IndieView with Sibel Hodge, author of, My Perfect Wedding

My Perfect Wedding by Sibel Hodge

“There are very few writers, if any, of Turkish Cypriot origin who write commercial fiction, so this was a great opportunity to introduce a unique infusion of British and Turkish Cypriot culture. It adds a new twist to contemporary romantic comedies.” Sibel Hodge 29 January 2011

The Back Flap

Helen Grey is finally getting everything she wants. She’s about to have the perfect dream wedding and begin an exciting new life abroad on the sunny Mediterranean island of Cyprus. But living the dream isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.

After a mix-up at the airport, Helen finds herself drawn into the midst of an elaborate plot to steal an ancient statue and assassinate a local businessman. And as if that wasn’t bad enough, her wedding dress is AWOL, the statue seems to be cursed, and Helen is wanted by the police.

With the big day rapidly approaching, a roller-coaster of mishaps, misunderstandings, and disasters threatens to turn the newlyweds into nearly weds.

Can Helen prevent an assassination, save the statue, and have the perfect wedding? Or will the day to remember turn into one she’d rather forget?

About the Book

What is the book about?

My Perfect Wedding is a romantic comedy that combines murder and mayhem with romance and chicklit. Helen Grey is finally getting married and moving to the sunny Mediterranean to have the perfect wedding and escape the rat-race. She assumes it’s going to be nothing but love and romance, but living the dream isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It shows the twists and turns in life that can happen unexpectedly.

When did you start writing the book?

September 2010.

How long did it take you to write it?

It took five months in total.

Where did you get the idea from?

As the sequel to Fourteen Days Later, My Perfect Wedding follows the next stage in Helen’s life. I always felt that there was so much potential to take the story further. There are very few writers, if any, of Turkish Cypriot origin who write commercial fiction, so this was a great opportunity to introduce a unique infusion of British and Turkish Cypriot culture. It adds a new twist to contemporary romantic comedies.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

The plot! The hard thing for me is plotting in advance. Sometimes I think too much about it, and it hinders my creativity. I write a brief plot outline, but, for me, just starting to write is better than getting hung up on too much plotting in advance. I find my characters and plot unfold more naturally as I go.

What came easily?

I spend most of my time in North Cyprus, so describing the setting came really easily. I also enjoy writing dialogue so it’s pretty easy for me to write.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

I love creating characters. All my characters are a mix of people I know, people I’ve observed, or people my friends and family have told me about. I take different quirks or personalities from so many people and mix them up. The fun part is you can make up anyone you want.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

People like Sophie Kinsella, Marian Keyes, Catherine Alliott, Janet Evanovich, Harlan Coben. I write in the same sort of fun, easy-reading style.

Do you have a target reader?

I write romantic comedies and comedy mysteries, and although my target audience is probably mainly women, many men also read my novels and enjoy escaping with a fun, fast-paced romp.

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

I work out brief descriptions of my characters in my head before I start, but most of the time their personalities come alive and emerge as I write.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just Chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

As I said above, I try not to get too hung up on it. Usually it will be just a few lines of what I need to happen in a particular chapter.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

I wait until I’ve finished the whole thing.

Did you hire a professional editor?

Yes. I’m not the best editor in the world! It definitely helps to have another pair of eyes for the grammar, syntax, punctuation, etc., but they will also help to point out any discrepancies and give you a fresh perspective for improvement that you might not have thought about.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

No. I’m forced to listen to Bloomberg news! My husband watches it all day to keep up with the financial world. Maybe he’s getting tips from Warren Buffett on what to do with my millions when I hit the bestseller list!

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

I didn’t submit this one to agents because the process takes so long. I did submit my previous two novels before I published them independently. I had some great feedback, and even got close to getting a traditional publishing deal a few times, but it never quite worked out.

What made you decide to go Indie? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

It was a gradual thing. When I first started looking into it, places like Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing wouldn’t allow non US authors to sell their books through them. This changed early last year and I haven’t looked back since!

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did it you do it yourself?

I did it myself.

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

I don’t have a plan. What works for one author won’t work for another, so I’m just using trial and error. The only downside to being an Indie author is having the time to promote and market your work as well as finding the time to write.

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

I’ve had all my manuscripts critiqued professionally before I published them. This is invaluable to a newbie for producing a top quality novel. There are plenty of forums and blogs that give a vast wealth of information to newbies looking to become an Indie. I’ve learned so much information from them in the last two years, and knowledge is power!

What are you working on now?

I’m working on the second novel in my Amber Fox cozy mystery series.

End of Interview

Sibel’s website is here. You can buy her book at Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Smashwords.

12 responses to “IndieView with Sibel Hodge, author of, My Perfect Wedding

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention IndieView with Sibel Hodge, author of, My Perfect Wedding | Simon Royle -- Topsy.com

  2. I loved the excerpt I read when they are detained. Intriguing and funny! But my comment is about the question above concerning advice to newbies. You suggested professional critiquing. I would like to add, that advice is not just for newbies. A critical, impartial eye is the best way to get a grip on any body of work no what the writer’s status in the writing world.

    Thanks for a refreshing interview!

  3. Great interview! The book sounds fun. I agree — marketing is so important, but it takes away from writing time. Maybe you can convince your husband to do the marketing for you. 😉

  4. Great interview, Sibel. I’m really looking forward to reading both Fourteen Days Later and My Perfect Wedding. They’re my kind of stories!

  5. Great interview Sibel!! Interesting to know that you do your own covers because they are what attracted me to your books in the first place! I have yet to read one as yet, but I absolutely adore Sophie Kinsella and since your style is in the same vein, I look forward to reading them. Fun and easy-going are the best books to read, they’re an escape from the real world. Speaking of escape, I’m also interested in the location/setting of your books, a great change for me since most of the books I read are either based in the US or England. I get to take an adventurous trip to Cyprus via my Kindle for $4.99! I’d like to see those bargain travel websites beat that deal! 😛 Best of luck to you Sibel, on the current book you’re working on and all the ones to come!

  6. Sounds like a really fun read!

  7. Kifana takes the prize, a free copy of My Perfect Wedding for the coolest comment 🙂

  8. Love the cover, Sibel!

    “There are very few writers, if any, of Turkish Cypriot origin who write commercial fiction, so this was a great opportunity to introduce a unique infusion of British and Turkish Cypriot culture.” This is one aspect that really appealed to me with Fourteen Days Later. Something a bit different. That and your writing.