Sidney Bristol has stopped by to chat with the JR Bunnies….
Sidney thanks for stopping by to chat about How Zombies Stole Christmas…
Available from the publisher Talisman, as well as the “usual” sources – http://goo.gl/skmH8F
Tell us a little about How Zombies Stole Christmas, what inspired you to write it?
I sort of took several things I wanted to write, tossed them in a bag, shook them up and this is the book that “fell out”. See, I really wanted to tell an Ugly Duckling story, something with shifters, Jack Frost, Christmas, Russian fairy tales and zombies. This is the book that shook out!!
When you start writing, do you already have the story plotted out or do you let the characters dictate what will happen?
I’m a plotter, so as soon as I get serious about a project I sit down and do an outline, character sketches and a “plot vomit” of what’s in my head.
What inspired you to write in your genre? Is this the genre you started writing in or have you morphed to this one?
I set out wanting to be an epic fantasy author. I basically fell into writing contemporaries on a dare. Paranormal is my happy medium place between what I used to write, and what I write the most.
Who was the toughest character for you to “get right” that you have written so far?
I’d have to say Sammi from His Marriage Bargain, So Inked #3. It’s coming out in 2014 from Ellora’s Cave. Sammi is the son of Jewish Iranian immigrants. There were a lot of religious and historical things to get right. My Jewish friend who proof read for me did a lot of shaking her head. I heard the phrase, “No, honey,” a lot. But it was worth it. That’s one dang good book.
Do you draw inspiration for your characters from real life? Any fun stories you could share?
I used to refuse to write characters based on real people I thought it was an invasion of privacy and people would be offended. Since then I’ve realized that a) people are flattered when they’re included and b) some of these things you can’t make up!!
Some inspiration I’ve had—Elise from Personal Adventures was written in large part because of my college roommate, who was herself half Native American. I wrote my Jewish friend Rebekah into His Marriage Bargain and included a heartwarming story in honor of her as part of the hero’s history. I’ve also taken to naming characters after friends.
What do you find the hardest part of writing?
That’s a hard one. It’s a tossup between either not writing the book too long or knowing when a book is done. I tend to write very long books. It’s not uncommon for them to be around 100,000 words, which is longer than an average novel. I also fret and worry and get several rounds of readers when a book is really finished several rounds before.
Name one thing that your readers would be surprised to know about you.
Gosh—not a lot. I’m pretty active on social media and I’m not shy about my life. I guess that I’m not really as girly as people assume. When I show up to events I do enjoy rolling out the red carpet looks, but by and large—I wear a lot of pj pants, jeans and t-shirts!
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
Hmmmm. Dr Pepper. I could live without anything—except my Dr Pepper.
What TV Show/s are you addicted to?
Oh no… you asked. *sigh* Real Housewives. All of them. I am totally addicted to the franchise. I think there’s only two I’m not crazy about, but still end up watching because I just can’t help myself. I also watch a lot of Animal Planet and crime procedure documentaries.
Do you have a hobby that you like to try and squeeze in?
I knit! I really enjoy it, so whenever I’m not writing and just hanging out, I try to have some knitting going. It keeps me active and helps me stop thinking about my books.
What do you need before you start writing? Anything that is just a must have or the creative juice don’t flow?
I find as I progress in my writing career I’m getting pickier about what I like. Depending on what I’m writing, I can need the right music or maybe silence. And a candle. For some reason I like the curtains pulled back and a candle burning on my desk. No reason, I just like it that way!
Does music influence your writing? If so, do any of your stories have a theme song?
I do think music plays an influence on what I’m writing. Some books have had theme songs, others have playlists. Right now I have a standard play list that I’ve been using across a few books. It’s a collection of fairly recent released tracks that have just spoken to me or interested me enough that I like to listen to them on repeat.
Do you write one book from start to finish or are there multiple works underway at any given time?
When I started I could only write one book at a time. Now I have at least two going at any given time. Sometimes more if edits have landed in my lap!
Where were you when you got your first contract? What was the book and who did you tell first?
I was at home alone. I’d just come back from visiting my Mamaw in the hospital. When I got the email it was rather bittersweet. My Mamaw was dying, and here I had this great news. I think I called my mom first and told her. I usually call her as one of my first must-talk-to people.
How old were you when you read your first romance book?
Oh gosh—maybe 26? So yeah, just a couple of years ago.
Do you have an all-time favorite romance book (not written by you J)?
Sandition by Jane Austen. It’s not one of the official Austen titles since it was completed by someone else, but it’s long been one of my favorite books.
What author causes you to “go fan girl”/ squeal over/anticipate upcoming books?
Oh lord. You guys just want me to admit my crazy, fan girl, stalker ways—don’t you? Cynthia Eden. I’m pretty sure the poor woman is going to take out a restraining order on me.
If you still have one of those pesky non writing jobs what is it?
I do. I don’t talk a lot about it, but I will say that I work for a small, woman owned IT education company. I wear a lot of hats and do a lot of different jobs. Overall, I think it helps give me a nice, wide view on what’s going on in the world. There’s always something new to put my mind to!
Do you have a favorite movie you have seen in the last few months and an all-time favorite?
I haven’t seen any movies lately because of crazy deadlines. So sad, because there’s so many movies out that I’d really like to see. Maybe the most recent one was Pacific Rim. I liked it because it was an action movie that didn’t really try to have a romance. My all-time-favorite movie… Gosh. This is so hard. It’s either Nightmare Before Christmas, Boondock Saints, Monty Phython and the Holy Grail, The Holiday or Connie and Carla. I just can’t pick!!
What are you currently working on, and what else is in the wings?
I’m hard at work on Bayou Bound #2, Duty Bound. This is a full length novel to follow up the story in the Midnight Ink boxed set which released in November. It follows the detective, Mathieu, introduced briefly in the novella, Picture Her Bound. It’s sort of a mash up of kink and suspense.
After that, I’m going to either work on So Inked #4, More than He Can Handle, or Drug of Desire #2 which is still untitled.
If you could co-write with another author who would it be?
Oh gosh… I don’t know! Would it be stalker if I said Cynthia Eden again?
How did you hear about the “bunnies” at Joyfully Reviewed?
I met them at RomantiCon my first year as an author!
Where can readers find you?
And for the silly side –
What is your favorite type of ice cream? Peppermint!! The kind I like can only be purchased at Braums, a sort of ice cream and burger place that seems to be a south-west thing.