SYDNEY JAMESSON: BLUE HEARTS IS EMOTIONALLY DRIVEN BOOK
Posted by Ognian Georgiev
Sydney Jamesson made big impact with her The Story of Us books. Our next guest is working as an English teacher, who turns out to be a very good storyteller. She has five novels behind her and all of them received positive feedback by the fans of romance genre.
It’s a great pleasure to introduce at Land of Books Sydney Jamesson.
– Sydney, what is your last book Blue Hearts about?
– Blue Hearts is the continuation of The Story of Us. It follows on from the trilogy and is the second part of the Into the Blue Series, following on from Blue Genes. It features Ayden Stone and Elizabeth Parker-Stone and is an exploration of the heartache that comes from forced separation. Fearing for her and their unborn twins, Ayden has sent Beth away for her safety, knowing he has the fight of his life on his hands to save himself and— more importantly—his family. He must do things he knows will jeopardize his marriage, but with his back against the wall, he has no choice. He must do … whatever it takes.
In staging their marriage break-up, Ayden must appear to return to his old ways; reestablish his playboy lifestyle and seemingly rekindle a love affair with a beautiful ex-girlfriend. Believing their marriage to be a sham, and unaware of his duplicity, Beth suffers emotional torment. Ayden’s reputation suffers and he appears to have everything; in fact he is close to breaking point too. He needs the one thing he cannot have—the only woman he has ever loved: Beth.
Enemies from their past close in, threatening their relationship and their very existence. With everything to fight for, he must make a stand to safeguard their lives and their love … or risk losing it all.
It’s an emotionally driven book, receiving excellent reviews.
– How did you decide to write The Story of Us series?
– I had the idea for The Story of Us over twenty years ago, believe it or not. I was working as a copywriter and commercial journalist and any spare time I had was spent with my family. So there it sat collecting dust for all those years. When I released TouchStone for play, it was barely recognisable as the book I’d written twenty years previously. I considered the original as a series of notes, a starting point which I could built upon. TouchStone for play became a reincarnation, a transformation of a basic love story, a touchstone—something deeper and more meaningful.
What I did carry forward was the intense attraction and the loyalty that soon became apparent between the central characters. They were from different worlds, but something had brought them together – fate. That is the essence of The Story Of Us Trilogy and the series. It’s what keeps them together.
In terms of actual publication, the catalyst was The Crossfire Series and Sylvain Reynard’s wonderful books narrating Gabriel Emerson’s and Julianne Mitchell’s love affair. I read Gabriel’s Inferno and regarded it as the best book I’d ever read; that skilled distillation of romance, literature, music and suspense was the lifeblood that helped to raise my story from the dead.
– What was the biggest challenge during the write up process?
– The biggest challenge was, and continues to be … time. As I teach full-time, it has taken a lot of self-discipline and determination to complete the series, now comprised of five books. Thankfully, I have a partner who has been a constant supporter and cheerleader for the series and I don’t need much sleep! My nocturnal nature has allowed me to develop a significant presence on social media and to widen my circle of readers and friends. Along the way I’ve met some extremely generous and talented people who have helped me.
I have multiple platforms, a publicist and a wonderful TouchStone family. On Facebook there is TouchStone Family Circle where those who have taken the Story of Us to their hearts can congregate, chat, post pictures, quotes, links to songs included in the books and share their personal successes and celebrations. I feel very blessed to have such a devoted group of fans.
– Tell us something more about your main characters Beth and Ayden? Are they close to someone from your real life?
– Because Beth is a school teacher, most people assume that she’s me. In her professional life she probably is. In terms of personality, she’s much softer than me: I’m less sentimental and forgiving. I consider Beth an amalgamation of most women and that’s why I think my readers respond on an emotional level to her; they want to be her, protect her and, at the same time, are able to empathise with her in her darkest moments. As with all my characters, experiences shape her personality she draws on an inner strength and fights to save the timeless love she and Ayden have—she is prepared to give everything. By the end of the story, she is a woman transformed and a force to be reckoned with.
I have enjoyed giving Ayden a voice too. He’s much more business-like than Beth. He’s had a difficult childhood, but beneath that cool, polished and impenetrable exterior, there’s a heart of gold—a heart that beats for Beth. A lot of readers will recognise that level of commitment in their partners. I know I do.
As for Dan Rizler? He’s Hannibal Lecter let loose, a sociopath with an obsessive streak. Poor Beth Parker is the focus of that obsession and he will stop at nothing to get his hands on his ‘princess.’
– How much time did you need to finish the story and to publish it?
– The Story of Us is one book away from completion. Once Blue Moon is released, it will have taken me three years in total. I give myself around six months to plan, write, edit and publish a book. The first three books are big reads and the story itself takes place over a twenty six year period, so it’s epic in terms of time, conceptually and in word count.
