Please help me welcome Lynette Sofras to my blog today. She’s offering any one of her titles, winner’s choice, as an e-book together with a $5 voucher for Starbucks, to one lucky commentor, so be sure and leave her a comment.
I’m a former Head of English who gave up teaching three years ago to pursue my writing career – something I’d always wanted to do, so you could say I’m now living my dream!
What genre(s) do you write in and why?
My first published title was a contemporary romance but I like to write more general women’s fiction that usually crosses genre boundaries. My latest title (Killing Jenna Crane) is more of a psychological drama or romantic thriller, while my forthcoming novel is both modern women’s fiction and a good old-fashioned ghost story. These are the kind of stories I enjoy reading the most, which is why I prefer to write them.
How many books have you written? Do you have a favorite?
To date I have five full length novels and a short sci-fi story co-written with my son. My sixth full length novel is due out next month and that’s probably my favourite. It’s quite dear to my heart being based very much on real life (without most of the ghostly elements, of course) and real people. I’m also quite fond of two others: Shopping for Love – because for the first time I created a strong and fairly gritty male character which I found myself enjoying very much and my latest novel, Killing Jenna Crane (also from a male perspective) because that shifts away from the traditional romance genre and delves into psychology and the darker side of the human mind.
Here’s the blurb:
Come with me on a dark journey inside a writer’s mind. Commitment-shy Ellis Crawford, creator of the famous and highly successful Jenna Crane mystery series, finds his comfortable life unravelling when he meets Emily, his perfect woman.
But the more his love for Emily deepens, the more Ellis finds himself haunted by memories of a previous love whose heart he broke. On top of this, Emily wants him to kill off his beloved heroine Jenna Crane – against fierce public opinion.
His reputation as an author now in tatters, Ellis finds his life spiralling out of control. Faced with the growing darkness of his own soul, a secret is revealed that changes everything he thought he once knew…
What is your next project and when will it be released?
Unworkers is due for release in June. It was inspired by a house in which I used to live with my son when he was very young and also one or two ghostly tales I’d heard about in the past. It explores the idea of the past encroaching on the present. The paths of five different women converge because of this house though only three of the women actually live there. Their lives are completely different but some mysterious force is at work to draw them all together in a common cause.
I’m a great advocate of self-publishing. My first two titles were traditionally published but the second of those took a full year to be released and I found that quite frustrating. I decided to self-publish while waiting for that title to appear and I find the process fascinating and rewarding. I love the idea of being in complete control. It also means that if I think of ways to improve a story (or if a reader mentions something that can be better clarified) I can go back to the book and make changes effortlessly. With my traditionally published books that isn’t possible and I’ve occasionally regretted that.
What advice do you have for other authors wanting to self-publish?
Have patience! Don’t rush into the process. You do yourself (and all your fellow self-published authors) no favours at all if you release a book before it is absolutely ready. The most serious complaint levelled against self-publishing seems to be poor editing and this has been enough to make readers and reviewers shun all self-published books. Proper editing is therefore vital to your success and the reputation of your fellow authors.
What was the hardest thing you’ve found in the process of self-publishing? What was the easiest part of self-publishing?
This may make you smile, but the hardest thing for me is choosing the right title. I tend to have a working title in mind as I’m writing and the longer I write, the more that fixes itself in my brain. Unworkers, for example was a rather whimsical working title that just stuck and refused to budge. I tried ousting it with Whispers of the Past but that sounded so ordinary! As for Killing Jenna Crane, I agonised over that for weeks – none of my friends liked it very much and I think some readers find it a little misleading – so may I add here and now that it’s not a murder mystery!
The cover design is the next problem. When you employ a cover artist yourself they expect you to have strong ideas and be able to direct them appropriately. It’s a blessing that my cover artist has infinite patience because I’m horribly changeable and indecisive. Working with a publisher’s design team allows you some input but ultimately the cover is down to them.
The easiest part? The whole process is very quick and easy – so much so that it’s tempting to cut corners, but to reiterate my previous advice – try to resist that temptation
Very likely, I’m afraid. A friend of mine bought me a T-shirt last year saying “Careful or you’ll end up in my next novel”. However, so far no one has actually recognised themselves as I select very carefully from their speech, mannerisms or little idiosyncrasies and use these quite sparingly.
Do you have a view in your writing space? What does your space look like?
I can’t resist this question because my writing space is quite unique. You see I live in a rambling early Victorian cottage with lots of twists and turns in it. My office/study space is a room just off my bedroom and although this is quite large, being an inner room it has no window. This suits me fine when I’m engrossed in my work although I sometimes get a shock when I surface from my computer and find brilliant sunshine, when I’m expecting darkness, or a snow-clad vista when no snow was forecast. I have to confess it’s not the tidiest place in England, being filled with overstuffed bookshelves, work tables and two large desks for my computers.
Tell us about your hero. Give us one of his strengths and one of his weaknesses.
Ellis Crawford (Killing Jenna Crane) is more of an anti-hero really. He is far from likeable though he does have a dry sense of humour and is an intelligent and successful writer – his heroine Jenna Crane having become a household name and Hollywood franchise. Being something of a commitment-phobe, Ellis treats women shabbily, knowing they will never be in short supply.
Tell us about your heroine. Give us one of her strengths and one of her weaknesses.
There are two heroines (and that’s not even counting the fictional Jenna, who exerts her own influence over Ellis). They are soft-hearted, loving Chloe and feisty, fun-loving Emily – in other words polar opposites. But neither is quite what she seems and their weaknesses soon become obvious.
Where can readers find you?
My website: http://www.lynettesofras.com/
My blog: http://www.manicscribbler.blogspot.com
Amazon author page: http://amzn.com/e/B0084YQCD8
Are you participating in any reader contests?
This isn’t a contest but it’s a great offer for readers and lasts until June 1st. Buy one summer read at a special 99 cent price and get ten more absolutely free. This includes one of my contemporary romances Shopping for Love at: http://stacyjuba.com/blog/2013/05/04/get-1-beach-read-for-99-get-10-more-ebooks-in-popular-genres-beachreadsos-books/
I’d also like to offer any one my titles of the reader’s choice as an e-book together with a $5 voucher for Starbucks. I’d like to imagine one lovely reader sipping delicious coffee while dipping into one of my stories. All my titles can be found on my website or Amazon page – via the above links.