Friday, 14 November 2014

Sofia's selection 2


Howde Folks,
Yes, I'm still here with Donald. She has no intentions of working before 2015. She has left clear instructions. Her latest book must appear on all blogs alongside her 'award'.
Anyway, to move on. We know SHE does not like wasting time! Our second choice is from February of this year when she took part in a blog chain and revealed much about her writing. So ... Enjoy!                                                          

Today I’m pleased to be taking part in a blog chain. 
A blog chain is simply a blog post written on a set topic, at the end of which you nominate a given number of bloggers to do the same. So we have a linked  set of blogs popping up at intervals covering the same topic. The blog chain is bit different from the blog hop, during which a number of bloggers post simultaneously on the same topic, including links to each other’s posts. 
Receiving the baton:
Passing the baton to me is the author Richard Denning.  Richard is a fellow member of the New Writers UK and a friend.  He is a fascinating, inspirational  person who I feel privileged to have met.  He appears to hold the secret to working 36 hour days. I once asked him when he managed to sleep. His reply...'What is this thing called sleep?' What a sense of humour! Besides his demanding day job he has two hobbies: games and writing. He organizes the annual UK Games Expo for fellow games enthusiasts where 4,000 attendees and over 100 exhibitors congregate to have fun. If you care to meet a Dalek, Dr.Who or see the Tardis plus loads of 'characters' , play board games and recapture your long lost youth, visit the Expo. He has also created games and written several books. More about Richard at

Now for my questions and answers:

1.What am I working on?

 I began writing in the 1980's when it was a completely different ball game. In fact, my first work was written with an old fashioned implement called a pencil, in longhand, and then typed up on one of those museum items, a typewriter. Word processors and computers were in their infancy. It was an era when you sent a complete manuscript with page numbers to a publisher or agent who would at least look at it before offering some kind of constructive criticism as to why they were rejecting it. Self-publishing was expensive and beyond the means of the average person and so one continued sending out to mainstream publishers and collecting rejection slips until one had enough to paper the walls. There was always hope that ONE publisher would recognize one's genius potential and then THEY would publish and MARKET the book while one continued doing what one loved, namely writing, and watching the Royalties arrive before the tax man took his share.

New modern technology has changed all of that. Manuscripts are written in WORD and backed up on disc as opposed to paper and carbon copies. Print on demand has meant that anyone and everyone it seems can now write and publish a book. So, not only do you write it, you publish it and you MARKET it. The mainstream publishing houses are, like so may other companies in all spheres, fighting for survival. They are doing less for their authors, so even if you succeed in making a publishing house realize your genius potential and they publish your work you are still left doing the most difficult part, marketing. That is what I am spending a lot of my time on at the moment. I have just sent the information about my last two books, on-line naturally, to the remaining independent book shops in the UK and I'm also notifying reading circles of their existence and I'm advertising them where ever I can.

The project which I will be picking up in a few weeks time is the final work of my 'Sofia' trilogy, Love You Forever. I had planned to have it completed last year but I've had a lot of distractions. I have the last two chapters to complete and I intend finishing it this spring so that it can be edited and available by the end of 2014. Yes, I will do it!

(She did didn't she? When Lady M is determined...)

2. How does my work differ from others of it's genre?

I consider myself to be a unique individual. I have five published books and they are all different. I do not stay with a specific genre, neither do I have a set format. Many authors have the amazing ability to use the same format with every novel but some how manage to make it seem new, different and exciting. Alas, I do not have that talent. 

My first book, Time & Tide stands alone as it is a Saga/History. It was designed for the Millennium. I created a family of three generations spanning over a fifty year period, 1950-2000. One of my characters kept a diary of historical/social events throughout the period. Thus, a historical novel with a difference or a piece of contemporary fiction. Take your pick!

My second work, No Regrets can best be described as 'Chick Lit' before 'Chick Lit was invented.

My third work, Stay in Touch is completely different from the first two and is described as black comedy.

Just what can drive a woman to murder? Or even three murders? Men. How can she become a serial killer, undetected and rich on the proceeds of her crimes? It all seems too simple for Christabelle after failed marriages to a homosexual and a bigamist. She confides only so much to her best friend as they recall their youthful wishes and dreams.... (taken from the blurb) It could fit into crime or romance or women's fiction or contemporary.

Then I have my 'Sofia' trilogy. This began with three interwoven ideas. An unforgettable holiday encounter plus my strong relationship with my Father and my own experiences of the afterlife. Yes, I am convinced that it does exist from personal experiences over the last years. It began with one book. I wasn't even sure if I had enough material for a book but after Look After Each Other I realized there were unanswered questions hence a sequel. Then, somewhere along the line, it became a trilogy. Genre? Contemporary fiction or mind/body/spirit. These books are written in two different universes and shows how one can help or hinder events in the other but cannot directly change them.

           Genre? They haven't invented one for my writing apart from general humour!

3.Why do I write what I do?

I've no idea. It feels innate. A more usual question is where does the inspiration come from? Anywhere and everywhere; people, incidents and events.  I love the creativity of writing. As a child I was always happy if I had paper and pencil or a book. It just feels as if I should be writing; as if I've always known it was what I was put on this earth, in this life to do. Of course, writing for the majority of people, does not pay the bills and so I was only able to take it up after retirement from teaching. It is a labour of love. There's something magic about seeing the book develop and grow. 

I do think of it as my legacy to the world. I hope that people benefit from reading my work. It is written not only for pure escapism, relaxation or entertainment but to help individuals in their every day lives. All of my books have dramas and creations from every day life scenarios; the problems and to some extent solutions. 

In particular my 'Sofia' trilogy was written to help women through difficult domestic situations. I created Sofia as a character who turns her life around and stands up to her dominating, control-freak, over-powering husband. She creates a 'Self-affirmation' list which she uses as a mantra in order to regain her confidence, the self-confidence which her husband had over a period of time destroyed. She was the mother of his children and his property. He had gradually isolated her from friends and former colleagues until she had become a lonely figure, almost imprisoned in Haslington Towers. She breaks free and it all begins with lipstick!

4. How does my writing process work?

Well, if you've read this far you will not be surprised to read that I start with the ending! 
I will spend a lot of time thinking, plotting, planning, playing with characters and ideas. Eventually, I will write the final chapter or last part leading to the final sentence which will be the book title. The excitement mounts as I approach the last line... the fact that I've about 95,000 words still to right seems to disappear from my mind. It's quite nice knowing what the last words are going to be from the outset.

With the end written it always feels like the battle is won. A great achievement has been accomplished. Now all I have to do is start at the beginning! We all know that the first sentence is make or break for a novel. Those initial words are far more important than the last chapter which is probably why many books are never written. How do you start? When you have the right sentence, the first paragraph and page has to be electric ensuring the reader turns the page or they'll never get to the wonderful ending. Personally, I go with gut feeling, if it flows and feels right, it is right.

So, now I have the end and the beginning, just the 80,000+ words in between to work on. Does it go according to initial planning? No, hardly ever. Characters surprise me by taking on lives of their own and I always go with it which means things will change along the way and parts of my wonderful ending will change as a result of that but I'm always happy with the final outcome.

Passing on the baton:
So I now pass the baton on to another original writer, Lizzie T Leaf,  a lady who is a sensational and spectacular author and shares my own thought that everything needs a few ounces of humour!  I look forward to hearing her answers.

Award winning author, Lizzie T. Leaf started life in Kansas, continued her growing in North Carolina, and currently shivers through the winters in Colorado.   

Since discovering the fun of writing paranormal, she plays with creating vampires, faeries and other immortals. When she needs a touch of reality, her Contemporary Erotic Romances come into play.  

If she’s not creating mischief for paranormal beings, or getting under the covers with her erotic heroesshe can be found exploring the other genres she wants to write She also served as the 2012 President for the Heart of Denver Romance Writers and is the 2014 VP of Programs. 

Lizzie loves to read, spend time with her family and travel with her best friend husband during her free time. 

Lizzie's answers will go up on February 10th.

Dear Lady M! Inspirational?

Love You Forever, Sofia xxxxx



  1. Thanks for having me in your chain, Marilyn. Enjoyed reading your comments. Hope mine are close to as interesting next Monday.

  2. Looking forward to yours, Lizzie. I am sure it will be interesting and thanks for receiving the baton.

  3. looks like an interesting concept! Have fun ladies!

  4. You have had an interesting experience. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Thanks Lisa and Cleo for your comments and good luck to you both in your writing careers.