by Lorie Lewis Ham
On May 29 KRL celebrated our 5th anniversary! One of the things we are doing to celebrate is to introduce a few of our staff writers to all of you! Some you have already gotten to know as they are also mystery authors and have been interviewed here–but many you have not, other than what you have learned through what they write for us. I’m even learning fun things I didn’t know about our staff! So far we have already profiled Terrance McArthur and Tom Sims. This week we are chatting with one of our long-time reviewers Cynthia Chow.
KRL: How long have you been writing book reviews?
Cynthia: I think in the late nineties, when Amazon was starting to be a big thing. I was thrilled to find an outlet for my geeky enthusiasm for my favorite authors. Then, when I became a Young Adult Librarian in 2001, I had to create Recommended Reading Book Lists. Those were essentially mini-reviews, with the goal of enticing teens to read books they had no intention of ever reading. Then I started going to mystery conferences, and it just kind of grew from there.
KRL: Have you done any other writing?
Cynthia: Nope. I lack the discipline, focus, and talent.
KRL: What do you like best about writing book reviews?
Cynthia: I love discovering new authors, and seeing them succeed. If I am able to introduce a reader to a new author, then I’m happy. If the reader loves the book and becomes a fan of the author, then I’m ecstatic.
KRL: What is your day job?
Cynthia: I am the Branch Manager of a public library.
KRL: How long have you been in that job?
Cynthia: Five years as the Manager, but for ten years before that I was a Young Adult Librarian.
KRL: Have you always lived in Hawaii? If not when did you move there and how did that come about?
Cynthia: I was born and raised in Hawaii. Except for a few years in between and for college, I have always lived on the island of Oahu.
Cynthia: No, I am still in mourning for my beloved cat that I was a college gift, but it’s okay, she was really, really, old.
KRL: What are your hobbies?
Cynthia: I love riding my motorcycle, but that’s becoming less fun the more it rains. So, at the moment it’s just reading, going to the movies and binge-watching television on my days off from work.
KRL: Favorite type of books to review?
Cynthia: Lighter mysteries, paranormals, and graphic novels.
KRL: Favorite TV shows?
Cynthia: I love the Mindy Project, Jane the Virgin, and all of the superhero shows. Except Gotham, but I’m watching it anyway.
KRL: What would people be surprised to find out about you? (I’m thinking more about the motorcycle 🙂
Cynthia: I’ve owned and ridden an assortment of motorcycles, the current one being a Ninja 650. I also enjoy muscle cars, and between my father, my brother, and me, we own four Mustangs. I may have a tattoo. However, I also wear ridiculously high-heeled shoes and have a hidden stash of collectible Barbies. So I guess the word to define me would be, “Indecisive.” Not professionally, just in the rest of my life.
KRL: Anything else you would like to add?
Cynthia: I just want to thank you for the opportunity to review books for your site! And because my Mom is from Fresno, where my grandparents had a vineyard and produced raisins for Sunmaid, I have a huge affection for Kings River, California. I spent many Christmases and summers on their farm, and miss it tremendously.