Cynthia Vespia, Author of “Sins And Virtues”

What inspired you to write Sins and Virtues?

I was on a road trip up to the mountains and I saw a correctional facility out in the distance. It started sparks of ideas and I had to grab a napkin and a crayon from the back seat to jot them down. Now, because of that, I tend to carry a pad and pen wherever I go.

Tell us a little about your main characters. Who was your favorite? Why?

The two focal characters, Ben and Sam, were developed from little facets of my own personality. Obviously Ben is a struggling writer who is just trying to do right by the people he cares about. Sam is a little bit more complex. She houses alot of anger and rage from things in her past. Granted I have not had to absorb the abuse this fictional character has but there are many women in the world who have, I tried to be their voice. Sam was one of my favorites because at first blush she would appear to be the villain. It is only when you peel back layers that you see who she really is inside. That was one of the better parts of writing Sins and Virtues, I state it in the story itself, we are all born of light and dark sides…yin and yang…its the side we choose to nurture that defines us.

Why will readers relate to your characters?

Every time I sit down to write it is important to me to make the characters as real as possible. That means giving them flaws. Nobody is perfect. We all have faults, we all have sins as well as virtues, so I try to add those little things into characters to make them resound with the audience.

Have you always wanted to be a writer?

Yes, it has been a passion of mine since I was eight years old. Everything seemed to follow that path. I used to write short stories and character sketches. It was in high school that I decided on it as a career.

How do you deal with exposition give readers the background information they need?

Carefully. I’m a fan of less is more. Stephen King as great as he is can sometimes ramble on with his exposition. I like it short, sweet, and to the point.

What is the most difficult part of the whole writing process?

Marketing and promotions. I don’t care if you are self published or with a big house in NY, you are going to have to do the majority of the footwork yourself. In this technology age it is a TIME SUCK! A necessary evil if you will. And unless you have the funds to hire a publicist then it takes precious time away from your writing. It’s tough to balance, it really is, and feels as though it is never ending.

How many stories do you currently have swirling around in your head?

So many! I’m about to start a new one and I’ve narrowed it down to two. One is a follow up to my Demon Hunter series and the other would be the spawn of a new series…something more contemporary and a little tongue-in-cheek.

What do you like to read? What is your favorite genre?

I read alot of different things. My favorites are the genres I write in as well. Fantasy and thrillers. I’ve read some romance and it wasn’t that interesting.

What one book, written by someone else, do you wish you’d written yourself?

The Hunger Games, not just because it is a mega hit but also because I really liked the premise. It is a detailed plot that at the same times resonates with things that are going on in today’s world.

What are your current writing goals and how do you juggle the promotional aspects with the actual writing?

Like I said it is difficult. My writing goals are to complete every idea I have in my head or in my little notebook. I’d like to get really good at writing, maybe win an award…who knows. Get my screenplay for The Crescent made into a movie finally. Juggling the promotions gets exhausting. I am trying to manage my time a bit better so I’m not in front of the computer all day. When I get out there to conventions or signings and press the flesh it is alot more fun. The world is becoming too impersonable with all the gadgets.

Do your characters ever take on a life of their own?

All the time. That’s the beauty of developing them. They evolve like real people would. You put them in these extreme circumstances and they react.

Does your understanding of the story you are writing change during the course of the book?

Sometimes. That makes it fun though. You expect it to go one way and instead it veers off course and takes you to an entirely new level. For me, when that happens, it feels like I’m reading it myself.

If your book was made into a TV series or Movie, what actors would you like to see playing your characters?

When I’m writing sometimes I have an actor in mind. It doesn’t always happen but when I was writing Sins and Virtues the TV series ALIAS was popular. I loved that show. So Jennifer Garner jumped out at me for the character of Sam Mitchell. It is a complex and emotional character and Garner has great range. Ben Haskins always makes me think about Tate Donovan.

If you could have lunch with one person, real or fictitious, who would it be?

Quentin Tarantino. I saw him on a flight once and just as I was going to talk to him they moved him to another section of the plane. He is such a talented visionary. I would love to pick his brain. A dream would be to have him direct The Crescent film in a way that only he could portray it!

Where can people learn more about your books?

SINS AND VIRTUES is available through Musa Publishing here:

I’m in the usual social media sites:


Sam Mitchell from “Sins And Virtues” by Cynthia Vespia

What is your story?

My name is Sam Mitchell and I spent the better part of the last two years in a women’s correctional facility…or in simpler terms I was in prison. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that I’m innocent, oh no, I’m guilty of killing my husband. But apparently the self defense case didn’t fly in court…even though it was true.

What is your problem in the story?

After awhile I couldn’t take being housed behind bars with the rest of the rot of society. I planned and I plotted and finally made my escape from the prison treading miles and miles of a frigid body of water. In the midst of the wilderness in northern California I came across a cabin I thought was empty…unfortunately for me it wasn’t. The owner Ben Haskins was home writing. He’s something of a renowned fantasy author. His reality is about to get alot worse than his fictional worlds. Now I’m stuck with a captive and time is running out before the authorities track me down. But I won’t go back to prison…I’d sooner die first.

What do you want?

Freedom. Peace. To have the last few years back. My life was stolen from me, I want to get it back. And I intend to take it by any means necessary.

What, if anything, haunts you?

The time spent with my husband haunts me. He was an abusive man. Drunk and mean. He would beat me until his hands bled. Nevermind the sanctity of marriage. That was a clever way to get me under his control. He started out so sweet at first but once that ring went on his finger and mine he used it to control me.

Are you healthy?

That’s a good question and I’ll answer it because I’ve seen so many women rot away their health, both physically and mentally while they are behind bars. But I’ve always been an athlete and I’ve always been active. When they convicted me I swore to myself I would never let them break me. So I would while away the time in prison by maintaining my fitness level. But am I mentally healthy? You tell me.

Was there a major turning point in your life?

Yes, I had a major turning point running into Ben Haskins. So many things have come to the surface for both of us. Most of the time we as humans will lock away our deepest feelings in a tiny box so we don’t have to deal with them. Once that box is open it is like Pandora, revealing everything and leaving you raw.

Was there ever a defining moment of your life?

The day I put my knife in my husbands belly. They defined me as murderer. It is a stigma I want to cast off my shoulders.

What is your most prized possession?

I used to have a collection of knives that I would call “my babies.” They were intricate in design, each one of them held special meaning for me. The biggest of those would play an integral part in the death of my husband.

What is your favorite scent?

My favorite scent is the smell of fresh brewed coffee. We tend to take for granted the simple things in life but once they are taken away from you then you begin to realize how good you really had it. In prison, all they offered was water processed mess. It made me miss a good strong cup of joe.

What is your favorite item of clothing?

I like to stay comfortable. As an athlete in school you would find me wearing sweats or track suits most of the time. And I’m a taller woman, alot of people told me I could’ve been a model, so I tend to have a hard time finding jeans that fit well. Loose fabrics that allow me movement…yeah, that’s the most comfortable. Of course I’ll take anything that isn’t a prison jumpsuit.

How do you envision your future?

At the moment, in this hostage situation with Ben Haskins and the police breathing down my neck I don’t see it ending well. You never know what is around the next corner but frankly I’m not willing to find out what they have in mind for me. So my future, once bright and full of possibility, is perhaps now going to crash and burn. We’ll find out soon enough.


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Cynthia Vespia, author of “Demon Hunter: Saga”

What is your book about?

In a dark and ageless time where the world knew evil in many forms: werewolf, vampire, demon and dragons, Costa Calabrese has just uncovered the truth about his past. Some truths should never be revealed. When you learn you’re the son of the world’s foremost and feared hunter of demons life’s rules inevitably change. Now it is up to him to take up the role his bloodline demands and stop the evil from spreading over the land…whether he wants to or not.

Exploring the classic theme of good versus evil, Demon Hunter blends the highly popular elements of dark fantasy with the proven concept of high-adventure novels where believable, down-to-earth characters take the reader on a journey. It is the story about a nobody who becomes a somebody in the bloodiest of ways.

This is without a doubt the darkest idea I’ve delved into in all my years of writing. But at its core Demon Hunter is a story about human frailties. Costa, our hero, is plagued not only by physical demons, but mental ones as well. We’ve all had those little voices in our head trying to sway us from our path. It is those demons not faced that are the true danger.

How do you develop and differentiate your characters?

I pull from real life characters. People are different in many ways, tiny character traits can set them apart just as easily as monumental things. Its the little differences that make us unique as people so it becomes necessary to add those in to the characters you create.

How (or when) do you decide that you are finished writing a story?

The story decides for you. You let it run its course. The best endings are those that surprise you as the writer.

What is your goal for the book, ie: what do you want people to take with them after they finish reading the story?

I’ve never been after trying to send out some sort of message with my writing. I don’t want to change the world, I simply want to entertain. If some type of message is imparted between the lines of a particular story then that is great too. But more than anything I just want readers to be moved by the characters, engrossed in the story, and taken on a wild adventure…a little escape from reality…because that is why I like to read. That is what got me started writing in the first place.

What has changed for you personally since you wrote your first book?

I’ve grown as a writer, first and foremost. The longer you continue with your chosen craft you either get better or get out of the game. I feel as though I’ve gotten better, that I’ve found my voice.

Do you have a favorite snack food or favorite beverage that you enjoy while you write?

