Today I am so pleased to welcome Sidney Bell to Joyfully Jay. Sidney has come to talk to us about her latest release, Rough Trade (Woodbury Boys #3), which we reviewed here and loved. She has also brought some questions and answers for us, as well as a great giveaway. Please join me in giving her a big welcome!


Do you write by the seat of your pants, or do you carefully plot your stories?

I hate outlining. I dread the part where my publisher asks for one. It’s completely antithetical to my process. Given the choice, I start with theme. Then I go on to character. Then I look for a general situation that will force my characters to deal with those themes. Plot is an end-product of all those other things coming together cohesively. Outlining is like predicting the outcome of an extraordinarily complex process. My answers are always going to be wildly inaccurate.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s completely reasonable that publishers want outlines. They want to know what they’re committing to. But it would be much more honest and reliable if I could just be like, “This book is gonna be about anger. Specifically how anger with past relationships impacts a new, developing relationship. And I want a lot of sarcastic banter and a lot of cursing and a really gritty main pairing. Everything is going to be fierce and bright and fighty. How’s that sound?” None of that is remotely close to an outline, but it’s the book you’re actually going to get. It’s the stuff that’ll inspire me to work every morning, and it’s the stuff that’ll carry me through to the end when it gets rough. It’s the only stuff that isn’t going to change mid-process.

But I can see why a publisher would look at that and be dissatisfied about whether or not to buy it.


Would you like to share a favorite moment from your writing career?

For me it was when Carina Press called me to say they wanted to buy Bad Judgment. My brain wouldn’t stop going in circles: it’s happening. It’s finally happening. I was shaking. Then I found my husband lurking outside my office after I hung up. Like, ear-pressed-to-the-door lurking. He kept grabbing me and yelling, “You did it!” I got to be a published author and a deeply-loved woman all at the same time. It was magic.


 What’s your favorite snack and/or beverage while you’re writing? 

Black coffee. I’m discovering that heartburn is a real thing in your thirties, so I’m not sure how much longer it’ll last, but I’m not quitting yet.


 What’s your ideal scenery while you’re writing? 

Rain-soaked, wind-swept English moors. I read Wuthering Heights six times as a teenager. I think I imprinted on that book. I was madly in love with Heathcliff. Fortunately, I aged out of that part, because Heathcliff is an awful, terrible person. I’m pretty sure my need for angst is permanent, though. I wanted to be Emily Bronte. You know you’ve got the fangirl engine working overtime when even Tuberculosis seems romantic.


 Do you listen to music while you write? What are some tunes on your playlist? 

I used to. I had really complex playlists. But at some point it became something that distracts me. I have an easier time concentrating in the quiet these days. I’ll use music while I’m bullet journaling or checking email to get myself into a mood that’ll help me write, but once I’m ready to put words on the page, I usually do better if I turn it off.


Quick-witted hustler Ghost is no stranger to living dangerously; survival has always been the name of the game.

He’s just always gone it alone.

Now he’s got the wrong people breathing down his neck, and the only way out demands placing his trust in the unlikeliest of heroes: Duncan Rook, a gruff cop whose ethics are as solid as his body.

Cozying up to a criminal is hardly what Duncan’s reputation on the force needs—especially when that criminal is temptation personified. Ghost is Duncan’s polar opposite, and the last person he expected to fall for.

So then why does every imaginable scenario for taking down their common enemy end with Ghost in his arms?

This book is approximately 122,000 words

One-click with confidence. This title is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise!


Sidney Bell lives in Colorado with her amazingly supportive husband. She received her MFA degree in Creative Writing in 2010, considered aiming for the Great American Novel, and then promptly started writing fanfiction instead. More realistic grown-ups eventually convinced her to try writing something more fiscally responsible, though, which is how we ended up here. When she’s not writing, she’s playing violent video games, yelling at the television during hockey games, or supporting her local library by turning books in late.

Connect with Sidney:


Win 1 of 5 Paperback of HARD LINE and LOOSE CANNON (Woodbury Boys series) by Sidney Bell! (North American addresses only) Just follow the Rafflecopter link below. 

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