Why interracial?

December 23, 2013 in Dear Reader

picture-her-bound-websiteDear Reader,

I’ve had the question posed to me recently–why go interracial?

This was something that started with the reveal of the Picture Her Bound cover that was in the Midnight Ink boxed set. The hero, Jacques, is obviously a black American. I mostly shrugged it off and explained that I saw Jacques as black from the inception of the book.

What has become increasingly interesting is the idea that suddenly I’m diving into the interracial pool. I’ve been congratulated and ridiculed for this choice. I’m not overly concerned with either reaction. I’m telling love stories. People from all walks of life and backgrounds deserve love, in my opinion. What amuses me is the idea I’ve just started writing interracial.

flirtingwithrescue_msrFlirting with Rescue was my first title as Sidney Bristol. I still to this day love the cover, because it encompassed everything I wanted it to. A sense of fun, how it touches on the country lifestyle of the heroine–and the hero isn’t white. He’s actually the son of an immigrant, single-mother Cuban. I get that at a glance, Scott’s character does not appear far from white, but his race really isn’t an issue in the story.

personaladventures_websiteMy very next novella was Personal Adventures. A story that to this day is still one of my all time favorites because of how hard it pushed me during revisions. My editor really encouraged me to tell a much deeper story than what I first turned in. And it payed off so much! The heroine, while she simply looks very tan on the cover, is actually an Asian-Native American. There isn’t a drop of “white” in her, and her cultural norms do play a role in the story, especially the romance.

In the So Inked books there’s a variety of cultures mixed in. Kelli is half Korean. Mary is Cuban. The love interest in the third book is Iranian. The male love interests of the fourth and fifth books are actually all non-white characters.

Picture Her Bound was not my first interracial book. I guess it appears that way simply because a black skin tone shows up so much bolder than many others. When I announced my book deal with Loveswept, I mentioned that it was an interracial book, and the hero was a mixed ethnicity that includes black.

I feel like fiction should embrace real life. And that includes having people of differing heritage on the page. As a very white author I do feel self-conscious about writing people who aren’t the same ethnic as me. Will I get it right? Could I do the characters justice? There’s a lot of things to consider when writing someone so very different from myself. But I do that all the time. There are lots of my white characters I’m nothing like. Take Bianca from Collar Me in Paris. She’s a white woman–and I would have nothing in common with her. I probably have a lot more in common with Elise from Personal Adventures, to be honest.

The people in my life aren’t all white. They’re a beautiful rainbow of colors. Yes, that is in part to tattoos, but I also mean the skin you’re born in. I’m not writing non-white characters to make a point. I’m writing them because that is who they are. That’s their background and heritage. Do I think we should see more diversity in romance fiction where ethnicity is concerned? Sure. But I also say let the characters be who they need to be.

Sidney Sig

Revamping the Round.

November 27, 2013 in Blog Meme

This entry is part 7 of 9 in the series ROW 80

#ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.

MidnightInk175x285Whew! I missed last week’s check-in due to a massive book release. The boxed set, Midnight Ink, released. It was a great success and honestly working with the ladies has been a fantastic experience. We’ve made the rounds, had our parties and now the book is off and chugging along.

If you want a copy, it’s available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, All Romance eBooks and Kobo. It’s also enrolled in Amazon’s Matchbook program, where if you purchase the print version, you get the ebook at a greatly reduced price.

I’ve also been writing like a fiend! I’ve officially won NaNoWriMo, with over 50,000 words written this month–and I’m not done. I can’t afford to be done! OMG way too much to do!

There’s also been some serious work behind the scenes, a lot of which impacts my immediate writing schedule. I know I came into this ROW80 with some heft goals, and they’re just getting bigger. In the true spirit of maneuvering your goals to fit you, I’m going to have to do some switching around!

hottango_50For posterity’s sake, here’s what I’d wanted to do:

I’m still working on finishing the draft of Line of Duty, Good Guys Wear Black #2. I should honestly finish it this week. It’s so close to being ready for some editing love, a quick read and off to the editor! I’ve already seen edits for Hot Tango, book 1 in the series, and it’s shaping up to be a spicy little book. I would anticipate Hot Tango releasing in the first quarter of next year.

So Inked LogoSo Inked #3 is officially off to the editor and not on my radar for a month or two. I could use a break–even though I’m dying to jump back in the series! There’s some big stuff that will be happening in book 4. Someone’s getting married, there might be babies, and you know someone is getting laid. But for now, I’m glad for a little break.

picture-her-bound-50Bayou Bound #2 has some serious chops to it, but sadly I’m going to have to postpone work on this book until January due to scheduling conflicts. One of the great things about intending to self-publish a book is that you control the schedule. One of the horrible things about self-publishing is that you control the schedule. Never fear, this book will be awesome, and it will also feature a short story called Picture Her Loved which is a follow up to Picture Her Bound in Midnight Ink. It’s all crazy connected! But that is officially on the 2014 docket.

holidayspicesmallHoliday Spice wasn’t on the list when we started, but it is now. This is a short story in a multi-author anthology that came out in early November, but there’s been some hiccups. While it’s available on Amazon, it’s nowhere else to be seen, which really bites for my non-Kindle readers. I’ve learned about agencies doing self-publishing though, so I can walk away from the experience with knowledge under my belt.

How Zombies Stole Christmas is a week away from release! Woohoo! I’m not sure I’m ready, but it’s about to happen whether I am or not. I haven’t heard much feedback yet about it, but I’m hoping readers love it as much as I loved writing it. I need a reason to write another book in this world!! I was actually brainstorming another potential idea for a third story in this world. I have one I’m trying to find time to write. It’s all plotted out and everything! Here’s hoping 2014 isn’t as uber busy as I’m thinking it could be.

How Zombies Stole ChristmasProject Paper Bag is my super seekrit addition to the list, taking the spot of Bayou Bound #2. It’s one of those rare opportunities that land in your lap and you can’t say no to. This project has a due date of 1/1/14, and I’m still drafting the book. It’s  not an ideal timeline, but I can make it work!

So what does my revamped ROW80 list look like?

Oh, and did I mention that my family surprise decided I am hosting Thanksgiving? Yeah… off to clean and prep the brisket for tomorrow. Happy Holidays!!

Sidney Sig

Writing through life.

October 23, 2013 in Blog Meme

This entry is part 2 of 9 in the series ROW 80

 #ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.

I had a very odd conversation with a fellow writer this last week. It revolved around things I can’t yet talk about, family issues, drama and social stress. There’s a lot of stuff going on, basically, and the heart of the conversation revolved around the question: How do I keep writing with so much stuff going on?

My answer is basically: I dunno.

I’ve always been a do’er. Growing up, the important thing to my parents was what you did. It always annoyed me because I thought the most important thing is who you are. But that’s a whole other can of worms. What I can take away from the values my parents tried to instill in me is that even when things are tough, you still have to do.

For example, growing up we had livestock, horses, cattle, dogs, probably a buffalo or a donkey every now and then. They all had to be taken care of. It didn’t matter what bones were broken, if I had stitches, was sick with a 100+ fever or if it was sleeting, those animals had to be taken care of. It’s what you did no matter the circumstances.

Mario and YoshiThese days, it’s only a few steps to the food bowl to pour food in the cat’s dish. It’s more about writing, even when I don’t feel like it or when I’d rather obsess about my email. You put one word in front of the other and make it work. Sure, the words might be crap, but at least they’re there and I can polish, shine or even rewrite sections once I know what doesn’t work.

All this said, I’ve had a solid writing week. I didn’t make my daily goal every day. This weekend I went to do a hay ride and maze, and some days the time just wasn’t there to make all the words happen, but my two books are progressing wonderfully, and I’m almost back on track word-count-wise with where I want to be. It’s a good feeling, but not as good as it would be if I were on track!

So where am I at with this #ROW80?

  • The second Good Guys Wear Black book is rocking right along. I ran into a hiccup last week when I realized that for the very first time ever, I didn’t have enough plot going on, so I’m now fixing that with a no-brainer solution. I could smack myself for not seeing this sooner!
  • The second Bayou Bound book is just awesome. Really loving this one!
  • The Midnight Ink release is getting closer!! I’m super excited about it.
  • How Zombies Stole Christmas is done with line edits, we’re nailing down the corners and very soon, it’ll be out for all to read!
  • My possible other Christmas project is contracted, Kinky Bells is in the Holiday Spice anthology to be out in early November!

Keep writing! Keep going!

Sidney Sig

When to expect the next book?

October 21, 2013 in Let Me Tell You, My Books

theharderhefalls_msrSo Inked LogoDear Readers,

I had a question last week about when books were coming out, so I thought I’d make a projection blog. Unfortunately the publishing process is a slow monster, so I cannot say for sure when books will be out, but I can give you an estimate! I’m going to do this by series, and then recap an order at the very bottom. Please keep in mind these are estimates only, and things are always subject to change due to schedules and unforeseen issues.

