Cynthia Freeman Gibbs is the multiple genre author of Jack Dante LaBanks and the Beanstalk—a Twisted fairy tale—and the Dr. Olivia C. Maxwell Series. I’m thrilled to introduce readers to her work!
Author Interview + Author & Book Information
Cynthia Freeman Gibbs (C.F. Gibbs)
Cynthia Freeman Gibbs is a native of Lansing, Michigan. She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and her MBA from Florida A&M University in Tallahassee, FL.
Her writing career began in 2016 after spending twenty-two years in Corporate America working in various roles for a Fortune 500 pharmaceutical company.
Cynthia has written two books in her Dr. Olivia C. Maxwell Novel series which include Reasonable Insanity, and a new release, Insatiable Revenge. Under the pen name, C. F. Gibbs, she has written another new release which is a Twisted Fairy Tale Fantasy, Jack Dante LaBanks and The Beanstalk. She co-authored Writing Is Essential which was published by United Black Writers Association in 2019. Cynthia is working on a film script for an educational film.
Cynthia is a resident of San Antonio where she married the love of her life, J Maurice Gibbs. She has three daughters and two grandchildren. She serves in a variety of ministries at her church and is a Lifetime member of the San Antonio Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.
Cynthia is the President of United Black Writers Association. She is a member of the Tobin Library Writers Group, and volunteers her time with the Heal the Healer San Antonio Symposium, NAACP, DreamWeek Summit, and a host of organizations in the community. She enjoys spending time with family and friends. Cynthia is a Foodie who has determined she is no longer dibble dabbling with the Vegetarian/Pescatarian life but has adopted a Flexitarian diet so she can enjoy her husband’s culinary skills.
She is thrilled to write stories for the world to enjoy.
To learn more about Cynthia, click on her name, photo or any of the following links: Twitter, Linked In, and Facebook
Cynthia Freeman Gibbs’ Books
Jack Dante LaBanks and the Beanstalk
Twisted Series: Multi-Authored Fairy Tales with a Twist of Fantasy, Sci-Fy, Romance, or Horror. Readers may read each self-contained standalone book in or out of order.
The lure of hidden treasures in unusual places unleashes the potential to acquire a desired life of wealth, love, and security.
Jack, a poor twenty-year-old man from the country, and his mother are on the verge of losing the farm due to economic hardship. Jack trades the family cow to a strange man for five magical beans, which grow into an enormous beanstalk leading above the clouds. He climbs the beanstalk in search of a treasure to save him and his mother from doom.
He reaches the City of Zephys, located in the Yagenoc Heights District, and discovers a secluded mansion of man-eating giants, Darius and his beautiful wife, Naomi.
Naomi, a talented songstress, suffers from the abuse of her asthmatic, gargantuan husband and seeks to find freedom from physical and mental captivity. She has the power within her to be free but must release it.
A mutual fondness grows deeper between Jack and Naomi with each visit he makes to the Yagenoc Heights District home where Naomi feeds him home-cooked meals. In the giant’s house, he finds various treasures he steals from Darius and ends up escaping with the one real treasure that will change his life forever.
The giant, Darius, pursues Jack for stealing away into the night with his most prized possession. Will the giant reclaim his hold on Naomi, or will she and Jack find a happy ever after ending?
To buy the book, click on the following link: Amazon
In this dramatic sequel to her debut Reasonable Insanity—A Dr. Olivia C. Maxwell Novel, Cynthia Freeman Gibbs delivers another evocative account of the life-altering pathway of a psychologist on a mission to control her impulsive reactions to adversity.
Two months of freedom from prison have passed—but Dr. Olivia C. Maxwell is not free from the rage that landed her behind bars. Fury toward her soon-to-be ex-husband, Malcolm, is amplified by decisions he’s made about the lives of their two children, along with the announcement of his unexpected fiancée.
Olivia must reckon with the impact her reckless actions have on her kids while balancing moving forward to a life without the insatiable urge for revenge. Olivia’s best friend, Savannah Menefee, is open to exploring out-of-the-box relationships. No-nonsense Savvy lowers barriers around her heart for unusual encounters to find the right man for her life—and now she’s exposed herself to a dangerous rendezvous.
The redeeming power of friendship is evident in the midst of Olivia and Savvy both navigating through chaotic relationships that bring about twists, terror and possibly, destruction.
To buy the book, click on the following link: Amazon
On the outside, clinical psychologist, Dr. Olivia C. Maxwell appears to live a life others only dream about. She has a sexy husband, a big house, luxury cars, two gorgeous children and she attends all the see-and-be-seen events. To add to the mix, she is beautiful, tall, fit, and intelligent. But what people can’t see is that inside, Olivia is living a nightmare.
As the only dark-skinned member of her family, Olivia grew up hating the skin she’s in and she’s spent her life desperately searching for acceptance. It’s not long before those deep insecurities sabotage everything she loves.
Friends ‘til the end….
After being estranged best friends for ten years, Savvy Menefee is back in Olivia’s life. And her reappearance is right on time because Olivia is teetering on the edge. A whirlwind of crazy reactions is leading Olivia into a slow, out-of-control spiral. And Savvy must try to save her friend before destructive impulses leave Olivia in the midst of mayhem and murder.
To buy the book, click on the following link: Amazon
Cynthia Freeman Gibbs: The Interview
Tell us about Twisted and Jack Dante LaBanks and the Beanstalk. How does the series work, and how does your novella fit into that?
