Why do you write in your genre?
Well, I write both historical and contemporaries. I loved western historicals and even americana, but those markets died back in the 90's and since then I've been writing contemporaries, both short and long. I'm thinking of writing another western historical because those books are my bestsellers. I enjoy them and they're fun. What draws you to it? When I started writing, I wrote what I love. Then in the early 2000 I started writing to fit the market and it wasn't fun. I didn't have any success at it and I think that's where I made a really big mistake in my career. Now I've gone back to writing what I love. I do love to write contemporaries, but I also love historicals. But I'm no longer chasing the market. I'm going to write what I love and if no one but me reads it, that's the way it is.
What research is required?
I can get lost in doing research for my historicals. It's so interesting to see how people lived in the past.
Name one thing you learned from your heroine.
Be yourself. Not who people want you to be, but who you are. I love quirky, eccentric women who have fun. That's my favorite type of character. I call them the Goldie Hawn character. I also love the Shirley McClain character -- a ballsy woman who will say anything. One of these days I'm going to put them together in a book. Very soon I hope.
Do you have any odd or interesting writing quirks, habits or superstitions?
Are you a plotter or pantser?
Big plotter. I know the story from beginning to end before I write. But it ALWAYS changes along the way and I'm okay with that.
Look to your right – what’s sitting there?
My bookshelf and then there is a window.
Anything new coming up from you? What?
I just put up The Cuvier Widows series. This is my first and only attempt at mystery. It's a series about three women who all learn they are married to the same man and he's dead. Three Wives -- One Dead Husband.
Do you have a question for our readers?
There are no new plots. There are only authors that create spins on old plots and their unique writing voice make the plot seem new. So tell me what is your favorite plot? Give me an example of the author who wrote that plot.
The weekends are spent working out in the garden until the temperature climbs above ninety degrees. Recently, with the help of her husband, she learned to make homemade blueberry and blackberry jam. Cooking is not her favorite past-time and she prefers Don’s cooking any day of the week.
Currently, she’s written fourteen novels. Her novel, A Hero's Heart, was a 1996 Romance Writers of America Golden Heart finalist. Sylvia is President Elect of Dallas Area Romance Authors. She can be reached by email at Sylvia.McDaniel@verizon.net.