Like her heroine, Corrie Locke, Lida Sideris worked as an entertainment attorney for a film studio. Unlike her heroine, she did not get blackmailed into investigating the suspicious death of a co-worker.
Lida resides in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, their rescue shepherds, and a flock of uppity chickens. She was one of two national recipients of the Helen McCloy/Mystery Writers of America scholarship for mystery writing.
BMH: What is something you wish someone would have told you before you became an author?
LS: That it’s such a wonderful, action-packed adventure! I would have tried to get published sooner had I known what fun I was in for.
BMH: Why crime fiction?
LS: I cut my teeth on mysteries and thought it would be a challenge to write (that’s what took me so long). It’s what I enjoy, especially mysteries of the light-hearted variety.
BMH: Have you written in other genres?
LS: I’ve written magazine articles and started a work of historical fiction, but not yet; the mystery genre is my favorite.
BMH: What is something you’ve never written about, but hope to some day?
LS: I’ve had a fantasy/sci fi brewing in me for a long while that I’m itching to write. Hopefully soon.
BMH: How big a part did your upbringing have on your writing?
LS: No fiction writers in my family, although my grandfather was big on writing reference books (he was a Nobel Laureat winning botanist). It seems I’ve always nursed an inner desire to write.
BMH: What two words best describes your writing style?
LS: Slow and Steady, like the Tortoise in the Tortoise and the Hare. 🙂
BMH: How do you create your characters? How much of you are in your characters?
LS: My characters are mostly created from chance encounters, on the golf course, in the grocery store, even a face in a magazine. There are bits and pieces of me in every character, whether I admit it or not.
BMH: Which is more fun to write, protagonist or antagonist?
LS: I like my protaganist. I like to watch her grow and learn from mistakes. She’s very stubborn though and it takes her a few times to get the message, but what can I do?
BMH: Outliner or seat-of-your-pants writer?
LS: A little of both. I try to get the story out, but take notes/outline along the way. I come back with what I’ve got in the initial draft and use the outline to make sure it flows.
BMH: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
LS: Back before the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth.
BMH: Do you have a daily writing routine?
LS: In my dreams. I work full-time in a rather intense job, so I write when I can. But when I’m not writing, I’m always thinking about it.
BMH: How do you handle research?
LS: We are good friends. I love to research. Maybe a bit too much because I end up with a lot of information I don’t use in the book. But suffice it to say, I think I’d be a pretty good Jeopardy player.
BMH: How much editing do you do as you write your first draft?
LS: It’s a struggle, because I also like editing. But with the first draft, I remind myself of the importance of spitting out the story, after which I can edit to my heart’s content.
BMH: How do you use social media to promote yourself?
LS: I’m on Facebook and Twitter and my website has a blog. That’s it for now, but I hope to expand shortly.
BMH: What comes first for you, characters or plot?
LS: I need a general idea of what’s going to happen, so plot for me. For instance, in my second book in the Corrie Locke series, I know that her best friend/possible love interest was going to be accidentally implicated in a murder and it would be up to Corrie to save him.
BMH: Why do you write?
LS: Because I feel unsatisfied when I don’t. It’s a wellspring of happiness for me when I do write.
BMH: Who do you write for?
LS: Fun-loving readers, adventure seekers, readers who just want to escape real life. And for myself and my mom because we fall into those categories.
BMH: You can go back in time, meet and chat with anyone, who would it be? What would you talk about?
LS: Only one person? That’s tough. How about Jane Austen? She wrote with such a deft hand and with such keen observation in her short life. I’d like to know how she did it, and in how many drafts? 😉
BMH: How about some hard-earned advice.
LS: Don’t get up from your chair until you write something worthwhile that makes you feel a sense of accomplishment.