I’m thrilled to welcome back Sydney Winward, a sister Rose (published by The Wild Rose Press) whose upcoming release, Bloodbond, is sure to send shivers of delight down your spine. I’m going to pepper her with questions, so we’d best get started!
Good morning, Sydney! At what age did you write your first story?
I was twelve years old when I had a really epic dream. I decided I wanted to write it down, but one page turned into two, two into three, and soon it was a fully fledged novel, all written by hand. The pencil made a permanent dent in my finger! But that’s when I realized how much I loved to write and that I wanted to continue doing it. Prophecy of the Eight was NOT good haha! But it opened my eyes to a passion I didn’t know I had.
I understand that passion completely! I know you’re an avid reader. Which genre was the first to hook you?
Definitely fantasy. I loved reading about dragons, princesses, and magic. I soon discovered paranormal, and later historical fiction. But fantasy will always have my heart.
It’s a great genre! What was your first published book?
Bloodborn, a paranormal romance. I knew everyone was sick of the whole vampire scene. The whole genre was bled dry. But what if I could write something different? A bit of my own vampire mythology with magic weaved in, mixed with classic vampire lore? Don’t worry! There are no sparkly vampires in my story. More like if they step into the sunlight, they will die a very horrible, very painful death.
What’s your favorite part of the writing process? Brainstorming? Research? Outlining? Writing? Editing?
I love them all (and hate them all) for different reasons, but my favorite part of the writing process has to be brainstorming. I love coming up with new characters. I love trying to figure out how the hero and heroine fit together, and what their past looks like. This part is the most exciting, which helps fuel me as I begin to write the story.
I love brainstorming too! Tell me, what are you working on now?
I recently started a new series. Historical fiction with a small bit of fantasy weaved in. The first book, A Waltz with Lord Death, is a story about the Grim Reaper and the sudden mess he finds himself in when Lord Life dies. Without his other half, so to speak, to balance his power, the balance of the world shifts and everything and everyone starts to die. But when he meets Meira, a potential candidate for the new Lady Life, he has to convince her to take the job before it’s too late. However, he never expected to fall in love.
I’m currently writing the second in the series, Lord Time’s Keeper. Lord Time is being hunted by someone who actually has the power to kill him and take away his immortality. But when he loses his pocket watch, the one thing keeping his powers balanced, crap hits the fan. He takes refuge on a ship bound for America, where he meets a widow and her son. He has to choose between following his heart and forsaking the ones he loves to keep them safe from the man hunting him.
Sounds like a wonderful series! Of all the settings you’ve used (or created!) for your books, which is your favorite? Why?
My favorite setting is definitely the vampire city of Ichor Knell. Dark clouds swirl around an even darker castle, keeping vampires safe from sunlight exposure. The castle is a city within a city, which is filled with jewel trees. Instead of leaves, they’re covered in emeralds, sapphires, and more.
How cool! I’ve always preferred clouds to sunshine–the darker, the better–a fact which made growing up in Florida problematic. Your vampire city sounds like a paradise, with lots of interesting characters. Have you ever dreamed about a character you created?
Oh, I wish! Wouldn’t that be awesome?
It certainly would! If you could have a conversation with anyone—dead or alive—who would it be?
I’m going to go into a fictional world for this one. I absolutely love Merlin from the Merlin TV show. He’s such an interesting character, and it would be so fun to get to know him better. Maybe he could even show me a spell or two. If we’re not caught and hanged by Uther Pendragon, that is.
Great choice! If you could travel to any time and place, when and where would that be?
Late 1800s America. There’s just something about a hard-working farmer/rancher that is so sexy! The land of opportunity. It would be interesting to see how people lived life back then.
Yes! If you could step inside any book or series and live there for a week, which would you choose?
Oh, that’s a hard one. I would have to go with A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas. I love the world it takes place in and the magic. Throw in a bit of Rhysand and I wouldn’t want to leave after the week was over.
If a fairy godmother appeared and offered you one thing—anything at all—what would you request?
To live in a fantasy world filled with magic. Was I the only one who grew up desperately wishing magic was real?
I’ve always believed in magic, so you’re not alone. Now, it’s time to learn some of your favorites!
Eye color: dark brown (yum! ;))
Foreign language (whether or not you speak it!): Italian
Song: I can never choose just one. I have a lot of favorites. Here’s one I really like that’s a cover of Eagle-Eye Cherry: “Save Tonight” by Tom Speight and Lydia Clowes
Book: The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
Movie: Stardust or Megamind or Mission Impossible: Fallout
TV show: Merlin
US location: Ketchikan, Alaska
Foreign location: Never been out of the states! But I would love to visit Ireland, Switzerland, and Austria.
And finally, list your preference from the following choices:
Tea or coffee? Hot chocolate 😉
Cake or pie? Cake
Halloween or Christmas? Halloween
Nancy Drew or Sherlock Holmes? Sherlock Holmes
Jane Austen or the Brontë sisters? Jane Austen
A mortal, vampire, ghost, or fae for a lover? Sooo hard to choose! Probably fae.
English gent, Scottish highlander, European count, or all-American guy? English gent
Thanks so much for joining me, Sydney. I wish you great success with Bloodbond. Speaking of which, here’s the scoop on the story:
Zachariah Degore spent ten years locked under ground as a feral vampire. Now he has to redefine what it means to be healthy and whole. With his human life behind him, he starts anew in the vampire city of Ichor Knell with the vampire shah as his kin. He must prove he is worthy of his place in this new world.
Laurel Covaci is vampire elite, she would never court a feral vampire. After two hundred years she has yet to find a mate who meets with her satisfaction. She hides the pain of past hurt and abandonment behind a cold façade. Zach is confident that Laurel is the vampire for him, but can he break through her icy walls and convince her he’s the mate she’s been waiting for?
A peek between the pages:
She stared at him. And stared. Until it became uncomfortable.
So he stood and started to pack up his things, but she glared at him and pointed to his seat.
“Sit.” He did. Who could disobey a tone like that? “You can’t kill?” she asked incredulously. “You only recently came out of being feral, correct?” He nodded. “And you can’t kill? Human blood doesn’t send you into a rage. You refused to drink from the goblet at the service.”
“Have you been spying on me?”
She ignored his comment, and her mouth puckered slightly as if in deep concentration. He couldn’t help but stare. He’d never seen her do it before. Another endearing quality he added to the lengthy list of what made Laurel Covaci absolutely perfect.
“I have searched high and low, but I simply cannot find any answers to this particular conundrum,” she finally said. Heat rose to his ears. She’d been thinking about him?
He grinned. “Well, well, Lady Covaci. I didn’t realize I was filling up your thoughts.”
She blushed prettily, and he almost expected her to get up from the table and leave, regretting she even sat down in the first place. But she stayed put. In fact, she stared right back as if challenging him. He enjoyed the eye contact. Her eyes were so blue. So beautiful. They took him back to green fields of his childhood, of staring back at the blue sky as clouds lazily drifted past.
A little more about Sydney:
Sydney Winward was born with an artistic brain and a love of discovery for new talents. From drawing to sewing to music, she has loved to explore every opportunity that comes her way. At a young age, Sydney discovered her love of writing, and she hasn’t been able to stop writing since. Her active imagination and artistic mind take her away to different worlds and time periods, making every new story a fantastic adventure. When she is not writing (or fawning over animals in the neighborhood) she spends time with her husband and children at home in Utah.
Where to find her: