This week’s author spotlight features author Sophia Grey. She is another author I have connected with on Instagram. Trust me when I say, it is so important to connect with other writers! Whether it’s via social media or writing groups, it helps so much to have others you can turn to and ask for help or just to chat with. Here is my interview with author Sophia Grey.
Author Interview with Sophia Grey
When did you first start writing?
The youngest I can remember writing was age 7. I had to write an essay in school. My teacher didn’t tell us she was entering the essays into a contest. I just thought it was an assignment. I ended up winning the contest and had my picture in the local newspaper. That was when I first realized I could write.
When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I think I was around 10 years old when I first realized I wanted to be an author. I loved to read and I spent a lot of time writing my own short stories. Most went unfinished. The first one I finally completed was written when I was eleven. That was the final push I needed to realize I could do really do it.
Was there any author or book in particular that inspired you to write? Or a teacher/mentor?
I read a lot of “Sweet Valley” and “Babysitters Club” books when I was a kid, I guess those were my initial inspiration. I read like crazy. Spent every dollar of every allowance on books. At that time, I dreamt of writing books for that age group (what would be ages 10–14, I guess). As I grew up, my work matured. I now write exclusively for adults. Although my work would be fine for teens to read, as well. I just don’t label myself a YA writer.
My eighth grade Honors English teacher spent a lot of time fostering creative writing in our class. We did a rather extensive poetry unit, which is where I first learned to love that form of prose. Our class also went on a weekend writer’s retreat. We stayed at a cabin in the woods and spent a lot of time outdoors writing. We’d share what we’d worked on over the campfire at night. I wouldn’t say our teacher inspired me to write, as I already loved writing. But he did help our class to embrace the art of creative writing in all forms.
How many books have you written? What are they called? Where can they be found/bought?
I just had my first novella published in September of 2020. It’s called “Finding Her Voice.” Allie Trenton is a modern-day woman with family ties to the strongest feminist movements in American history. She’s been brought up to follow in her ancestors’ footsteps, but life takes some unexpected turns. She finds herself led in directions she’d never expected. She just needs to have the courage to take the leap and find her own voice.
I am currently working on my next project. It’s a contemporary romance; very Hallmark-esque. Just an all-around feel good story about a lost love and second chances.
What genre do you write?
I typically write romance, both contemporary and historical. Although my recently published novella doesn’t really fit either of those molds. It’s more of a contemporary fiction story with historical flashbacks. It’s a project that sort of came out of nowhere, so it’s a bit unorthodox from what I usually write. I also write quite a bit of poetry.
Are any of your characters based on people you know in real life?
Not 100%, no. There might be hints of someone I know sprinkled in here or there. Zac Ryder, my hero in “Finding Her Voice,” has some of my husband’s characteristics, but they have a lot of differences, too. One of the supporting characters in my current WIP shares qualities with my real-life best friend. In both these incidences, the likenesses were accidental. I looked back on the characters after I’d created them and recognized the similarities and who they reminded me of.
What inspires you to write the most?
It’s not so much about being inspired as just having an incessant need to get a story out. I know I need to write a scene when I start obsessing over it. Daydreaming about it while I’m driving. Thinking about it in the middle of the night. It’s just begging to be put on paper.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
I love being able to create people and worlds that can be anything I dream them to be. Getting to know the characters I’ve written is fascinating to me. Sometimes they tell me things about themselves I didn’t even know. It’s interesting to see where the story can take you if you give it free rein. And sometimes, especially in today’s world, it’s nice to have a happy place to escape to.
Do you listen to music while you write or read?
I don’t listen to music while I read, but I do when I write. It helps me to get into the zone and shut out all the outside noise. When I’m at home, it usually means I’m upstairs writing while my husband watches our kids. So music helps me to close out the sounds of the chaos happening below. I often write at my favorite local coffee shop and the music blocks all the outside conversations and cafe commotion.
What I listen to depends on my mood. I would have to say right now it’s a balance between bluegrass (think Alison Krauss) and the score to the movie “Leap Year.” Has a nice Irish lilt to the melodies.
What do you write — short stories, poems, novels, novellas, blog posts etc. — and which do you enjoy writing the most?
My favorites to write would be poetry and novels. Although I have written a few short stories and just had a novella published. Short stories are harder because I struggle with being that succinct. I also write a lot of guest blogs and articles for freelance clients. I’m currently trying to build up my own blog, so stay tuned!
You can find my two latest guest blogs (both about writing) on the links below. They are currently featured on my publisher’s website.
Have you tried to go the traditional route with publishing? How did it go?
I’m pretty new to the publishing aspect of writing. I found a publishing house that focuses solely on eBook format, I thought this would be a great way to go with my novella. I submitted directly to them and they offered me a contract. It went very well; they were excellent to work with. In the future, I may seek out an agent, but that remains to be seen.
Are you self-published?
I am not self-published. I don’t know if this would be the right avenue for me. Self-promotion is not my strong suit. I think being solely responsible for that would be overwhelming.
What is your favorite genre to read?
My favorite genre to read is historical fiction or historical romance. I love history and it’s my greatest dream to time travel. Reading about past eras in novels is the best way to do so. Contemporary romances are my go-to when I want something sweet and cozy. In October, however, I switch gears. It’s all Halloween, all the time. I love paranormal suspense or stories about witches and the Celtic Samhain. Just for fun.
Who is your favorite author now? What is it you like about them?
It is so hard to narrow down to just one author. I’ve been reading Chanel Cleeton lately. Her books about Cuba are fantastic. “Next Year in Havana” and “When we Left Cuba.” I love Erin Morgenstern. Her colorful prose is untouchable. Truly magnificent. Alan Brennert, Sara Gruen. And I love Jennifer Lee Carrell’s books intertwining murder suspense and Shakespearean folklore. Brilliant.
Do you have any favorite books you recommend right now?
Any of those I mentioned above are great places to start. Sara Gruen is known for her “Water for Elephants” fame, but I’m partial to “At the Water’s Edge” myself. Erin Morgenstern’s “The Night Circus” is an extraordinary adventure. Her latest “The Starless Sea” does not disappoint.
Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
Don’t get too wrapped up in all the writing “rules.” That bogged me down for years. Write however you wish to write in whichever way you’re inspired. I’ve learned that plotting out the whole book in an outline and writing detailed character descriptions aren’t for me. I write with a vague sense of the storyline; I write scenes out of order as I’m inspired. The story and characters reveal themselves to me as I go along. It’s a bit unconventional, but it works for me. Find what works for you. Write that way and get the story onto paper. Once it’s finished, you can focus on the cleanup work and editing required to make it marketable.
Besides writing, do you have any other hobbies?
Reading! I’m a stay-at-home mom to two small kiddos, so I don’t get enough time for it. I miss the days when I could just curl up and read endlessly. Maybe when my youngest goes to kindergarten!
Are you on Twitter or do you have an author website we should check out as readers?
My Twitter handle is: @writerSophiaG
Instagram handle is: writer_sophiagrey
My website is: https://sophiagrey7887.wixsite.com/website-2
There is a link on my website to purchase my novella. I also have a Blog on there. It’s just getting started, but I intend to post more frequently. Especially with Halloween coming. I will be posting my Halloween poetry on my site.
Is there anything else you want to share about your writing or that you want your readers to know?
If your dream is to write, never give up! I had thrown in the towel years ago. That’s how frustrated I was with following all the so-called “writing guidelines.” It wasn’t until I experienced a personal trauma that I realized it was time to fulfill my dream. Life is short. If you want to write, write. If you want to be published, try. It may take some time, but in the end, it’s worth it.
End Author Interview with Sophia Grey
I hope you enjoyed reading my interview with author Sophia Grey! Be sure to check her out on social media and on her website to stay up to date on her future projects. As for her novella, Finding her Voice, you can buy it now on her website linked in her interview! And so concludes this week’s author spotlight with author Sophia Grey.
If you want to read more author interviews, check them out here!