Interview with Jennifer Siddoway, author of “Dealing with the Devil”

One of the amazing things about being an author or writer is that there is an entire community that is as passionate about the craft as you are. I have a few select friends who 13418782_599478683535111_3631067662890558646_nare part of this amazing community. One in particular just got herself a contract with the publishing house Duncurra and her novel “Dancing with the Devil” (formerly known as “Demon Dialysis”) will be published soon!

She found time in her busy schedule of being a mother, wife, and author to answer some questions about her career as an author.


  • What inspired you to write “Dealing with the Devil”?

That is an excellent question, and I wish I had a better answer for you than the one I’m about to give. I’ve always loved Fairy Tales and enjoy a good re-telling of an established plotline. It’s cover-art-frontespecially fun if there’s a dramatic shift, or unexpected role reversal. I started toying with the idea of Rumpelstiltskin and started thinking, “What if something went wrong?”I knew what she meant was intended to be sweet and reassuring, but I just felt this chill run down my spine. “What if I wasn’t? What if it wasn’t God that I was creating life with?”
I walked away and my arms were covered with goosebumps and after that the story just wrote itself.
I didn’t want to do an actual re-telling, so I twisted things around a bit and tried to picture how that would play out from the point of view from the child who got wished away. The whole concept of selling your unborn child to the devil is such a terrible thing to digest you have to wonder what kind of a person would do that. Around the same time, I was pregnant with my first child and a well-meaning, older person in church put her hand on my stomach and said, “You only get to work hand in hand with God to create life a handful of times in life, so enjoy it while you can.”

  • Do you have a system for developing the characters and plot?

*laughs manically* That is a loaded question!Once I’ve started asking myself these questions, the story starts taking shape. Suddenly, I’m not the one writing it but just a vehicle to get it on paper. Sometimes the answers I come up with surprise me and that’s always a fun twist to have. I get to know the characters REALLY well and know how they would react in different situations. An example of this is when I was writing the chapter Dancing with the Devil. I was happily typing away at my computer and then I realized what was going to happen. Oh crap. I had to flinch and almost look away from the screen as I typed because I didn’t want to ‘see’ it. I knew that was the only way the chapter could end, but I didn’t know that until I was in the physical process of writing it.
I wrote that chapter and then cried—it was awful.
It doesn’t take long for me to get a character or plot idea in my head. Once that happens I mull on it for a while and start asking the question, “so what?”. Wynn’s character in the Earthwalker Trilogy is a demon…so what? What kind of implications would that bring into her character and her relationships? How does that affect her physically? If there is a demon in the Mortal Realm… so what? What does that say about magic in this universe? Are there other demons? Why, or an even better, why NOT?

  • What do your friends and family think of your author career?

Thankfully, I’ve have a supportive husband who never lost faith in me. He’s gone out of his way to encourage my career and enable me to focus on it. I think when it comes down to it, Ben just wants me to be happy. He knows how much I enjoy writing and does everything he can to let me do that.
The rest of my family is kind of flabbergasted that it happened. I’ve been talking about writing for so long they didn’t think it would ever happen. Now that it has, and is doing well, they don’t know what to say except, “Wow, you did it.”

  • Are any of your characters based off people you know in real life? Are they reflections of yourself?

I think it’s almost impossible not to put a little of yourself into the characters you write. Obviously, I’m not a demon like the character in my book, but Wynn absolutely displays some of my personality quirks – the good and the bad. Every now and then I find myself giving her habits or personality quirks that I display myself and laugh it off a bit.No one is without flaw.
Most of the time when we read about teenage girls, we must ask ourselves if they are vicious or vulnerable—I suggest that they’re both. There is something deliciously satisfying about co-existing in that dual relationship and while I don’t strive to be like Wynn, her shortcomings are human nature.
On one hand, she is funny, brave, and fiercely devoted to her family. On the other, she has some anger management issues, a fiery temper, and is also kind of a jerk at times. That’s understandable because she is, in fact, a demon and it gives her personality depth.

  • What has it been like shifting from being a self-published author to having a contract with a traditional publishing house?

