Monday, February 25, 2013

Post Review Interview With Lynette Sofras

The 131 Preview Review is pleased to welcome 

Author Lynette Sofras.

Until two years ago, Lynette worked as a teacher, running the English Department of a busy London secondary school. Prior to that she spent several years living and teaching in Greece. She gave up teaching to focus on the writing and has published three contemporary romances. The Apple Tree (December 2011), which won the grand prize in Inspired Romance Novels' writing contest; Wishful Thinking (April 2012), and Shopping for Love (June 2012). In Loving Hate (November 2012) was her first Romantic suspense. Killing Jenna Crane (January 2013) is a slight genre departure for Lynette- a psychological drama/ suspense.
Lynette lives with her family in an early Victorian cottage in a historic village on the Surrey/London borders. When not writing, she is an avid reader, loves catching up with friends, films and theatre, or trying to tame her garden and the family's rather eccentric cat.

Q: So What brings you to us today?

Lyn: My usual readers know me for romance, not the darker stuff, so I'm trying to reach out to a new readership.

Q: What made you want to switch from Romance to Women’s Literary Fiction?

Lyn: LOL - really that should be the other way around. I began writing Unworkers long before the romances. That's more the sort of story I want to write, but I needed to 'test the water' and so wrote my first romance (The Apple Treewhich won an award and was spotted by a publisher. On the strength of that, I thought I'd better stick to romance... At least for the time being. But a few months ago, I felt I wanted to try something different and so wrote the more speculative fiction story Killing Jenna Crane. 
Unworkers has always been on the back burner in a way. It's quite a personal story and I want it to be perfect before I publish it.

Perfection is overrated... LOL.
Q: So this has been a work long in the making then? Dare I ask how long?

Lyn: Well, at least ten years. (Chichester Court is based on a house in which I used to live with my young son). My problem at the time was that my teaching commitments drained all my energies and I just didn't have the time for writing. I was able to give up teaching about three years ago in order to focus on my writing...but then, as I said before, I put Unworkers to one side and focused on the romance novels.

Because you wanted to test the waters. Romance can be more challenging for many, it's very cool that you won an award right out of the gate.
Q: Was that fun for you?

Lyn: It was incredible! And then my publisher suggested I write some short romances to help make a name for myself, so I started to write what was going to be a short story, but then became a full length romance - even though it only took a month to write (Wishful Thinking) which has been my best seller ever since. So naturally, I had to follow that one up with another romance and there you have it 

That's very cool.
Q: So this is your way of breaking out of the Romances and into something that you really want to write. And you are working with a traditional publisher, what has that experience been like?

Lyn: I've worked with two publishers and enjoyed the experience but I'm a firm believer in self-publishing now and think that's the way forward. I love being in control of my own work. 
I think indie authors receive a lot of bad press (and yes, I agree, a great deal of it is justified) but I've discovered some wonderful writers and enjoy helping and supporting them in return for all the help and support I've received from them.

Q: So then it's safe to assume that Unworkers will be Independently Published, when it is finished?

Lyn: I can't say for certain but I hope so. When I feel it's quite ready for publication, I may change my mind. A writer's prerogative? 

Most assuredly, but I, like you, love the control that Indy Publishing lends.
Q: You said that this is a personal tale, that house is based on a residence you once occupied; did you have any paranormal experiences there? Or did you mean in reference to the personal struggle aspects of the story?

Lyn: No, there were no paranormal events that I know of, but the socio-economic and personal struggles were very real because it was a house in a very exclusive area and effectively pulled quite a lot of young lone parents into the poverty trap.

That does seem as if it would give you plenty of "research & experience" to write it effectively. Their inner turmoil effectively shows.

Lyn: Thank you - yes, it's impossible not to draw on personal experience - not merely my own, but that of many women everywhere who have gone through such struggles.

Q: You mentioned Teaching, what did you teach?
Lyn: I taught English. In fact, I was Head of Department for many years. (Hence the drain on my time).

Wow, so you spent a lot of time mulling over other peoples attempts at grasping the language. I could see that becoming rather consuming.
Q: Do you think that the English Degree helps you when you write, or do you throw a large chunk of it out the window?

Lyn: Oh, it helps enormously! Every aspiring writer needs to read good literature and be able to recognize good writing. No aspect of my education was wasted either in teaching or in writing and I draw on it every time I write anything. You'd better stop me here because if I climb onto my favourite hobby horse, I'm afraid you'll never get rid of me! 

LMAO! But that's what makes this so much fun!!

Lyn: (I'm also very proud to think that I've helped many young students realize their own love of literature and gain the confidence to write about their own ideas).

Q: You have a blog, The Manic Scribbler, which seems to have a nice following, what can you tell us about that?

Lyn: Well, someone told me every writer should have a blog! Mine is all about reading and writing (big surprise!). I have a Wednesday's Writer spot with a guest author each week and on Sundays; I have a feature called Readers Writes, in which I seek out anyone who loves reading to talk about their reading history, experiences, likes, and dislikes.
Last weekend a couple of really great writers asked me if they could use the blog as a platform for their debate about the new gun laws (relating the use of guns to their own stories). It was phenomenally successful and very interesting. Just before that, I had three romance writers answering questions and featuring their Valentines releases.
As a blogger yourself, Shannon, you will know just how time-consuming it can be. And incidentally, I'd love you to be my guest at any time, so we can talk more about YOUR writing.

I would love to be a guest! you can send me the info for it when you get the time!!

Lyn: Deal

And I certainly can relate to the time it takes, I run 3 blogs simultaneously!!

Lyn: Then how on earth do you ever find time for writing?

I don't sleep!

Lyn: (LOL, not that blogging isn't writing).
Well - sleep is very good you know. Most of my story ideas come through dreams...

And I do most of my writing free hand, so when I can't be near the computer I have notebooks I drag around. Dreams are always a great catalyst for writing! Glad to know others use that often untapped source!

Lyn: Indeed - I was just about to ask you where your ideas come from. (Notebooks - when I lived in Greece I wrote all my story ideas in blue-bound notebooks. I had zillions of them!)

Well then, you have some fun thoughts for when I let you host me! But let's round this off about you! Your website would you like to tell us about Greece and your anthropophobic cat??

Lyn: LOL - well let's leave Greece for another time as it's a different part of my life altogether. As for my cat - she is genuinely people-phobic. I have no idea why but she runs upstairs to hide when the doorbell rings. When anyone visits she burrows into secret corners and dark places until hours after they've gone. But when the black and white cat from next door comes visiting - she's a fearless tiger! Do you understand cats? I don't!

Well I live with 8, so I try!! But they run the house, and I'm just fine with that!!

Lyn: Eight?! Wow - now that is feline-dedication. I hope they appreciate you. (or should I say dedication to felines?)

They appreciate me when they hear that lid Pop!

Lyn: LOL - typical cats, eh?

I can hear them stampeding now... Apparently, it's play time at the Hayes House!
I want to thank you! It has truly been a pleasure! And I look forward to seeing more from you in the future!

Lyn: Same here - I love making new friends and I feel I've made one today.
Go play with the kitties. Warmest good wishes.

Awesome I feel the same. 

Until next time, dear readers of the Wee hours.... Take a gander at the other places you can find Lynette and her works.

Happy Writing!


  1. Oops! I added my thanks to you at the end of the preview-review instead of here.
    I just want to say thanks for a great experience. I enjoyed chatting to you very much on Facebook and came away with lots of great ideas.
    Thank you, Shannon. I look forward to chatting again very soon.

  2. Lyn,
    I didn't know you used to live in a house similar to Chichester Court! Now this is another reason, beside the entwined lives of the women at the house, to read Unworkers. Best of luck with it.
    I'm also glad to discover I'm not the only one who's in love with (a slave to, really) cats. Aren't they awesome?
    Shannon, great summary of the book. First book I read by Lyn was Surveillance, which is a Sci-Fi short story that had a surprise twist to it.
    Thank you both.

    1. Thank You Su, For stopping in, and I will have to look into Surveillance, I do love sci-fi and fantasy. :P Please do stay tuned I try to do a review each week, you never know what other new Authors are in the wings!!

  3. I had the great privilege of reading Unworkers before it was published and I thought it was one of the best books I have ever read. Lynette Sofras is a great writer. Her romance books are wonderful and have so much more to them than most books of this genre. But with Unworkers I think she has surpassed herself.

  4. Hello Su and Jenny - isn't this a fabulous blog?
    Su (fellow cat-lover) - yes I based the sinister house around the place I lived in several years ago though the five women are drawn from different places and times. Thanks for mentioning Surveillance - I forgot to tell Shannon about that.
    Jenny - you say the nicest things. Thank you. Unworkers still isn't published, but my discussion with Shannon has unclogged the brain cells a little and I hope to get back to the drawing board and get it ready for publication this year.
    Thank you both for seeking out this great blog and commenting.

    1. I am always happy to help in any way I can, even if it's just to let you run your mouth off until you figure it out!! I think all of us, as authors need that once in a while, just a small pair of "Fresh eyes." and Ears. :P


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The In Dreams... Series, The Roads Trilogy, is the accumulation of almost eight years of writing. Begun in 2006 after a D&D campaign

ended S.I.Hayes took the world and created the Unavoidable Road. It took five years as

Shannon spent many months at a time in an undiagnosed Bi-Polar fog.

In 2010, she finally found the help she needed and she has been writing feverishly ever since

The first book wast over 130,000 words, so she decided that it needed to be smaller if only tonot scare readers away form an unknown book that was so thick.

Thus the first trilogy was born.

In between she became the CoAuthor to Awakenings: The Wrath Saga, a Paranormal Drama likened to Big Brother Meets The Real World, of the Preternatural, Several blogs and her own website.