It is my pleasure to have Lida Sideris as my guest today as she celebrates the release of Gambling with Murder: A Southern California Mystery.
How I Write by Lida Sideris
I’m a pantser, not a plotter, meaning I tend to write by the seat of my pants. I don’t bother with outlines, note cards or a compass when writing that finicky first draft. I forge ahead, nearly clueless about what’s going to happen next. I figure if I’m taken by surprise, so will my reader. How’s that going for me? So-so. It’s like searching for buried treasure…with half a map.
Sometimes, it’s the bomb to be a pantser. I can’t wait to discover what comes next. Other times, I ask whaaaaaaat? That won’t work. Back to the drawing board.
As my Southern California mystery series progressed, I made a few adjustments in order to maintain my sanity, which I prize quite highly these days. I complete my first draft as a pantser, writing head first, plunging ahead. But after crossing the finish line, I go back and outline each chapter. It’s about as much fun as polishing silver, but I feel a certain sense of direction. I still forge ahead, but retrace my steps with iron boots to travel back and forth on the path more easily. Plus, it helps me conquer the yips, brought on by asking does this even work?
With Book Four, Slightly Murderous Intent, I was happy with the first chapter. With Book Five, Gambling with Murder, not so much. It felt wrong, which made me go back and travel in a different direction. That’s when the chapter summaries came in handy.
I’m constantly on the lookout for offbeat situations for heroine Corrie Locke and her case-cracking sidekicks. They’re always up for it since nabbing bad guys beats the mundane day job every time.
I usually start out writing each scene straight and then I keep revisiting the scene until I can mold it into something more amusing. I need constant action… and humor… on the pages, or it’s just not entertaining for me.
Maybe I’ve become a planster. Whenever I reach a scene that doesn’t sit well, I review the chapter outline and either move scenes around, scrap them, and/or write something entirely different. That seems to work. It’s becomes a game with moving pieces that I get to arrange and rearrange to ensure the most fun for myself, and hopefully, for my readers.
About Gambling with Murder
A late-night call is all it takes for rookie lawyer Corrie Locke to kiss her day job at the movie studio goodbye, and do what she does best: flex her sweet P.I. skills and go undercover to find a senior who’s missing from a posh retirement community. One small stumbling block: skirting past security to gain inside access to the exclusive Villa Sunset. Time to call in the heavy artillery. Besides former security guard turned legal assistant—now wannabe P.I.—Veera, Corrie relies on a secret weapon: her mother, a surprisingly eager addition to Corrie’s team. Armed with enough pepper spray to take down a band of Navy Seals, Mom impersonates a senior to infiltrate the Villa, Corrie and Veera in tow. Turns out the job’s not as easy as they’d thought. These seniors have tricks tucked up their sleeves and aren’t afraid of using them.
The action gets dicey when the missing senior case turns into attempted murder by a criminal mind who’s always one step ahead. Corrie’s hot on the trail, but finds more than she bargained for…when her mother becomes a target.
Enter a rafflecopter for your chance to win a $15 Amazon gift card.
About the Author
Lida Sideris’ first stint after law school was a newbie lawyer’s dream: working as an entertainment attorney for a movie studio…kind of like her heroine, Corrie Locke, except without the homicides. Lida was one of two national winners of the Helen McCloy Mystery Writers of America Scholarship Award and a Silver Falchion Award Finalist. She lives in the northern tip of Southern California with her family, rescue dogs and a flock of uppity chickens. To learn more, please visit: www.LidaSideris.com
- Website: www.lidasideris.com
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lidasideris
- Twitter: @lidasideris
- Instagram: @lida_sideris
- BookBub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/lida-sideris
Purchase Links – Amazon
Visit the tour page for reviews, interviews and more.