Today, I am super excited to be launching the first of my monthly guest author interviews, and who better to kick us off than my writer BFF, USA Today Bestseller, Sidney Halston.
Welcome, Sidney! I am so excited that you're my first guest. It seems very appropriate given you very graciously agreed to blurb my first book! For those who don’t know you, tell us a little bit about yourself and what you write?
Hi Scarlett! Thanks for having me here! Well, I have three small children and a wonderful husband. I’m an attorney, and I still practice law, so basically…I’m just tired most days from juggling everything around. Mostly, I write contemporary romance. I have a six book stand-alone series called, Worth the Fight, which is about an MMA Academy, which was inspired by my husband, who does MMA. My most recent release, PULL ME CLOSE, is the 1st book of a new series called Panic, and it has been very well received. I think it’s because it centers around a woman, Katherine who suffers from severe anxiety. She falls for the owner of a night club, but she’s too afraid to leave her house to do anything about it…at first. And now I’m delving into Romantic Suspense with my next book, KISS MARRY KILL—which you and I share an editor!
We do indeed. Lizzie (our editor at St. Martin's Press) is a rockstar! I'm almost loathe to ask the next question because you're answer will make me green with envy. Where were you were born and where do you live now?
Miami, Florida. Born and raised! Which is something we have in common since you worked here yourself.
I did, and it is why the Second Circle Tattoos series is set in Miami. Can you share with us something you are really proud of?
Besides my family, who are my pride and joy (I know, so corny), I’m really proud of PULL ME CLOSE. It was very close to my heart since I suffer from panic attacks and Katherine has so much of me in her. And I’ve received so many messages from women who thanked me for writing such a real account of what it is to suffer from anxiety.
I was fortunate enough to get an early read of it, and it was an incredibly heartfelt story. Having that kind of impact must be a terrific feeling. What else do you enjoy about being a published author?
I’ve made great friendships. Do your readers know you’re my author BFF, Scarlett? That’s the best part by far. I’m doing something I love to do while making great friends, not just other authors but also readers. Who can ask for more?
YAY! That makes me super happy we are BFFs!! But we both know that writing isn't always flowing words and book releases. So, what do you enjoy least about being a published author?
I feel you, sister! So how do you manage to write so many amazing stories. What is your philosophy toward your work/writing?
My philosophy? Hmm? Well, the first book I wrote, I just sat down and wrote it. I didn’t plan, outline, plot…nothing. I did the same with book 2. Then, I thought I needed to plot and outline and it turned out to be a mess. I’ve tried to change methods a few times, but it turns out that my philosophy is that I have no idea what I’m doing until I’m actually doing it. It all turns out okay at the end. But if you make me structure it—it won’t work. I’m just not made that way. My creative process is chaos, basically.
We are complete opposites in that regard. I plot to within an inch of my life. When and where do you do your best writing?
The first 2 years, I used to go to Starbucks every night from 9 pm to 11 pm 7 days a week. They waited for me with a skinny vanilla latte, and I sat on the comfy couch and typed away. Then, they took away the damn couches and changed to hard wooden chairs. I haven’t been able to write a single word there again. So, now, I right in a big comfy leather couch in my house that does not match the rest of my décor and should be tossed in the garbage. But it’s the only place I can write. So it stays.
One of the settings for Pull Me Close is a nightclub called Panic, which made me wonder do you need silence or music when writing and why?
Definitely noise. I either need loud music. I usually put on ear buds and crank the music. Depending on what pops on in Pandora is how the scene turns out. Music is so important to the tone of the scenes, for me. If not for music, I need the noise from my kids around. I just don’t function in silence. I’m weird that way.
What song lyric best describes you?
Oh…damn. I don’t know. This is a hard question. I like all types of music but I don’t think any one in particular describes me. BUT, since I’m writing right now, maybe Talk Dirty To Me, by Jason Derulo. Hee hee
I went straight to Google Play and put it on so I am listening to it too. Let's talk books for a moment. What is your favorite read of 2017 so far?
I really enjoyed Egomaniac by Vi Keeland. I usually read 3 or so books a week but honestly, I haven’t read much this year because of the tight deadlines. But Egomaniac was great.
I love your stories, you know this, but if you could spend a day with one of your characters, who would you pick and why? (For the record, I’d pick Cain every time!)
Oh, Scarlett, how gloomy! He’s too intense for a day out. I’d probably pick Matt, he’s not even one of my main characters yet. He is Jax’s brother from Pull Me Close, but he’s a good time. Or maybe Travis. Both of them are fun, laid back swoony kind of guys.
I could totally see Travis being a good day out! What are you writing right now?
I’m finishing up, FIRST LAST KISS, it’s the 2nd book of Iron Clad Security my romantic suspense. I’m really liking how it’s coming out. SHE’S the body guard, and I’m loving the role reversal here. She’s so feisty.
Can't wait to read it whenever you are ready to share. But while we wait, why don't you tell us a little about your latest release.
I’ve already told you a little about Pull Me Close, my latest release, so I’ll tell you a little about Kiss Marry Kill, my upcoming release. It’s my first romantic suspense. It’s about Jax and Megan who meet by chance five years ago at a baseball game and end up sending four magical days together. He goes off to war and she goes off to make it as a rock star. They reunite when he sees a photo of her on TV after a stalker breaks into her house. Then he goes in—all alpha male protector—to guard her and try to catch the stalker.
Thanks so much for swinging by for a visit on my blog, my lovely! It's been a pleasure.
Sidney has very kindly offered to giveaway an e-book of PULL ME CLOSE. To enter, all you have to do, is tell Sidney and I which book boyfriend you'd like to spend the day with! Competition open until March 3rd.
You can reach Sidney at the following places: