MY INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR SOPHIA PEONY!
What’s your name and what genre would you consider your books to be?
My name is Sophia (Peony) and I currently write contemporary romance.
Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that (story, angle, idea)?
I have a couple of short stories that are in anthologies but my debut book was Love in the Spotlight. I was a drama student in high school and for a period of time, I wanted to just pack my bags and move to Los Angeles so I could become a famous actress, lol.
How did you get interested in writing this particular genre (historical novels, mysteries, sci-fi, children’s books, etc.)?
I love reading but I specially love reading romance books. I think for readers, writing just kind of comes naturally. I was inspired to write my own stories after reading so many great ones.
What kind of research did you do for this book?
I relied a lot on my experience as a drama student and my feelings/dreams of becoming an actress. I also took some points from real life experience such as getting passed over by someone who I didn’t feel was qualified and used that frustration in my story. I also like watching behind the scene stuff from movies I love.
Can you tell me about your Series?
Love in the Spotlight is the first book in my Spotlight series which will be a Hollywood theme series. The next book is called Crazy with You, and it will be out this summer (2018). The series does not necessarily deal with characters making movies.
Do you have a favorite book out of this series?
I have the series planned out, but I think my favorite character in this series is going to be Reid, he’s the lead in Crazy with You, you also meet him in Love in the Spotlight.
Where did you get the inspiration/idea for your series?
My once upon a time movie star dream, lol.
Was it always meant to become a series?
Yes. I had planned from the very beginning on writing a series that revolved around Hollywood without actually being about Hollywood, if that makes sense. My stories, in this series, is mostly about the behind the scene life of Hollywood.
What’s a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write? Do you set a daily writing goal?
I actually do the whole corporate America, Monday through Friday, 8-5. I try to write at night after work or on the weekends. I don’t set daily writing goals because if I am not in the mood to write I absolutely will not write. But when I am in the mood to write, I could write for eight hours straight until I get it all down.
Do you have a new book in the making and if so, what’s the name of your upcoming book?
I have a short story in a charity anthology called Lovestruck. My story in Lovestruck is called Darling, Kiss Me. Next I have a mafia romance that will be out in the spring.
How important are character names to you in your books? Is there a special meaning to any of the names?
My characters name themselves. I will have 5 drafts of a story with the main characters having different names until they just somehow name themselves. In Love in the Spotlight, I chose the name Connor because I felt like it was an old fashion name that goes back centuries and my character was a serious kind of guy like that. Judith, another old fashion name is named after my favorite author, Judith McNaught.
Where do your ideas come from?
In my head. The characters sometimes just make themselves and they talk to me until I write their story lol.
Is there a genre that you’ve been wanting to experiment with?
General fiction without the romance part-say something like contemporary life comedy. I am actually playing with an idea so we’ll see.
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
Getting in the mood and when I’m in the mood, having the time to write.
What do you think of book trailers? Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book?
I love them! I did make a trailer for Love in the Spotlight, and I plan to make trailers for my future books.
What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?
Being compassionate and generous.
What’s the best thing about being an author?
Meeting fellow book lovers! My friends and family are not readers, they don’t like to read so I turned to the online reading community to get my fangirling in.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Being a forensic accountant by day and romance author by night.
Have you always liked to write?
Used to hate it but in my junior and senior year of high school, I had an English teacher who really improved my writing, so it became easy for me to write. In college, I wrote so many papers that I’ve probably used up a whole tree. I started blogging and writing articles for my online book blog/magazine before I decided to try my hand at writing stories.
What writing advice do you have for aspiring authors?
Just do it. The hardest part about writing is actually starting. If you have an inkling to write, just write it down. If it turns out horrid, every author will tell you that they’re first and probably their tenth drafts are complete trash. The main thing is starting.
If you didn’t like writing books, or weren’t any good at it, what would you like to do for a living?
Professional cat cuddler and reading books all day. Since that’s not a real job, my second dream is becoming a forensic accountant.
Do you read reviews of your book(s)? Do you respond to them, good or bad? How do you deal with the bad?
I do. I try not to obsess over them. If someone didn’t like my story or had issues with it, I ask them about it to see if it’s something they just don’t prefer or if it’s something I can improve on.
What is your least favourite part of the writing / publishing process?
Promoting! I have a PA that helps me with promotions because I prefer to focus on writing.
What are you working on now?
A mafia romance.
Can you give us a few tasty morsels from your work-in-progress?
“It’s against the rules,” he explained. He had ways to figure out who was doing side business in his club.
“Rules? Like the law?”
He smirked. The law didn’t matter to him.
Why did you choose to write in your genre? If you write in more than one, how do you balance them?
I love romance and my stories want to be romance. Who doesn’t like a happily ever after?
Where did your love of books come from?
Library used book sale. My local library has this sale once a year where you pay $3 for a paper bag and you can fill that bag with as many books as you can. That’s where my book hoarding started.
Do you have any favorite authors or favorite books?
Judith McNaught, Linda Howard, Kate Angell, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, and Julie Garwood are some of my most favorite authors. My all time favorite book is Almost Heaven by Judith McNaught. BUT I also LOVE LOVE LOVE the Lord of the Rings series and the Harry Potter series, both I’ve read at least five times.
Of all the characters you have created, which is your favourite and why?
Leo and Freya from my mafia book. I hadn’t planned on making their story into a series, but my beta readers fell in love with the characters and wanted me to extend it. As I was editing their stories, I ended up needing to develop their characters more and in the process, fell in love with the characters too.
Does writing energize or exhaust you?
Both. When I’m writing I’m all gung ho on it but right after I end up exhausted and tired for being so emotionally involved in my characters’ lives.
What is your writing Kryptonite?
My cats and dog. If they come asking for attention, they’re going to get it.
Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?
I write how I want the story to be, how my characters tell me it should go.
What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?
Kassandra Klay, Sonya Jesus, and Tiara Giles, not only are they great authors but have also helped me immensely with my stories.
If you were writing a book about your life, what would the title be?
Story of a Girl
What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?
Who is your all time favorite fictional character and my answer would be Jar Jar Binks.
I’m a bit of a Star Wars nerd and I’m probably going to get a lot of crap for picking him, but I think he’s pretty adorable.
Where can your fans find you and follow??
Thank you for taking your time to do this interview ❤️