The So Inked books are by far the ones that get this question the most. Under His Skin and The Harder He Falls are currently available everywhere ebooks are sold. The third book, His Marriage Bargain, is written and shall soon be in the hands of my editor for the slice n’ dice process before the finishing polish happens and you get to read it. I would speculate that this book would be out by Spring or Summer 2014. More than He Can Handle, book four, will be written early on in 2014, so I’d hope for a Fall/Winter 2014 release. That leaves His Little Fighter, the fifth and final installment of the So Inked books for a 2015 release, though I should have it written in 2014.

hottango_msrThe Good Guys Wear Black books are still relatively unknown to people, but soon, very soon, you will know the wonder that is Hot Tango. I’m estimating an early 2014 release for Hot Tango. I’m currently writing the second book, Line of Duty, which I’d hope to be on sale sometime in the Summer of 2014. The third and final book won’t be out until late 2014, maybe even 2015 depending on schedules. That sucks, because book three is going to be soooo awesome!

MidnightInk72The Bayou Bound books will be kicking off in November with the Midnight Ink boxed set release. I’m hoping to follow up the novella, Picture Her Bound, in the boxed set with a full length novel in January or February 2014. I’d hope to also release a third book, also a novel, sometime in 2014, but that depends on my schedule. The book is planned out, it’s just a matter of writing!

Tales from the Secret Realms is another series that kicks off this holiday season with How Zombies Stole Christmas. This series is a shared world and will be skipping all over the globe to visit magical havens for modern day fae and wondrous creatures. I have some projects for these worlds in the works, with maybe a summer beach novella and a Halloween novella in the works for 2014. Again, this is dependent on scheduling!

I’m hoping that through 2014 I’ll also be able to do some short stories in the line of Once Upon a Time in Mukdahan and Kinky Bells, both of which are included in anthologies. There was such a great response to writing a hero with a prosthetic limb, I want to do more of these! I also have plans to rerelease at least one short story and write a few more as stand-alones or tie-in’s to current series to poke at supporting characters.

picture-her-boundThat’s everything I can tell you about. There’s always stuff in the background or in the works that I can’t talk about, but hopefully soon. Ya know, if everything pans out.

Here’s a cheat-list of the expected schedule, including the rest of this year’s releases:

And that’s enough to make me want to go back to bed!!!!

Sidney Sig

The first week.

October 16, 2013 in Blog Meme

This entry is part 3 of 9 in the series ROW 80

 #ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.

I feel like the round literally just started. As in, yesterday. Not a whole week ago!

Some weeks pass in a blink of an eye. This happened in part because I spent the last six days at RomantiCon, an erotic romance convention. I’m going to do a full recap tomorrow, but it was a lot of fun. This group of authors are always a blast.

As far as writing goes, I got a little done. Mostly editing, but writing some words did happen! It wasn’t as much as I’d hoped, but I’m not quite in the hole as much as I could have been.

Words happened on both Good Guys Wear Black #2, Line of Duty, and Bayou Bound #2, Duty Bound. It’s slightly confusing having two books with Duty titles, but this is the situation. It’s not that bad.

Good Guys Wear BlackCurrently, my editor and I are in a race to see who finishes their project first, her or I. We’re pretty much going to trade books, her giving me Good Guys Wear Black #1, Hot Tango, and me giving her So Inked #2, His Marriage Bargain. It was a lot of fun getting to hang out with my editor this last weekend. There’s no telling when I’ll get to see her again.

For now, it’s back to the writing cave. I have many words to make up for!

That’s about as much as my update can take this week. I’m going to drag off for some lunch now.

Sidney Sig

Radio Quiet but Book Busy!

September 25, 2013 in Dear Reader, My Books

Hello Dear Readers!

I’ve been a little remiss in posting about general “stuff” because there’s just so much other “stuff” going on. I mean, just last week I announced a new series and a boxed set. It’s a lot going on, what with The Harder He Falls barely out on its own. I wanted to take a moment and update the readers on where books and series are.

So Inked LogoSo Inked

Possibly my biggest question is, when is the next So Inked book coming out? With The Harder He Falls just out, it’s really on people’s mind. Well, I just finished writing So Inked #3 and sent it off to critique partners to rip to shreds with their machetes and red pens. I would anticipate a summer 2014 release for this book–but don’t quote me on it!

This leaves two books still to write in the series, because yes, Carly is getting a book.

hottango_50Good Guys Wear Black

I announced the debut of a romantic suspense series earlier this year with a book called Hot Tango. It’s the product of my time spent in Citizen’s Police Academy and my love of suspense, with really twisted bad guys. I don’t really have an update on the status of the release of this book. I would expect early 2014, but I have no power over that.

October I will begin writing the second book in this series, Line of Duty. It features a couple introduced in book one, and I’m really excited to jump back into the world of the Metro City SWAT.

Currently this series is a planned trilogy!

