merits, when they handle the cost of publishing and marketing it could take up to 2 years or more for your book to reach the retailer.
My books look and feel just like any other publisher’s, they meet all industry standards for publishing and when you walk in the bookstore they represent me like any other book represents its author. Indie authors are enjoying impressive sales at the counter of retailers worldwide and I encourage writers to consider the Indie market.
As an Indie writer I have learned to be aggressive in my pursuit of my craft, because of the pursuit and God’s blessings, I am so excited to see that my work is being accepted throughout the industry and I have even sold a script for a feature film that will begin production in 2016.
Elk Jerky: When is this conference? And what kind of conference is it? Who is it tailored to?
CCF: The Temecula Valley Indie Christian Writers Conference will be held March 18-20, 2016. This is a conference for writers or those with a desire to become writers. It is designed to assist Indie writers by sharing information and tools that will help assist in finding publishing opportunities, exposure for their work and to take their careers as writers to the next level. The conference is tailored to the Indie Christian writer however, the workshops, networking opportunities and publishing information can be used by any and all writers regardless of genre.
Elk Jerky: What made you decide to coordinate an indie writers’ conference?
CCF: Navigating the mysterious waters of publishing and careers in writing can be scary, murky and often the doors are not only closed but they are invisible for the indie writer. When you add being a Christian writer it can be even more daunting in pursuing a career as a writer. The number of indie writers is growing by leaps and bounds and with traditional publishing houses publishing fewer and fewer new authors each year, writers need an alternative to ways of publishing and working in the ever-changing field of writing. Ginger and I, both indie writers wanted to provide a way to help writers because knowledge is power!
Elk Jerky: Why did you choose Temecula as a host city?
CCF: Why not Temecula? When conferences and opportunities present themselves, it’s often in larger well-known parts of the country. Temecula, which is a part of Riverside County, is ripe with talented writers. I’m from San Diego but I spend most of my time in Temecula and I am impressed by all of the writers and those wanting to write that I’ve met here over the last few years. Plus, we are only an hour from Orange County and Los Angeles, so we are hoping to attract writers from those areas as well. The fact that we are in the heart of Temecula’s amazing wine country with almost 80 wineries, along with some of the finest restaurants and eateries in the country and a hopping nightlife in Old Town, Temecula is the perfect location for our conference.
Elk Jerky: What kind of workshops are available?
CCF: We will have workshops on: Publishing, Editing, Dialogue, Effective use of Social Media, Screenwriting, How to get an agent, Writing for Worship, How to Write a Query letter, Humor, Poetry and more. We will also have a full day of workshops for young writers grades 6-12.
Elk Jerky: Who are some of the workshop instructors?
CCF: Some of our instructors include: Author Sharon Elliot; Farrell J. Foreman, Professor and Award winning Playwright, Actor and Poet; and Nikia Chaney, Professor, Editor, Award winning Poet and Cave Canum Fellow, to name a few.
Elk Jerky: Who is the keynote speaker? Could you share a little bit about her?
CCF: We are excited to announce that Cheri Fuller, the author of 42 books, will be our keynote speaker!
Cheri Fuller is a gifted, inspiring communicator who speaks nationally and internationally. From the east coast to the west coast and as far away as South Africa, Brazil, Switzerland, and Singapore, Cheri presents encouraging programs that impact people. Through her engaging storytelling style and practical wisdom, audiences leave inspired and challenged to face life’s struggles with hope and purpose. She keynotes at women’s retreats and conferences, writers’ conferences, Christmas events, and national parenting seminars.
Cheri is an award-winning author of forty two books including her newest, Mother-Daughter Duet and The One Year Women’s Friendship Devotional.
A former Oklahoma Mother of the Year, Cheri has been a frequent media guest on Focus on the Family, Family Life Today, NBC Radio News, Moody Broadcasting, and other national radio and TV programs. Her articles have appeared in Family Circle, ParentLife, Guideposts, Focus on the Family, Today’s Christian Woman, Better Homes & Gardens Faith & Spirit, and other publications.
Cheri’s passion is encouraging women and inspiring and equipping people of all ages to connect with God in their busy life and impact their world through prayer, as they live life to the fullest, focus on what really matters, and build loving connections with family and friends no matter what their circumstances.
Elk Jerky: Are there any other events taking place at this conference? (prizes, drawings, contests, book fair, etc.)
CCF: Friday night will feature a spoken word showcase and Saturday night will showcase the work created during our Young Writers workshops. The winners of our monologue contest will also have an opportunity to demonstrate their work on Saturday evening. We will also have a community book fair all day Saturday featuring the works of local and national authors including conference instructors and attendees. Sunday, we will close the conference with a morning worship service lead by one of our local pastors!
We are running contests throughout our registration period. Currently we are sponsoring a Monologue contest and an Anthology contest in which writers are invited to enter, poetry, and short stories in all genres. The winner will be featured in our Conference Anthology publication.
Elk Jerky: At most writers’ conferences writers would love the chance of meeting industry professionals. Will there be agents, publishers, and editors available for consultations?
