Despite being from Australia, Sydney Bauer set her books in the US. “I was court reporting for The Australian and The Telegraph newspapers at a very interesting time. It was kind of that ‘Underbelly’ time in Sydney and I did the bikie trials after the big bikie massacre at Penrith.
“There was a lot of interesting stuff there to draw from. However, considering I was setting my books in the US, specifically in Massachusetts, in Boston, the laws of Massachusetts are obviously grossly different to the laws here in NSW. I had to literally sit down and learn the general laws of Massachusetts and look at it from an American perspective.”
DEVELOPING CHARACTERS WITH LONGEVITY
Sydney knew she wanted her character to have longevity and to develop a following. “I didn’t know what else to write so I exposed myself to so many brilliant American based series like The West Wing and Law & Order and 24.
“I wanted David, my main character, to have that kind of longevity and the characters around to become people that the readers knew and loved. Besides the fact that each individual novel actually has a different crime and a murder story going on within it, I wanted them to watch the characters grow from book to book.”
A STRUCTURED APPROACH
In order to complete her books, Sydney says she needs structure in her life. “I’m a very organised and structured kind of person so I write to the calendar year. When the school holidays are finished – at the end of January – that’s when I start my next book and I like to finish it by the end of December.
“But obviously while I’m writing that book I’m editing the previous one. I’m promoting the one before that and often editing the one before that for the US market. So even though I might be writing book six now, I’m editing book five, I’m promoting book four and I’m working on editing book three for the US.
“So it kind of has to be a full-time job because I really literally don’t have time to do much else to be honest with you. But it’s great fun. I really enjoy it.”
SYDNEY’S TIP: PERSISTENCE AND DETERMINATION
“My advice is persistence and determination. Never give up. Sit down and write the two words, ‘Chapter One’. Then you are locked in and you have made a commitment to yourself to keep going.”
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