Summer Book Club Part 4 – Sibel Hodge

The Summer Book Club part 4 – Sibel Hodge

As per previous post, the African summer cares not for my schedule or my equipment, so until I escape back to the UK next month it will be rationed service here at MWi.

On the bright side, August is New Renaissance month, when we’ll be looking at the myriad ways in which writers are taking advantage of their new freedom to innovate and experiment, not just with their written work but in their choice of media  and their approaches to selling.

And though  you won’t realise it your end, as I wrote that last sentence we were again plunged into darkness. Oh joy. 😐

Hopefully enough battery power to get this post live.

It’s Summer Book Club time again and the spotlight this week is on Sibel Hodge.

Regular readers will recall Sibel was here as part of the Girls Just Wanna Have Fun blogfest. Her fun post The C-Word And Other Profanities – Sibel Hodge’s 200 Expletives Revealed was one of the big hitting posts of the blogfest. If you missed it first time round click on the link to see why Sibel is one of the epublishing revolution’s great success stories.

Given it could be days before I’m back on line I pass you over to Sibel. Enjoy!


Sibel Hodge’s chick lit mystery Be Careful What You Wish For is the next book to be featured in The Summer Book Club.

About Sibel…

Sibel Hodge is the author of romantic comedies and chick lit mysteries. In her spare time she’s Wonder Woman!
Her first novel, Fourteen Days Later, was short-listed for the Harry Bowling Prize 2008 and received a highly commended by the Yeovil Literary Prize 2009. It is a romantic comedy with a unique infusion of British and Turkish Cypriot culture. Written in a similar style to Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes, Fourteen Days Later is My Big Fat Greek Wedding meets Bridget Jones. My Perfect Wedding is the sequel to Fourteen Days Later, although it can be read as a standalone novel.

The Fashion Police was a runner up in the Chapter One Promotions Novel Competition 2010 and nominated Best Novel with Romantic Elements 2010 by The Romance Reviews. It is a screwball comedy-mystery, combining murder and mayhem with romance and chick-lit, and the first in a series featuring feisty, larger-than-life insurance investigator, Amber Fox. Written in a similar style to Janet Evanovich and Myron Bolitar, The Fashion Police is Stephanie Plum meets Harlan Coben. Be Careful What You Wish For is the second Amber Fox Mystery.


Tell us a bit about Be Careful What You Wish For…


Be Careful What You Wish For is the second Amber Fox murder mystery that follows on from The Fashion Police:


For fans of Janet Evanovich, Kate Johnson, and Gemma Halliday…

Armed with cool sarcasm and uncontrollable hair, feisty insurance investigator Amber Fox is back in a new mystery combining murder and mayhem with romance and chicklit…

Three deaths.
A safety deposit box robbery.
The boxing heavyweight champion of the world.

Somehow, they’re all related, and Amber has to solve a four year old crime to find out why.

As she stumbles across a trail of dead bodies and a web of lies spanning both sides of the social divide, it’s starting to get personal. Someone thinks Amber’s poking her nose in where it’s not wanted, sparking off a game of fox and mouse – only this time, Amber’s the mouse.

Amber’s forced to take refuge in the home of her ex-fiancé, Brad Beckett, and now it’s not just the case that’s hotting up. So is the bedroom…

All Levi Carter wanted to be was the boxing heavyweight champion of the world, but at what cost?

All Carl Thomas wanted was to be rich, but would his greed be his downfall?

All Brad Beckett wants is to get Amber back, but there’s a reason for the ex word.

Be careful what you wish for…you might just get it.


Amber Fox is a feisty, wise-cracking insurance investigator with wild hair.  Is she anything like you at all? 

Absolutely! She’s got a lot of her in me but I’m not telling you exactly which bits for fear I might incriminate myself!

What was your favorite part of Be Careful What you Wish For?

Ooh, that’s sooo hard! It’s my baby so it’s all my favourite. I love the fact that it’s got a solid mystery combined with a lot of humor, wit, and romance. Probably typing The End is my favourite part – then you know that all the ideas in your head have finally come together.

Will we get to hear more from Amber Fox in the future?

Amber loves to talk so she’ll definitely back to tell another story. Just try and shut her up!

How do you get the ideas for your books?

It’s all the voices in my head that make me do it. I write so I won’t have to be medicated!

Do you ever suffer from Writer’s Block?

Sometimes. When that happens I usually drink a bottle of wine and throw ideas around with my husband. Well, that’s my excuse for cracking the wine open anyway!

What’s your favorite thing to snack on while writing?

Nuts (no jokes, please!).

Do you plot everything before you start writing or do you just see where the story takes you?

I’m definitely a fly-by-the-seat of my Wonder Woman knickers kind of girl! I think I’ve got Plotophobia. I make most of it up as I go a long – creative or crazy? I’m not sure which.

What are you working on now?

I’m working on some new ideas for my next chicklit novel which will be called The Hen Party. It’s about a group of girls who go to Vegas for…yes, you’ve guessed it, a hen party. But they end up getting much more than they bargained for. I’m also hoping to start the next Amber Fox mystery at the end of summer.

Do you have any advice for aspiring indie authors?

First and foremost, you have to write a good book with a good blurb and cover if you want to succeed. But to do that, you need to learn your craft well. That’s the first hard bit over with! The second is marketing and promoting, and this is pretty hard, too. What works for someone else won’t always work for you, and it takes up a lot of time that you could spend on writing. But I’ve mingled with some inspiring and fantastic authors and met some great fans because of it. Would you get that if you were trad-pubbed with a marketing department? I don’t think so. Being on a personal level is so much more rewarding.

I think you can do anything you want to in life. You might have to go a different route to get there than you originally thought, but if you never try, you never know what might be. Go for it!

What do you do besides write?

Promotion takes up a lot of my time, but it’s lovely to interact with other readers and authors. I swim, do yoga, walk, read. Oh yes…and the occasional bottle of wine!

More about Sibel…

Sibel talks to WG2E about how she went from 200 rejections to Amazon top 200!

Sibel’s interview on The Eerie Digest, the Online Mystery and Hollywood Insider Magazine.

Sibel talks about plotting her novels on Traci Hohenstein’s blog.

You can find out more about Sibel on her website:

Be Careful What You Wish For is available from:


And Sibel will be doing a live Facebook chat at on Saturday night July 23rd at 6.30 pm UTC/GMT – which for the US is 11.30 Pacific, 12.30 Mountain, 1.30 Central, and 2.30 Eastern. She’ll be giving away an ebook copy of Be Careful What You Wish For to one lucky commenter!

  1. At last, another Make It Up A You Go writer! I can’t write outlines to save my life; I know where to start, know where I want to finish, and the middle bit is a wild ride of discovery.

    • Absolutely, George! That’s the beauty of it. You never know what’s going to happen. Sometimes I write stuff and think, wow, did that just come out of my head! 🙂

        • George Harmon
        • July 24th, 2011

        Of course other times you get three-quarters of the way through a plot and realized your favorite scene has got to go. Sad, sad moment.

  2. And yet another commentator who has somehow received, read and commented between me pressing publish and then tweeting and FBing the post. I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before someone responds before I;ve even written it.

    As for the wild ride of discovery – that’s what makes writing such fun.

    • Now, that would be scary! Thanks so much for having me (so to speak!) 🙂

  3. So glad to see you’ve got Internet access for a bit, Mark. Ruth and I are worried about you. (We have a big surprise announcement, when you can get through)

    Love, love, love Sibel. I’ve only read excerpts, because I have a pact with myself that I can’t buy any new books (or a Kindle) until I get through the foot-high pile of unread books on my coffee table. Then Sibel’s books are first on my list. Got them wishlisted at Amazon. I love me some chick lit mystery.

    And Sibel, I’m so glad to hear you’re a pantser! I am too. I’m totally bored if I know what’s going to happen. Well, I usually know the very end, because I write the last chapter first, but in between–I want to be surprised!

    Who designed your fabulous cover for Be Careful? It’s brilliant.

    • Hey, I just LOVE big surprise announcements!

      And pantsers of the world unite!

      Must admit many of my WIPs are middles with neither ends nor beginnings, but can think of nothing I’ve ever written that was pre-planned with any precision. Just a vague idea of a plot; maybe a single sentence of dialogue or an obscure piece of research; and a blank screen. Then sit back and enjoy the ride!

      • Well, it definitely works for you, Mark. Sugar & Spice is a fab read! 🙂

    • Aw, thanks, Anne!

      I find that if I try and think too much about a plot in advance it hampers my creativity. I would love to be someone who gets everything straight in advance, but when I’m writing, anything can happen next. Maybe that’s the beauty of it!

      I got the cover from iStock and did it myself. It either makes you want to drink cocktails or shiver! 🙂

    • Miriam
    • July 22nd, 2011

    I think there was a writer (but I can’t remember who) that said “most authors know what’s going to happen at the end, but if they say the book got there in exactly the way they’d been expecting then they’re lying” or something like that. Anyway, I like it. No plotting! Destroy the outlines!

    • Right on, Ms Miriam!

      Though sadly there are some genuine guide books and “how to” books about writing novels that tell you to plan with military precision.

      Decide how many pages your novel will be in advance (according to genre), then divide into quarters and each quarter will have x-amount of conflict and tension, and a “surprise” at points B, C & D, which will be identified by page number before you start.

      Characters all listed in advance with detailed histories and each character allocated x-amount of pages to appear in, with characters X, Y & Z designated in advance for certain things to happen. Character Y will try to do A on page 30 and fail on page 45, then succeed at second attempt on page 90.

      Honestly, this is the type of guide book that is out there, written by “professionals”. Professsionals at taking money from starry-eyed wannabes, that is.

      Of course at the end of the day the poor new writer ends up with a completed novel, which is what the how-to book said they’d have. No mention anywhere that it would be remotely readable.

    • Death to plotting! 🙂

  4. The best part about these writers blogs I’m reading is that you understand the cry of characters in your head. I think the best quotes fro the above post “I write so I won’t have to be medicated!” *giggles*

    As to that book plot… I think I’m too scientific. It sounds like a challenge to write something that way and have it come out good. Yet, on the other hand, it sounds like a corporate formula that gets you on the book shelves of grocery stores.

    Ah well time to catch up on everything else, though I can’t blame my late reading of this blog on African Weather. Would you accept a busy life of working mother, who took on a contest coordination as my eplanation?

    Now time to find that Summer Book club of yours to download to my computer…

    :} Cathryn Leigh

  5. I’ve had a Tweet from Saffi saying Mark has arrived in the UK, and they’re going to spend a couple of weeks brainstorming the next book (s) I can’t wait to hear how it’s going.

    Just got my edits on Food of Love from my new US publisher. Guess what–all the things I took out of the UK version, so the book would follow “the rules” better for the US market–those are the ones he wanted back in!

    Follow your muse, not the corporate publishing rules!

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