Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. For those of you not aware the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Today I’m chatting to Sophia about her writing in the clubhouse tearoom. Welcome. Please let’s order our drinks before we start. What would you like?
I’m not choosy, but the coffee smells lovely.
Now we have our refreshments I will start by asking you What writing elements do you think is your strongest points, and what would you like to do better? Writing elements?
Hmn. I find that writing the beginning, writing dialogues between characters, creating their events and situations and getting in to their heads to reveal their thoughts and their most intimate secrets are my strong points. However, I would like to improve on how I add colour to my writing by adding arresting details of their clothing, surroundings and the atmosphere. I usually get carried away with the story and may not give enough details or awareness to their clothing and the atmosphere.
Tell us a little about your latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
I am always cautious about this I confess. I treat the question in the same way someone would ask me, ‘how many months are you pregnant?’ In other words – it is a private question. All I will say for now is that it belongs to the historical biblical genre and it is targeted at YA in style but anyone can enjoy it. It is a new idea because I haven’t read anything like it before – revisiting the life of Jesus from a fresh perspective.
How many unfinished projects do you have on your computer?
Ermmm that should be about 4? Let me count. I memoir, I biblical romantic fiction, my latest project – the biblical historical thriller and erm… Oh, just three. [She laughs]
Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter or let the characters lead you?
[She laughs] I have never written a synopsis first. I just start writing and allow my writing and ideas to flow together as God channels, like a river to any destination and pool up somewhere until it becomes a sea of rivers and then it all becomes one mighty ocean, The first time I have tried writing a synopsis seriously was when I began writing proposals for submissions to publishers. I have never taken the writing a synopsis formally unless asked to write one. By then, my story is long finished! So, the characters lead me and they must be obeyed.[She laughs]
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
Ah definitely. Some of them but many are just pure imagination by God’s grace and when my characters are inspired by real people, I borrow body parts, mannerisms, personality traits and life style – From family members.
What did you learn when writing your book? In writing it, how much research did you do?
When writing my stories or any kind of writing, I am amazed at what God has stored up in me which I was never aware of. New vocabulary, ideas and information which when I google up will be spot on! Depending on the genre, I may have to google up facts about the lifestyle and information of the subject. Sometimes, I’ve had to read up the synopsis of other authors with similar themes to mine when writing proposals for publishers.
Did you uncover things about yourself while writing your books whether that be a long forgotten memory, a positive experience etc.
Oh yes ,yes! Definitely! I surprised myself to realise that I had talent, strength and that the grace of God is always available to do what I set my heart to do: the length of my novels, or the way certain vocabs pop out when I am writing fiction or poetry all amaze me!
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
No, I don’t! I believe I am a Pantser – my writing simply just pours out of me, with no prior planning and whatever amount I produce, I always glorify God. If for days, I have not written, I believe God is letting me rest. When I get the prompt [even when I don’t feel up to it] I pray and ask for the grace to write at least a chapter or more. It always works for me this way!
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
No, why should I!! I want to be seen like a light on a table where there is darkness. Lord Jesus said we should not put out lamps under the bed!
How do you select the names of your characters? & do you know everything about them before you start writing their story?
If it is a biblical historical writing, I get the A to Z of both Jewish male and female names and use as I like. If it is another kind of writing, I use family names, names of people I knew in my past or in my present time. Most pantsers like me don’t know about their characters before they write. All I know is the protagonist or the antagonist characters. To some extent though, I do plan out their family member’s names. All other things pour out as I write!
Thank you so much for joining me here today, Sophia.
If you want to find out more about Sophia’s writing and books please click on this link
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books, don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops.