Welcome! Pull up a seat and enjoy a chat with Today’s Tease Sydney Jamesson
Your Name or Pen Name you use: Sydney Jamesson
Title of the book you are promoting: TouchStone for play
Link to purchase your Book:
Genre: Adult Romance, Erotica
Welcome SJ…I, LH have some questions for you 😉
LH: I wanted to be a ballerina, race car driver and a private detective when I was little. What did you want to be when you grew up?
SJ: I always had a fondness for stamping things; my mum used to have high hopes of me becoming a bank teller or securing a job at the post office. I was never happier than when I had a John Bull stamping kit in my hand.
It wasn’t until a Parents’ Evening some years later my English teacher said I should go into Journalism that I actually believed I could string a decent sentence together. She was right. After a series of jobs in Insurance, Fashion and Advertising, I turned my hand to commercial journalism and feature writing. I enjoyed every minute of it. Not enough though to endure the long hours, not with a young daughter. I took a side-step into teaching 16 years ago. That has been my vocation until now.
LH: I didn’t really have a literary influence, I just decided one day to start writing. Who influenced you in your writing career?
SJ: I have quite an eclectic taste. I have crossed genres more times than the British Channel; every time discovering something new and engaging to admire, reshape in a modify, making it my own. Like many authors, I consider myself to be a magpie in that sense. If I see something that sparkles and catches my eye, I have to have it. I write it down and transpose it into my creation. For example, I had written TouchStone for play four months ago … then I came across Sylvain Reynard. The sensual mood he creates in his books inspired me; it was the stimulus I needed to give Ayden a soul, to allow him to say what he felt without shame or embarrassment. I’m very grateful to SR for that.
One of the greatest writers of all time, for me, is Anne Rice. I have yet to come across another writer who writes prose that are not only outrageously brilliant, but capture the imagination like no other. Interview with the Vampire is a masterpiece.
More contemporary works like The Dragon Tattoo Trilogy has given me endless hours of enjoyment but, my favourite writer is Tiffany Reisz. I could fill a blog with rambling prose about how unpretentious her writing is; how it jumps off the page and grabs you by the balls or the heart. I’m sure, in fact I know, she makes a point of playing with her readers’ emotions. And she does it so well. Who could forget the scene in The Siren when Nora gives up Wesley or the removing of the shoes in The Angel? Books like those I have mentioned have shaped The Story of Us.
LH: I self published all of my books and was then “discovered” by a publisher. Are you an Indie or published author?
SJ: I’m an Indie author at present. I have dipped my toe into the water with a kindle version and I’m about to upload TouchStone for play to Amazon in book form. I hope to have it available in a month or so. I would like to be ‘discovered’ but I appreciate there’s a lot of competition out there and publishers will only consider what is considered to be a ‘sure thing.’ We’ll have to see if TouchStone for play falls into that category.
LH: As an Indie Author, I was hesitant about being with a publishing company. If you are an Indie author, would you like to be published by a traditional publisher and if so, why or why not?
SJ: I have heard some horror stories about publishers taking control, doing little actual marketing or organizing PR and not generating the kind of exposure a book needs to be successful. I’m an easy going person but when it comes to my ‘baby’ I’m a little protective. I have my own ideas about marketing and would welcome working with an established publisher. The validation would be a real confidence boost. I couldn’t simply hand ‘it’ over and say there you are. It would feel like I was abandoning my first born. Ha!
LH: This is easy for me…I’d invite Johnny Depp and I would not discuss movies! Who would you invite to dinner, living or dead, and what one topic would you NOT discuss with them?
SJ: I would have to invite Henry Cavill. Not because he is outrageously good looking, looks hot in a suit and has a delicious accent – not because of any of those reasons. But, because he is so charismatic I would be swept away and probably be happy to gaze into those sea green eyes and forget about everything, even dessert. Now that takes some doing …
I would not mention the fact that Stephanie Meyers wanted him for Twilight but he was too old or that he was considered for Bond and didn’t get it, or even the suggestion that he was bullied at school for being a nerd but has the last laugh by being Superman. These things would remain unsaid.
LH: I personally think that there is way too much sex and violence everywhere in society these days and it’s everywhere but that Hollywood is one of the biggest contributors. Do you think that society as a whole is subjected to too much sex and violence and are you concerned about it? Ever feel conflicted and if so, why?
