Syd Parker is the best-selling author of Remember Me, Someone Like You, and the thriller series, The Gray Foxx Files. Originally from California, she now resides in Indiana with her partner of eight years. She loves golfing, biking and spoiling her ten nieces and nephews. She loves to travel and anywhere on the water feels like home. She spends her days toiling away at her day job until she figures out a way to drop the last fifteen strokes to make it on the LPGA tour, although she’s totally mastered Tiger Woods Golf on the Wii.
Most days when she’s not writing, you will find her on the trails or riding her road bike and praying she doesn’t end up in another ditch.
She loves to read a good love story and thoroughly enjoys writing them as well. “It isn’t just about writing a story, it’s about creating a world and having the reader climb into it, experiencing it in first person. That’s my goal…that’s why I write.”
Her Remember Me is a Goldie finalist in the Dramatic/General Fiction category. I asked her to respond to the 6 questions you posed on Facebook – and here are her replies.
“First off, I would like to say a big thank you to VL for asking me to participate. I am in great company with the other authors here. I always hoped I would make the short list, but having it actually happen is an indescribable feeling, and I can’t imagine a better compilation of women to be a part of.”
1) Who/What is your favorite book/author? Why?
I think the answer changes for me as I go through different phases in my life. As a 2nd grader, I found the book They Loved to Laugh by Kathryn Worth. I fell in love with the story. I borrowed it every week from the library. It was the first time I gave any thought to being a writer. As I got older, I opted for novels by Jane Austen or Lloyd Douglas. Epic romances full of emotions that reached into my heart and held me captive. To this day, Magnificent Obsession by Douglas is one of my all-time favorites. I finally discovered lesfic in my twenties and I was hooked. I can’t pick just one author, as there are so many talented lesbian writers who have penned exceptional stories. As far as main stream authors, I love the old James Patterson stuff. His writing style is so simple and gritty, but to the point, and I actually really like Mary Higgins Clark. She is just twisted enough for my liking and nothing beats her books on tape for road trips.
2) What has been your most surprising or interesting inspiration for a book?
Most times, my ideas spring from a conversation. For example, Love’s Abiding Spirit came from a conversation with my best friend about proverbial skeletons in the closet. It morphed into ghosts in the closet and I thought an old house inhabited by a spirit who has unfinished business would make a great backdrop for a romance. The most surprising was a dream I had about a serial killer and how they committed the murders. The dream became the storyline for The Killing Ground. Parts of it were so vivid, I felt like I was the killer…and I think that qualifies as TMI!
3) Writing is emotional and can be isolating. From where do you get your support?
Sarah teases that when I write The Gray Foxx Files I go to a very dark place and it takes me a while to resurface. She is right. I try to put myself into each character and that means sometimes I’m not a very nice person. In some of the romances, there are personality traits and emotions that I have experienced myself, so it means when the character is sad or upset, so am I. I’ve actually cried as I’ve written scenes before because I feel like it’s me living the scene rather than just a 3rd person view of what’s going on. Sarah is there to take me by the hand and pull me back out again. We are very much a team in the whole process. I bounce ideas off of her. She gives me feedback on whether or not a storyline is believable or if I am just way out in left field. She is my partner and my rock in so many ways. I don’t think I would have started this journey without her.
4) What does it mean to you to see your work in print and then up for an award?
Oh my goodness, I can’t even describe the feeling. The first time I held a copy in my hand, I was on cloud 9. I remember when a friend of mine went to a local bookstore and she found several of my books on the shelf and sent a picture. It was one of the coolest moments of my life. Being a finalist, though, that tops everything. Each time I put a book out, I hope it’s well-received and it’s a bit disheartening sometimes to get less than positive feedback. To be chosen as a finalist is validation for me that the words I wrote touched someone else as much as I hoped they would. I joke that it’s an honor just being nominated, but I sincerely believe that. This may be the only time I do make the finals, but I will cherish it.
5) What is next on your personal bucket list to accomplish (literary or otherwise)?
Well of course I would love to win a Goldie!
Seriously, when I started writing back in 2009, my only goal I set for myself was to write an entire novel. I didn’t even fantasize about publishing, I only wanted to write one. It wasn’t till I had written three that a friend of mine suggested publishing. Here we are five years later and I have 9 novels under my belt. I feel like I’ve achieved more than my original goal in regards to that. My ultimate bucket list item would be having one of my books turned into a movie. As long as you asked, I figure I might as well shoot for the stars!
6) What are you working on now and what’s next up for publication?
I’m currently working on what I am calling a semi-sequel to Someone Like You. It isn’t Lex and Aspen’s story, per se, but they are in it and we get to see what the next leg of their journey is. I started writing this before my dad got sick and passed away. I originally intended to make it light-hearted and less intense than Someone Like You since that was such an emotionally charged story. I found that when I picked up writing it after my dad was gone, it became a way to work through my grieving. I have always found writing to be cathartic and Made to Love is no exception. I am still trying to keep it more of an upbeat story with bits and pieces of sorrow sprinkled throughout an otherwise humorous tale. After that, I’ll be working on the 3rd installment of The Gray Foxx Files.
Huge thanks to Syd for taking part. You can read a full biography and see all her books on the Syd Parker author page.