Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Take Five With Author Sydney Jane Baily

Today we meet Sydney Jane Baily!

Welcome to An Indie Adventure, Sydney.  Tell us, what inspired you to write your book, An Intriguing Proposition?

Thanks for having me on your blog, L.A.

I had already written Books One, Two, and Three of this series, now dubbed the Defiant Hearts Series. I started Book Four, but couldn't get it going. I was distracted. As it turned out, it was the eldest sister who makes brief appearances in two of the books who was whispering in my ear; she wanted to introduce the series and tell her story before I moved on to the next book. Her story flowed very quickly. An Intriguing Proposition is a novella, 25,000 words, and gives a good idea of my storytelling style, and brings in some of the characters who populate the rest of the series. Now I'm continuing Book Four, An Inconceivable Deception, which I hope to have completed in a couple of months.

What were your experiences as a child that contributed to you becoming a writer?

Easy question. I was rather shy. I stuttered until my K-1 teacher worked with me to understand how my brain was racing a little more quickly than my tongue and showed me how to let my speech catch up. The shyness combined with living in L.A., which is sprawling and meant that everyone seemed to scatter after school, contributed to my spending time alone or with my big sister. I really liked being on my own and creating my own world, so I wrote. A lot. As a child and still, as an adult, I am an introvert. I enjoy the company of my friends and family, but then I recharge by having alone time. And that's the perfect personality for a writer, who needs to be content spending hours in isolation to get her work done.

Do day-to-day life experiences influence your stories?

Not so much since I write 1880s Americana romance. It's the Victorian period but set in various parts of the U.S. Obviously, I can't help but have my own emotions and experiences color my writing, but when I'm immersed in writing a story, it's usually more of an escape from my daily life than something influenced by it.

What is the first thing you do when you begin a new book?

Make a cup of tea, strong Irish tea, with milk and honey. Procrastinate. Make more tea. Walk the dog. Write a scene over and over in my head. Eventually, I open a fresh Word doc and begin. The scene that I start with may not end up being the opening of Chapter One, but it's often somewhere near the beginning.

I also often write long hand on lined tablets of paper when I take my son to a lesson. (I am not a laptop person.) I have a few pens that I love. They write smoothly, and I can write more quickly than I can type because I don't stop and reread and edit or need to worry about spellcheck. I just write and scribble and cross out, and the story flows. Then I transcribe later, but the majority of my book is created directly at my desk in Word.

I also do a great deal of research for my time period, but I often don't know what I need to research until I am writing. I'll get to something I don't know about, perhaps a street name or what position a character might have in a shipbuilder's yard, and then I go off on a researching binge. I have a great relationship with my city's librarians, and have reached out to museums and libraries across the nation when I need an answer, such as how much was the fare on a San Francisco streetcar in 1884. (Answer: 5 cents.)

If you were a TV, film or book character, apart from one you've created, who would you be?  And why?

I'm sorry. I'm terrible at these types of questions. My mind goes blank. But I wouldn't mind being Drew Barrymore's character opposite Hugh Grant in "Music and Lyrics." Such a sweet film. But there are probably a hundred other characters I would also choose if I could think of them, such as Cinderella or Hermione Granger. Of real life people, I'd like to be Queen Latifah. I think she's awesome. My kids think that's hilarious and weird.

Give us a brief summary of An Intriguing Proposition:
Following her father’s untimely death, eldest daughter Elise Malloy discovers that the family home is collateral for a mysterious loan. With no record of payments made from her father’s accounts, whoever was paying the bank has now stopped, and foreclosure is imminent.

Desperate to keep the news from her grieving, funds-starved family, Elise answers the bank summons and faces Michael Bradley, an old flame who still owns her heart. When Michael extends an unseemly dinner invitation, Elise invents a nameless suitor as an excuse. Now, to save face, she must produce him.

Jonathan Amory, Esquire, seems the perfect choice, until her long-desired relationship with Michael unexpectedly catches fire, and Jonathan makes it clear he will stop at nothing to destroy her family and lock her into a loveless marriage.

Buy Links:
which has buy links for Amazon, Kobo, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and more.


Sydney Jane Baily completed her first novel at the tender age of 17. Thankfully, that manuscript currently resides in an undisclosed, secure location. She went on to get B.A. degrees in English literature and in history, and an M.A. in literature with a concentration in Romanticism. 

During her career while continuing to write stories, she has been a copy editor, cat snuggler, proof reader, production editor, mother of two, developmental editor, indexer, and dog walker, among other things literary and not. Besides writing historical romances, she also writes contemporary women's fiction, and believes in happily-ever-after stories for an already challenging world.

Born and raised in California, she now resides in New England with her family—human, feline, and canine.

Social Media Links:
You can visit Sydney on the Web
on Twitter
or on Facebook


  1. Thanks for having me, Leslie. It was a pleasure.

  2. Wonderful post, Sydney! Love learning more about you and your writing process! I can't wait to read this story! Queen Latifah? I love that! Tweeted as well.

  3. Great post, Sydney. It's fun to learn more about you. I do a lot of my writing with paper and pen as well. There is always a small notebook in my purse.

  4. Great post, Sydney. I love hearing about how other writers do it. There's no right way and no wrong way. Just, as you say, my way.

  5. Great interview! I love to write longhand, too, and like you, I write faster this way than on a computer. There's something about putting pencil to paper that gets the muse into creative gear. :) Your books sound great; can't wait to read them.

  6. Thanks to all of you awesome writers for stopping by so early. Glad to know I'm not the only longhand writer, though it often looks like chicken scratch to anyone but me. Also, I have to have a really smooth, fast-flowing pen. My favorite is the Uni-ball.

  7. Hi Sydney,
    Thanks so much for guesting on the blog, it's a great way to reach people and let them know a bit about you, in small bites.

    Your books sound great. Another fine author to read for me :)


  8. Hi Lana,
    Nice to have you here. Thanks for tweeting Sydney's post. And yes, Queen Latifah! See what you learn about a writer? Fun stuff.


  9. Hi Cindy,
    So good to see you here!

    I do my trouble writing using pen and paper, it always makes me think differently. And I always work out my problems.

    Lots to be said for old school ;)


  10. Nancy,
    Nice to see you here. That's why my blog is named the way it is, My Story ~ My Way :)


  11. Hi Catherine,
    Alas, I write faster on the computer, the pen/paper combo slows me down, but I do my best problem solving that way.

    Thanks for visiting the blog,

  12. I too love the research that goes into creating a historically accurate story. Enjoyed the post, Sydney. I am somewhat surprised by the number that write long hand. I would find transcribing my notes to Word tedious. But that's just me.

  13. If I had to write in longhand and then type it into Word, I'd still be on that first book. My brain will not let me look at a page and type, too. :-) So I write in my head until I can get to the computer. I can even edit up there.

    I'm not much of a TV watcher, but I think Queen Latifah is adorable! She has that hello-world attitude and big smile. Who wouldn't love to be like that?

    Beautiful cover!! I want that jacket! I'll take the guy, too!

  14. Great post, Sydney! I loved learning more about you. How you enjoyed creating your own worlds when you were young. I certainly can relate!

  15. I realized that I don't know what character I would choose to be, either. That is a hard question! Nice post.

  16. Thanks for stopping by everyone. Dinnertime here, off to cook for the family.