SJ: I have no objection to sex being available for those who want it as long as they are old enough and responsible enough to deal with it in a mature and unthreatening way. My daughter is old enough to make her mind up about what’s acceptable and descent but, sadly, there are young impressionable people out there who are not. Some of the images appearing freely on our TV screens late at night are inappropriate and frankly distasteful.
I find the way sex is used to sell everything objectionable at times; seldom do we see a woman who has not been dressed to impress and airbrushed to within an inch of her life. No real woman can live up to that, nor should she try.
As far as Hollywood is concerned, I do believe the benchmark for acceptable levels of sex, violence and swearing has shifted over the past five years or so. I wonder sometimes how bad something has to be to get a NC -17 rating or 18 rating.
LH: I’m a huge softy and by no means a beauty queen… lol but, I truly would want world peace in the blink of an eye if I could make it happen…If you could change one thing in the world, in the blink of an eye, what would it be?
SJ: I would love to be able to think of something very profound but, for me it’s all about providing opportunities for development, for everyone. Having taught for almost 16 years I have encountered children from the top, middle and bottom echelons of society. I have an acute awareness of what it is to be valued and encouraged: to be the best you can be, regardless of class or preconceived ideas about success. I have always tried to give praise when it is had been deserved and a push when it has been needed. There are people out there, worldwide, who receive neither and that a shame.
LH: With the traditional bookstore becoming obsolete and everyone turning to buying books online, I don’t buy the hype that “the cover is everything”. How important do you think book covers are now that almost all shopping is done online?
SJ: I never judge a book by its cover, but a cover will draw my eye. I think if you have a love of books, the story will out. But unfortunately, in a world that focuses more on style than substance, a lot of attention has to be paid to the packaging. Thankfully, reviews highlight the content and not the wrapping, so that’s where most of the writer’s attention remains. Having said that, I thought long and hard about TouchStone for play. Everything has significance and serves as a clue or resonates throughout all three novels.
LH: I can remember wanting to write as a kid. I got a really late start! Have you always wanted to write and when did you start?
SJ: I have always written since being small; it started with little songs and I moved on to stories and then, after leaving school, I switched between jobs but always surrounded myself with bits of paper covered in scribbles: incomplete dialogue, opening lines and chapter headings.
I wrote a book years ago, with a male character very similar to Ayden Stone: handsome, rich, self-assured but, with family commitments and a demanding daughter, I was forced to leave it on the back burner until fairly recently.
LH: I love to see if I can see myself in a character. What interests you most about a story?
SJ: Characters are everything in my writing. I have to imagine myself in their shoes; it’s the only way when writing in first person. Sometimes when I read back it’s as if the character has found their voice and is channeling through me … that sounds crazy I know. Beth, for example has such a gentle disposition I have to type softly when she is speaking and create a kind of ambience that suits. I have deleted pages where I have allowed myself to intervene and ruined a moment for her.
Now Dan, he’s quite different. The only way I could get my head around him was to use the third person. I didn’t want to have a direct line to his imagination; what I knew was bad enough …
Every writer will tell you how much they miss their characters when they stop writing. Handing them over to strangers is not easy, especially when you have such high hopes for them.
LH: For me, I just get hit with this whole movie in my head and start writing. How do you come up with your stories?
SJ: Similar to that, I suppose. I see complete scenes made up almost entirely of dialogue.
I see a location and characters interacting and have to write it down before it’s forgotten. Sometimes ideas are fleeting, other times I have them in my head for days. In TouchStone for play, I saw the first meeting between Beth & Ayden again and again and each time there was more detail, leading to that one moment when he tries to shock her with a line about beautiful women. I also use music to inspire writing and to encapsulate emotions.
LH: I can’t tell you or I’d have to…lol Are you working on anything now?
SJ: I am halfway through writing TouchStone for giving, it’s part two of the Story of Us Trilogy. It’s very exciting and full of action and very emotionally charged.
LH: I’m working on #6…3 are published and the other 3 are due out this year… How many books have you written? How many have been published?
SJ: This is my debut novel and there are two more in the series. After that, who knows …
LH: I write for fun I don’t even dream of riches…Do you write for fun or money?
