Sidney Sheldon on Writing

If there is any secret to my success, I think it’s that my characters are very real to me. I feel everything they feel, and therefore I think my readers care about them.

Sidney Sheldon

I remember the first novel I ever read. It was a tattered copy of ‘The Other Side of Midnight’ by Sidney Sheldon. I found it in a second-hand book shop, the book riddled with names and notes. It was fraying and I sneaked a peek at the first few pages in the shop and was hooked. I consumed the book within days, smuggling it to school where I would read it during free periods and recess. I thought Sidney was a woman, the way the protagonists were often female and written. When I realized Sidney Sheldon was a man and learned about his career, I was amazed. He is the seventh best selling fiction writer of all time.

Sidney Sheldon is a prominent and successful novelist and author but did you know he has won an Oscar and a Tony? He is also the writer for the television comedy, ‘I Dream of Jeanie.’ It wasn’t till he was 50 that he started writing novels. And boy are we lucky that he did. His career encourages me that it’s never too late to do what you love. You just have to believe in yourself.

Times may have changed and Sheldon is long gone but his potboilers still dot my shelves. The books are perfect racy reads, with fast-paced stories, thrills, and protagonists who intrigue you. Sidney Sheldon had many thoughts about writing. Prominent among them was about loving your work. In an interview in 2004, he said that he loves his work and works seven days a week.

When people tell me I’ve kept them up all night, I feel like I have succeeded

Sidney Sheldon

Sheldon’s books were an expression, an exploration of his own struggles with depression and mental health. His legacy continues with authors like Tilly Bagshawe now writing about his popular characters and developing them further. I constantly keep going back to Sheldon and his writing style to learn about narrative form, characters, and just to forget myself in a world of thrills, mystery, and romance.

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