Name Sylvia McDaniel
Age Nope, I’m not going to tell you.
Where are you from San Angelo, Texas, but now I live in North Texas and eventually I will be moving to Colorado.
A little about your self `ie your education Family life etc
I’m married to my best friend and we’ve been married for 21 years. We have one son and two dachshunds. I attended college, but never completed my bachelors degree. It’s one of my biggest disappointments.
Fiona: Tell us your latest news?
My latest news is that this year I wrote 8 books. The latest one will be out on November 29th and frankly, it became one of my favorites. Next year I will put out probably that many books as I have three that I’ve yet to publish.
Fiona: When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing after I’d read a romance and decided I could do just as good a job if not better. I know, it was arrogant thinking on my part. I began to study the market and attend Romance Writers of America’s conventions and local chapters. It took me five years and three books before I published with a major New York publisher. After nine books for them, we parted ways and eventually those books were the first ones I self-published.
Fiona: When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I considered myself a writer from the first day I began to write, but I wrote a lot of crap before that first book was published.
Fiona: What inspired you to write your first book?
A bad book though the idea had been germinating before.
Fiona: Do you have a specific writing style?
I would say so.
Fiona: How did you come up with the title?
Titles are hard. Some come very naturally and some have to evolve over and over. A book I’m publishing next year, has been retitled three times and this last time…I think we finally have it right. I got on the phone with two other writer friends and we brainstormed the title.
Fiona: Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Every book usually has some message, but most of my stories revolve around overcoming an obstacle and family.
Fiona: How much of the book is realistic?
My historical westerns very little. There were no bounty hunter women in the old west. But I do try to weave in some historical details. Readers want fantasy and that’s what I try to deliver.
Fiona: Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life? Very few. Now that being said, I have made some of my villain characters resemble evil people I know. Put I never reveal who that character is based on.
Fiona: What books have most influenced your life most? a mentor?
A lot of how to writing books – I’d have to go to my library to find out.
Fiona: What book are you reading now?
Debra Holland’s Montana series.
Fiona: What are your current projects?
Working on a top-secret project now, have two more Suffragette bride books I want to write and then I’m going to start a new series, new genre, new everything. I feel the need to branch out.
Fiona: Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.
Romance Writers of America, Dallas Area Romance Authors and North Texas Romance Writers.
Fiona: Do you see writing as a career?
I’m a full-time writer with 30 books out and know that I will have 40 by the end of 2016. Yes, writing is my career.
Fiona: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
Which one? Determined is probably the book that I would change…I don’t now if I will ever write another Soiled Dove and preacher characters. To me they weren’t funny enough. I like my characters to be humorous.
Fiona: Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
The first story I ever wrote was in the 5th grade. I remember it.
Fiona: Can you share a little of your current work with us?
Sorry…can’t do. It’s a top-secret project. But I do have a new book coming out called Katie American Mail-order Bride of Virginia. That one will be published on 11/28. I loved this story. It quickly became a favorite.
Fiona: Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Grammar! Commas are useless. Everyone does them different and I’ve quit trying. It’s why I hire an editor.
Fiona: Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Rachel Gibson…they’re romantic comedies which are not very popular right now. BRING THEM BACK.
Fiona: Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?
Yes, I attend many reader/author events. Next year I will attend only four. I’m trying to cut back on them because they’re expensive for the author.
Fiona: Who designed the covers?
I have four different cover artists that I use. I like all of them, but sometimes they get very busy and some are better at westerns and some contemporaries. But if they resell the same covers over and over, they are off my list. Nothing like purchasing a cover and then seeing it on five different books.
Fiona: What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Trying to make the plot interesting, show the characters emotional arc and entertaining for the reader.
Fiona: Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Every book teaches you something. Since I write a book in about two months, I’m always learning something.
Fiona: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Don’t give up. Keep writing.
Fiona: Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I appreciate my readers so much for enjoying my stories, for getting me as a writer and going on this journey with me.
Fiona: Do you remember the first book you read?
Besides Dick and Jane? My first romance that I fell in love with was Kathleen Woodwiess The Wolf and the Dove.
Fiona: What makes you laugh/cry?
Lots of things. But making the reader laugh/cry that’s hard. When I cry or laugh as I write the story, I usually know I’ve hit the right tone.
Fiona: Is there one person pass or present you would meet and why?
No one I can think of at this moment. Maybe a female civil war spy, just to learn what she did.
Fiona: What do you want written on your head stone and why ?
No headstone for me. Cremate me. But I guess you could put — She loved telling tales.
Fiona: Other than writing do you have any hobbies ?
I love hiking, biking, fishing and camping. Yes, I’m an outdoor kind of girl who is only indoors when it’s too hot or way too cold.
Fiona: What TV shows/films do you enjoy watching?
I’m a reality TV junkee. Survivor, Couples Therapy, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, Househunters, Love it or List it, Flip it, Dancing With the Stars, Big Bang Theory.
Movies: Trainwreck, It Could Happen To You, Somethings Gotta Give…any relationship movie. Romantic Comedy
Fiona: Favorite foods / Colors/ Music
Mexican food junkie
Fiona: If you were not a writer what else would you like to have done?
Fiona: Do you have a blog/website? If so what is it?