Jack Dante LaBanks and the Beanstalk was the first novella and fairy tale that I’ve written. I began writing it in February 2020 and the book was released on November 25, 2020. The entire process from concept to being published took nine months because I had time to write during the pandemic.
DLG Publishing Partners asked for submissions for their Twisted Imprint brand in which I took a classic fairy tale of my choice and twisted the storyline. I had to write in 3rd person POV in past or present tense, present day, earth or otherworldly, and with alternate POVs of the female and male characters. I chose fantasy as the genre but could have selected paranormal, time travel, Sci-Fi, horror, or supernatural as well.
The heat level I picked is sweet/sensual versus the options of sensual, steamy, or romantica.
The Twisted Series consists of Multi-Authored Fairy Tales which are each self-contained standalone books, which can be read in or out of order. There are more in development as we speak.
We all know the story of Jack and the Beanstalk in which Jack and his mother are poor. In order to survive, Jack trades their cow for magical beans that grow into a beanstalk where he finds and steals treasures of gold.
The twist on my story is that Jack and his mother live in Bexar County during the human Pmurt-45 virus pandemic and are suffering and poor. He climbs the beanstalk searching for a treasure to save them from doom. Jack ends up in the City of Zephys, located in the Yagenoc Heights District, and discovers a secluded mansion of man-eating giants, Darius and his beautiful wife, Naomi.
Naomi, a talented songstress, suffers from the abuse of her asthmatic, gargantuan husband and seeks to find freedom from physical and mental captivity. She has the power within her to be free but must release it. A mutual fondness grows deeper between Jack and Naomi with each visit he makes to the giant’s home.
In the giant’s house, he finds various treasures he steals from Darius and ends up escaping with the one real treasure that will change his life forever. The giant, Darius, pursues Jack for stealing away into the night with his most prized possession.
You are also the author of the recent release, Insatiable Revenge. Tell us about that novel.
Insatiable Revenge is the 2nd book in my Dr. Olivia C. Maxwell Novel series. It was released on October 6, 2020. The protagonist, Olivia, is a clinical psychologist who lives in San Antonio. She is out of prison for arson, but her anger rages on. Her soon-to-be-ex-husband plans to move their kids to another state with his new fiancée, and Olivia now runs on fury.
Olivia is living a reckless life and it is impacting her two children to the point her daughter engages in self-harming behavior. Her best friend Savvy lowers barriers around her heart to find love—and now she’s exposed herself to a dangerous rendezvous.
Savvy helps Olivia navigate chaotic relationships, mental illness, and unresolved anger in this evocative account of one woman’s personal journey.
Those are two very different genres. How do you go about approaching your writing for different kinds of stories? Does your process change? Is there a common thread?
Writing contemporary fiction is my comfort zone.
The Dr. Olivia series fit directly into what I see through my lens, the people I interact with, and the environment I exist in. The fairy tale was a stretch for me. I found it fun to escape and create a new world. The challenge was to describe the land of the giants in a descriptive way so my readers could picture the landscape.
There are magical things that happen, and I really had to bend to create something people could feel and experience with the characters. The main change of process was the request from the publisher to alternate the POV in each chapter.
In writing all three of my books, I am a Pantser more so than a Plotter. I jot down ideas but not in a structured way. I type whatever is in my head and edit later. The common thread is that they are all works of modern-day fiction.
You worked in the corporate world and the pharmaceutical industry for more than twenty years. How did those experiences inform your writing career?
My career included positions as a sales representative, trainer, manager, and account executive. I had to analyze data, develop and execute strategies, plan, manage people, promote products and services, research information, develop marketing plans, assess performance, engage customers, and speak to audiences.
I still have to do pretty much all of these things as an author and a new business owner. Customer engagement was as critical in the corporate world as it is in my life as an author. Writing a book is quite an accomplishment but it has to get into the hands of readers. Marketing and selling a book when you don’t have a Big 5/6 publisher is a whole business in itself.
Tell us about the United Black Writers Association.
United Black Writers Association, Inc. is a cooperative non-profit organization focused on raising awareness about African American literary talent as well as encourages writing and literacy through workshops and educational forums.
I connected with the Executive Director when she interviewed me about my first book, Reasonable Insanity in a segment called “By Any Ink Necessary”. She included my interview along with other author interviews in a book called Writing Is Essential: How to Use What You’ve Got to Get the Job Done.
This book is to inspire people to put pen to paper by reading about authors who share our stories about writing, publishing, or being an entrepreneur.
I am currently serving as President of UBWA.
What are you working on now?
I am writing a documentary film script which covers African American music genres from music during slavery times through Hip-Hop. In addition to writing the script, I will be acting in it.
I started writing what I hope will fall into the Thriller genre. I wrote five different beginnings to this book and I need to decide which direction to follow. There is a strong possibility that I will be diving into the children’s books arena soon which will have a historical time travel aspect to them.
Finally, I think I still have some Dr. Olivia C. Maxwell stories to write. I love the drama in her life and my readers do too.
Final words of wisdom for aspiring writers
Put your butt in a seat and write! The world is waiting to see what is in your mind. A book can only be read if you get it out of your head. I encourage writers to be a student and take workshops, classes, and/or join writers groups.
You can never learn too much when it comes to becoming a better writer. Have fun, dare to dream, and turn those dreams into books.
Thank you for hanging out with us! Great to learn more about you and your projects.
Elena Taylor is the author of All We Buried, available now in print, e-book, and audio book format at all your favorite on-line retailers. And don’t forget many independent bookstores can order books for you and have them shipped to your home or for curbside pickup.
For more information on All We Buried, click on the link here to visit the home page.