Sydney Jacolby was born in the Land of 10,000 Lakes of Lakota Sioux and German heritage and is the 40ish mother of two teenagers, a son and daughter. She’s been married to the same wonderfully supportive man for close to 20 years. When she is not herding the kids from one activity to another, she watches the Investigation Discovery channel obsessively and writes.
Q: Your novel, Caging the Beast, has such a solid grasp on the jargon and process of detective work and legal practices. Do you have any experience in either of these fields? If not, how do you research for such an intricate plot?
A: No, I have no background in law enforcement. I am obsessed with the Investigation Discovery channel and watch all the true crime shows. Also my husband’s cousin is a police officer, so I am able to pick his brain for particulars at various family functions.
Q: The city of New Orleans, especially the area of the French Quarter, creates such a vivid and lively setting in Caging the Beast. What made you choose this location, and how did you acquaint yourself with the intricacies of the city?
A: New Orleans and the French Quarter is where my husband and I honeymooned a dozen or so years before Katrina. We took the haunted tour of the Quarter and historic tour of the Garden District. It was the most amazing and alive place I have ever been. I loved all the history, people, architecture, and culture of the city. New Orleans is definitely a place I’d love to visit again.
Q: In the ManLove novel, Caging the Beast, hero Deacon Delacroix has an unusually close and loving relationship with his ex-wife, Dixie, and members of her family. Was this written more as an optimistic portrait of what can be achieved by a more accepting society or as a realistic reflection of what already exists today?
A: Dixie’s and Deacon’s relationship is my utopic view of how society can be accepting of every person’s individuality and right to live and love who they want. I tried to portray their love as more a brother and sister willing to sacrifice for each other and support each other. In my vision Deacon told Dixie they would get married so she wouldn’t be stuck with some rich douche wanting to suck up to her daddy. They could play lovey-dovey for the in-laws and do their own thing behind closed doors.
Q: The two heroes of Caging the Beast, Deacon and Tate, are from vastly different backgrounds, with one an MMA fighter with a history of prison, and the other a respected lawyer. What made you choose these two professions? And if the reader were to speculate on their future, would this ever create a rift in their relationship? How would they overcome their differences?
A: The professions were just what I pictured Deacon and Tate being in my head. I wanted to have two heroes that appeared to move in very different circles, complete opposites. But once you look closer, they really aren’t that different from each other. Their core values are the same, love and loyalty to friends and family, an unwavering sense of right and wrong. Deacon doesn’t see himself above Tate, and he isn’t going to let anyone look down on him. Tate is striding to put his adolescent trouble behind him and he is standing tall. Speculating on their future, it is limitless. Not just because of their undying passion and love for each other, but because of the love, support, and loyalty of their friends and family.
Q: What do you do to relax or get the creative juices flowing when you are struggling to meet your writing goals or deadlines?
A: It might sound a little weird. I watch WWE wrestling and talk about the athletes (their built bodies) with my BFF on the phone. It gets me out of my head for few minutes with some mindless ogling. Then I can go back and write with flourish.
Q: Tell us about your writing routine.
A: Wow! I am awful. I have no true routine. I usually write on the fly during my downtime at my nine-to-five job. I carry a notebook and pen with me and jot down story ideas everywhere I go. There really isn’t a time in some parts of the process for writing.
Q: Tell us something we don’t know about you that might surprise us.
A: I love men. My work cubical resembles a teenage girl’s locker with wall-to-wall pictures of Hollywood’s hottest guys.
Q: Who do you look up to? What are some of their qualities that you strive to possess as well?
A: My husband’s grandfather is truly an amazing man. He has always put his family before anything else. He set an example of what a good father should be that he passed to his son, who passed it onto my husband. He might not be the most successful or richest man in the world, but he provided a good life for his family with love. I hope I can live up to his example.
Q: What qualities do you think are important for the hero in a romance? Are there types of men you prefer to write about?
A: Strong, smart, brave, loyal, and badass in their own way. I tend to write about tough, flawed men who are fighting the good fight alone and stumble headlong into love. Once they find the one they fight tooth and nail to keep him.
Q: If you could be any of your characters, who would it be and why?
A: If I could be one of my characters it would be Gabe Spencer. He is the big brother best friend everyone should have at their back. He is badass scary and he sings, which sends his cool into the ozone.