Hearts Through History Romance Writers

Monthly Member Spotlight: Cynthia Owens

by | June 24, 2016 | 12 comments

CynthiaOwens_HHRWspotlightPlease help me welcome multi-published member, Cynthia Owens, into the spotlight this month!

Before we start talking about your writing, tell us a little about yourself and what you write.

I believe I was destined to be interested in history. One of my distant ancestors, Thomas Aubert, reportedly sailed up the St. Lawrence River to discover Canada some 26 years before Jacques Cartier’s 1534 voyage. Another relative was a 17thCentury “King’s Girl,” one of a group of young unmarried girls sent to New France (now the province of Quebec) as brides for the habitants (settlers) there.

My passion for reading made me long to write books like the ones I enjoyed, and I tried penning sequels to my favorite Nancy Drew mysteries. Later, fancying myself a female version of Andrew Lloyd Weber, I drafted a musical set in Paris during WWII.

A former journalist and lifelong Celtophile, I enjoyed a previous career as a reporter/editor for a small chain of community newspapers before returning to my first love, romantic fiction. My stories usually include an Irish setting, hero or heroine, and sometimes all three.

I’m the author of The Claddagh Series, historical romances set in Ireland and beyond, and The Wild Geese Series, in which five Irish heroes return from the American Civil War to find love and adventure.

I’m a member of the Romance Writers of America, Hearts Through History Romance Writers, and Celtic Hearts Romance Writers. A lifelong resident of Montreal, Canada, I still live there with my own Celtic hero and our two teenaged children.

When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?

I was about seven years old, and my first-grade class was given an assignment: write a sentence about Dick, Jane, and their dog spot. I wrote a paragraph, and I wanted Cynthia Owensto keep on writing forever. That has never changed.

What drew you to write in the historical romance genre?

I’ve always loved to read historical romance. They take me to a different time and place. When I started writing, it seemed natural to write historical. I wanted to take others to “my” unique time and place.

What’s your favorite historical movie?

Michael Collins, the biopic of the Irish revolutionary starring Liam Neeson in the title role.

Who’s your favorite historical figure?

Again, Michael Collins, arguably Ireland’s greatest son. Collins was only 31 when he died, but he fought the British army to a stalemate, negotiated the first Treaty of Independence for Ireland, and oversaw the country’s transition to democracy.

Are there specific books or authors who have influenced you as a writer?

My first influence was Carolyn Keene, who penned the Nancy Drew Mystery Stories. I was addicted to those stories from about the second grade. I read an interview with her when I was in high school, and she gave a piece of advice I’ve always tried to remember in my writing. Always end a chapter with a question. Keep the wanting to read more.

I’m also a huge fan of Mary Jo Putney, who does such wonderful tortured heroes. And a British author, Claire Lorrimer, gave me my love of historical romance.

Give us a brief rundown of your process. Are you a plotter, a pantser, or somewhere in the middle?

I began my writing life as a pantser, then tried to be a plotter and failed miserably. As I continued to mature as a writer, I arrived somewhere in the middle. Now I plot some of the story, but I allow my characters to tell me what comes next. Once I finish the story, I put it all together, keep some and discard some, and hope when it lands on my editor’s desk, that it’s a good, well-written story!

PromiseTell us about your latest release and what’s next for you?

Tell us about your latest release and what’s next for you. 

My new release, Yesterday’s Promise, is Book 4 of my Wild Geese Series and my tenth book overall.

…Like the Wild Geese of Old Ireland, five boys grew to manhood despite hunger, war, and the mean streets of New York…

An army doctor, Declan Morrissey fought for the survival of every wounded soldier, rejoicing when they recovered, mourning bitterly when they died.

Valerie Stanton was his beautiful battlefield nurse, strong, courageous, and dedicated.

He never dreamed she was an heiress, or that she’d break his heart in a desperate gamble to save the life of another man.

Now that they’ve found each other again, can they overcome past deception and claim the happily ever after they dreamed of?

I’m also working on a Christmas story. The Christmas Mirror is a spin-off of My Dark Rose (Wild Geese Book 3), as well as the next installment of the Claddagh Series, Wishes of the Heart.

Thanks for stepping into the spotlight this month, Cynthia! To find out more about Cynthia, you can visit her website or find her on Facebook and Twitter.

Unpublished or published members, would you like to be featured in the member spotlight? Just drop me a line at christy@christycarlyle.com!


  1. Jennifer Bray-Weber

    Wonderful interview, ladies!

    Cynthia, it’s great to get to know more about you. It was my love for history and my fascination with the Civil War that eventually lead me to writing, though I’ve only written short shorts set during the time period. What made you decide to write romance set during the Civil War?

    Yesterday’s Promise sounds like a great read. Congrats on its release!


    • Cynthia Owens

      Hi Jenn, it was my love of Irish heroes that led me to write the Wild Geese books. I’d come across mentions of the Irish Brigade and their role in the American Civil War, and their escapades sounded so fascinating I had to learn more and eventually set a series against five of those IB heroes!

  2. Barbara Bettis

    Hi Cynthia. Loved getting to know you better. You have a great family history that can be story ideas for years to come! Your latest book sounds intriguing. Best of luck with it.

  3. Cynthia Owens

    Hi Barbara, yes, I loved looking into my family history. One day I’ll have to write about it…but for now, it’s the Irish heroes that hold my heart!

  4. Ana Morgan

    Great interview. it’s nice to learn more about you, Cynthia!S

    • Cynthia Owens

      Thank you, Ana, glad you stopped by!

  5. Miriam Newman

    Love your “stage presence” on this blog, Cynthia. LOL. Oh, best of luck with this book! It’s wonderful.

    • Cynthia Owens

      LOL, I always did want to be famous, Miriam! Thanks for the well wishes!

  6. Julie Robinson

    Hey Cynthia! I enjoyed your interview. I’ll have to watch the movie with Liam Neeson, since I’ve not seen that one.

    • Cynthia Owens

      Hi Julie, glad you enjoyed the interview. Liam Neeson – aside from being my ideal hero- is absolutely wonderful in the movie. Thanks for visiting me here!

  7. Mary Gillgannon

    I love to learn about other writers’ backgrounds. I really enjoyed your interview and your ties to history. Your Wild Geese series sounds great. I love Irish heroes! Best wishes.



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