CCF: Yes, attendees will have an opportunity to network with industry professionals. A special meet-and-greet will be hosted by Ink and Keys on Thursday evening before the official opening of the conference. Attendees are encouraged to register early for the conference and take advantage of this amazing opportunity. Space is limited but attendees will have a chance to meet and talk to conference instructors and industry professionals over dinner at one of Temecula’s finest eateries.
Elk Jerky: Are there scholarships available?
CCF: Yes! Ink and Keys is offering a limited number of scholarships that will be awarded on a needs basis. We are also encouraging individuals, businesses and churches to consider sponsoring an attendee(s) through our sponsorship opportunity. More information can be found on our website at: www.inkandkeys.org.
Elk Jerky: What do you hope the people attending will come away with?
CCF: I’m hoping that people will walk away with the courage to pursue their dreams of writing. With the tools and exposure that attendees will receive it is my hope that they will return home and begin writing, and believing that they have what it takes to write, to publish, to see their words come alive. The dream of becoming a writer is very possible and the only limits are those we put on ourselves.
Ink and Keys is proud and excited to bring to the Temecula Valley this amazing, timely and necessary event to the writers in the Inland Empire and surrounding areas. We pray that writers, and industry professionals will take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn and network amongst each other as we work to open doors to the Indie Christian writer.
For more information visit our website at: www.inkandkeys.org.
CYNTHIA CARLISLE FIELDS BIOGRAPHY
Author** Screenwriter** Actor**Producer
Co-Creator/Host- Temecula Valley Indie Christian Writers Conference: 3/18-20, 2016: 3 day conference and book fair will offer opportunities for writers/authors to network with industry leaders in all writing genres. One-on-one meetings, workshops and breakout sessions to discuss, publishing, marketing, enhancing writing skills, mastering social networking and other tools to help take their writing careers to the next level.
Restored Me Feature Film & Soundtrack: 2/14- Present: Worked as independent contractor assisting the Executive Producers in casting background/extras; Worked with project Marketing and Public Relations Director by writing the Production Notes.
Night of Life Issues: 2/14-Lead actor in role of Lady #1-“At the Kitchen Table”. “Night of Life Issues” is a stage play that explores the many life altering issues facing women of all ages. The evening begins with several teen girls sharing their struggles with family, peer pressure and drug and alcohol abuse. At the Kitchen Table, finds five women who have been friends since childhood reconnecting one evening at the kitchen table. During the evening, secrets are revealed that will both challenge their faith and their friendship.
The Glenn Ford Story: 9/14-Present: Author & Screenwriter. In 1983, Glenn Ford was tried, convicted and sentenced to death for the murder of Isadore Rozeman. Wrongly convicted, Ford served 30 years on death row making him Louisiana’s longest-serving prisoner on death row. Approaching the first anniversary of his freedom, Ford finds himself battling cancer that was originally diagnosed while in prison but was not treated due to his death-row status.
I have recently signed an agreement with Mr. Ford and his family to tell his life story and I am currently in pre-production on the film entitled, “Thirty Years of Tears.”
The Derek Morgan Chronicles: Creator & Writer: The Derek Morgan Chronicles is a Collection of Fan Fiction Stories based on the CBS Procedural Crime Drama, Criminal Minds. The stories feature the show’s original character, Derek Morgan. Nicknamed, “Fan Fiction on Steroids,” these stories explore the mind and life of the characters while interjecting new characters to create amazing and thought-provoking drama. Originally written as a blog, the chronicles is now a full-blown website that has found new life and a growing following on the Internet with nearly 150,000 views to date. (See links below).
Writers Stew: Creator & Writer: Writers Stew is a website filled with inspirational, motivating and creative writings. The main purpose is to share my work and encourage emerging writers to pursue their passion for writing.
Priscilla Jones Shares It All: Creator/Writer. Priscilla Jones is a successful advice columnist who finds herself suddenly divorced after thirty years of marriage. Now alone she suddenly realizes that she must take the advice that she has so willingly given others as she embarks on her own quest for love and happiness (Pilot script complete and registered with WGA-West).
Cold Day: Writer. Cold day is a screenplay written for a feature film. The comedy looks into Hell on the one day that it actually freezes over! The words, “It’ll be a cold day in hell before I…” is a phrase that has been spoken with great conviction by many. Cold Day looks into the lives of three such people as Satan himself witnesses their lives from the discomfort of his frosty digs on a particularly cold day in Hell. (Pilot script is complete and registered with WGA-West.). Tentatively scheduled for pre-production, Dec. 2015.
In My Mother’s Shoes, published in March 2007 is a collection of poetry, short stories and psalms which pay tribute to my mother; it’s a book that virtually every reader can connect with as they reflect upon their mother or the person who filled the role as a mother in their lives.
Tribute to Mother, published in March 2009 is a follow up to my first book, “In My Mother’s Shoes.” This book is a collection of poetry, short stories and testimonials written by men, women and youth and original writings of mine that again pay tribute to mothers. The collection is an emotional journey through the eyes of so many who wanted to take a moment to say thank you, mother.
Recent Writing Awards:
2014 Profiler Choice Awards: Awards given for writing excellence in Fan Fiction for Criminal Minds.
*Winner, Best JJ/Morgan Story (Left Behind)
*Runner Up Best New Author
*Runner Up Best Drama (Family Reunion)