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Thursday, August 18, 2011

The Writer's Brain: Sibel Hodge

Sibel Hodge is an indie writer to watch. She has fun covers and titles and is writing playful chick lit and romantic comedies that appeal to a lot of readers. Her books rack up tons of raving reviews and she seems to be collecting a larger and larger collection of loyal fans who will buy anything she writes. In spite of her success, she's not afraid to try something new, as with her latest book, a psychological thriller.

From her bio: Sibel Hodge has dual British/Turkish Cypriot nationality, dividing her time between Hertfordshire and North Cyprus. She is a qualified personal trainer, sports and massage therapist, and writes freelance feature articles on health, fitness, and various lifetyle subjects. Prior to this, she also worked for Hertfordshire Constabulary for ten years.
Michael: How long have you been writing? Do you talk about your writing with family and friends?

Sibel: I was always scribbling stories when I was a kid but I’d hate to see any of those published! I started writing a novel when I was about 18 and never got further than the first 3 chapters so I binned it. I started another one when I was 27 and ditto (hmmm…pattern there!). Then I had an idea for my debut novel, a romantic comedy called Fourteen Days Later, and it literally flew off the page. I haven’t looked back since, and have written 4 novels, a novella, and a short story collection in the last 4 years. I talk about my writing with my hubby. If I’m stuck for material we’ll crack open a bottle of wine and throw ideas around. Well, that’s my excuse for getting the wine out!

Michael: What sort of pre-writing or research do you do before you start your first draft?

Sibel: If I need to do research, I do it as I’m writing a particular scene, not before I start my first draft. I used to work for the police for ten years, so for my Amber Fox mystery series I don’t usually have to do much research on police procedures etc, which is handy.

Michael: Why did you start writing in your particular genre or category? Is there anything else you'd like to try?

Sibel: I write mostly chick lit, and I think the genre was dictated by my personality because I’m fun, quirky, and slightly nuts sometimes. I have just released something VERY different for me - it’s a psychological type thriller about the victim of human trafficking. It’s exciting and scary to do something completely outside your normal genre, but the reviews have been great. Instead of working on something that made me crack up laughing when I was doing it, this brought tears to my eyes and shivers down my spine. If I can also portray those feelings to readers, then I’ve done my job right.

Michael: What would you like to accomplish as a writer? Do you have any specific goals?

Sibel: I’d love a movie deal! I think Fourteen Days Later would make a fab romcom movie. It’s Bridget Jones meets My Big Fat Greek Wedding.

Michael: What is your writing process? Do you write by outlines or fly by the seat of your pants?

Sibel: I’m definitely a fly by the seat of my Wonder Woman knickers kind of gal! I go all stressy-head if I have to think too much about plotting in advance. I think it stops my creativity. Most of the time I don’t have a clue what I’m going to write until it tumbles onto the page. Creative or crazy? I’m not sure which!

Michael: What is your favorite part of writing?

Sibel: That teeny weeny idea that starts off as a spark and then grows into something big. The possibilities are endless!

List of your books:

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