Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Meet Sydney St. Claire

My guest today in My Writing Corner is Sydney St. Claire. Tell us about your journey to
publication. When and how did you get your first book published?

Wow, this will be a journey into the past! I started writing in the early 80’s. I didn’t have publishing in mind. Just had a scene stuck in my head and thought I’d write it. It was a love scene between a Native American and white woman. I was reading lots of western and Native American historicals at that time. So I thought I’d see if I could write a love scene.
Well, a funny thing happened. I had to know what brought those two characters, Sarah & Golden Eagle from my first book, White Wind, together. It was the wilderness, so what was she doing out there alone. Before I knew it, I had four chapters! I was encouraged by my sister-in-law to finish the story and that began my writing career. She sent me a book: How to Write Romance and get Published (I believe). That book became my bible. Keep in mind, there was no internet yet so I had whatever resources of the library or bookstores.

I persisted, learned my craft, wrote, rewrote. It took me three years to finish the book as I had a young family so I wrote on and off, having to sometimes skip three or more months. It took another four years to rewrite and learn the business of writing, how to submit (I made all the classic mistakes in submitting) and improve on the craft of writing. Things like starting out with “It’s was a beautiful day” had to go, as did almost the first two and a half chapters. I learned to use flashback and thought <g>
After four years of submitting, my manuscript sat in the slush pile at Dorchester for a year. To my surprise and shock, I was offered a contract on the very first book I wrote. A year later, I held my first copy of a book I’d written. Total time: nine very long years! I published my historical romances under my real name Susan Edwards

What made you want to be a writer?
I think I’ve always been a writer. But not in the typical sense. I wasn’t a kid who wrote stories or even told stories. I dreamed stories. From my earliest memories of playing with dolls and stuffed animals, I remember creating scenarios for my playthings. Looking back, they were stories. Even then, there was a good guy and bad, a situation, a beginning, middle and end and the required happy ever after ending.

I grew from there to daydreaming in school. And they were stories with plots, which of course I didn’t recognize. I would have been far too embarrassed or ashamed even of putting those stories on paper, yet I remember some of them because, like a writer, I rewrote them, over and over. Years might go by and I’d pull out that daydream and rewrite it, polish it, etc.
This was a part of me my entire life. Until I started writing. Once I found I could create stories on paper, the need to create in my mind went away. I’d work on my books instead.

So the simple answer is, I’ve always been a writer. I just didn’t discover my gift until much later in life.
You write erotica. Why did you choose that particular genre?

Anyone remember that movie: A Funny Thing Happened On The Way to the Forum? I was seeking to rebrand myself after Dorchester went under. I had two series with them that no one else wanted, though I did sell the White Series backlist to Carina Press. In need of income, I found an online freelance site and discovered ghostwriting/work for hire jobs.
There were a lot of writing jobs out there. Some, the pay was unrealistic like 500 for a 60k book! But I found a bunch of erotica novella jobs and applied. I was hired. I was a bit worried about writing short, BDSM, and contemporary but I didn’t have anything to lose but a bit of time. It turned out, I was good at it. The internet is a wonderful place for research! The woman who hired me gave me more work and increased my pay!

During a break, I decided to write one for myself: Cinderella & Prince Dom. I sent it to Wild Rose Press and again, to my surprise, Diana offered a contract on that story and the other five in the series. I can’t say I choose the genre but the genre choose me! I was in the right time, right place when I got that very first free-lance assignment. I publish the erotica books under the name of Sydney St. Claire.
What gave you the idea for this story?
I love writing a series so I was looking to create a series. I was also going to stick with the BDSM subgenre of erotica and one day, Once Upon a Dom came to me and that naturally led to Fairytales. I like to say these are fairy tales your mother never read you.

What do you like best about your hero?