To be honest it’s been relatively smooth. Duncurra LLC is a wonderful publishing house and I’m incredibly honored and grateful to be a part of their team. When I first got signed, we did have to change the title and get new cover art with the company logo, but other than that not a lot is changed.
I will confess, it’s been nice to have the emotional validation that comes with having a publishing house behind you. It’s not an imaginary career that I fabricated for myself, it’s real. I can justify sitting down at my computer for hours at a time and getting lost in the world of my characters. I always felt guilty before and thought it was taking me away from my family, but now I view it as part of the process and know the payout will be worth it.

  • What kind of struggles did you encounter as a self-published author and how did you overcome them?

The hardest thing about being an indie author is marketing and getting the word out. One hundred percent of the responsibility is on you, and it can be overwhelming at times. If the readers don’t know you exist than you’re preforming to an empty stage.It’s a lot of work knowing what is/is not worth the time and investment. It can be done well, but it’s also a constant struggle.
We’re experiencing a boom in the indie author community which is very exciting, but that also raises the bar for everyone else out there. With so many new books coming out, and so many new authors, it’s very important to present yourself in a professional light. The amount of time you put into branding yourself as an author directly correlates to how seriously you take your career, and there for the quality of your books. That means having a professional website, business cards, a mailing list, and healthy social media following.

  • If you could give any piece of advice to aspiring writings, what would it be?

I would tell aspiring authors to take their craft seriously and to view their writing as a job.
It can’t be something you play around with part time when you’ve got nothing better to do, otherwise it won’t get written. Set aside hours that are designated for writing and writing alone. I have friends that try to schedule play dates for the kids in the middle of my writing block and I tell them ‘no’. It took some time for them to realize it, but writing time is important and must not be tampered with. Give it the respect and discipline you would put on any other job.

  • What are your plans for the future?

I have tons of ideas! Once I’ve completed the Earthwalker Trilogy, her mother’s series is already in the works. Michele Whelan is such a toxic and selfish creature it will be interesting to see what her origins would be. We’ve already established that she had a romantic relationship with Lucifer, so that opens a ton of doors and lends itself to very good story telling.
I’ve been thinking about this puzzle piece in the story for years while developing a plot. It’s already been outlined into a four-book series and I can’t wait to write it! I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but whenever I start thinking about her I can’t help it—their love story is going to be epic.


To check out the latest news and follow her on social media, see the links below! “Dealing With The Devil” will be releasing within the next couple of weeks and she will be conducting giveaways and a release party on Duncurra’s Facebook page!

Website: http://www.jennifersiddoway.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/wynnhendricks
Duncurra Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Duncurra/

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Links to the Decimus Trilogy on Barnes & Noble and Kobo!

12017593_10205191471568787_6570529283577030919_oThe day has come! The Decimus Trilogy has been successfully released in print under the new imprint “Moonstruck Writing” on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. What’s even better, the three eBooks are live on Barnes & Noble and Kobo! I’m really branching out and this is just the first book of many that will be re-released with new ISBNs and under my new imprint. So excited for the future! It’s gonna be great!

Here are the links to The Decimus Trilogy, The Beast of Verona, Amber Ashes, and Saving the Beast so you can go snag up your copy!

The Decimus Trilogy (in print)
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1946821020
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-decimus-trilogy-sheritta-bitikofer/1125836602

 The Beast of Verona
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015TUP9WO
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-beast-of-verona-sheritta-bitikofer/1125871596
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-beast-of-verona

 Amber Ashes
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015TUPGZ4
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/amber-ashes-sheritta-bitikofer/1125871597
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/amber-ashes

 Saving the Beast
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0181MZ4MM
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/saving-the-beast-sheritta-bitikofer/1125871598
Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/saving-the-beast-1

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That Morning At The Post Office…

This is a little short that’s been on my mind for a couple of months and I finally took a breath to write it. Let me know what you think!


                The post office was crowded that Tuesday morning. Since Monday was a holiday, Todd knew to expect a line halfway out the door which was why he decided to bring his package in that morning as opposed to lunch time when the rush would be even greater.

                All four of the kiosks were manned and each one looked to be a seasoned employee, so he was sure it wouldn’t be too long of a wait.

                He stepped up to the long, angled counter where the line had already began to form and set his small package down before shoving his hands in his pockets to spend the next fifteen minutes or so in peaceful patience.

                A few seconds later, the sliding doors opened up behind him. He heard the woman first as she briskly walked towards the space on the counter behind him. It was hard to ignore the clink of keys banging against her thigh with each step.

                He glanced behind him to get a look at her. She was young, probably a couple of years shy his senior, with brown hair that looked a little tousled by the windy weather outside. She wore a modest t-shirt and jeans. The hem of each pant leg nearly covered his shoes and grazed the tile where she stood.

                But what struck him most was how pretty she looked. Not quite beautiful, but he could certainly stare at her the entire time while he waited in line. Todd opened his mouth, ready to offer his spot to her when he noticed something else about the woman. She was nervous. Continue reading

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Re-Release of “The Decimus Trilogy”! Giveaway Details!

So, I’ve been working hard on a new project that I’m hoping will revitalize my author career. Not only am I stepping up my game to put myself out there with the book signing event in July and plans for various ads and promotional campaigns, I’m working at re-releasing ALL of my books on a wider distribution channel. And guess which one I’m starting with?

That’s right! The Decimus Trilogy is first in line for re-release in my master plan. Through Ingram Spark, The Decimus Trilogy will be available to more bookstores than just Amazon. Barnes & Noble as well as thousands of other major bookstore retailers across the US, libraries, schools, and online print retailers will be able to sell my book to the masses. I’ll have the potential to reach a wider audience, but that’s not all! Continue reading

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My Big Announcement!

I’ve been quiet about something for a couple of weeks because I wanted to make sure I had all my ducks in a row before telling anyone the news.

Inspired by one of my author friends, I ventured beyond my comfort zone and I am more than a little happy to announce that I will be attending as a signing author at an event in July! It will be my first event and I’m so looking forward to it.

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For The Love Of Books and Authors will be holding one of their many book signing events this coming July in Sarasota, FL. They only hold a few book signing events a year around the country and it was pure dumb luck that they were going to host one in Florida, within a day’s drive of my hometown.

I’ve been eagerly planning my table set up and having my talented graphic designer compile some stunning art for a banner and some goodies to give out to attending readers at the signing. I’ll be joining an amazing team of authors (about 25 in all) for a day of fun networking.

Image result for ritz carlton sarasota

I’ll have more news about what all I’ll be offering at the event as the time comes closer and I hope if you’re in the Florida area, you’ll consider taking the trip down to the Ritz-Carlton Hotel of Sarasota to pop in and say hello. I’ll have books there to sign and I’ll be setting up a pre-order form so you can go ahead and reserve your own copy ahead of time!

Another big piece of news is that I’ve been doing a lot of thinking, researching, watching podcasts and videos, and reading articles and I’ve decided to give this door one last push. I’ll be re-releasing all of my books through IngramSpark in hopes to reach more readers and widen my distribution channels. Publishing exclusively through Amazon has not be cutting it and I’m ready to get this career off the ground.

Subscribe to my blog for more details on upcoming events (yes, before the book signing!) within the next month. It’s gonna be good and I don’t want anyone to miss it!

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A Bit of Chapter 15 from “Beast Within”

12640319_10205890128034762_8301146021615080675_oSo, I’ve been tirelessly working on “Beast Within”, the third installment in my Loup-Garou Series. This past Saturday, I wrote 5,000 words and on Sunday I wrote another 6,000. I took a break on Monday because my brain was pretty fried, and tonight I wrote over 3,000 words. I’ve been setting a daily goal for myself of 1,000 words or 2,000 if I have the time. Well, I’ve been making the time and I’ll be on time with this novel. I aim to finish, completely (edits and all) by the end of February. At this rate, I only have about 8 more chapters to go.

To give a sneak peak, here’s a segment from Chapter 15 that I’m fairly proud of. I had a lot of help from my friends who have actually visited New Orleans. I was born in Louisiana and I’ve never been to New Orleans for good reasons, but I hope I’ve captured the spirit of Canal and Bourbon Street in this part of Katey and Logan’s journey. Keep in mind that this is a first draft scene with possible typos and atrocious grammatical errors. The finished product will be neater.


After parking Logan’s bike at the Canal Place Garage near the Mississippi River and across from the aquarium, they started their trek down Canal Street, into the swiftly setting sun. To the east, a blue and purple haze lined the horizon and Katey couldn’t help but admire how distinct the line was in the sky, differing their world between night and day.

The air was bursting with scents. The salty river breeze that wafted from behind them collided with the aromas of restaurants and cafes. Katey could smell everything from sugar-powdered pastries baking in overs to the spiced tinge of true Cajun seafood and authentic gumbo that made her stomach ache. The only thing they had to eat were those few packets of beef jerky at the motel and that did not satisfy the biting hunger. At the same time, the stench of stale alcohol assaulted her nose and made her lose her appetite.

Music joined the myriad of scents. Jazz, country, and rock melodies wove together, filtering out of the windows and doors of clubs along the strip. The cacophony of noises roared in her ears as well, but it wasn’t more than her senses could handle. After some time of walking close to one another, the modern shopping centers and restaurants gave way to an endless sea of European- inspired architecture with richly ornate facades that shot up three or four stories high in some places.

Lining the streets were all makes and models of cars, towering palm trees and bright red trolleys that carted tourists down the streets on either side. Somehow, Katey had imagined the French Quarter to be even more touristy and old world in its buildings.

Continue reading

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I surprise myself…

Ok, so as a writer I put little pieces of myself into my writing and it’s often done without my knowing it. I’ve read back over some of my books and realize that some of the things the characters go through are troubles I had either already worked through, or I was currently working through them at the time I was writing.
Well, tonight, I surprised myself again. Now, this is a bit of a spoiler alert for my Loup-Garou series, but this is a segment from chapter 12 of my next novel, Beast Within. It speaks a truth that I’ve been working at hammering into my own head for a while and I wonder if the message would help anyone else out there who is dealing with self-condemnation and insecurities about their life and relationships with others…


If the chase proved anything to Michael, it was that he was no longer a young man and that he had grown too accustomed to civilized life. Werewolves were always drawn to the woods, while his kind stayed indoors where it was safe and comfortable.

He stood in front of the cemetery gates to catch his breath, taking in the view of the graffitied sign that welcomed mourners and visitors alike. Miles away from Crestucky and well out of sight from human eyes, Logan had certainly picked a strange place to sulk.

“Leave me be, old man,” Logan’s voice drifted on the whistling wind.

Michael regained his strength and walked through the ajar gate, his footsteps barely making a sound on the crisp, untrodden grass. Even if Logan’s scent hadn’t led him to this remote graveyard, the trail of heightened emotions would have made his location known like a bright neon sign in the sky.

Since he had come to Crestucky, he knew the werewolves were in a dire situation. Fear and tension loomed like a thunder cloud over the city, and especially over the house in which Katey found herself living. Although Michael would have much preferred that she come to live with him, he understood the mind of the werewolves and their need for camaraderie and familial ties. To take her away from her pack would be like suffocating her slowly. To take her from her lover would prove even more disastrous.

From the moment he saw them together in the grand foyer, Michael knew their relationship was filled with love and devotion for one another. Yet, there was a queerness about their bond. Something unseen and probably undetected – even to them – was not quite right and Michael had racked his brain for weeks to figure it out. Continue reading

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Only Available For A Short Time!

sheritta325-72dpi-1500x2000So, in order for me to purchase copies for my beta readers, my arm has been twisted into publishing “Silver Screen”. Because it’s a very rough copy, it will be available for a short time and at a low price.

Blurb: “When Josie Carter found out she would be the head makeup artist for the famous Rodney Bator, it was hard not to be a little star struck. Working on her first big movie picture was a dream for the small town girl from Arkansas. But, her natural passion for acting has been pushed aside for many years now after the accident that killed her eldest sister. Seeing life through the lens of that tragedy had made her apprehensive to accept anything good, including the kindness and love of the incredible actor she worked with every day.
All Rodney every wanted in life was to prove to other werewolves, like himself, that it was possible to life in the midst of humans and not have to worry about discovery. The old world superstitious ways were a thing of the past, but he still knew many of his kind that lived in hiding – including his own father. Sure that his message was only enraging the alphas of the world, Rodney was ready to hang up his actor hat and settle down. And he knew just who he wanted to settle down with.”

