Sidney Bell lives in the drizzly Pacific Northwest with her amazingly supportive husband. She received her MFA degree in Creative Writing in 2010, considered aiming for the Great American Novel, and then promptly started writing fanfiction instead. More realistic grown-ups eventually convinced her to try writing something more fiscally responsible, though, which is how we ended up here. When she’s not writing, she’s playing violent video games, yelling at the television during hockey games, or supporting her local library by turning books in late.
This is what she's usually doing:
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Frequently Asked Questions
What do you write?
Right now, I write exclusively male/male romantic suspense.
Why do you write that?
Because I like writing love stories with a hint of danger to them.
Do your books end with Happily Ever Afters (HEAs)?
Yes, always. While my books don't necessarily end with marriage, that's more to do with the role of marriage than because my couples aren't 100% committed to each other. Some of my characters are really young or have a lot going on in their lives and marriage doesn't really make good sense at the time the book ends. But all of my main characters end up with the loves of their life, and remain happy in those relationships whether they're married by the epilogue or not.
What are you working on right now?
Rough Trade. It's Ghost's book, which is the last book of the Woodbury Boys Trilogy.
Do Ghost and Tobias end up together? I want/don't want them to.
Ghost and Tobias will have separate books and separate love stories, although the plot will carry over from one to the other. That's likely to be disappointing for some of you, while relieving other readers. My thinking on this is that Ghost and Tobias want and need very different things from a partner, and sometimes learning about why a relationship won't work can help you identify good relationships when they come along. As their backstories are revealed in the next two books, it'll become clearer as to why they're better off as friends. They will both get their HEA's, though! I promise, their white knights are waiting in the wings. Okay, I mixed that metaphor, but you know what I mean. ;D
When does your next book come out? Will it be released in paperback?
Release dates for upcoming books are subject to change. The best way to tell when something will be out is to go check out my news page (home page, but scroll down a bit) or to go to the book's individual page, which can be found via my books page here. Whether or not upcoming books will be released in paperback depends entirely on the sales numbers of the books currently in paperback. If you're a book purist who prefers books on the page, I strongly encourage you to bully (ahem, encourage) your friends to buy paperbacks too--publishers pay close attention to that sort of demand.
Will Bad Judgment ever be published in paperback?
At this point, there are no plans to publish Bad Judgment in print. If that changes, I'll share that info on the website and in my newsletter.
What's this post-book content stuff you keep talking about?
I know lots of readers enjoy reading about the happy ever after stuff, but my books are already pretty long, so there isn't usually a lot of room for me to include long epilogues. So I decided to write up some of those ideas that would take place after a book ends and share them for free with readers via my newsletter. Sometimes I'll include things like deleted scenes, what characters do together on holidays, backstory stuff for secondary characters, and more. While much of this content is made available on each book's page eventually, some stuff is only accessible via my newsletter, so sign up if you're interested!
How do I get in touch with you for media questions, to contact your agent, or just to say how I felt about one of your books?
You can always reach me at email@example.com
I heard you were into fanfic. What fandoms are you in? Can I read some of yours?
I love fanfic, and I will talk about it all day long in generalized terms--what it is, why it's cool, why it has a weird reputation--but I've decided I'm not going to talk about my own fanfic writing or the fandoms I've been (and continue to be) a part of. I'm sorry if that's disappointing, but hopefully my reasoning on this will make sense. First, let me be clear--I'm not ashamed to write or read fanfic. I'm proud of it. My reasons for keeping it private stem from different issues.
Part of what makes fanfic amazing is the freedom that comes with it, both as a reader and as a writer. It's a pretty safe place to explore the kinds of 'what if' questions that our favorite books and movies don't get a chance to delve into, and writers have a lot of room to experiment with new ideas and new techniques. This safety exists partly because the fanfic community tends to be very open-minded about writing that does not conform to the rules of traditional publishing. I use fanfic to experiment with techniques and characters and ideas, just like most fanfic writers do, and that means that the writing I've done over the years really varies in quality and content. Some of it is embarrassingly bad, to be honest, and I don't want to take responsibility for having written so many comma splices. :D
Plus, while fanfic and m/m books are very much intertwined in content, intermingling them in practice is a little like having your boss follow you home from work. Your boss might be the coolest of the cool, but it's still a bit stressful and you can't be too unprofessional and it's never quite as relaxing doing things for fun, because it's hard to separate it from your day job. Writing and reading fanfic is an escape for me partially because I don't have to worry about what people will think, and I can't escape the same way if I start getting it mixed up with work.
Finally, some of my fanfic is really personal, and explores family dynamics or relationship dynamics in ways that I'd prefer to keep private. Sharing that stuff anonymously on the internet is very different from sharing it with family, friends, or people you know from work.
So while I love fanfic and I heartily encourage everyone to give it a shot, I don't intend to share mine with anyone. I hope that's not to disappointing.
Can I write fanfic about your books?
This is a tricky question, and the answer has two parts.
1) I cannot speak for my publisher, who may or may not have strong feelings about what constitutes copyright infringement of my work, which they technically own the rights to. While I personally don't have any problems with it except in regards to part 2 of my answer (explained below), I'm not the only person who can/should give permission, and that means I can't just say yes. In the interest of covering my butt, I'll say that I'm not fiscally or morally responsible if you end up getting sued.
2) I'm working on a series right now, so I still need autonomy with those characters and the verse they live in. Fanfic based on a canon that is still growing and changing means that sometimes idea overlap might occur by accident. You'd have to be aware that if I come up with an idea that looks similar to yours, I still get to be the only one who makes money from it.
Will you read the story I wrote?
I'm sorry, but no. Critiquing someone else's fiction is a lot of work, and if I spent time helping readers with their books, I'd never have time to work on my own books. It's a good idea to get feedback if you're a new writer, though! Try to find a local writer's group if you can. Or join a writing organization online that enables writers to submit critiques to each other.
Will you be attending any conferences in my area?
No conferences are scheduled at this time. But if I find one I'm going to attend, I promise to put the info up on my website with as much advance warning as possible.