Sophia has traveled around the world and lived in Europe and different parts of Africa, including Madagascar. She currently lives in South Africa.
Tell us a little about how you became a writer. Have you always wanted to write fiction? How did you get started in your writing career?
I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was thirteen—traveling through books and escaping everyday life by getting into a story has always been magical. I’ve never wanted to write anything but fiction, and was quite surprised to learn that only ten percent of all books written are actually fiction.
Life took many interesting turns, and I only really had a chance to get into any type of writing a good twenty years later. I studied languages after school and spent some time in Europe to master the oral side of German and French. I then applied for a post-graduate degree in journalism, but didn’t get in. I was disappointed, but ended up working in tourism instead, which was more fun and I got to travel a lot into Africa. This was where the travel bug bit me—and the safari bug, which is officially more vicious than a normal travel bug.
I did my first writing course in 2009, but it took me another four years to really get the time to start writing. I did many online courses, which allows you to learn at your own pace. I wrote two books, which both found their way into a very dark and forgotten cupboard. Then I wrote Perfect Mistake, which was then revised so much I hardly recognize the original story. Every bit of writing I’ve done has taught me something, and every book I’ve beta-read has taught me something too. Learning the craft of writing is an ongoing process and I don’t think you ever stop learning!
What are you working on right now?
I’m revising the sequel to Perfect Mistake, which is titled Perfect Addiction. It is the story about the hero’s sister and her journey to love. It takes the reader back to East Africa but on a different trip. It is much more emotional story than Perfect Mistake.
I’m also editing an erotic romance that’s coming out later this year titled The Paris Apartment. It was a project I started for the fun of it, and mostly to get the hang of writing love scenes which can be a very big challenge for me. Writing the book was a lot more fun than I anticipated and I might just be hooked on this genre!
How do you come up with characters?
My characters are inspired by people I’ve met (although they will never remember me—for example the first female pilot I ever flew with in Tanzania gave life to Simone Levin in Perfect Mistake), or by titbits I read in magazines. Real life stories are very inspirational and I find that over the years, things I’ve read about people stick together in their own makeshift puzzle to create a character. To be honest I have more of a clue when it comes to females, but I love Chris Summers in Perfect Addiction. He is a mishmash of current affairs, Good Housekeeping UK articles and Freddie Mercury! I always look back when I’ve completed a book and am quite surprised that a fictional human has found life between the pages.
Perfect Mistake’s heroine, Simone Levin, had a very protected upbringing and escapes the cage only to find herself in dire straights as her mom had predicted. She is a pilot and I enjoyed giving her a job that’s off the beaten track for women. Being in a male dominated workspace brought on natural conflict and challenges. I loved writing Simone’s four-year-old daughter—children are fun to write and can break the tension in a scene or take the hero and heroine for an unexpected ride.
Carlo Carlevaro is half Italian, half Brittish, so really, hot as hell, tall dark and handsome, but a real gentleman. He has a very deep ingrained sense of responsibility, as he is the oldest of three siblings, and this is his biggest asset but leads to his biggest internal conflict every time.
What is your next project?
The third book in the series, titled Perfect Storm, is lurking in the dark recesses of my mind. I need to battle that one down onto paper, but I suspect it is going to be a hard write. I’d also like to get my head into writing the sequel to The Paris Apartment, which is either going to be about those main characters and their journey into deeper love, or it is going to be a spin-off story of the hero’s sister, who at some point, made it clearly known to me that she deserves her own book.
How about a blurb?
Simone Levin had a dream job as a safari pilot until an unexpected pregnancy clipped her wings. Tired of juggling motherhood with her demanding flight schedule, Simone applies for an office job, unaware that her new boss is Carlo Carlevaro, the man who’d ditched her before finding out he’d knocked her up. Carlo returns to East Africa only to kill another fire—Ivory trafficking from his lodges threatens to destroy his company. Finding Simone back on the payroll comes as a pleasant surprise. As his employee, Simone is off-limits, but she is the only one he trusts to help with his undercover investigation. With time running out, Simone and Carlo strive to expose the trafficking ring, but working together rekindles their mutual desire. When Simone is implicated as a trafficker, revealing her daughter’s existence to Carlo seems inevitable. Acting on her instincts might come too late as the syndicate retaliate and hone in their threat. Will they survive to give their love a chance?
Here are the buy links:
Barnes and Noble
The Wild Rose Press:
On the web at .
Thank you, Sophia, for being our guest today. Any comments or questions for Sophia?