Welcome to another Interview With post. Today I have a lovely lady called Sophie. I'm itching to see her answers so without further ado here's Sophie!
Tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I'm from the UK, a writer whose been writing for 6 years. I'm also a mum with a three year old son whom I adore he's gorgeous. I live with a large family and have horses. I like to mainly write speculative fiction, adventure, gothic and paranormal fiction.
What are your ambitions for your writing career?
I'm hoping to publish the books that are pounding to get out of me - I struggle with many many plot bunnies and they need to get out in the world. I want to be known as an author, not for the fame but for the storytelling, inspiration I can give and share my stories with people.
So, what are you writing?
I'm writing a fantasy that focuses on the grey area between good vs bad and the human condition - what are morals and can you be a good person and still do 'bad' things or are there any bad things?
Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?
She is a young woman that is stuck in a horrible world of abuse and misery. What makes her special is that she has bravery, bravery that she uses to take her opportunity for freedom and turn it into the world's most exciting of adventures where she can find out who she is, defeat the people that seek to oppress, and find someone that she can love.
Would you mind sharing an excerpt with us, or a favourite quote?
I'll share my absolute favourite quote, a quote I used for my personal statement at university: 'There is more treasure in books, than in all the loot on treasure Island' - Walt Disney.
Where do the your ideas come from?
Mainly writing prompts and pictures/concept art from Pinterest. My professors at university get us writing with exercises in class which I have used for some short stories too. Really it's easy to find story ideas when you think about anything in your life as a story. I could be riding my horse and come up with a story about a knight in shining armour, or I'll be playing with my son and his toys give me ideas for a plot. Inspiration comes from everywhere if you open your mind to it.
Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?
I tend to find my ideas and then plot them out to death because it's a guilty pleasure of mine. I have folders of notebooks for each ideas and flesh them out as often as I think of things, and once it's ready i'll start to write. It just depends on when it feels right to start.
Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?
I tend to write almost every day on my WIP as well as blogging when I need too. Sometimes I have a day off because everyone needs a break sometimes. You don't want to run yourself so low that you no longer have the ability to write something out - it helps with writer's block to have a break sometimes.
Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?
With my busy schedule of three year old, university, blog and home life I aim to write between 300-500 words per day. It's not much but it's an achievable goal that I never fail to accomplish and therefore, miss out of the guilt of not doing it. It's still progress even if it's slow.
How much research do you do?
It obviously depends on what I am writing but with my main genre being fantasy and sci fi - I have to do a fair bit. I've collated most of the things I have to think about on my blog so that I don't have to search thoroughly through the internet - but it does take a lot of plotting which is what I like.
What is the hardest thing about writing?
Finding the time to write - with a three year old, I only have certain times where I can write and so I have to crack on at those moments. If I'm not feeling motivated I struggle to crack on and then have no time when I want to do it.
Do you ever get writer’s Block?
I do in a way - it's less I don't know what to write, and more that I don't know how to start it or how to write it in the best way. I deal with this by going on Pinterest and getting more inspiration usually.
What book/s are you reading at present?
At the moment I'm reading a fair few books to help me with my writing like Writing Fantasy and Science Fiction by Orson Scott Card. But for pleasure I absolutely adore books like Ashes by Ilsa J Bick, The Mysterious Island by Jules Verne and Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire.
If you couldn’t be an author, what would your ideal career be?
Well I'm a qualified Early Years Practitioner so I reckon I would want to be a teacher - I enjoyed my time working in primary schools.
Advice to aspiring writers?
Write. Just write. It sounds cliche but that's all it is. Find an idea that sticks with you, live and breathe these characters - talk to them like your invisible friends, have them watch tv with you and do your day - to - day. Get to know them and come up with a workable plot around them. Find characters that people will love, and love to hate, make people fall in love and write it.
Sophie Melissa is an aspiring speculative fantasy author with a passion for adventure, mermaids and vampire fiction. When she's not writing she can be found with her family or with her horses. She hopes to publish inspirational and thought provoking novels that people will fall in love with.
Catch more of Sophie here; Www.sophiemelissablog.wordpress.com