Please welcome Lida Sideris, author of Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters.
What’s your idea of a perfect day?
My ideal day would be to wake up early, rarin’ to go, with plenty of clearly conceived characters and situations for my new book so that by day’s end, I have written about 15,000 perfectly formed words, sentences and plots. That way, I’d have my first draft done is less than a week! Yes!
Do you have a signature accessory, color, fragrance, phrase, or meal?
I love nail polish. My feet won’t see the light of day without it. I like color – color in my clothes, my food, my flowers, my people, my world.
Excluding family, name three people who either inspired you or influenced your creativity.
There are a lot more than three, but these pop into mind: Harriet Beecher Stowe – if she could write the epic, 19th century bestseller, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, in a time when women novelists were few, and while managing a household full of children and chores, than I could certainly write a light-hearted mystery while working a full-time job. And I did! Janet Evanovich for her talent of writing so simply and effectively and for making me laugh, and Ramona Long who taught a Sisters in Crime Guppies course that forced me to up my writing a notch (maybe quite a few notches).
Do you listen to music when you write?
I prefer quiet – I don’t want to miss a word my characters may have to say to me.
If your latest book were chocolate, what kind would it be and why?
Mounds chocolate bar: shredded cuckoo nuts hiding inside dark, rich chocolate. Oops, I mean coconuts.
What made you interested in writing this particular story?
My day job can be rather intense. I was seeking a way to have fun in the legal profession, doing something I thoroughly enjoy (writing). So I turned the legal world that I worked in upside down, twisted things around, filled it with some slightly offbeat characters and a suspicious death, threw in a catnapping, an alien encounter, and a low speed car chase, in a setting I knew well (Southern California), and I had a ball creating my novel!
What themes do you regularly (re)visit in your writing?
Friendship, daddy issues, self-control and indulging one’s sweet tooth despite a lack of hunger.
Tell us about your main character’s psyche or personality. What led her (or him) to be the person s/he is today?
I wanted a smart, strong, but feminine, lead character whose gene for caution is a recessive one. When the story opens, Corrie is a newly minted lawyer who miraculously lands a dream job in a film studio. She suffers from a lack of confidence since she has zero experience and soon finds herself enmeshed in a cannibalistic industry. But her tough side won’t let her fold. At least, not without a fight. She honed the toughness when she shadowed her renowned private investigator father on his high-profile cases. Corrie’s comfortable in the P.I. world, whether she’s willing to admit or not. She knows her way around weaponry, legal and otherwise, crime scene investigations, and shifty characters. She’s also adept at inventing plausible lies, as needed. All of which come in quite handy when she’s blackmailed into investigating the suspicious death of a co-worker
Describe your protagonist as a mash-up of three famous people or characters.
Nancy Drew, James Bond, Philip Marlowe and Elle from Legally Blonde. You did say four characters, right? 🙂 Like my heroine, I tend to bend rules ever so slightly.
If you could host an author dinner party, who are the six writers (living or otherwise) you’d include?
Janet Evanovich, Lisa Scottoline, Plum Sykes, Alexander McCall Smith, Neil Gaiman, and Amanda Brown
What’s next for you?
I’m working on the second installment in the Corrie Locke series. Corrie’s best friend and possible love interest, Michael, is implicated in a homicide and Corrie has to save him.
Like her heroine, Lida Sideris hails from Los Angeles and worked as an entertainment attorney for a film studio. Unlike her heroine, she was not blackmailed into investigating the suspicious death of a co-worker. She resides in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, their rescue shepherds, and a flock of uppity chickens. She was the recipient of the Helen McCloy/Mystery Writers of America scholarship for her first novel, Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters.