Sylvia Weiss Sinclair, the author of The Ghosts of Dyas Creek, shares some details about their life after becoming a new author!
Did you always dream of becoming an author?
No. Even though I kept a journal/diary since I was thirteen years old, I didn’t learn how to write a story until I retired to Bay Minette, Alabama. I joined a writers’ club and attended several writers’ conferences. I learned from other writers how to write novels and how to query publishers. I now lead a workshop on the elements of style for fiction.
What was your first job?
I worked as a counter girl in a small bakery in a strip mall, the summer when I was seventeen. The baker came in at 3am to make bread, pastries, donuts, cookies and sometimes wedding cakes. He told me I could eat anything in the shop, but not take it home. I managed to try every pastry, donut, and cookie in the shop. By the third week, I was sick of sweets.
How did you come about writing your book? Was that your intention or did you start writing for fun?
I had something to say. A story to tell that was important to me. My mother’s immigrant parents settled in southern Alabama in the 1920s. My mother was the oldest of seven and told me stories of her life. I was born in Los Angeles, California. In the summer of 1960, I took a train to Alabama by myself, to spend the summer on my grandparents’ farm. My aunt took me to the market in town and I saw two water fountains, one labelled “White” and one labelled “Colored.” Why? That observation haunted me all my life. I also witnessed on television Martin Luther King, Jr. his “I have a dream…” speech and his assassination. I found when I talked to my friends in California about Alabama, they had a negative opinion of the south. Alabama has changed in the last hundred, and I wanted to tell what changes I have seen in Alabama.
What was your life like before you became an author?
I have worked in business all my life. First as an accountant, then as a teacher for one year, then back to accounting. In 2004, I was the accounting manager for an aerospace company, earning lots of money. Then the Iraq war broke out and the company I worked for lost its government contract and went bankrupt. I was over fifty years old and could not find a job. I ended up working in a chocolate shop part time for minimum wage. I am a diabetic and have no will power. It was killing me. I told my loving husband let’s retire. So, I sold my house, we quit our jobs and moved to Alabama, and I started writing. It was the best move of my life.
Did you face any struggles before becoming an author? If so, how did you overcome them?
Yes, I had so many struggles, I won’t dwell on them, I write about them. It was not until I retired from working for others and started writing that I learned to use struggles to my advantage. In writing novels, characters always have conflicts, but in fiction the writer can resolve the conflicts however the writer likes.
Now that you are a published author, how has your life changed, if at all?
I have overcome my shyness and can talk about my successes as an author. I speak at book clubs and book signings.
Can you please describe a typical day in your life now?
I wake up early, 6am and turn on the coffee maker. Then I let my little dog out and we walk around the garden to see what’s growing and pull a few weeds. I then feed my dog and have a little breakfast. Afterwards, I sit down at my computer in my office and write for a few hours. I try to write at least a chapter a week. After that, I go to the gym and swim or take in a yoga class. When I come home, I have a little lunch and watch the news. I may work on a puzzle or read a while. By 4pm I figure out what to make for dinner and watch a little television. I’m asleep by 9pm, snoring.
What is your most memorable moment of your life as an author?
My most memorable moment was when I won the “Believe and Achieve” award from Jan-Carol Publishing for my first novel, FLEDERMAMA’S SON.
In a few words, how would you review your experience with Pegasus Publishers?
I am so pleased Pegasus Publishers has worldwide distributers. I am delighted, overjoyed that I am finally earning money from my books. I am also impressed by the editorial and the promotional team; they are very through and professional. The press release is well written as well as the synopsis on the back of the book. Although the cover is not what I expected, it is eye-catching and distinctive.
Why did you choose Pegasus Publishers?
I chose Pegasus Publishers because they have many distributors and my book gets more exposure than I, by myself can provide. Also, Pegasus is interested in my future manuscripts. They state in their contract, “…first refusal of the author’s next two works…” I like that I don’t have to shop for another publisher for my next two manuscripts. I feel I made the right choice to go with Pegasus Publishers.
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