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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31 responses to “Murder and Other Unnatural Disasters – AWESOME Debut Novel by Lida Sideras – Giveaway!”
Congrats on your debut novel. I enjoyed the excerpt. Best wishes from an old movie buff.
Thank you kindly Diane! Glad you enjoyed the excerpt – thanks so much for taking the time to visit! I can’t resist those old films 🙂
Thanks so much, Alicia, for hosting me and my book today. And may I say also that you too are a joy to work with!
Loved the excerpt! Tight, snarky (sorry, A.D.) first person from a female sleuth, crisp, novel descriptions, a hint of Evanovich, perhaps? Whatever the case, best of luck on your debut release–I’m guessing you have a winner here.
A woman after my own heart – I’m an Evanovich fan! Thanks so much for your kind comments and for joining us here today!
Sounds like this one is full of adventure! Enjoyed the excerpt. Good luck to you!
“We’re in a car chase with a Prius?” Great line! best wishes with your release, Lida.
Angelina, thank you! I think low speed car chases are more common than we imagine. 🙂
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Thank you, Kara – glad you enjoyed :)!
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I LOVE your excerpt, Lida. Really fun, and funny. I also think there’s a touch of Stephanie Plum in there. And I love your story about looking through the Point de Vue for inspiration. (I would have been all over that…. Hmm…I wonder if I can get a subscription mailed to Virginia.) Anyway, really enjoyed your interview. Best of luck with the book!
Thank you so much, Leah! Luckily I’m not the one who pays for Point de Vue, otherwise I wouldn’t have the luxury of reading. And thanks for the Stephanie Plum compliment – love that character!
I love the Greer Garson quote. So wise! Congratulations on your new book.
Thank you very much, Jana – how nice of you to take the time stop by! 🙂
Great excerpt! Racing a Prius is hilarious! Best of luck with sales.
Thanks kindly, Judy Ann – Much appreciated!
Lida, congrats on your debut novel! I love the concept and that it takes place in Southern California. My son lives there and reading it well make me feel closer to him! *sigh* I love the blurb and the phrase, “her gene for caution is a recessive one.” 🙂 Nice interview, ladies!
Hello Darcy! Thank you very much! So glad you stopped by! I really enjoyed writing a mystery set in So Cal – fun to incorporate real and made up places!
This sounds like such a fun book to read. I’m going to order it for my Kindle, something I don’t often do because I prefer print. But I am ready to read this.
Wow! And I know you as an author of hot romance 🙂 I can’t wait to read Two Hearts in Time – thanks, Raymona!
Great post. I adore the cover! Good luck on your release. 🙂
Thank you, Maureen! And thanks to the Wild Rose Press for finding the perfect cover artist for me!
Love the interview, excerpt, cover, whole ball of wax! And I, too, like the story about creating character sketches from pictures in a magazine. That is the first time I’ve heard of an author doing that. Love the sense of humor you captured in your excerpt. Looking forward to reading this!
Thanks kindly, MJ! I’d never created characters from photos, but it was a ton of fun!
Loved the excerpt! Best of luck with your debut!
Thanks so much, Marissa!
Sorry I’m late getting to this but I was traveling yesterday. Sounds like a wonderful debut book!
Good luck and God’s blessings.
Thank you, Pam! And thanks for taking the time to visit!
Wonderful interview, Lida! Love the premise for your book. I’m a native Angelino who was born in W Hollywood. Live in Wisconsin now.
Big congratulations on your debut novel. I love the excerpt. My husband and I bought a Prius way back in 2005, and everyone was fascinated by how quiet the car was. Your excerpt is hilarious!
It is fascinating – that’s why a Prius is the perfect car for a low speed car chase in a dark, deserted campground type setting. Thanks Hebby!
Hello to another native Angelino! Thank you, Ilona, for the visit! Hope you are enjoying beautiful Wisconsin!