Today is Lady Janie Cynthia’s birthday! In the tradition of celebrating things that happened today but years ago, Brodi and I thought we’d discuss how much we love Cynthia.
Jodi: Oh gosh. Where to start! There are so many wonderful things about Cynthia, but I think what I’m most grateful for right now is that she brought us together as a writing group with the idea for MY LADY JANE. Obviously we’d have all been friends and done some traveling together even without MLJ, but her decision to include us in her mad idea to make a comedy out of a tragedy really cemented our friendship.
Brodi: It truly was a mad--but ultimately insanely awesome--idea. And it has only strengthened our friendship… because now we’re contractually obligated to stay friends. Cynthia is the motivating force behind our projects, I think. She kicks our butts at research and developing a passion for the people and places we are writing about. She cares more about historical accuracy and her chapters show the rich fabric of that research. Whenever we get an idea about a character, she will inevitably buy a book about that person and send it to the one of us writing about that person.*
*Previous sentence brought to you by the generous people and the Clunky Extra Long Sentences Club.
Jodi: You know what else is great about Cynthia? Her instinct to care for people. It’s basically Cynthia’s doing that we don’t starve to death on our writing retreats. Not only does she remember that we’re supposed to eat at least a couple times a day, but she’s also the one to do the actual cooking.
Brodi: And she is an incredible history geek. She bought each of us a hat that our characters would’ve worn in that era, and we wear them at events and act out a scene from the book. These moments always get the biggest laughs.
Jodi: Visiting England with Cynthia was an experience. Not just because she (incredibly) planned our activities (again, taking care of us), but because we got to see another side of her. I mean, sure, we knew Cynthia was into history, but I will never forget her delightfully nerdy joy at visiting the Tower of London, or Hampton Court, or Stonehenge.
Brodi: And her laugh. She has the most contagious chuckle. Whenever I use the word “chuckle” in a sentence, I hear her laugh in my head! And she can’t contain her joy. When she heard I’d bought a PS4 and could now play Elder Scrolls Online with them, I could feel her bouncing in anticipation from 600 miles away.
Jodi: Another thing -- when we talk about what we each bring to writing our books together, I always say that Cynthia brings the emotional depth. There’s such a thoughtfulness to her writing . . . because there’s such a thoughtfulness to Cynthia. She’s so perceptive, and she always considers other people before herself. She’s incredibly selfless.
Happy Birthday, Cynthia! We love you! (Sorry this was late. See how we fall apart without you?)