Wednesday, August 8, 2012

TBR welcomes Sydney Scrogham

TBR: Welcome to TBR, Sydney. Will you share a little bit about yourself?
Sydney: I am currently a student at Bridgewater College studying psychology and neuroscience.  I don’t know what I want to do with that yet, but I am passionate about those topics.  I also love to travel.  I have been to Uganda and Romania on mission trips and I hope to return to Africa someday in the future.  However, when I am away overseas I miss my incredible horse, Blue, almost so much it hurts.  Blue inspired all of the horses mentioned in my first novel, Chase.  Finally, my relationship with Jesus Christ is truly my defining factor.  Without that and my God-given ability to write, Chase would not exist.  I’m grateful for this opportunity and thrilled beyond words.

TBR: Tell us about CHASE and where it's available.
Sydney: Chase is something I wrote when I was thirteen.  I felt God laying out a romantic story between Him and me that I wanted to express as a novel.  Long story short, the rough version of Chase was completed eighteen days later. I held on to the manuscript until my sophomore year of high school when I had a creative writing teacher that worked for The Wild Rose Press.  I gave my manuscript to her to have it submitted.  The Wild Rose Press went through some changes and I got shuffled around into the hands of LeapBooks.  Little did I know, about a year and a half later I signed my first publishing contract for Chase on my eighteenth birthday.  Chase has not yet been released to the public, but it is available for pre-order on LeapBooks’ website:

TBR: Please tantalize us with a story blurb or excerpt.
Sydney: Chase tells the story of Lauren, a high school graduate struggling to deal with her past and discover her future. Lauren stumbles into the world of Agalrae and finds herself in the midst of a battle between Chase (the hero and namesake of the book) and the Snix.  Lauren begins to fall for Chase, who has been raised by horses.  But the Snix fights to tear Lauren and Chase apart until Chase is willing to sacrifice everything he has to save Lauren and his home.  I’d reveal more, but I don’t want to give any of the good stuff away.

TBR: Are you a plotter or pantser?
Sydney: I am pure pantser.  Few things frustrate me more than having to take the time to lay out scenes before writing them.  I would rather do it all at once and have my characters be able to make some of their own decisions.  I have a clear beginning and end in mind, but getting from A to B is where all the fun is.  No one knows what’s going to happen until we get there.

TBR: How do you develop your characters?
Sydney: My characters come from a bunch of different things.  They usually pick up an attribute of myself, someone I’m close to, and a movie character.  For example, Lauren came from my own desire to be loved and a friend’s difficulty with low self-esteem.  Instead of a movie, the rest of Lauren came from a Biblical view of the church—a beautiful, alluring bride of Christ.  From those core characteristics I came to know Lauren with her own unique set of strengths and weaknesses.  Each of my characters has to contain something that really moves me or I will either grow bored with them or they won’t make it through my story.

TBR: Did any music inspire your book? Do you have a playlist?
Sydney: I cannot write without music.  Ergo, I have a playlist.  Lots of music spoke to me as I wrote (and edited) Chase, especially music by Jeremy Camp.  There’s a little bit of everything in here, from classical to soundtrack to hard rock.
1.           Starlit Stallion—Robert Vavra
2.           Magnificent Obsession—Steven Curtis Chapman
3.           Lullaby—Nickelback
4.           This Man—Jeremy Camp
5.           Never Alone—Barlow Girl
6.           Here I Am—Bryan Adams (from Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron)
7.           Set Me Free—Casting Crowns
8.           The Vigil—David Nevue
9.           No Longer—Decyfer Down
10.        After The World—Disciple
11.        Just a Kiss—Lady Antebellum
12.        There’s a Reason—Mercy Me
13.        When I Look at You—Miley Cirus (from The Last Song)
14.        Tremble—Nichole Nordeman
15.        Far Away—Nickelback
16.        Cry On My Shoulder—Nickelback
17.        To Bring You Back—Paul Alan
18.        Summer Piano—Relaxing Piano Music Consort
19.        Savin’ Me—Nickelback
20.        I Know—Seventh Day Slumber
21.        The Last Night—Skillet
22.        Dare You to Move—Switchfoot
23.        Even If--ZOEGirl

TBR: Which of your characters would you most/least like to invite to dinner, and why?
Sydney: I’m going to change this question around a little bit, and make it if I could ride one of the horses from my story, which one would it be and why?  I absolutely love the horse Cali, the stallion that raised Chase.  He is the protective, fatherly figure.  And I have to admit I would love to ride a talking navy blue horse.  I can only imagine the types of conversation we would have.

TBR: Tease us with one little thing about your fictional world that makes it different from others.
Sydney: My villain—the Snix.  It’s like a snake and human hybrid with a nasty attitude.  I’ve included a picture that I sketched for my editor and me to use while we edited Chase.

TBR: What's next for you?
Sydney: Whenever I make plans, they seem to change the next day.  I plan, and God laughs.  First, I am definitely going to finish college and hop along to grad school.  I will continue writing my whole life because it is something I enjoy, and I will keep Blue with me as long as possible.  I will travel back to Africa someday and enjoy eating bananas and pineapple fresh off the tree.  I plan on having my home in the States stay in Virginia.  I love it here in the Shenandoah Valley.  As for the rest of my life, I have no idea what’s coming.  I think that’s why I am such a pantser—I know where I want to end up in life, but getting there is half the fun.  Each day is a new adventure.

TBR: Any other published works?
Sydney: Not YET (emphasis on the “yet”).  I have tons of ideas and lots of other completed manuscripts from my early teenage years.  However, Chase’s sequel is first on my agenda to complete.

TBR: Who are some of your favorite authors and books? What are you reading now?
Sydney: Hands down, my all-time favorite author would probably be Ted Dekker.  I have been a loyal fan since I read his novel Heaven’s Wager.  I know I’ve read a good book when I continue to think about it long after I finished it, and that’s what Dekker does for me.  I hope that my readers will feel the same way about Chase.  I also enjoy the works of Frank Peretti (The Oath), Emma Donoghue (Room), Kathryn Mackel (The Outriders), Dee Henderson (The Negotiator), and Robert Liparulo (Germ).  Currently, I am reading The Maze Runner trilogy by James Dashner.

TBR: Where can readers find you on the web?
Sydney:  I am an avid Facebook user, and I also have a page with LeapBooks.

And I found this olderYoutube video that I made with the help of a friend to help Blue get into college with me.  The horse and rider connection I have with Blue really plays a part in Chase.

TBR: Is there anything you’d like to ask our readers?
Sydney: As an author, I want to know what moves my readers out there.  What is something that you believe in strongly enough to die for it?

TBR: Readers, Sydney has a treat in store for you! She's designed a Breyer model horse that looks like Cali, as shown. One lucky commenter will win it. Sydney will pick a winner on September 8 and announce the winner here. Be sure to leave your email address so she can contact you.

Here is a link to more pictures of the COMPLETED model:

Sydney's also the August Featured Author at TBR, so be sure to visit her here too. 

Thanks for visiting TBR, Sydney! All the best to you.


  1. Welcome Sydney! What a cool idea for a giveaway. I love your cover too.

  2. Yayyy Sydney! To anyone and everyone who reads this comment, you can also find information about her and her work at! Keep up the great work Sydney! Love ya! And I'm pretty sure you can guess who's writing this based on the link. :)


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