Becoming a novelist was a dream come true for Cybele, and one that was many years in the making. Like many aspiring writers and creative types, when she completed her education, she didn’t think she could make a living doing what she loved. So, she took a job that was related to writing but not actually writing: She became an editor. She loved editing but never gave up her dream of writing a novel someday.
It wasn’t until she was in her late thirties that she finally realized “someday” was right now. After a decade and a half of working in Corporate America, she had burned out of her job and was exhausted by city living. She realized she was giving her best energy to a career and life that no longer fit. So, she took a huge leap of faith and quit her job to write full-time. The book she began writing eventually became Dead Lies.
Quitting her job was a scary step, but it changed her life. Tapping away at her keyboard, she realized she was happier than she had been in a while. Time seemed to disappear; often she’d find herself wondering what those strange pains in her belly were, and then realize it was way past lunchtime and she had forgotten to eat! She was “in the zone.” She felt creative and energized again and was thrilled to have discovered her passion, her life’s work.
That one brave step into the unknown led to other wonderful changes in her life. For years she had dreamed of living in the country, so she began renting a cottage in Litchfield County, Connecticut, to see how it felt. She never looked back. And it was in this idyllic place that she met her soul mate and now husband, the life and business coach, Brooke Loening. They married a few years later, and together they renovated a home in which they now both live and work.
Spending her days writing and living in a place she loves, Cybele has found bliss she never thought possible.
The author is hard at work on the next book in the Anna Valentine Mystery Series and is honored to share her books with her readers. But she also has another mission: To inspire other women to pursue their dreams and live their best lives.
Please sign up for her newsletter and look for her blog postings on Facebook and Twitter (@CybeleLoening).
Q&A with the Author
Q. When did you realize you wanted to write?
A. I’ve known since I was 7 or 8. I’ve always loved reading, especially mysteries. My favorites were Encyclopedia Brown, a fantastic book called The Westing Game and the Nancy Drew series. I dreamed of writing a mystery myself someday. I couldn’t imagine anything better.
Q. What was the first thing you wrote?
A short story about Nathan Hale’s last words before his hanging, and it was very dramatic! I wrote it in sixth grade, and it was included in a little publication my grammar school put together. It was pretty cool to see my words in print. I was so proud. Throughout school I continued writing poems and short stories, and in college, I won an award for fiction writing.
Q. What was your biggest struggle with writing?
A. Believing I could do it. For so long it just seemed like writing a book was an impossible dream. Me, a novelist? Who did I think I was? I don’t know why it is that so many people doubt their own abilities, and their worthiness, but it is universal. All I can say to that is you just have to give it a try. As soon as I started writing, my confidence grew. Then my skills improved. And then I just kept going because I was having so much fun. Now it feels so natural, I can’t imagine not writing.
Q. What kept you going?
A. Sheer grit and determination—and maybe a little desperation too! I couldn’t go back to corporate life. I was so happy working at home and being my own boss. That was an incredibly creative time in my life, and probably the first time I ever thought absolutely anything was possible. Maybe I really could become a published author! It felt amazing. I also have a passion for this work, and I truly believe that when you are doing what you are meant to be doing, you don’t need a lot of motivation or discipline. It is just there. It is a joy.
Q. What makes you want to help others be their better selves?
A. Everybody needs support. When I began yearning for something more—for a more fulfilling career, peace, love, happiness—I turned to books. Self-help books specifically. I devoured everyone from Louise Hay and Kathy Freston to Joel Osteen and Mike Dooley. These people didn’t know me, but they were speaking directly to me. They were my supporters, my cheerleaders. I would not be where I am today without them. And it would be a dream come true if I could help someone they way they helped me.