Hi! To start off, please tell us your name, where you’re from, and what you write.
Fleeta Cunningham, from Bastrop, Texas, a small town southeast of Austin. I write retro romance, women’s fiction, and once in a while, I experiment with a different genre. Any field that sparks my curiosity is likely to send me down a new rabbit hole.
How did you become an author? Please share a bit of your journey with us.
I wrote my first story when I was eight. I didn’t know I was starting down a life-long path that would lead me to writing novels. I just knew I loved to tell stories. When I reached an age when no one was reading me bedtime stories, and I wasn’t quite able to read them for myself, I simply told myself one. Eventually those stories just had to be put on paper.
What are you working on now? Do you have a recent or upcoming release?
Currently I’m working on the second (and plotting a likely third) book in my Flapper’s Follies series. The first one, Diana and the Three Behrs, came out in February. The books are set in Texas in the 1920’s and follow the adventures of Diana and her sister Pamina as they run from gangsters in the company of seven unworldly professors who are trying to study the lasting effects of the Old West. You can’t imagine the scrapes they get into. I’ve had so much fun with the period that I think there probably has to be a third book.
Diana and the Three Behrs sounds fun! I my TBR list just got longer ;-)
What/who do you like to read and do you have a favorite genre/author?
I read in many areas. If I’m researching a book, I read newspapers, magazines, and popular books of the time. If I’m reading for pleasure, I read mysteries, historical fiction, biography, and romance. I suppose mysteries are my favorite genre and I love the classic mystery authors—Agatha Christie, Ngaio Marsh, Dorothy L. Sayers, Margery Allingham. I also became addicted to Erle Stanley Gardner in my teens and still revisit the Perry Mason series from time to time. When I was about ten or so, I fell hopelessly in love with The Saint books and read everything I could find by Leslie Charteris.
Please share a piece of advice to someone who wants to be a writer. What do you wish you would have known?
I wish someone had told me, when I was younger, that this urge to write, to tell stories, is something to develop, to pursue, to cherish. It took me a long time to find out that writing is the only job I find satisfying for its own sake. It’s the only work I’ve ever done with no concern for the financial reward or the amount of time it took. To aspiring authors—if you can’t stop creating people, inventing worlds, and playing with words, then you will write. You can’t help yourself. It’s a faucet you can not turn off.
City, suburb, or small-town?
Dark chocolate, light chocolate, or white chocolate?
Dark chocolate, preferably with red wine
Wine, whiskey or punch?
Hot dogs, hamburgers, or tacos?
I’m from Texas. Tacos!
Cowboy boots, biker boots, or flip-flops?
Cowboy boots, of course.
Leather, lace, or silk?
Cake, cookies, or crumpets?
Anything sweet as long as it’s chocolate, though I have an addiction to Italian Cream Cake.
Cats, dogs, or exotics?
Cats. I’m owned by three.
Any last words before we say goodbye?
I hope readers derive as much pleasure from my work as I find in creating it. If one weary person finds a brief escape, one lonely reader finds a sympathetic character, or one sad soul sees a brighter tomorrow because of something I’ve written, then I am more than rewarded. Thanks for letting me share my world with you. And here’s to lots of happily-ever-afters.
Diana and the Three Behrs by Fleeta Cunningham