Get Excited Midnight Ink Is Coming 03 smallerMidnight Ink boxed set.

I announced this last week, but it bears mentioning. This project just keeps getting cooler! I finished my novella, Picture Her Bound, and I’ve moved on to the follow up. It is so exciting!

Tales from the Secret Realms

This has morphed a little due to behind the scenes stuff and it’s rolling into something very cool. How Zombies Stole Christmas will be one of the first books in a multi-author world and series that tells the stories of what happens in the shadows. I’m already planning out several books. Most of them will be weird monster stories and twists on standard fairy tales.

Bayou Bound

This is linked to the Midnight Ink boxed set. Picture Her Bound is the first installment of this series, and I hope to follow it with the second book very soon. I think people will really want more of these New Orleans kinksters. I’m over the moon about writing this new series!

Sidney Sig

Whirlwind attack!

September 18, 2013 in Blog Meme

This entry is part 14 of 14 in the series ROW 80 3rd quarter 2013

 #ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.

Sometimes opportunity passes you by, and others, it grabs you and yanks you into the current.

This last week I had both happen.

I had a really awesome opportunity come at me, I reached out, but it wasn’t to be. For a lot of reasons it was a physical impossibility to contort my life and schedule into the necessary mold. I hated to see it happen.

Days later, during a seemingly innocent conversation about a really neat thing a friend of mine is putting together, she paused, bat her eyes as she is wont to do when trying to get her way, and asked if I wanted to play in the sandbox with her and the rest of the cool kids. The circumstances are still a contortion act, I really can’t talk about the specifics–yet–but I’m allowing myself to be swept up in the excitement of it all and just make it happen.

As a result, I’ve just about lived writing, books and edits for the last week. I’ve been talking a lot about balance in my life, and I really enjoy being able to do it all, but sometimes you can’t have it all. You have to put priority on things and this is that season. For the Get Excited Midnight Ink Is Coming 03 smallerremainder of the year I will have a crazy work load, to the point of having to not do some things. It’s going to stretch me, put me to the test, but I hope it will be worth it.

On top of this, I’ve made some good progress on my other goals for this #ROW80, as it draws to a close!

My new list of goals:

  • Finish editing So Inked #3
  • Complete the anthology short story
  • Send anthology short story out for edits
  • Finish expansion on Dream Vacation (this would be the short story I got the rights back on)

Monday I jotted the final words and tweaked that last sentence on So Inked #3 and sent it off for a critique. Chances are it will be back in my hands later this week, but for a few blissful days I get to pretend like this baby is flying the nest.

Monday I also submitted another short story. I don’t anticipate hearing back from the editor/publisher until the beginning of next year, but I’m patient.

Dream Vacation is the project that’s suffering. Poor little shortie. If all goes well, it’ll go out early 2014 unless I get a gap to wrap it up. It is very close to being ready to go, but that little jump feels like a mighty leap with so many other things clamoring for my attention.

This next week will be crazy. There’s no way around it. That’s just how it’ll be.

One of the key methods for me to get anything done at all right now is the use of to-do-lists and checking things off as I go. Even things like eating and showers go on the list, because when you’re really hooked sometimes you forget those things. Yes, that’s where I’m at! The process can be different for everyone, this is just what’s working for me.

I also didn’t realize that #ROW80 was ending this week. Sad! But I’ve accomplished everything I set out to do with my first and only goal of the round. I’m happy with my progress. :)

Sidney Sig

Hard at Work!

September 11, 2013 in Blog Meme

This entry is part 12 of 14 in the series ROW 80 3rd quarter 2013

 #ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.

Another week, another page!

I’ve been hard at work, or as much as I can with birthday celebrations going on around me for a few people. All in all, I’m happy with the progress I’ve made. I think it’s not so much the sum of the numbers I’ve accrued since the beginning of the month.

Yesterday I watched a National Geographic documentary about the impact stress has on baboons and how it relates to humans. It was a fascinating, biological and socially relevant piece about how our self worth and perceived level of importance impact our lives. I’ve been on a “less stress” kick for a while now for my own benefit and health reasons. That said, I feel like whenever I enter the editing stage with a book, my stress level doubles.

Bassorilievo, Roberto Ferrari from Campogalliano (Modena), Italy

Bassorilievo, Roberto Ferrari from Campogalliano (Modena), Italy

Don’t get me wrong, I highly enjoy editing. The whole process of sculpting, scraping away and adding bits to make the picture as a whole more pleasing. I often find that to be more enjoyable than slapping the first words on the page, though that process is more emotionally draining. The last full length book made me cry. Twice. The whole crying thing never happened before I wrote the last two So Inked books, so I guess they don’t suck, right?