– Who are you?
– I’m a hard-working, young at heart school teacher, a hopeless romantic, and a mother—not necessarily in that order. I love to read for pleasure and listen to music, finding it inspiring and the perfect stimulus for writing, at times. I met my soulmate decades ago; he knows all my flaws and loves me anyway. Over the years we have seen the worst and the best of human nature. I see it as my vocation to explore both aspects in my writing.
– What are your writing habits?
– I tend to write when I can. In that moment of waking when the imagination is at its most active, I often see scenes or hear my characters interacting. Those are the times when I reach for a pen and a pad and write like a crazy woman to get snippets of conversation and recollections down before they become a blur.
The next stage is to type up notes, print out the entire book and read through, crossing out lines, changing words and generally getting a feel for what needs to be developed or deleted.
The next step is having it beta read and responding to feedback before amending and sending off to my editor. After a session of pre-publication finger crossing, the final copy is then introduced to my readers and so the process begins again.
– Are you satisfied by the sales of your book?
– The sales of my books have always been steady. They have been ranked Amazon top ten and recently the boxed set #1 Amazon for literary, romance suspense, #22 on Amazon! Now The Story of Us has become a USA Today Bestseller, more people around the world have been introduced to Ayden and Beth’s story, so that’s amazing and sales have really picked up.
– What are you doing to promote your book by the best possible way?
– I came into this publishing journey with very little idea about social media and networking and it’s been a steep learning curve for me. I’ve had to learn on the job and quickly. I’m fortunate to have an amazing publicist in the US and a great team of dedicated fans and followers who help to promote my books on Twitter and Facebook. Also, there are limitless book pages where indie author like myself can upload book details for new readers to discover for themselves in a specific genre. It’s common knowledge that I like to interact personally with my readers, too.
– When we will see your next novel and would you unveil something more about it?
– Blue Moon is coming soon, the final chapter in The Story of Us. I see it as an exhilarating conclusion to this love story. The Story of Us has many fairy-tale elements, and Beth could be recognised as Sleeping Beauty. She has her Prince Charming who rescues her from being attacked and killed by a wolf in sheep’s clothing, Dan Rizler. The entire series has magical elements like prophecy and destiny, the stars, nature and transformation, as well as self-sacrifice and redemption. Fairy-tales tend to be about battles between good and evil, and this series is no exception. In this grand finale, good will prevail and Ayden and Beth will enjoy a much deserves happy ever after, but not without some revelations, and twists and turns along the way.
– Do you remember the moment when you decide to become a writer?
– To be honest, I have always written in one form or another. I wrote stories and poetry at school. I worked as a copywriter and commercial journalist but it was only after reading Gabriel’s Inferno that I felt there was a place for The Story of Us in the publishing world as a piece of literary romance. The romanticism and the lyrical style blew me away. It’s no secret, least of all to Sylvain Reynard, that I was inspired by him. I had a kind of epiphany. I said to my partner, “This is the most romantic book I’ve ever read.” (I loved it that much) It’s perfectly constructed and written with so much love and devotion. When I saw how readers loved it, I thought there might be a place in their hearts for Ayden and Beth’s love story. I was also aware of the popularity of stories that were more sexual than sensual and so added some spice; along with the heartbreak I included more hotness and a heap of humour and suspense and, The Story of Us was born.
– You are working as a teacher. Do you have some observations how the young generation is forming their preferable literature genre?
– It saddens me so much to see the way reading habits have changed since I was at school. There have been so many advancements in terms of social media and digital technology that have created a generation of impatient readers; they have become accustomed to sound bites and small amounts of information, requiring a reduced attention span. The invention of the kindle has made reading on the go much easier but the iPhone, while being a wonderful invention, offers so many choices that actual reading for pleasure has become a pastime for bookworms. I teach literacy and language skills and introduce my students to literary classics whenever I can, hopefully giving them a taste of something different that will stay with them long after lessons have finished.
– If you may ask yourself one question in the interview what it will be?
– Q: What would your advice be to yourself when starting out? A: My advice would be to always make sure that whatever you publish is your very best work. Don’t be pressured to follow the crowd, find your own voice. If you have an idea for a story and it’s something you’d like to read, the chances are others would too. Get friends or someone you trust to read it objectively and, whatever you do, take no notice of negative reviews. You can’t please all the people all the time.
Take a look at her books:
TouchStone for play (Story of Us Trilogy Book 1)
TouchStone for giving (Story of Us Trilogy Book 2)
TouchStone for ever (Story of Us Trilogy Book 3)
Blue Genes #1 (The Story of Us Series: Into the Blue)
Blue Hearts #2 ((The Story of Us Series – Into the Blue))