Guest Blogger: Mary Cunningham, Author of the Cynthia’s Attic Series

 Today’s special guest is Mary Cunningham, author of the Cynthia’s Attic series, which includes:

The Missing Locket

The Magic Medallion

Curse of the Bayou

and The Magician’s Castle, which we reviewed here.

Brick by Brick (One author’s approach to series writing) by Mary Cunningham

The final proof for Cynthia’s Attic: The Magician’s Castle, book four in my ‘Tween fantasy series, was finally ready for the publisher. 

The Missing Locket and The Magic Medallion had been a snap. Both completed in about a year, although editing and attracting a publisher took an additional four years. I wasn’t sure another book was in me after the first two, but a cliff-hanger, written at the end of each book obligated me to send Cynthia and Gus on more time-travel adventures. Curse of the Bayou soon followed the first two books.  

In the series, I intertwine old family stories and ancestors, so I knew there were more tales to tell. 

The Magician’s Castle was created from stories about my great-grandmother’s family, the Kistlers. Genealogy traces the family back to Switzerland in the late 1300s. The magician, however, was part of my early childhood memories of attending a magic show. I was chosen to be his assistant on stage and, to my mother’s horror, he gave me the rabbit I helped pull out of his top hat! Decades later, an entire book is based on that experience.

But, back to the writing. I sailed through the first half of the story and then hit a wall. Not a wall that could be easily punched through with a couple days rest and diversion. This wall was solid brick—about five feet thick. I wrote. I deleted. I wrote more. I deleted. I paced. Had I ever written a decent paragraph in my life?  

Desperation consumed me. Deadlines approached. But, then I turned to my alternate source of creative energy. My husband—my biggest cheerleader, and idea person. Although it would be difficult for him to ever write an entire book, his imagination is boundless.

We sat on the deck one evening throwing out ideas. “What if Cynthia and Gus…?” he’d ask. “Or…oh, this is even better!” Although, ultimately, the storyline went in a slightly different direction, each idea represented a sledge hammer blow…dismantling that wall brick-by-brick.

Then, another wall. Our 16-year-old canine daughter, Molly, died and devastated both of us. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to write again. That’s when a friend suggested I write Molly as a character in the book. My excitement at that prospect allowed me to finished The Magician’s Castle in about a month, and Molly is one of my favorite characters. 

Did I write another cliffhanger at the end of Book Four? Guess so, because I’ve started work on Cynthia’s Attic Five. 

Oh, and for those of you wondering, Fluffy the Rabbit, found a good home on a nearby farm and, to the best of my knowledge, lived a good, long life!    

Cynthia’s Attic Series

The Missing Locket

The Magic Medallion

Curse of the Bayou

The Magician’s Castle 

Mary Cunningham is author of the award-winning tween fantasy/mystery series, Cynthia’s Attic that was inspired by a recurring dream about a mysterious attic. After realizing that the dream took place in the home of her childhood friend, Cynthia, the dreams stopped and the writing began. Four books have been published in the series: The Missing Locket, The Magic Medallion, Curse of the Bayou, and The Magician’s Castle.

She is also co-writer of the humor-filled lifestyle book titled, “Women Only Over Fifty (WOOF),” along with a published short story, “Ghost Light,” and a “Cynthia’s Attic” short story, “Christmas With Daisy.”

Cunningham is a member of The Georgia Reading Association, the Carrollton Creative Writers Club, and the Pulpwood Queens Book Club. When she gives her fingers a day away from the keyboard, she enjoys golf, swimming and exploring the mountains of West Georgia where she makes her home with her husband. Together they’ve raised three creative children and enjoy spending time with their granddaughter. 

Cynthia’s Attic: The Magician’s Castle (Book Four): Sebastien the Great, a magician whose fiancée, Kathryn, disappears through the magic trunk, vows revenge. If Cynthia and Gus don’t find a missing page from the “Book of Spells,” Cynthia’s family could face financial and personal ruin. 

The twelve-year-old best friends walk through miles of tree tunnels, stumble on an enchanted garden ruled by a cranky rock monster, and receive clues from an eccentric fairy named Eloise Elloway. They get the surprise of their lives when they’re sent fifty years into the future, have a shocking encounter with another set of best friends, and gather a fresh set of clues that could lead to breaking the magician’s spell.   

Mary Cunningham Books

Cynthia’s Attic Blog


Echelon Press


Cynthia’s Attic: The Magician’s Castle – Amazon Link:

Cynthia’s Attic: The Magician’s Castle Blog Tour 2011

Feb 23, 2011 – Quake Blog

Feb. 28, 2011 Book promoJennifer Wylie Blog

Mar 2, 2011InterviewWriter J. A. Campbell Blog

March 2, 2011 Inspiration The Writing Mama Blog

March 3, 2011 Brick by BrickThe Children’s & Teens Book ConnectionTC & TBC

March 4, 2011 Cynthia’s Attic, Werewolves and VampiresThe Candid Canine Blog

Featured Author Interview-Summer 2011 issue of Stories for Children Magazine –V.S. Grenier, Editor V S Grenier

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