I am excited to invite author Sydney Winthrop back again today. And don’t miss her sneak peak at the first page of her latest release, Cocoa Capone.
Q: What do you enjoy most about writing?
A: The serenity. I have such a peace when I am writing. Now that answer makes you think, “oh, who wouldn’t want that? I’ll bet she writes 5,000 words a day.” Well, no. First, I must give myself permission to go do what I absolutely love to do. The dishes need to be done, the furniture dusted, the floors swept, etc. Then I find I should catch up on all that filing. So, to settle the beast, I take my files and my laptop to Starbuck’s – order a venti black iced tea sweetened with one Sweet n’ lo, extra ice and light water – then settle in and create a world. I feel success when I have finished a story that leaves the reader thinking, “I didn’t see that coming!” That, to me, priceless.
Q: What do you think about when you’re alone in the car?
A: How to execute the perfect murder. And, how to obfuscate just enough so the reader thinks they know where I’m going with the story but then there’s the twist. I will work up a plot to get the writing started, but sometimes, as with Cocoa Capone, I find a character isn’t happy with how I’ve written him or her, and they take over. Before I know it, I have another murder on my hands. You know, reading this, I would be afraid to know a mystery writer!
Q: How do you keep your sanity in our run, run, run world?
A: First off, my two girls are adults and married with lives of their own, so I don’t have to keep up with their school, extra activities, and play dates any more. My hat is off to ladies in that position. My day starts with a Bible study my husband and I read together. When one of us is out of town, the other reads the devotional over the phone, then we look up the verses and read them. When we are together, we unwind at the end of the day with what my husband calls, “kitty’s in a pile”. That just means we sit on the couch together and watch two shows from our DVD collection. Now we’re going through Law and Order: Criminal Intent, Season 9 and Criminal Minds, Season 11. Our cat usually sprawls across the top of the couch behind our heads. We sound so adorable. We aren’t that adorable. Really.
Sydney Winthrop grew up reading Nancy Drew, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Agatha Christie. A writing course at a library encouraged Sydney to try a variety of genres, always circling back to the mystery.
She is currently working on a children’s book; several short stories; and three mystery novellas – with a love interest – that are due to come out in 2017.
Sydney lives in Galveston County with her patient husband and sneaky cat.
Buy Link for Cocoa Capone:
And now for that promised sneak peek…
The wind howling off the lake was fierce and cold. He pulled his knit hat farther down over his ears, adjusted his backpack, tightened his scarf then stuffed his hands in his coat pockets. He’d walk once more around the block, and hopefully the two old ladies would be out of the building for the night. As far as running into any residual trick-or-treaters, his timing had been impeccable. Stray candy wrappers fluttered up the street, like cockroaches running for cover.
He turned on State Street, finally protected a little from the wind by the buildings. A cat ran across the sidewalk in front of him, letting out a loud primal cry as it dashed for the narrow cover between two shops. He jumped. He reached the corner and headed back down toward the lake. The wind hit him like a slap in the face. He grabbed at his scarf, this time tucking the ends into his coat. He hoped the two grandmas had locked up and gone home. Nearing the entrance, he smiled. The building sat in darkness. He hadn’t expected the old candy store to sell so soon, and he had been caught off guard. He casually looked around for any sign of St. Joseph’s finest that might be prowling downtown and pulled a ring of keys from his pocket. Fortunately, the locks hadn’t been changed, and the door opened.
Windows took up most of the front wall and extended halfway down both side walls, affording a million-dollar lake view. Moonlight shed enough illumination for him to see that the new owners, or somebody, had done a good job of clearing out the junk that littered the store only a couple of months ago. Even the old candy counter lining the back wall had been removed.