I am absolutely thrilled to introduce today’s guest, Lida Sideris. I had the privilege of being her editor for her debut novel, Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters with The Wild Rose Press. Not only did I love the book, Lida was a joy to work with. Please help me welcome her and her fabulous story…(And isn’t the cover fantastic???) 🙂
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Watch out Southern California! There’s a new entertainment attorney in town and she’s got game. Only problem is, it’s not the one she should be playing. Corrie Locke belongs behind a desk, not behind a Glock. She should be taking VIP calls, not nosing around a questionable suicide. Instead, she’s hot on the trail of a murderer. Luckily, she’s the daughter of a late, great private eye and she’s inherited his love of sleuthing…and illegal weaponry. It doesn’t help matters that her gene for caution is a recessive one. Corrie finds herself in the center of a murder case, unearthing suspects in shocking places. With a cold-blooded killer on the loose, Corrie will have to up her game, or die trying.
I veered out of the parking lot and bounced onto the cavity-ridden dirt road. The mystery car appeared out of nowhere from beneath the tall pines, eclipsed by the darkness. Now it raced away somewhere ahead.
“Why didn’t we hear it start?” I asked James.
“It’s a hybrid.”
“We’re in a car chase with a Prius?” A car chase with a Porsche or Ferrari was respectable, but with a battery operated car? All bragging rights vanished.
I shifted into warp speed and surged downhill. Seconds later, we faced the hybrid’s rear bumper. The spot for the license plate sat empty.
“He’s not getting away,” I said.
The hybrid turned and launched up a hill, kicking up pebbles and a dusty haze. It fish-tailed and I nearly nipped it in the rear. I executed a sharp left and ran over something large. And lumpy.
“Stop,” James said.
I skidded to a halt, a cloud of dirt trapped in my headlights. The Prius escaped through an open gate and onto La Paz. My eyes cut to the rearview mirror. My tail-lights illuminated the road behind us in an eerie red glow. As I surveyed the scene, not a trace of saliva remained in my mouth.
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*** LIDA is giving away a print copy to one lucky commenter. (US Residents only) Winner will be announced this Saturday!
And now, let’s get to know Lida…
1) Where did you get the idea for MURDER AND OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS?
I was seeking an escape hatch from my day job, a way to lighten things up. The hatch eluded me, until I carved one out using words and altered scenes from a former life. I’d gone from working a high-profit job in a movie studio to running a non-profit on a shoestring budget. I used the entertainment industry as the backdrop of my novel and inserted a strong, but conflicted heroine, some slightly insane minor characters, and a murder to really rouse things. Writing a mystery was a challenge, but so much fun! And that’s what I was going for: fun. I really enjoyed twisting and turning reality around, and figuring out what the crazy characters were going to do or say next.
2) Are there any tricks/habits you use when creating a story?
One of my aunts shared issues of a magazine with me: Point de Vue, a French publication featuring European royals. All very attractive, well dressed royals living colorful lives. I’d study the photos and create characters based on expressions, demeanor, and how I fancied they’d act, react, and interact. I wrote profiles for each and turned them into characters to populate my novel.
4) Do you have another occupation, other than writer?
I’m a lawyer, which works well because my day job has given me endless ideas and material for writing!
9) What’s your favorite book of all time and why? What’s your favorite childhood book?
I LOVE books, so it’s a challenge to whittle it down to one. Today, I’d say it’s Uncle Tom’s Cabin by Harriet Beecher Stowe because she wrote it during a time when women were expected to do little more than run a household, and because this one small book made such a monumental impact.
My favorite childhood book is The Secret Garden – it contained mystery (who was crying at night and why the garden was a secret) and explored a multitude of themes like the power of positive thinking, which was highly appealing to my young mind. And I can’t resist happy endings!
10) What do you want readers to come away with after they read MURDER AND OTHER UNNATURAL DISASTERS?
I love films of the thirties and forties, especially those that give the viewer a little lift afterward. I hope that readers feel a small lift after reading my book. And if any part brings a smile to the face of a reader, I’ve been successful.
12) Would you rather have a bad review or no review?
I will not be ignored! So I’d have to say I’d rather have a bad review. Just hope it’s a thoughtful and constructive one or it would be like not getting a review at all.
15) What is your favorite quote?
In my spare time, I collect quotes, so again, it’s a challenge to name just one, so begging your pardon in advance, here are two that tie (you can pick the tiebreaker):
The happiness of one’s own heart alone cannot satisfy the soul; one must try to include, as necessary to one’s own happiness, the happiness of others. ~Paramahansa Yogananda
I think the mirror should be tilted slightly upward when it’s reflecting life–toward the cheerful, the tender, the compassionate, the brave, the funny, the encouraging, all those things. ~ Greer Garson
I enjoyed the interview, Lida…like you, I love old movies (as we’ve discussed), and I love the quote by Greer Garson.
Thank you so much for joining me today!
Like her heroine, Corrie Locke, Lida Sideris hails from Los Angeles and worked as an entertainment attorney for a film studio. She has written numerous magazine and newspaper articles, a poem or two and a teleplay. Lida resides in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, their German Shepherds, Barbie (short for Barbarian) and Duncan, and a flock of uppity chickens. She was the recipient of the Helen McCloy/Mystery Writers of America scholarship for mystery writing. Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters is her first novel.
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