About the Author
Sydney Strand is a traditionally published author who lives for any sort of holiday. She does draw the line at Pi Day (3.14), however. You can find her at www.sydneystrand.com, as well as Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter.
What inspires you to write romance books?
I started reading romances at age 8 with a confiscated copy of The Thorn Birds. This led to a love affair with Harlequin and Loveswept starting at age 9, and my love of all things romance has grown exponentially ever since. If a book or movie doesn’t have a romance in it, I don’t read or watch it. Minus The Shawshank Redemption. Then again, Andy and Red did have a pretty special relationship…
Tell us about how you write:
I have two children and a full teaching schedule as a college English teacher. This means writing late at night, which I semi-jokingly call My Second Day. Which it is, since I work from the time the children go to bed at 7 p.m. until about seven hours later at 2 a.m. Writing is definitely a high priority in my life in order to cut back on precious, much-loved sleep!
I use Word to draft in and Scrivener to revise with. There’s something about having a Scene-by-Scene breakdown that makes the overwhelming task less “whelming.”
Do you listen (or talk to) to your characters?
I create interviews with my characters, much like the Proust-style interview that is in the back of Vanity Fair. I also hold Barbara Walters’ interviews with my peskier characters, interviews that also have a bit of Homeland Security interrogation to them.
What advice would you give other writers?
I don’t believe in being afraid to write sexy or to write clean. Go with what feels right for the story and tell your Mom which pages to stay away from.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
I decided to self-publish after having too little input with my traditionally published books and having too much back-and-forth with gatekeepers to get my stories published (their concerns: too much of the same story out on the market, the genre isn’t “hot” right now, the characters aren’t homogenous enough to meet market expectations, etc.).
That said, I would advise new authors who’ve never published before to hone their craft first. If you haven’t spent at least five years TRYING to be conventionally published, hold off on trying to self-publish. Your quality control skills aren’t up to speed yet.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I think the future of indie publishing is bright and exciting and full of possibilities. But it’s a future that requires a lot of hard work, more than the traditional route. Think of traditional publishing as shoveling the front walk after a storm dumps five feet of snow. Think of indie publishing as shoveling an acre of farm land after that same storm.
What genres do you write?
What formats are your books in?