I’m highly goal driven, and it shows in my daily activities, how I keep myself on track and it’s a hard thing to turn off, but I’ve been managing to do a lot more this year as far as putting aside the writing and the stress and the crazy, and just have fun. That doesn’t mean I don’t stress about OMG WRITING DEADLINE! It just happens a little less.

Being able to say the word, “No,” every now and then actually helps as well. I had to tell myself no on a really cool potential project this week because I’m at my commitment limit for the remainder of the year. I’m pretty sure I have enough stuff to do to carry me into 2014, but that’s not why we’re here. We’re here about this week and #ROW80!

So Inked LogoLast week I revamped my goals to look a little like this:

  • Finish editing So Inked #3
  • Complete the anthology short story
  • Send anthology short story out for edits
  • Finish expansion on Dream Vacation (this would be the short story I got the rights back on)

I’m hugely relieved to have finished the first pass of edits on So Inked #3, as of last night. It’s not complete. I need to add some scenes, do a tad more research and then it’s off for first round critiques. It’s exciting to see a series half finished!

The anthology short story is near submission ready. I was really lucky to have several people look over it, and I feel confident saying it’s going to be a good little gem. As soon as I’m done with it, I’ll be able to move onto Dream Vacation. Wondering if I should target a winter release, or wait a while longer for a more appropriate, seasonal release since it’s a beachy story.

Plenty of irons in the fire this week, but I’m not stressing about it! What’s the point? :)

Sidney Sig

New goals!

September 4, 2013 in Blog Meme

This entry is part 13 of 14 in the series ROW 80 3rd quarter 2013

 #ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.

Man, it feels pretty weird to have already knocked out my big goal for #ROW80. I mean, don’t get me wrong, I’m totally happy dancing over here that I’m technically done, but it’s beyond time to shift into high gear on the next leg of my journey.

HighOctaneHeroesSo, since it’s been a minute since I did my last #ROW80 post, I’ll recap!

To start this round, I just wanted to finish the draft of So Inked #3, His Marriage Bargain. I wrapped that up in August, gave myself about a week away from it, and started editing like crazy on it. I’m already over 100 pages into the book, so I’ve hit that murky, messy middle part. I’m alternating between thinking it’s an amazing book–and it sucks, so it’s about par the course.

In the meantime, the High Octane Heroes anthology released yesterday. *wild cheering* I’m also working on two different short stories. One is for an anthology, the other is an expansion of a previous anthology story that I have the rights back on and plan on re-releasing some point in the near future.

I’m staying super busy, there’s never any doubt that’s happening.

dreamvacationBetween now and the end of this #ROW80, I think I’d like to:

  • Finish editing So Inked #3
  • Complete the anthology short story
  • Send anthology short story out for edits
  • Finish expansion on Dream Vacation (this would be the short story I got the rights back on)

It’s a good list that will keep me really busy for the next few weeks, that’s for sure! My daily schedule of getting up early to write before work, during my lunch hour and then after work is really functioning well. Sure, I’m not spending as much time with my writing work, but I’m making all the time count instead of piddling it away.

Here’s to another great week.

Sidney Sig

Winning the race.

August 25, 2013 in Blog Meme

This entry is part 11 of 14 in the series ROW 80 3rd quarter 2013

 #ROW80 is A Round of Words in 80 Days. It’s a quarterly writing challenge where you define your personal goals and blog each week about your progress. It’s made to be flexible and allow for tweaking.

I find myself in an odd place.

When I set out for this round of #ROW80, I had one goal. To finish the first draft of So Inked #3, His Marriage Bargain. I knew this would be a big book. A very big one. It clocked in right at 92,000 words, and will easily grow by a few thousand (Okay, probably 10K) in edits.

Having this finished, and finished early, is such a relief. I’m excited. And looking forward to edits. Revising is actually a favorite of mine. And getting to the finish line is even more exciting! I’m at the halfway point in a series. There’s so much cool stuff coming, it’s exciting!

So Inked LogoFor the remainder of #ROW80 I’m going to do a few random tasks, get some short stories finished up and out the door. Edits are underway on some other projects.

I’ve already begun the revising process for So Inked #3 after a week away from the project. I wish I could give it more distance, but there’s not time in the schedule for that. Sadly, I was really knocked off my rocker with a bad infection that zapped my strength all week. With a super powerful round of antibiotics under my belt, I’m back on track! I have the release of High Octane Heroes staring me in the face, as well as edits for How Zombies Stole Christmas in my lap. Then there’s two other editing projects and one writing project underway.

All in all, I’m still a very busy girl. And that’s how I like it!

Sidney Sig