Sibel Hodge’s No. 1 Bestseller Look Behind You has now sold over ¼ million copies. Her books are International Bestsellers in UK, USA, Australia, France, and Germany. She writes an eclectic mix of genres, and she’s a passionate human and animal rights advocate.
Her work has been nominated and shortlisted for numerous prizes, including the Harry Bowling Prize, the Yeovil Literary Prize, the Chapter One Promotions Novel Competition, The Romance Reviews’ prize for Best Novel with Romantic Elements, and Indie Book Bargains’ Best Indie Books of 2012. She was the Winner of Best Children’s Book by eFestival of Words 2013, Nominated for the 2015 BigAl’s Books and Pals Young Adult Readers’ Choice Award, Winner of Crime, Thrillers & Mystery | Book from a Series in the SpaSpa Book Awards 2013, Readers’ Favourite Young Adult – Coming of Age Honourable Award Winner 2015, and New Adult Finalist in the Oklahoma Romance Writers of America’s International Digital Awards 2015. Her novella Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave has been listed as one of the top 40 books about human rights by Accredited Online Colleges.
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You write books in so many different genres from Untouchable and Look Behind You in the psychological thriller genres; The See-Through Leopard which is Young Adult/Coming of Age; My Perfect Wedding a Romantic Comedy, Trafficked: The Diary of a Sex Slave – Non-fiction; and books on motherhood and cozy mysteries, my question is; can’t you make your bloody mind up and pick one genre and stick to it… and which are the genres you most enjoy writing?
Ha ha! I started off writing the fun stuff–romantic comedies, chick lit, cosy mysteries, which were a great fit for me at the time, and I really enjoyed writing them. But my writing journey led me on a spiritual journey and now I like to tackle issues that involve social injustices, abuse, corruption, etc. For one reason, they’re a huge challenge to me as an author to write about (but I like testing myself!). Plus, I’m incredibly lucky to have a voice through my books, so I like to try and highlight issues I feel are important that don’t get talked about, or that aren’t publicised much. I’m very passionate about raising awareness, and I’d love to inspire people or maybe get them to look at things in a different way. As a kid I used to read true crime novels all the time, and I’m really enjoying concentrating on thrillers right now. I like delving into the darker side of human nature.
Tell me about your new book Duplicity and where the inspiration came from?
Oooh, if I tell you what inspired me, it will give away the plot, so I can’t! But a lot of my inspiration comes from real life, although I add a touch of twisted imagination. The underlying themes are about love, obsession, and deceit.
Here’s the blurb:
There are three sides to every story: Yours. Mine. And the truth…
Max and Alissa have a fairy tale life—newlywed, madly in love and enviously rich. Then Max is brutally stabbed to death at their home and Alissa, miraculously, escapes with her life. But why was she spared?
The hunt for the killer begins, uncovering a number of leads—was Max’s incredible wealth the motive? Had his shady business practices finally caught up with him? Or was it a stalker with a dangerous obsession?
Devoted friends rally around gentle, sweet Alissa as she is left to mourn the loss of her husband and pick up her life. But not everyone is who they seem…Deep-rooted jealousies, secrets and twisted love lie just beneath the surface, and not all fairy tales have a happy ending.
We became “virtual” friends when you joined my book club on facebook (THE Book Club) and became a regular contributor on the group, how important are online book groups to authors and what have you enjoyed most so far?
They’re so important! As a reader, I can get some fabulous recommendations. And as a writer, it’s just AMAZING to be with a group of people who live, eat, sleep, breathe books. It’s also a lonely profession, spending hours and days and months locked inside your own head, so I really appreciate their passion for reading, and the fun moments that crack me up. And, of course, TBC has been a fantastic support to me and my books, helping to spread the word and giving reviews, which is so helpful to an author and very much appreciated.
You are a passionate human and animal rights advocate. Is there any animal or insect you don’t particulary like or are afraid of? (Don’t mention COWS to me.. I’m petrified of them!)
Mosquitoes and sandflies. I spend a lot of time in Cyprus and the little buggers love me. The feeling’s not mutual! I used to be afraid of spiders but since I went vegan I’m working on that! I don’t squish them anymore, though. I’ll collect them in a glass and relocate them somewhere else.
You have a new book called Beneath The Skin coming out next year – tell me more about it and when it’s out?
There could be a title change with it so I’m not 100% sure it will still be called that by the time it’s out. I’m going through editing stages with it at the moment so I don’t have a publication date, but I think probably around June/July time. It’s a psychological thriller mixed with suspense and a touch of vigilantism! It’s about corruption, greed, and cover-ups.
This is the blurb I have so far, but it may change before publication:
Seventeen-year-old Dean Hudson viciously murders his parents before committing suicide.
One day later, another teenager throws herself in front of a train.
Two seemingly unrelated tragedies. Or are they?
When journalist Holly Gold starts digging for answers, she discovers a terrifying link between the recent deaths. A conspiracy of greed, corruption, and power that influential people will stop at nothing to protect.
Now Holly’s hunt for evidence threatens those closest to her.
So who will be next to die? Who can Holly trust? And who is complicit?
Because what lies beneath the skin can be deadly…
You have really lovely curly hair – what shampoo and conditioner do you use?
Awww, thank you. Curly hair can be a curse, too! But I love mad hair 🙂 I use Earthly Body Marrakesh products with hemp and argan oils. Otherwise I’d look like a scarecrow on a windy day.
Describe yourself using 1 word beginning with each letter of your name
Hilarious (I amuse myself, even if no one else!)
Apart from reading, writing, and your human and animal rights passions, what do you do to relax?
The tree-hugging side of me does yoga, meditates, and swims. The party side of me hangs out with friends and family for good laughs and huge amounts of vodka!
What have been the highlights of 2016 for your personally and what are you looking forward to in 2017?
There have been so many! But the main ones are: The release of Untouchable, and the fantastic reception it received from readers. It was an incredibly difficult book to write because of the sensitive subject matter, and a lot of people questioned whether it would work in a novel.
The fabulous support of readers, book bloggers, and online bookclubs (like TBC!), which has been amazing and SO much appreciated.
And in the summer I found out that Look Behind You had sold over 1/4 million copies!
For 2017 I’m looking forward to seeing Duplicity on sale. And looking forward to continuing to grow as an author and as a person.
Finally, tell me something about yourself that you haven’t told anyone else yet?
My feet are FREEZING right now 🙂