Red wine. I like a fine Merlot, Cab, or even a sweet red. It is soothing and relaxing.

What are you working on right now?

I have switched back to more contemporary work. I have two thrillers I’m working on at the moment. One is based in my hometown of Las Vegas. I’ve been waiting to showcase Vegas in a proper light rather than all the stereotypes you may have seen.

Do you have mental list or a computer file or a spiral notebook with the ideas for or outlines of stories that you have not written but intend to one day?

I have one of my old trapper keepers from school that is bursting at the seams. I keep getting ideas that get piled on top of more ideas. Not a bad problem to have by any means but I wish I had more time in the day to get to all of them!

What, in your opinion, are the essential qualities of a good story?

Relatable characters, a believable plot (even if its sci-fi or fantasy things should sync up), and description that is niether too short or too cramped and weighs down the story. I like a page turner. My time is limited so if the story doesn’t engross me within the first few chapters I’m going to put it away and move on to one of the other ones on my pile. Also, I’d like to note that alot of books these days are involving too many characters. More than five or so main characters and I’m going to get lost…and that’s even pushing it.

Who gave you the best writing advice you ever received and what was it?

To be honest I forgot where I heard this but the advice was “write for the wastebasket.” It has never left me. What it means is that the first draft is exactly that…the first draft. There will be many other drafts along the way so don’t get too attached to that first one. Just to take the pressure off imagine that you are writing everything just to toss it out so it doesn’t have to be perfect.

What advice you would give to an aspiring author?

Learn the ins and outs of your craft. That includes the business of it. You will be your own best marketing force even if you get picked up by Random House, etc. Learn the rules and then throw them out and make your own!

What words would you like to leave the world when you are gone?

Wow, that’s huge. I don’t know about words but I’d like to know that I made the world a better place for somebody just by being there for them. My words have always been “Live Your Dreams” Because life is short and dreams shouldn’t be dashed.

Have you written any other books?

I’ve written a lot, since I was eight in fact. The Crescent Set in the days when answers were taken at the tip of a a sword, two women will face adversity and find their calling battling as gladiators in a sport of death; Theater of Pain In the world of professional wrestling everything is over-the-top. Some competitors would do anything to make it to the top…even if it means murder; and Life Death and Back a paranormal thriller where in the wake of his death a man must come to learn what it truly means to live by helping a troubled young girl find her true path before its too late.

Where can people learn more about your books?

You can find me at;;; and

Describe your writing in three words.

Character driven suspense

Click here for an: Excerpt From “Demon Hunter: Saga” by Cynthia Vespia

Click here for an interview with: Costa Calabrese from “Demon Hunter: Saga” by Cynthia Vespia

Costa Calabrese from “Demon Hunter: Saga” by Cynthia Vespia

An Interview with Costa Calabrese from Demon Hunter: Saga by Cynthia Vespia
Available from and

Who are you?

My name is Costa Calabrese. I am the killer of killers, the hunter of hunters. I am the chosen one. I am the demon hunter.

What is your story?

Once I lived as a lowly farmhand longing for adventures away from my mundane life. Be careful what you wish for. I’ve come to find out that my entire existence has been a lie. My true reality is that I am the son of a famed and fearless hunter of demons. Now, it has become my lot in life to follow in my father’s footsteps to eradicate the scourge of evil that has been released as a plague upon the earth…whether I want to or not.

Do you have any skills?

I am my father’s son. I’ve been endowed with strength, speed, agility handed down through generations of demon hunter before me and forged from years of training. My special gift is insight, visions. I can glimpses of the future…mild premonitions. They are both a gift and a curse.

What do you want to be?

When I was younger I wanted to be a hero. Now some call me a hero, some call me a killer. Above all I just want to be a good man, take care of those close to me, and perhaps leave the world a little better than how I found it.

What are you afraid of?

I’m afraid of becoming like my father. Even though I hold the moniker of demon hunter in his stead I do not want that life to consume me. My father became bitter, loveless, angry. He started to identify with the demons he fought until the sweet release of death was his only refuge.

What in your past had the most profound effect on you?

When I was just a boy my father left my mother. We lived a hard life but I knew I was loved by her. Then one day my world turned upside down. They burned my village, killed my mother, and I was left with nothing.

Have you ever had an adventure?

My life is an adventure. I travel the world with my companions Paralay and Talisa and together we seek and destroy the minions of evil.

How do you envision your future?

I long for peace. That part of me that hated the simplistic life of a farmhand now longs to live those days again. Simple, safe, and routine with the love of a good woman and an armful of happy, healthy children that never need to walk the path of a demon hunter.

Click here for an Excerpt From “Demon Hunter: Saga” by Cynthia Vespia

Click here for an interview with: Cynthia Vespia, author of “Demon Hunter: Saga”