SPARK Spotlight Interview Cynthia Bordelon

Created March 22, 2024 by Tanja Bauerle


Cynthia Bordelon is a native of Chicago, Illinois. An introvert as a child, Cynthia lacked self-confidence but took many adventures through the magical portals of books. Her worldwide travels as an adult filled her with a sense of awe and wonder. Cynthia’s passion is to encourage and instill confidence in children and young adults. She is a firm believer that being in nature promotes social connection and creativity in children and hopes that her books inspire them to become ecologically literate citizens.


CYNTHIA Bordelon

Fast Five Interview Questions:

What’s one thing we should know about you that’s not in your bio?

I’m a literacy coach in the Reading Seed program at Literacy Connects, a Tucson nonprofit that works to connect people of all ages to a world of opportunities through literacy and creative expression. 

What’s something that happens in your book that will cause us to run out and buy it?

In my book, an introverted child overcomes her fear of the water with the help of a magical fish. They explore the coral reef together, and on this journey, she forgets about her fear for a time. Sara’s experience was one baby step toward finding her larger place in the world. The book also includes a glossary of terms and resources on oceanography and blank coloring pages to spark the imagination of the reader.

Why did you choose to self-publish, rather than go the traditional route?

I felt a sense of urgency to get my message out about environmental awareness for children and didn’t want to wait years for my work to be accepted, if at all, by a publishing agent. I also believed that by self-publishing a book, I would educate myself about the book publishing industry in general. Finally, I wanted control of the process and the ability to select an illustrator that shared my vision for the book. My fabulous illustrator Mariya Prytula fit the bill, and she has actually snorkeled at the same reef in Grand Cayman that I wrote about!

What projects are you currently working on?

The second book in the Sara Full of Wonder series, Tangled Webs, will come out this year. In this book, Sara encounters a magical tree that shows her the beauty and balance of the forest ecosystem and the importance of living in a community where we can connect with others. 

How has being a member of SCBWI helped you in your writing journey?

I cannot overstate how important a SCBWI membership has been to my writing journey! Our bi-monthly Arizona SPARK meetings have provided me with useful information on book promotion, networking, book awards to apply for, upcoming community events, the value of setting goals, and most importantly, a safe space for us to share information.