I literally swoon when I think of Maxwell Cynn—that’s how passionate I am about his writing.
His erotic science fiction novel, CybrGrrl, is one of the best books I’ve read this year, and some days, I find myself rereading passages from it just for inspiration. Some authors have an incredible gift for writing; others have an ability to arouse with words—Max has both.
In addition to musing on the business and craft of writing, Max also pens beautiful poetry and prose. I discovered what a brilliant storyteller he was when he entered a contest hosted by author, L.M. Stull. Submissions had to be both erotic and humorous in nature. As one of two judges for the contest, I can say that Max’s story “Fantasy Writer” won—hands down.
I’ve devoured almost everything I can find by this man, and I eagerly await his new creations. Look for some of Max’s work on deviantArt, including his winning story “Fantasy Writer.”
To learn more about Max, read his eloquent and thoughtful responses to my interview. No doubt, you will be moved, as was I.
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Maxwell Cynn is a novelist, freelance writer, amateur coder, webmaster, and Indie publisher who writes an eclectic mix of romance, fantasy, and science fiction.
He currently has two novels available on Kindle Reader as well as a wide range of short fiction and essays published in sundry media including recent short stories in the Absent Willow Review and Fissure Magazine.
Inside Maxwell Cynn’s Mind
What is your idea of perfect happiness? I’m on a beach in Jamaica, a hammock in the trees, with a bottle of rum and a good book. Jimmy Buffet is playing in the background. My lover lays her head on my shoulder, snuggling, as the rest of the world fades into irrelevance.
What turns you on creatively? Learning something new. When I bought my first computer, I learned Qbasic. When I signed on the internet back in the 90’s, I learned HTML and started a website. When I wrote my first novel, ArchAngelxx, I didn’t consider publishing in a traditional sense, I learned aspx and wrote it as an interactive web-series. We didn’t have facebook or blogs or twitter back then. When MobiPocket, and later Kindle, made eBooks possible, I learned to code those. Now it’s InDesign and print books.
Writing, for me, is more than expressing my inner imagination, it’s learning and expanding my knowledge base. The Protag in ArchAngelxx is a psychologist, so I studied psychology. For CybrGrrl I plunged into artificial intelligence theory and the cyber-sex industry. At times that makes me a little ADD, but once I find something new, which sparks my imagination, I jump in it.
Which words or phrases do you most overuse? That changes from manuscript to manuscript. I conquer one, and another crops up. I think we’re all guilty of being lazy in both speech and writing. Though we may have enormous vocabularies we only use a fraction of those words regularly. For me, descriptions are the hardest. You’d think every woman on earth had hazel eyes. And it’s hard to walk the line between boring descriptions and heavy-handed cliche. (you know, like heavy-handed)
What quality do you most admire in a man? Self-sufficiency and honor. A man should be able to adapt to any situation and overcome any obstacle. “Can’t” isn’t in his dictionary. He should also be trustworthy, dependable, and a man of his word.
What quality do you most admire in a woman? The same. I’m drawn to strong women who complement and challenge – equal partner to a man – not the lesser/weaker sex.
What is your greatest regret? My English teacher in High School recognized my talent, even though I was a rebellious and difficult teen. She allowed me to write short stories in lieu of whatever assignment she gave the class and would grade them for spelling or grammar or whatever the assignment was. I thought it was great, and didn’t realize she was actually getting me to write twenty page essays instead of one page grammar assignments. A truly great teacher.
Though I kept a 4.0 through most of my school years, taking all advanced classes, I became bored in High School and eventually dropped out. I went to work, and never looked back. My parents had tried their best to keep me in school, and send me to college, but I was in a hurry to get on with my life. If I had it to do again, I would stay in school and spend my life as an academic. But if I did, where would the stories come from? We are the sum of our experiences. So, in truth, no regrets.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be? Social Anxiety. I adore people, love talking, laughing, and hanging out. Once I’m comfortable with someone, or a group, I enjoy socializing, but new people, new groups, new situations, freak me out. If I could jump past that awkward period and right into the comfort zone, that would really rock.
What is your greatest fear? I honestly can’t think of anything I’m afraid of.
Which living person do you most admire? When I was young, I wanted to be just like my father. He was the most awesome thing in my universe. As I grew older, that didn’t change. I have met many people in my life, but I can’t think of anyone I admire more than my old man. I’ve learned things about him over the years I never knew as a kid, the man I know him to be today is so much different than my childish impression, yet as I near fifty, and he eighty, I still want to be just like him when I grow up.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt? Other than the day job? Writing, of course. My dream is to sell enough books, consistently, to retire from the work-a-day world and live by my keyboard. Other than writing, I’m intrigued by coding and publishing. I waded into the world of ePublishing, and now print publishing, to get my own books on the market. But the further I venture into the technology the more interesting it becomes. I could see myself as a small press publisher who also writes.
If you could choose what to come back as, what would it be? A house cat. No other creature has the quality of life enjoyed by an ordinary house cat. Just imagine being pampered and petted anytime you want. Spending your days basking in a sunbeam, chasing shadows, eating, and sleeping. They are actually the overlords of the universe, you know, allowing us to serve them at their leisure.
What do you consider your greatest achievement? My two adult sons, they are my greatest joy in life. They don’t like me talking about them, so I won’t, but they both freakin’ rock!
What is the trait you most deplore in others? That’s a loaded question. We tend to deplore in others what we refuse to recognize in ourselves. Jung called it projection, others have termed it transference. But whining and complaining is what goads me the most. Life sucks, we all know that, so get over it and move on. Not that I’m complaining.
What is your greatest extravagance? I’m not an extravagant person. To me, it was an extravagance to buy the netbook I’m typing this on – even though my ten year old computer was held together with duct-tape and prayer and I desperately needed one to write. I am the most conservative person I know.
What is one thing you want to do before you die? Write a best selling novel, and not one of those flash-in-the-pan, New York agency created novels that’s the flavor for a day. I want to write something that people will be reading fifty or a hundred years from now; like Poe, Verne, Tolkien, Bradbury, Hemingway. I want to write a classic.
What is your present state of mind? Dark, depressed, somber, angry… Surprised? I know, most people say excited, upbeat, hopeful, even happy. That’s not me. Most people think that’s me. I’m pretty good at projecting a positive personae, and you won’t read this anywhere else, but I’ll be honest this once.
A large percentage of the human race suffers depression, and I’m one of them. Anyone who doesn’t, can never imagine the darkness, but for those who do, and some of you reading this do, it’s something we live with everyday. I don’t take drugs or cry on a therapist’s couch – see the whining comment above – I deal with it – see the bull headed tenacity comment below.
Writers are prone to depression and manic/depressive impulses. Most artists create from their pain, not their happiness. Often the creative process drives us to the peak of excitement and throws us over into the pits of despair. Such is the price of a creative soul. Contentment rarely produces art.
What are some of your favorite curse words? Fuck is my favorite fucking word in the fucking dictionary. There are so fucking many fucking ways you can fucking use it – fuckin’ right! Seriously, it’s probably the one I use most, not in writing, but in speech. But these days, the only thing people seem to notice anymore is when someone “drops the F-bomb.” It’s a bit childish, really. Words are words, and properly used they all have meaning.
Censorship is the bane of free-speech. I find it comical when someone says goddamn, and censors bleep out “god.” I guess the mention of God is on the level of an f-bomb. But even worse, for free-speech and literature, is careless use of language. Some people curse, spoken and written, out of ignorance and lack of better ways to express themselves. All words have their place and meaning and impact. Sometimes a curse word is called for, but more often not.
What is your motto? My family motto, from the middle ages when families had such things, is “The brave may fall, but never yield.” My modern version is “Never say never.” Sometimes that’s good, and makes me tenacious, sometimes not so good, making me stubborn, but once I set my mind to something I’m in for the full ride – no turning back.
Connect with Max
Thank you Max for being so honest with your answers. If you would like to leave a comment or ask Max any questions, please don’t be shy—he’s a sweetheart.