Introduce yourself and tell us what kind of author you are. My name’s Sydney! I often introduce myself as the self-proclaimed Fae Queen and friendly neighborhood bisexual witch XD I’m a stylist by day and YA/NA dark fantasy writer by night! I reside in the dangerous land of unknown weather forecasts (aka: Northeast USA) with my husband and our two fur babies Pandora and Panther Lily!
What made you start writing? I was bullied as a kid, so I used writing as an outlet. It’s stuck with me ever since!
Tell us about your book(s). As I said, I was bullied, so Awakening Shadows (currently my only book, which debuted in September 2020) was a story that stemmed from that about finding yourself and sticking up for what’s right even when it’s hard and even when darkness threatens every corner.
Who is your favorite character that you’ve ever written? It’s no surprise to anyone who follows me on Instagram, but Jenson. The bow and arrow slinging best friend character who is too snarky for his own good, but also genuine when he needs to be and will fight anyone who hurts the people he cares about. If he existed in real life, we would definitely be twins! Evalyn and Edan are close seconds!
Do you have a character that you really dislike? Toren. He’s the foreman on the island where Evalyn spends all her time in book one, and he is just the BIGGEST JERK. He’s one of those people that relishes in bringing pain to others.
Do you see yourself in any of your characters? I see myself in a lot of them! But as I mentioned, Jenson is definitely the one who resembles me the most. Evalyn and Edan definitely tie for second, both of them have a lot of past experiences and such that resemble my own 🙂
Tell us about your writing & editing process. Oooo! So It’s interesting, I didn’t become a drafter until I started writing the second book, but I start with a page of random ideas I want to make happen. Then I turn it into a more solid outline by chapter and character (since I write with more than one POV) and outline specifically what I want to happen in each chapter, including if there are any quotes or scenes that come to mind. After that I write the first draft, and then I’ll go back and edit! I edit occasionally as I go, but I do at least 5-10 rounds of self edits (both deep edits and small edits) before I even consider looking for beta readers.
How do you deal with feedback? I like to think I deal with it pretty well, I only have an issue when people are extremely negative for personal reasons, like the book or plot just wasn’t for them or they’re understanding things/characters completely different than they were intended to be taken and being extremely rude about it. There’s a difference between constructive criticism and good feedback and just being downright nasty I think!
What’s your writing fuel? Honestly I don’t really have one! I usually only drink water or coffee while I write with the occasional sprinkle of whiskey!
Do you have a favorite time/place to write? Place I don’t particularly have a preference, I just need to be listening to music! But I definitely write better at night!
Do you enjoy reading yourself? If yes, what genres and what is your favorite book? Yes, I love reading!! I’m open to other genres (especially dystopian, mystery, romance, and horror) but my home will always be in fantasy!
Who’s your biggest inspiration? Oh gosh. There’s a few, but Tamora Pierce was my first inspiration! Sarah Maas and Leigh Bardugo are close behind her!
What’s changed for you since releasing your first book? Honestly not too much! But I do feel like I’m constantly promoting my work and such now, which I did before publishing but not as much. As far as my writing itself and my habits, those have pretty much stayed the same!
What do you want to say most to your readers? Thank you for taking a chance on my baby. Thank you for your love and support, and thank you so so much for believing in me!
Are you currently working on anything? Can you share some secrets? I am!! Whispering Shadows is releasing June 20th (preorders are available now on my website: www.world sydney hawthorn.com) and I’m currently working on editing book 3 and drafting book 4! I’m also working on several short stories revolving around the main characters as children, a prequel story for Edan, and a Dark Fantasy/Horroresque prequel retelling of Alice in Wonderland where the Mad Hatter’s character is actually a psychotic murderer! 😉