Ask the Author: C. Cimmone

What would you like readers to know about you?

Mostly that I do not write complete fiction. Everything I put out there has happened to me, in some way or another. I may tweak a few things just enough to push it over to the ‘fiction’ side, but everything is ‘based on a true story’.  

What is your book about for those who haven’t read it? 

TORN UP is about grief, surviving the day, and hoping you aren’t ruining your life (or someone else’s) as you navigate your way through it. We can do some pretty unsavory things when we are dealing with a huge, personal loss. In this book, I put it all out there – I am shameless in my account. 

What has been your inspiration for writing it? 

Survival. Although writing about my grief and turmoil is not a cathartic process, it does serve a purpose on a larger scale. Once a significant amount of time passes after I complete a piece, my brain can finally take a step back from the trauma, SAVE AS, and move on. Most of the lengthier pieces I’ve written have either induced a panic attack or a few days of deep depression – I’m reliving those intense moments in order to transport the reader THERE, to that exact moment. I want you to feel the humidity, hear the vents humming, and cringe at the pressure of the scene. 

What was your favorite scene or part of your book to write? 

I really enjoyed writing “When I Think About My Mother” because I had toyed with this idea for so long: the piece is set in the future and written from the perspective of my daughter as an adult. I extracted chunks of our actual life and wove it into the piece. I wanted to document the awareness of my grief as it may affect her later in life. I can’t stitch quilts or pass down any family recipes, but I can write a story for her, and that’s what I did. Here’s hoping she likes reading… 

What books or authors inspired you to become a writer? 

I have always wanted to write, but the older I get, I think more about the influence my parents had on my writing interest. I have vivid memories of my mother handwriting letters at our kitchen table. She wrote on notebook paper, in cursive, and all the while smoking a cigarette. She was studious with her letter writing; and I was always intrigued with her when she leaned back in her chair to think about something else to report to my aunts. My father was also in the mix: he spun records every night after dinner and he and I would listen to old songs for hours. He would repeat the same song maybe 10 times, “Now, listen, here, to what he says…” and he’d tap his foot, point at the worn out speaker, and grin. I’d listen to the words and grin, too. Both of my parents were great storytellers, too. Anytime someone would come in for a visit, they’d sit around the dining table and tell stories for hours. They would let me stay up late to listen. Most of the stories were dark, yet funny, and I’d like to think that also had a great impact. 

What advice would you give to aspiring authors who want to write a book? 

Go with your gut. If you feel like it’s a dumb idea, put it aside. If you don’t believe in the material, you won’t put your soul into it. 


twitter: @diefunnier 

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