Saturday, February 15, 2014

Meet Author D.B. Sieders

It is my pleasure to introduce you to a fascinating author D.B. Sieders who is represented by the Aponte Literary Agency.  She takes chances on the type of characters she writes and her stories sound like a lot of fun, so lets find out more about her--
What genre do you write? What drew you to it?
: I write a few genres (see below), but romance is key in each of them. There is something so compelling and satisfying about following a hero and heroine (or two heroes or two heroines) as they search for the fulfillment/acceptance/peace/happiness that comes from true love. I love to read/write about underdog heroes and heroines who experience a fair amount of angst and personal growth on the road to redemption and a happily ever after.
MVF: I’m always drawn to compelling characters, and I am with you; I like the underdog who succeeds!

Do you write more than one genre, why?
For straight romance, I write paranormal and contemporary. My urban fantasy work has strong romantic elements, but the HEA/HFN ending is still debatable, as is my protagonist’s choice of suitor (if she chooses any). Though my tastes in fiction are pretty eclectic, I’m most drawn to stories that have some element of romance, so I suppose my writing follows my reading life. Given my fascination with mythology (see question 6) and how much I miss The X-Files (see question 7), I’m naturally drawn to paranormal and fantasy.
MVF: So you branch out to all sorts of genres—this is intriguing especially since you have such a strong tie to the fantasy/paranormal I find your writing contemporary very interesting-do you find it easier than the fantasy?
DBS: Ack, no! It’s a lot harder for me to write contemporary romance, since I can’t just throw in some supernatural villain or event to build suspense or generate insta-conflict! Still, it’s fun and challenging. For my contemporary novella, I threw in elements of academic politics and corporate sabotage with a bit of mystery to spice things up. I also have a romantic comedy under submission, where I put my characters into some ridiculous situations with a side of slapstick.

Tell me about your current work (Blurb/book cover here if appropriate) or just give a blurb on a story you are wrestling with.

I have a contemporary romance novella coming out from Kensington Publishing soon (re-release from Lyrical Press). Here’s a blurb:

Dr. Stacey Jamison thinks she’s close to validating PharmEx’s new anti-cancer drug. Her budding independent career, her boss’s tenure, and a ton of research dollars are at stake. She just has to prove Compound Z kills cancer cells.

So far, it doesn’t.

Then along comes Dr. Henry Chan, the department’s new rising star. Henry is smart, handsome, and confident. He’s also captivated by the enigmatic Dr. Jamison, who seems oblivious to her own charms. But will Henry risk his heart when the research project is at stake?

A rival drug company, an insider with a personal grudge, and militant animal rights protestors force everyone’s plans into disarray. Can their love overcome everything being thrown at them?

MVF: Sounds fun! (and a Novella—eek. I am writing one now, so I my hat is off to you!)
DBS: I tend to write shorter naturally. I blame all of those academic papers I’ve written for the day job with 40,000 character limits. Expanding a story is a lot harder for me, or at least it was until I discovered the wonderful world of subplots!

What inspired you to write (the above) story?
DBS: Two things inspired me with this story. Being a Professional Lab Rat, er, Biomedical Researcher by day, I knew the world and thought it would be fun to portray scientists in a positive light. So many stories feature evil scientists unleashing destruction upon the world, or as cold/unfeeling or socially awkward one-dimensional stereotypes. I wanted to show that scientists are real, complex people, too.
MVF: Ah, I used to be in Research, a fascinating field to say the least!
DBS: Secondly, I wanted to write a story featuring an Asian male romantic lead. So few contemporary (or other) romances have Asian heroes, and that is such a shame. It was great fun to bring smart, sexy Henry Chan to life on the page!
MVF:  I love Asian heroes—and I am so glad you are writing one! (I have one in the current series I am writing). It’s fabulous you are putting different types of heroes on the page we don’t normally see. I am interesting in seeing how you portrayed him.
DBS: Yay! Can’t wait to read yours!

How do you write?
DBS:  Mostly linear, though every now and then a critical scene from somewhere in the middle of a story pops into my head, so I’ll write that one and then fill in the gaps in between. Characters normally come to me first, and then the overall plot follows. ßI love to find out how authors write.

Early in the morning?
DBS:  Only if I have coffee.
MVF: Oh—I need a pot of it…

Late at night?
DBS: I do most of my writing between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. after my kiddos are in bed.
MVF: I do some of it as well at night.

Do you start and stop? Or write furiously until it’s done?
DBS: I try to write a bit each day to remain disciplined, be it new material, revisions, blog posts, or summaries/blurbs. Life gets in the way often enough, but I usually find time at least three days out of the week. If I get stuck on one manuscript, I’ll set it aside and work on another. I’ve had lots of starts and stops during the past year, and more than a few marathon sessions to wrap things up. I’m pleased to report that I completed major revisions on one novel, added 20K words with a subplot to another, and finished a third. All of them are under submission now, so I’m very happy. Tired, but happy.
MVF:  YAY!! And inspiring. No excuses is what I’m seeing!
DBS: LOL, I try. I also tend to obsess, so sometimes I can’t get to sleep at night (read: get the character voices in my head to shut up) until I pound out a few words on the page.

Do you plot everything? Or are you pantser or a mix?
DBS: Total pantster! It’s working for me, though, so I’ll go with it.
MVF: Ah! Brave!

Do you listen to music when you write or do you need silence?
DBS: I need music in the background, definitely. Mostly Internet radio, though sometimes I’ll put together a playlist for whatever project I’m working on for inspiration.  
MVF: I do the same, I need music at times. Helps focus one at times, don’t you think?
DBS: Yes, helps with focus and setting the mood. Plus, I incorporate a lot of music references into my Nashville-based stories, so listening to those songs help.

Where do you write? Office, coffee shop, anywhere?
DBS:  My home office has a comfy chair, but I swear I do my best work from bed.
MVF:  Ah! I swear if I lay in bed the next thing you know I’m snoozing. But what I’m seeing is you write away from people (like in a coffee shop). This interesting because I know many who write with that movement around them.
DBS: Um, that sounds bad… Let me rephrase, I am most productive writing in bed, in my jammies and fuzzy slippers, Mac perched on my lap, cup of coffee/tea/wine keeping me company on the nightstand.
MVF: Still—I wish I could---does reading count?
DBS: Of course reading counts! It’s hands-on research for craft and entertainment all in one!

 Name 3 books/authors you’ve read which have had an impact on your writing?

DBS: The Silence of the Lambs by Thomas Harris – Clarice Starling is such a compelling heroine, and has the depth and complexity I would love to incorporate into my own characters.
MVF: That is a psychologically awesome story  I have never read it (I need to!) but I saw the movie and still very powerful.
DBS: Definitely recommend that one. Plus, Hannibal Lecter is such a formidable and appealing antagonist.  I wouldn’t want to have dinner with him, of course (shivers), but he’d be great for a chat so long as he remained behind bars, glass, and an electrified safety net…

DBS: The Black Dagger Brotherhood series by J.R. Ward – Hot alpha males with issues? Yes, I’ll take all of them!
MVF:  I find J.R. Ward has such grit and depth that I really like. I’m impressed with her world.

DBS: While I can’t cite one all-encompassing source (though Edith Hamilton’s Mythology is one reference I’ve used in recent years), I’ve always been a sucker for ancient myths. Greek/Roman, Norse, Native American, and beyond, I find them fascinating in terms of how concepts of divinity and the afterlife can reveal so much about the cultures responsible for their invention and propagation. Plus, those gods and goddesses/heroes and heroines are just larger than life and have such wonderful (or terrifying) adventures, they’re a terrific source of inspiration.
MVF: When I was young I used to absorb mythology, so I understand it all. So identify with this.

I’m a Sci-Fi/Fantasy buff, I love movies/shows in this genre. Was or is there a T.V. show or movie which has inspired you (doesn’t have to be Sci-fi /Fantasy).  Name one or at least three.
DBS: Oh, I LOVED The X-files (and still miss it terribly). I’ve no doubt some of the weird and wacky from that show seeped into some of my urban fantasy and paranormal work, especially the so-called ‘monster of the week’ episodes.
MVF:  I missed that show—for various reasons, but I know many adored it.  I’m a sucker for monsters—I may have to watch it after all.

 For the geeks like me: If you watched Firefly: Which character drew you the most? Or were you like me and all of them did (see, I was going to put this in one way or the other!)
DBS: I haven’t actually seen Firefly (please don’t throw things at me!), but I’ll put it on my list. I have plenty of friends who are fans, so it may just become my next weekend television binge.
MVF:  I highly recommend it—mainly because of story, character development—one of the best I seen. *see how I push it!*
DBS: No worries. I definitely push stuff I love, too, and I look forward to Firefly.

What fictional character (Book, show, movie) would you most love to meet?
DBS:  Hmm, since I recently burned through Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series (and the Lord John Grey series, too), I wouldn’t mind spending a little time with James Alexander Malcolm MacKenzie Fraser… I’m thrilled about the upcoming television series from Starz!
MVF: Oh, that one is awesome! What a fabulous choice, and I would do the same. I’m very happy its coming out as a program.

Tea or Coffee? (Water is a given). 
DBS: Coffee – no contest there. Definitely coffee!
MVF: *clinks mug with yours* and on to writing!

Thank you so much for being guest! I hope you stop by again.

Thanks for having me! I can’t wait to host you, too!

 Author Bio: I was born and raised in East Tennessee and spent a great deal of my childhood hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains and wading barefoot in creeks, chasing salamanders, fish, and frogs.  We camped a lot, and we loved to tell stories while sitting around our campfire.

Those days of frog chasing sparked my interest in biology, which I pursued in college and later in graduate school.  I am a working scientist by day, but I never lost my love of sharing stories.  I’ve been an avid reader for as long as I can remember and am thrilled to be working as a writer.

I live in Nashville, Tennessee with my husband, two children, two cats, and my very active imagination

Here is where you can find D.B. Sieders:


  1. Thanks for hosting me, M.V. :)

    1. Always a pleasure! Glad you stopped by! :)

  2. Enjoyed the interview...Thanks for the post.

    1. Angela, thank you for stopping by--always enjoy seeing you! Glad you liked the interview. :)

    2. Hi Angela! Thanks for stopping by :)

  3. I loved your novella Red shoes for Lab Blues! I liked the humor and suspense combined - plus you had a twist in there with an atypical hero. You know I'm waiting to read your mermaid book. :) I don't know how you find time to write with everything you juggle - but I'm so glad you do. More, please!

    1. Hi Debbie--- I love that she has an atypical hero! :) Glad you stopped by!

  4. HI Debbie,

    Aww, you're sweet, Debbie! I hope the novella will find a new readership upon re-release, and I'm definitely excited to get the mermaid book out there. I just completed revisions to make it New Adult (Thanks, Victoria and Natalia, for the suggestion!) and am keeping my fingers and toes crossed that it will find a home soon :) Thanks for stopping by!

    1. Oooh! That sounds fabulous D.B.! :) A mermaid New Adult--how cool!

  5. D.B--great getting to know you. M.V. you are SUCH a good listener/interviewer. Now, what's with the initials? Is it a woman writing sic-fi fantasy thing? A tribute to D.C. Fontana?

    1. Thank you Eileen! :) I love talking to people and seeing where they get their inspiration.

  6. Hi Eileen! MV is a really great interviewer (and she's pretty cool in real life, too - had the chance to meet her at Southern Magic's reader luncheon in November :) I do initials for the women-writing-fantasy thing, as well as to distinguish my day job science publishing from my fiction. Hubby shakes his head in dismay sometimes because when you Google 'Sieders,' you'll find much more about me than him, and Sieders is his name!

    1. D.B--thank you! You are awesome yourself! And I do the initials for the same reason. That, and it's so close to my real name I don't forget it.

    2. Oh that's so great that you two got to meet in person! I hope that will happen with all of us in the agency some day! I've hd great fun with Natalia at meetings and conferences over the years, but have yet to meet Victoria. I write using my husband's name in non-fiction…how funny, just the opposite!!
      And I have a sister who is an actress, and often get: are you related to Patricia Charbonneau? To date, she has never been asked, "Are you related to Eileen Charbonneau?" The power of the more pervasive medium, I guess! Or maybe Mom DID always like her best!!

    3. Eileen--it would be so much fun to meet you! I find it fascinating you have a different name for non-fiction. And how delightful to have a family member who is an actress. ;)

  7. Hi, D.B. My fav hero as well. I was in Scotland when I was reading Voyager and it made it all the more magical. I picked up a mouse pad that said, "I just want to go to Scotland, Fall through some Stones, wake up in 1743 and find James Fraser. It that really too much to ask? The men who walk by and see it don't understand, lol. Good luck with your career!

    1. Hi Aquariuess--I'm with you---ah Jamie Fraser... are you going to watch the show on Starz?

    2. Oh, Scotland is on my list of dream destinations (not-so-subtle-hint-to-hubby). How wonderful that you were able to read Voyager while there, Aquariuess! Thanks for stopping by and sharing. Love to gush over favorite characters :)

  8. Let us know when "Red Shoes" shoes up on the shelves, Dana. As you know, I too, am a sci-fi buff. I'm currently into "Almost Human", and "Helix". I marathon'd the entire Firefly series; characters I connected most with was the engineer role with Jewel as Kaylee Fry, and Adam Baldwin's mercenary Cobb. Hope you sell a million copies of "Red Shoes".

    1. D.T. See--I knew you'd like Firefly---!

  9. DT, you are wonderful! I'm hoping to broaden my readership with Kensington :) And, thanks to you and M.V., I'll be scheduling a weekend 'Firefly' binge soon - very excited!

    1. You won't be disappointed! I am dying to know what characters jump out at you. ;)