Author of romance novels for adults and books for Young Adults, and writing instructor for The Long Ridge Writers Group.
1. Please name your book titles and state where they can be purchased.
My young adult titles are: Merry Christmas, Marcie; Careless Whispers; Skateboard Blues; Sandcastles of Love; plus four YA books I sold to a German publisher back several years ago. My adult contemporary titles are: The Fisherman’s Daughter; Daisies Are Forever; Free to Love; Three Ring Romance; Summer Magic; Her Sister’s Keeper; Star Light, Star Bright; and A House Divided. All can be purchased on Amazon.com and other Internet book stores.
2. At what point in your life did you decided you wanted to be a writer?
When our youngest son was only 3, we learned he had an uncommon hip disease which required two surgeries. During this time, I started keeping a journal—something I hadn’t done since high school. Naively, I suppose, I believed the world might want to share the ordeals I’d been experiencing, and so I started sending off excerpts from that journal to various women's’ magazines. Meanwhile, I’d been perusing writers’ magazines to discover potential to markets for the manuscript and unexpectedly came across an article about how to write young adult romances. Thinking back to the journal I’d kept in high school, I realized I had a treasure chest of information. And that’s how it all started...
3. What obstacles did you have to surmount to begin the creative process?
My greatest obstacle was finding quite time for myself and getting others to take my writing seriously. After I became published, however, those problems improved.
4. Who influenced you the most in deciding to become a writer?
My father, without a doubt. He was always so supportive and proud of my accomplishments. Unfortunately he passed away before he could see my first book in print, but the last time I saw him, he said to me, “You’re going to become a great writer.”
5. Who has been the hardest to convince you are serious about your craft?
I worked part time in nursing while I was also writing, and I was frequently asked to “fill in” for someone else. Though I often complied, there were other times I’d simply have to grit my teeth and explain that I was sorry, but I’d be working at my “other job” that day. My co-workers all knew I was a writer, but there were some who didn’t take my writing seriously.
6. What, if anything, is the one thing that has caused you the most heartache in accomplishing your dream?
Nothing, really. I suppose I could always yearn for more fame and higher sales, but hey, I just consider that one additional goal!
7. What has brought you the greatest joy in seeing your dream of publishing fulfilled?
My greatest joy is being able to help and encourage other new writers. Writing is truly one of the most difficult jobs in the world, in my opinion, and now that I’ve achieved some credibility by being published, I’m more than willing to try to help others break into the industry too. That’s a big part of why I’ve taught the “Breaking Into Print” course for the Long Ridge Writer’s Group for over a decade now.
8. In what direction would you like to see your work take you? (print, movies, audio, etc.)
Right how I’m quite happy to have my books in print (and Large Print), and electronic format. I’ve signed an option agreement with a production company in L.A. for my YA romance, Skateboard Blues—although the outcome is uncertain. Actually, I wasn’t looking for a production company; they came to me after reading my reviews for Skateboard Blues on the Internet. That in itself was a thrill for me.
If you could “cast” one or more of your books, who would you like to see in the lead roles?
Since the Fisherman’s Daughter, a romantic suspense story, is one of my most popular books, I’ll comment on that one. I think Harrison Ford would be perfect for the hero, (who’s an L.A. cop) and Meryl Streep would best portray my heroine, a psychology professor.
You can find out more about Sydell and her books at her web site: