Cynthia T. Toney
Cynthia writes contemporary and historical teen fiction containing elements of mystery and romance. She holds a BA in art education and began her first novel while working as an advertising designer and marketing copywriter. She has a passion for rescuing dogs from animal shelters and studying the complex history of the friendly southern U.S., where she resides with her husband and several dogs.
The first edition of her debut novel, Bird Face, won a 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award, Bronze, in the Pre-teen Mature Issues category and was awarded the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval. Cynthia has since acquired a new publisher for a Bird Face series of several novels for teens.
The new title of Bird Face Book One is 8 Notes to a Nobody. Other books in the series include 10 Steps to Girlfriend Status and, coming soon, 6 Dates to Disaster.
Book One: Anonymous sticky-notes, a scheming bully, and a ruined summer send fourteen-year-old Wendy down a trail of secrets and self-discovery
Wendy Robichaud doesn't care one bit about being popular like her good-looking classmates Tookie and the Sticks—until Brainiac bully John-Monster schemes against her, and someone leaves anonymous sticky-note messages all over school. Even the best friend she always counted on, Jennifer, is hiding something and pulling away. But the Spring Program, abandoned puppies, and high school track team tryouts don’t leave much time to play detective. When secrets and failed dreams kick off the summer after eighth grade, who will be around to support her as high school starts in the fall?
Publisher: Write Integrity Press.
The original edition of this story, under the title Bird Face, won the 2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Award, Bronze, in the Pre-Teen Mature Issues category and was awarded the Catholic Writers Guild Seal of Approval.
Other completed work:
Historical coming-of-age novel The Other Side of Freedom
Interview Questions and Answers:
Why did you write the Bird Face series?
When I began to write the first book, I recognized a need in fiction for young teens. They faced issues that were not addressed in middle-grade fiction at the time and were too graphically depicted in novels for older teens. I knew I had to write an entertaining story that employed humor and offered hope to entice young people to read it and recognize themselves and their friends in the characters.
Where did inspiration for the plots, subplots, and characters come from?
As an adult, I experienced and witnessed a great deal of emotional suffering among preteens and teens. Kids sometimes grow up without knowing how precious and powerful they are. Shy kids need to be taught social skills. Girls think their looks define them, and some develop eating disorders. A bully may not fit the stereotype of years past -- the hulking male who shoves his way through life. It can be anyone, including someone like my bully character who is verbally bullied at home and turns the same toward his classmates. Many young people live in blended families and face challenges adjusting to a new family life. When young people begin to date, they often make unwise decisions about who to date and how to conduct themselves.Often, girls lose sight of their longterm goals.