This will be available on Amazon for probably only a month or so. If you want a limited edition copy, head over there right now and get yours today!

BUY IT HERE!

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Chapter 2 of “Silver Screen”

Well, you showed your love for chapter 1, so here’s chapter 2! Tell me what you think!

By the way, I’ve completed my editing for this novel, but as I said before, I may never publish it. But, I am waiting approval for the proof copy from CreateSpace, so I’ll have a copy for myself to put on my shelf at least. Who knows, later down the road, I may get it professionally edited and see how it goes.

Until then, I’ll be posting pieces on my blog. Also as a note, I may disappear off the radar for a while because college classes start tomorrow and I have no idea how much work I’ll be doing and how busy I will be. With luck, I’ll be able to start back on “Beast Within” and get that going for publication in the later part of this year.

 

Chapter 2

Everything was quiet on the observatory scene set as Rodney took his place by the telescope with Sean Stanton, who played his father – Sir John Talbot – in the movie. Josie and Natalie stood off to the side behind the cameras, watching the actors prepare themselves as the rest of the crew moved in for the lighting and sound. The room wasn’t more than thirty foot by thirty foot, with more than half of that reserved for Rodney and Sean while nearly twenty other crew members crowded the space near the door and spilled out into the room beyond.

Landon was not too far off, his stance wide and arms crossed with an intense look on his tanned, middle-aged face. His hazel eyes, shadowed beneath the rim of his Cubs ballcap, jumped around the set and examined everything from a distance to make sure everything would be perfect for the shot.

Kirk was beside him, nervously biting on his thumbnail and eyes downcast to the floor as if the entire success of this movie depended on this scene, which was entirely untrue. Josie believed it was the movie as a whole that made it a hit, but she could understand how uneasy the creator of anything would be when it was brought to life in this way. His curly brown hair looked like it had been run through with a set of anxious fingers more than a few times.

Most of the castle scenes took place at Niddry Castle a little farther out of town. Although the time in which this story took place was the early nineteen hundreds, the castle was far more ancient, making Niddry Castle perfect for most of the shots. But for some of the scenes, the crew modified an old mansion in the village, making the interior look like a medieval nobleman’s castle. Continue reading

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Chapter 1 of “Silver Screen”

sheritta325-72dpi-1500x2000Ok, so I started the edit for Silver Screen a little later than I wanted, but I spent the first day of 2017 with my husband, so it wasn’t a wasted day. We went out to a nice lunch and saw Assassins Creed in theaters, which is a fantastic movie if you’re thinking of going to see it. As a fan of the games, I was thoroughly satisfied. I hope they make a second one.

Anyway, so I’ve been working on Silver Screen and I’m starting to get a little excited because I used the winter break to develop the characters a little more and flesh them out with bolder details of their likes, dislikes, and personality. Here’s the first chapter and y’all let me know what you think. I still may never publish it, but at least I’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that I didn’t do a half-baked job.

Chapter 1

Josie muttered under her breath as she fished out the pence and pound notes buried in the bottom of the front pocket on her backpack. The taxi man waited patiently, understanding that she was a foreigner and obviously in a hurry. If Josie hadn’t slept in that morning, she would have been able to catch the shuttle bus with the rest of the film crew from the hotel. Instead, she had to count out what money she had kept for herself before wiring the rest of her paycheck to her mother in the states.

She hastily pushed the currency into the calloused hand of the Scotsman behind the wheel, shoulder her backpack, and scooted out of the back seat of the taxi. The air was cleaner there in the country, miles away from Edinburgh, if not a little muggy from the morning fog that still lingered over the town.

Winchburgh was a charming village and perfect for shooting the remake of The Wolfman. The production team scouted for months to find a place that already had the perfect backdrop and possible sets for the shots they needed. Without much help at all, Winchburgh looked just like the village overlooked by Talbot Castle in the movie. Continue reading

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