Mystery/romantic suspense author Lida Sideris sits for an interview today. Learn more about Lida and her books at her website.
When did you realize you wanted to write novels?
I first realized the possibility of creating an escape hatch from daily life through the power of imagination and words after I read Gone With The Wind. I was in grammar school when that seed was planted.
How long did it take you to realize your dream of publication?
For this book: Nearly three years.
Are you traditionally published, indie published, or a hybrid author?
Traditionally published by a small New York press.
Where do you write?
In my home office or the library, but when the writing bug is going strong, I can parachute into the Gobi desert and start writing (I've not tried this, but I bet I could!).
Is silence golden, or do you need music to write by? What kind?
I need silence so I can better hear what my characters have to say to me.
How much of your plots and characters are drawn from real life? From your life in particular?
Many of my plots and characters are drawn from brief encounters I've had with people and situations. For instance, the subplot involving a basketball superstar and the kidnapping of his lucky charm was born after a chance meeting with a real basketball legend. Both my heroine and I worked as lawyers in a movie studio.
Describe your process for naming your character?
Naming is fun for me; I go through a few and then pick one, but there are some I change along the way, as the character's personality unfolds. For example, one secondary character initially named Krissy became Paprika because she was a bit fiery. I play with names, changing them, sometimes through several drafts, until the character is completely formed and the name sticks fast.
Real settings or fictional towns?
Real towns and cities and streets (almost all), but make-believe buildings and homes.
What’s the quirkiest quirk one of your characters has?
In a book brimming with character quirks, it's hard to pick. My main character, a lawyer and amateur sleuth, carries a cache of weaponry, legal and otherwise, in the trunk of her car, which she whips out as needed.
What’s your quirkiest quirk?
I'm quirk-free if you don't count that I make my own yogurt using a heating pad and...you said quirk, singular, right?
If you could have written any book (one that someone else has already written,) which one would it be? Why?
That's really tough because there are so many quality books that I admire, fiction and nonfiction, but I'd have to go with To Kill A Mockingbird because it sucked me into a vacuum and spit me out once it was done. Every word counted.
Everyone at some point wishes for a do-over. What’s yours?
I think it's what most writers wish: to have been able to write a novel worth publication much sooner.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
Time-wasters. I've become quite the expert at wasting my own time when I should be writing.
You’re stranded on a deserted island. What are your three must-haves?
Family, friends and a good size public library.
What was the worst job you’ve ever held?
One holiday season in college, I was a gift-wrapper at a large department store. Possibly the worst gift-wrapper known to man. My packages had lumps and lopsided ribbons and too much tape. One customer felt so sorry for me, he left me a large tip, possibly to buy me off so I'd quit my ill-fitting job.
What’s the best book you’ve ever read?
Too many to mention. I can't possibly narrow it to one.
Ocean or mountains?
Mountains. I prefer climbing to swimming.
City girl/guy or country girl/guy?
I'm a city girl living in the country, which I love!
What’s on the horizon for you?
I'm working on installment two of the Corrie Locke mystery series.
Anything else you’d like to tell us about yourself and/or your books?
Yes, any resemblance between my heroine and me are purely coincidental. It's true, we're the same height, from Southern California, drive similar cars, and we're both lawyers. But I have no weapons, legal or illegal, no PI background, I'm married to the only hot guy I know, and have never been asked to investigate an alien encounter.
Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters
Watch out Southern California! There’s a new entertainment attorney in town and she’s got game. Only problem is, it’s not the one she should be playing. Corrie Locke belongs behind a desk, not behind a Glock. She should be taking VIP calls, not nosing around a questionable suicide. Instead, she’s hot on the trail of a murderer.
Luckily, she’s the daughter of a late, great private eye and she’s inherited his love of sleuthing…and illegal weaponry. It doesn’t help matters that her gene for caution is a recessive one. Corrie finds herself in the center of a murder case, unearthing suspects in shocking places. With a cold-blooded killer on the loose, Corrie will have to up her game, or die trying.