Friday, October 14, 2011
Dishing it up with Sibel Hodge
JET: Can you tell us about Be Careful What You Wish For?
Sibel: Be Careful What You Wish For is the second book in my chick lit mystery series. Think Janet Evanovich meets Gemma Halliday…
Armed with cool sarcasm and uncontrollable hair, feisty insurance investigator Amber Fox is back in a new mystery combining murder and mayhem with romance and chicklit…
A safety deposit box robbery.
The boxing heavyweight champion of the world.
Somehow, they’re all related, and Amber has to solve a four year old crime to find out why.
As she stumbles across a trail of dead bodies and a web of lies spanning both sides of the social divide, it’s starting to get personal. Someone thinks Amber’s poking her nose in where it’s not wanted, sparking off a game of fox and mouse – only this time, Amber’s the mouse.
Amber’s forced to take refuge in the home of her ex-fiancé, Brad Beckett, and now it’s not just the case that’s hotting up. So is the bedroom…
All Levi Carter wanted to be was the boxing heavyweight champion of the world, but at what cost?
All Carl Thomas wanted was to be rich, but would his greed be his downfall?
All Brad Beckett wants is to get Amber back, but there’s a reason for the ex word.
Be careful what you wish for…you might just get it.
JET: What drew you to romantic comedy?
Sibel: I think my personality dictated that I write chick lit. I’m fun-loving and I’ve always loved to make people laugh. I’m a big fan of screwball comedy so my books have a lot of quirky, slapstick comedy in them.
JET: What’s been your most challenging hurdle on the road to publication?
Sibel: Getting people to notice your books. Considering there are over 900,000 books on Amazon Kindle, it’s pretty daunting. Unless you’re very lucky, it won’t happen overnight. I think patience is the key, and it takes a lot of time and effort to market yourself and your books.
JET: What was your favorite moment in the journey?
Sibel: Seeing my books on sale for the first time. It was scary, exciting, rewarding, and mind-blowing all in one.
JET: Which authors had the most influence over you growing up?
Sibel: When I was younger I read things like Enid Blyton’s Mallory Towers series. But are far as influences on my writing; that would have to be authors like Sophie Kinsella, Janet Evanovich, Marian Keyes, and Catherine Alliott.
Sibel: Ever since I was old enough to scrawl my first word, which was Halibaaaaa, I knew I wanted to write books. OK, so the word didn’t actually make sense, and it might take a little longer for me to actually string a whole sentence together, but that didn’t put me off. I was going to write books and no one would stop me…
JET: What’s the craziest thing you’ve done in the name of book research? Most interesting fact you uncovered?
Sibel: I worked for the police for ten years so I actually use a lot of my experiences in my chick lit mystery series. But the most interesting and scary facts were when I was researching for my novella, Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave. It was inspired by the story of victims’ of human trafficking. It is estimated that 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year – 80% of these are women and girls. (Source: U.S. Department of State, Trafficking in Persons Report: 2007) - pretty scary, huh? But even scarier is that it’s going on right under your nose. Trafficked is about as far away from chick lit as chocolate is from the moon, but I wanted to raise awareness in a subject that is all too often forgotten about.
Sibel: Aw, that’s so hard. They’re all my babies and I love them in different ways. Nope…I just can’t choose!
JET: Any advice (from a writer’s standpoint) for the novices out there?
Sibel: First off, they need to make sure their work is as good as it can be. You need to hire a professional editor – this is a must! After I wrote my first novel Fourteen Days Later I sent it off to two literary consultancies and the Romantic Novelists’ Association to be critiqued, and had it edited professionally, because I didn’t have a clue how to actually write a novel! I’d never done any creative writing courses, I just knew I wanted to write. Yes, it costs money, but if you’re serious about writing, you need to know what you’re doing right or wrong to improve your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
You need to read as much as you can so you can recognize good writing.
A good cover and blurb is essential for hooking a reader. When I put up my first two books through Amazon I had covers that I’d made with a Lulu cover creator. They were OK, but they could have been better, and I’ve since published them with new covers. The cost of getting a cover done can be cheap or expensive. I now get my covers from places like iStock Photos and cost around $50 dollars to produce, but it’s definitely worth it.
Authors should definitely read blogs like Writers Guide To Epublishing: www.thewritersguidetoepublishing.com/
And join forums for authors and readers like Kindleboards: http://www.kindleboards.com/
The ebook Let’s Get Digital by David Gaughran is a must read, too: http://davidgaughran.wordpress.com/lets-get-digital/
JET: All right - now that I’ve hammered you with the big questions, let’s tackle my favorite (and geeky) quick ten...starting with…Paper or Plastic?
JET: Steak or Tofu?
JET: Beach or Mountains?
JET: Country or Rock-n-Roll?
JET: Leather or Lace?
JET: Angels or Demons?
JET: Paper or Digital?
Sibel: Oooh, digital!
JET: Silent Film Classics or Cheesy B Rated Horror?
Sibel: Cheesy B Rated Horror
JET: Twilight or True Blood?
Sibel: True Blood.
JET: Coffee or Tea?
Sibel: It used to be iced coffee, now it’s green tea.
JET: Thank you for indulging me. Before we wrap this up, can you tell us what you're working on now? What's next?
Sibel: Thanks so much for having me! I’m working on my fifth chick lit novel called The Baby Trap. When Gina turns 33, her body clock starts ticking in her ear with annoying persistence. The only problem is, having a baby isn’t as easy as she always thought. As Gina becomes more and more obsessed with the B-word, her quest to conceive takes her on a rollercoaster journey and threatens to destroy her marriage. Because it’s about a couple going through infertility problems, it’s obviously got a good dose of sadness mixed in with the humor. A lot of it is based my own experiences with infertility.
JET: Thank you so much for taking the time to chat on my blog. Folks, you can find out more about Sibel Hodge and her work at the following places: her Website, her Blog, or her Facebook page.
Next week I’ve got J.R. Tomlin and Harper Alibeck on tap! Swing in and say hi!