Thursday, November 22, 2012

City of Thieves by Audrey Cuff Ed.D: Interview & Excerpt: BTS Tour Stop


Title: City of Thieves
Author:  Audrey Cuff  Ed.D
Publisher: Wild Child Publishing    .
Length:   Novel

When Ashley Brown was five years old, her parents left her in the care of her grandma, though her mother promised to return for her. At fourteen, Ashley is still living with her grandmother in Highland, a city on the outskirts of Maryville, a place known as the "ghetto."
Ashley has shadowy memories of her mother taking her to her favorite place, the library. Reading a good book allows Ashley to escape her poverty and crime infested community. One afternoon after listening to the Mayor's press conference, Ashley discovers that the Mayor is taking away the community library. In spite of being put on punishment for a week by her grandma for defending herself from the school bullies, Ashley feels it is worth the risk to sneak out of her apartment to mail a letter she has written to the Mayor about keeping the library open.
Every day homeless people approach her and beg for something to eat or for money. The most frequent requests come from two disheveled individuals Ashley has nicknamed "Orphan Annie" and the "business-man bum." As if escaping the homeless people isn't enough, there are a bunch of bullies who harass Ashley. One day, the bullies chase her into an alley. They force her to the ground and Ashley is afraid of what could have happened next. This is one time Ashley wished she listen to her grandma.

“That stupid Mayor. I don’t believe it! She’s shutting down the library. The only library we have in this community and replacing it with some, some business store,” Grandma yelled. She scowled at the TV. “I don’t believe the stupid Mayor. You see what I mean about people in power making decisions that ruin your life, and you have no say about anything.”

“Oh, oh, Grandma, that’s so terrible. The library is the only place I have left that’s positive in  the community.”

“Ashley, don’t you get it? They don’t give a hoot about people from our neighborhood. All they care about is making money off of the poor,” she said.

 Then a quick flash the Mayor came on the television. Suddenly, my knees felt weak and heavy. I felt like I was ready to collapse.

“Grandma, what is, is the Mayor’s name?” I asked. I struggled not to stumble.

“I’m not for sure. Some person name Baldwin, a Mrs. Baldwin I guess. Oh watch they are showing that evil witch on television right now,” Grandma said. She glared at the television. Grandma was going nuts.

I desperately tried not to break down, Grandma didn’t have a clue that I’d met Mrs. Baldwin, and I wasn’t about to tell her. Luckily, Grandma was going crazy about the Mayor; she didn’t notice that I’m emotionally falling apart.

Welcome! Thanks for stopping in.  I appreciate this chance to find out more about you and your writing.  Tell us about a favorite character from a book.

 My favorite character in my book is the Mrs. Baldwin the mayor of the city. 
How did you start your writing career?
I was very upset after reading in the newspaper that the mayor in Philadelphia was going to close over 12 libraries in the inner city. So, I felt the need to express my thought by writing my first book City of Thieves. 
When in the day/night do you write? How long per day?
I complete most of my writing at night. I write at least two hours a day. 
My second book is called Generation of City thieves II. 
If you were to write a series of novels, what would it be about?
A Generation of City Thieves II” is a suspense story that speaks to the obstacles that many of our troops suffer from once they return home after risking their lives for their country. The story will exploit the struggles, and heartbreak many families must face once their love ones return from the war. 
Who are your books published with?

Wild Child publishing 
Has someone helped or mentored you in your writing career?

 Yes, my mentor and friend Robyn Opie –Parnell has helped me a great deal.  She took the time to mentor me, and she really helped me develop my craft of writing.
Dr Audrey Cuff is a special teacher in the south jersey school district.  She has been a special education teacher for the past eleven years; teaching psychology to 9th grade students. Her students nominated her for the Outstanding American Teachers. She is the author of the book City of Thieves which is one of a three book series called the Ashley Brown series. Her certifications include teacher of psychology, teacher of special education, and supervisor of Education. 
Information about her book can be found at the following sites: or amazon, and her website 

1 comment:

Robyn Opie Parnell said...

Hi Laurie,
Thanks for the interview with Audrey Cuff. I enjoyed reading this interview, and I thoroughly recommend City of Thieves. It's a fabulous book - hard to put down.
Love and Light,