SJ: I love to write. I would do it even if no-one paid me. I think if a story’s worth telling, then tell it. Also I find writing quite cathartic.
LH: Some of my family members had a bit of a problem with me writing my first book “A Beautiful Liar” because the character Maggie West is basically me…to a point 😉 They had a problem with the genre and me “putting it all out there” so to speak so I took a pen name. They eventually came around as I have never cared who knows who I am what I’ve done or what they think of me. I’ve never wanted to be famous, just infamous! What has been your biggest problem when it comes to family or friends when writing?
SJ: My family have only found out recently and have not read the book, mainly because they are in their seventies and don’t have a kindle. They are waiting for it to come out in book form. In view of the sex and the erotic nature of the, novel, I suspect my mum will spend the entire time blushing. Then again … so will I. She has tried to reassure me by saying she has, “… heard all about Fifty Shades …” As if that will make me feel better. Ha!
LH: I have never experienced writers block…I have experienced writers “don’t want to”… Have you ever experienced writers block and if so, how did you overcome it?
SJ: I haven’t. I have experienced procrastination and known what it’s like to have no time to write, but not writer’s block. I start and away I go … it’s the stopping me that’s the problem.
LH: I get asked all the time “Do you have any advice for new writers?”… Do you?
SJ: Yes … pick up a pen or sit at a keyboard and put something down. Start slowly. Don’t put pressure on yourself to produce a masterpiece. Describe the room you are in or a moment in time; focus on the way the words fit together, vary sentences, play around with tenses and points of view. Have fun with it.
LH: I would not change one thing in my life as I would not be me if I did… If you could go back in time and change one thing in your life, what would it be?
SJ: I think I have been lucky in my life; I have a wonderful daughter a loving partner and a job I enjoy. The cherry on the top would be to have a bestseller on my hands …
As far as the past is concerned, I rarely go there: I live in the present and don’t bother looking back. What’s the point, what’s done is done. My only regret is not writing earlier. This networking takes stamina and lots of skills, many of which I am developing at a snail’s pace. It has been a steep learning curve for me.
LH: If I could go back in time and tell someone something, I’d go back and tell the founding fathers they were doing a few things wrong…If you could go back in time and tell someone something, who would you tell and what would you tell them?
SJ: I would go back in time and tell my father to smoke less or to stop smoking altogether to improve his quality of life later on. Who knew the suffering that would result from, what was considered, an unassuming addiction.
LH: I would freak out if someone contacted me and said they wanted to make one of my books or my series of book into a movie as I am really very shy in person and I’d probably go into hiding. I don’t think I could handle it. How would you handle it? Who would be the first person you told?
SJ: I would love the idea. TouchStone for play reads more like a movie script that a novel at times and it is broken down into scenes and chapters. Bring it on, is what I say! I would tell my partner, then our daughter and then my parents. I think we may just crack open a bottle of bubbly and savor the moment…
Thanks for that in depth and interesting interview SJ….Now… for the fun stuff!
Favorite Beverage? Bacardi & diet coke
Exercise or Bubble Bath? Bubble bath (for sensitive skin)
Favorite Color? Black (It’s slimming)
Take out or Dine in? Dine in (Whilst watching a good film)
Camping or Hotel? Definitely Hotel, don’t do camping…
Sports or Chocolate? Chocolate (Dark if available)
Dogs or Cats? Dogs (Cats are too snooty)
Favorite Food? King prawns (Without the shells)
Favorite Song? Like a diamond – Rhianna
Favorite Movie? As Good As it Gets
Favorite Car? Porsche
Sex or Chocolate? (The answer “Both” is totally acceptable 😉 Both (but not at the same time)
And now for the essay part of the interview 😉
If you could go anywhere for a week, with anyone you wanted and no one would ever find out about it…where would you go, what would you do and who would you take?
SJ: I would go with my partner and my parents to Australia to pay a surprise visit to my daughter and her boyfriend. We would have one almighty catch-up, lots of hugs and a lot laughs. That would be the perfect vacation … (could we extend it to take account of the travel time?)
Thank you for spending this time with us. Make sure to pick up your copy of Sydney Jamesson’s
TouchStone for play