Today we welcome author Lydia Sharp to the blog. Let's get to know her and her book, TWIN SENSE.
I'm a full-time author, a full-time wife & mother, and a part-time everything else. I work two actual part-time jobs, one in retail and one as a direct sales consultant. I've lived in northeast Ohio my entire life.
How long have you been writing?
I recognized my love of storytelling in first grade and entered my first writing contest in third grade. I wrote all through my school years, first with short stories, then poetry and essays, and in high school I tried my hand at screenwriting because I was a drama geek. I started a novel in high school, too, but it was never finished. It wasn't until I reached my late twenties that I started viewing fiction writing as a possible career choice, soaked up as much info as I could about the craft and industry (something I've continued doing regularly to this day), and finished my first novel. That book has been trunked for years now, but writing it was a necessary step on the path to publication.
Tell us about TWIN SENSE. What’s the story about?
Twin Sense is about a girl who must untangle herself from the love quadrangle she created with her boyfriend, her boyfriend's twin brother, and her boyfriend's twin brother's ex-girlfriend. It's a teen romantic comedy with a bisexual twist.
How did the idea of the story come to you?
Many of the story elements came from my own life experience. The main character is like me in a lot of ways, but she isn't a clone of me. I also used a fictional version of my hometown (Lakewood, Ohio) for the setting. I'd been wanting to write a romantic comedy for a while before this, and finally decided to give it a try. It went so well and was so much fun that I'm already working on another one.
As for the twins... Ever since I developed an addiction to the Sweet Valley High series in my tween years, I've had an obsession with twins. This isn't the first story I've written that features twins, but it is the first of my twin stories to be published.
Do you have a critique group/partner or beta readers, or do you self-edit?
I do both. Self-editing is an important skill to learn, but there are only so many things you can see in your own work. I'm fortunate to have a solid circle of beta readers who not only like my genre and writing style, but also have a keen eye for picking up on my weak spots. Without them my stories wouldn't be strong enough to move onto the next phase--submission.
Are you a planner or a pantser?
This isn't typical of most of my stories--there is usually quite a bit of pre-planning involved--but with Twin Sense I just sat down and started writing and this is what came out. I did go into it with a specific word count goal in mind, and a few specific story elements, and I later adjusted it to my basic structure. So I didn't completely pants my way through it, it just felt like I did compared to my usual process. I use a Beat Sheet to build a framework and go from there. Sometimes there are copious amounts of notes written as well, depending on the individual needs of the project.
What’s the hardest part of writing for you?
Plot twists have always been difficult for me. Every writer has a weakness, and that is mine. Things like character development and witty dialogue come easy for me, though, so it's a trade-off. You can't be good at everything.
What do you absolutely have to have nearby when writing?
Snacks, and the crunchier the better. There's something about the act of chewing that gets my brain working. It's weird, I know. This, plus sitting most of the day, also isn't very kind to my midsection. When I'm thinking about it, I'll try to make them healthy snacks like carrot sticks or celery. But many times I'm just mindlessly grabbing whatever is in the cupboards while my brain is in story mode, and I don't realize I've eaten an entire sleeve of cookies until my next grab results in nothing but crumbs.
I've also tried swapping out the food for a mug of hot tea, since so many writers swear by this. But I just end up having tea with my snacks.
If you could have any super power, what would it be?
Time travel. I'm a history buff. I'd love to see what it was really like to live in previous eras. So much of true history has been lost or changed.
What's the weirdest thing you've Googled?
How to cryo-freeze a human head. It was research for a sci-fi story, I swear.
Quick writing test! Use the following words in a sentence: sensitive, logistics, and canary.
Are your ears sensitive to a canary that sings about birdie logistics?
Finish this sentence: If I'm not writing, I'm probably ...
*Thumbs up* Here’s the part where you thank the people who are supporting you. Let's hear your shout outs.
Too many to name! But here are some extra special people who have been with me through thick and thin:
My hubby and son (of course), Liz Penn, Laurel Montgomery, Kelly Said, Don Cribbs, and Annie Cechini. I'm sure I'm forgetting someone important. My brain likes to fail me like that.
And finally, where can people find you and your book online?
Twin Sense is available only as an ebook. You can purchase a download for pretty much any reading device (or a PDF for your computer) through the publisher's website, HERE.
Everywhere you can find me online is listed on my website.