One thing I like was his devotion to his wife who died of cancer. After her death, he wasn’t a saint but no one had taken her place and he couldn’t participate in the BDSM events he put on. Without her, it didn’t feel right. That changed with Jaimie. He’s a good, strong character but I really liked it that he could admit when he’s wrong. He was the victim of a group of employees embezzling from him. Jaimie was fired before he learned of it. Jaimie’s boss framed her. His sense of justice demands that he learn if she had been involved or framed. When he discovers she is innocent, he tries to do what’s right to make restitution. Of course, he does it in a way to bring Jaimie to him so he can offer her that coveted happy ever after!
What about your heroine?

Jaimie is just plain spunky. She’s lost her job, her cat just died and her car has broken down but she doesn’t whine about it. She really had a lot of reasons to be bitter. She’d discovered the embezzling and gotten herself fired and framed. But she presses on. She’s also vanilla and has no idea what she’s getting herself into when she agrees to go with her friend to Pleasure Manor for a weekend of fun and sex.
Who are some of the favorite writers in your genre?

I love Cherise Sinclair and her Masters of Shadowlands series and there are several other Wild Rose Authors whose erotica stories I’ve enjoyed. Marie Tuhart’s Quick Silver Ranch, Louisa Masters Diving Deep. That’s just a few.
What are you working on now?

I’m working on Snow & Her Huntsman which is book three in the Once Upon a Dom series. It will be out early 2015. Edits for Red & The Big Bad Dom are due anytime!
Do you have any words of advice for beginning writers who might like to try erotica?

Read it and read it with an open mind and a can-do attitude. Leave your squeamish self-locked outside of your office and your personal beliefs as well. It’s a business, so if you want to try it, then do it. I’d never written erotica beyond a very short story that never sold. I’d certainly never even considered writing BDSM before but I manned up and got the job done. And at some point, if I continue with this series, I’ll be adding a foursome! My wonderful editor had a comment about my Goldilocks and the 3 Dom story that made me go 'yikes'! Yikes. Oh, research! Reading is research but crawl through the web as well! There is certainly a lot out there.
How about a blurb?

Jaimie Newberry is jobless, her rent is due, and her cat just died. On top of that, she was accused of embezzling before she was fired. When her friend invites her for a weekend of kinky fairytale role-playing, she agrees to go as Cinderella. What has she got to lose when sex with a handsome prince is involved?
CEO Bryce Langston needs to know if Jamie is innocent of embezzlement or just very clever. He arranges for her to be his weekend sub but soon realizes the pretty scullery maid is na├»ve to the BDSM lifestyle. As her prince and her Dom, he intends to not only learn the truth but to make sure she has a fantasy come true. 

How can readers reach you or find you online?
Trailer:             http://youtu.be/v3w5k5XvkLw
Email:              Sydney@sydneystclaire.com
Website:          http://sydneystclaire.com
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/Sydneystclaire
Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/sydneystclaire
Blog:               http://sydneystclaire.wordpress.com
Goodreads:     https://www.goodreads.com/sydneystclair
Pinterest:         http://www.pinterest.com/sydneystclaire/

Coming Soon Link:  http://bit.ly/1vOUIWS
Buy links       
Wild Rose Press Main Page:  http://wilderroses.com/ (available 9/12/2014)
(Nook & Amazon links available at the publisher website)
Coming Soon Link in case the short link above doesn’t work
http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/wildcatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=182&products_id=1008

Thanks, Sydney for being a guest today and good luck with your book.  Any questions for Sydney?
 

6 comments:

  1. Sydney, This sounds soooo exciting. Good Luck

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  2. Thank you Rebecca for having me today. I had fun answering your questions. I have the amazon preorder link now. It's http://amzn.to/1zUYwGp So very excited to be sharing this first erotica book with you all

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  3. I love hearing about the journey writers take to publication. Yours is so fascinating. All those years of writing, re-writing, and waiting finally paid off. The title and cover of your latest book will definitely get some attention. Best of luck with it.

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  4. Hmm, my comment earlier didn't show up! Thanks Christy. I'm curious to see how the erotica does as its a new genre for me.

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  5. Thank you Rebecca for having me. You're awesome!

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