Sunday, 26 April 2015


Title: Songstruck
Author: Sofia Black
Publisher: Self/Indie
Release Date: 24th December 2014

BLURB from Goodreads
Isabel Poole is a wonderful storyteller. So wonderful, in fact, that her audiences tend to believe that the fairytales she tells are true. They aren't, of course, because magic isn't real.

That's what Isabel tells herself, until the day she's proven wrong.

On what should have been an entirely normal, entirely dull day, a strange melody fills the air and captures Isabel's attention. Leaving her home behind, she follows the song into the forest and finds its source: fae twins, intent on spiriting her away. They need her—or rather, the spark of magic inside of her—to help them end a war that is tearing their world apart. A wise person would refuse. A wise person would run home and forget about the fae and their war and their magic. A wise person never would have followed the music into the forest to begin with. 

Isabel never claimed to be wise.



What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?
My name is Sofia Black. I was born in Central Illinois, and I’ve lived there all my life (though I did spend a few years in Indiana for college). I tell myself every winter and summer that I need to move somewhere with a more comfortable climate, and then I fail to do so. Maybe one day.

Do you work another job as well as your writing work?
Ah, the dream of all writers: to one day make so much money writing that they can quit their day job. I haven’t achieved that yet, but I also haven’t had a lot of “real” jobs. I’m still firmly placed in “student” mode, you see. When I was writing Songstruck, I was also working on my final year of undergraduate studies. I worked part-time as a tutor, and I was finishing up two majors: Spanish and Psychology. Luckily, my thesis partner for Psychology was an angel, putting up with an overtired, overworked aspiring author. Right now, writing is still a side-job while I work on my education. I’m in the middle of a Master’s program, so I write when I’m not busy in classes and when I’m avoiding my homework for those classes.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarise it in less than 20 words what would you say?
My latest book is called Songstruck, and if I had to summarize it…it’s the story of a girl who runs away from home and finds something infinitely more exciting. And more dangerous.

How long does it usually take you to write a book, from the original idea to finishing writing it?
Admittedly, I have a pretty narrow frame of reference, since I only have one finished, published book. But from getting the initial idea to publication, I worked on Songstruck for thirteen months.

Do you have plans for a new book? Is this book part of a series?
I’m working on the sequel to Songstruck right now. Though Songstruck was designed as a standalone novel, I wasn’t quite ready to let go of that world or the characters in it. Assuming that I stay on-track, I’ll have the first draft finished by summer. I’ve also got two other projects in the works—they’re both fantasy and they’re both unrelated to Songstruck. I can’t say much more about them, though, because it’s a bit too early on; there’s still a risk of them being scrapped in favor of other projects.

What genre would you place your books into?

What made you decide to write that genre of book?
I’ve always loved fantasy. It was just about the only genre I would read when I was younger, and when I need to find something new to read I always head straight for fantasy. So really, when I sat down to write a book, what else could I choose? Years of reading fantasy has hardwired my mind to create it.

Do you have a certain routine you have for writing? ie You listen to music, sit in a certain chair?
I don’t have much of a routine, only because any time I try to stick to a routine, life conspires to make sure I can’t follow it. I write wherever I happen to be, with whatever happens to be in reach. I’m often seen scribbling in the margins of my notebooks or typing a note on my phone if my laptop isn’t handy. I prefer to write while sitting on the couch (it’s more comfortable than my desk). I’m usually listening to music, too—I always feel like I’m more focused if I’ve got music playing.

Do you choose a title first, or write the book then choose the title?
I always think of a tentative title before I start writing. It makes me uneasy if there story doesn’t have a name. Usually, the title changes once the piece is finished; for example, every short story I’ve published has a different title now than it did when I started writing it. In the case of Songstruck, I had no idea why I picked that title at first—I had absolutely no plan for the story yet, and didn’t know if the title would end up having anything to do with the story. I just liked the sound of “songstruck”. Luckily, I was able to keep it.

Are character names and place names decided after there creation? or do you pick a character/place name and then invent them?
I’m terrible about choosing names, so sometimes I just leave a placeholder for character and place names until I figure them out. If it’s a main character or a particularly important setting, I try my best to assign a name early on (it’s just unsettling otherwise), but minor characters? That’s a different story. If you take a peek at the manuscript for Songstruck’s sequel, you’ll see something like this periodically:

“Of course not,” [NAME THIS GUY] said. He shook his head and nodded toward the door. “[WHAT’SHERNAME] hates uninvited guests.”

Or maybe:
[TOWNNAME] was quiet, abandoned after the festivities of the previous night.

Eventually, I pick names out and fill them in. It becomes something like a scavenger hunt, trying to find every mention of the previously-unnamed place or person. I should probably just start assigning names to everything at the first mention to spare myself the trouble.

Do you decide on character traits (ie shy, quiet, tomboy girl) before writing the whole book or as you go along?
A little bit of both. Sometimes, I have a really solid idea of what I want a character to be like before I start writing. Other times, though, I have to figure it out as I go. In fact, I had to entirely rewrite one character in Songstruck, Tarryn, about three-quarters of the way through the story because I decided that the way I was writing her wasn’t right.

Do you basic plot/plan for your book, before you actually begin writing it out? Or do you let the writing flow and see where it takes the story?
I’m a pantser. Meaning that I almost never plot anything in my stories. For some reason, the stories that I take the time to plot out never end up written. I work much better when I have no real idea what’s going to happen.

What is your favourite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?
I have so many favorite books! Part of me wants to say Alice in Wonderland, because I’ve always loved that book, but for the purpose of this question, I think I’ll go with Trickster’s Choice by Tamora Pierce. Tamora Pierce’s Tortall-universe books have been some of my favorites since I was around 12 years old (I say that like it’s so long ago…), but Trickster’s Choice is probably my favorite among them. The world-building is fantastic, and I adore Aly, the main character. I have read that book countless times—it’s hardcover, and the spine literally fell off, I’ve read it so many times. The front and back cover are falling off, now, too. For someone like me—someone who is ridiculously careful with her books—to damage a book that much, you know it’s seen a lot of mileage. And I can’t bring myself to buy a new copy; I love the one I’ve got too much.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it?(ebook, hardback or paperback)
I just finished reading Ensnared (hardcover), the third and final book in A. G. Howard’s Splintered series. It’s a great Alice in Wonderland-inspired series, and Ensnared was an absolutely fantastic ending to it. 
[I've read the first book in A.G. Howard's Splintered Series and totally loved it, but not managed to read anymore as yet. I love all the covers of the books in this series]

Do you think ebooks will ever totally replace printed books?
Never. Ebooks are convenient, and they definitely serve a purpose, but there will always be people who prefer to have a physical book in their hands.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn't finish?
The Hobbit. I tried to read it in fourth grade, and I just…couldn’t. I got bored and haven’t picked it up since. As a result, I have never attempted to read the Lord of the Rings series. Also, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. I’ve read about half of it altogether, but that is the one Harry Potter book that I have never actually finished reading. And honestly, I probably never will.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?
Don’t be scared, and don’t be discouraged. Some of your writing will be absolutely terrible, true, but some of it will be brilliant. The only way to improve is to keep writing.

Where can readers follow you?
Facebook page:
Goodreads author page:

1 comment:

  1. Really good interview:) I like how she managed to go to college and write at the same time. Also Alice is one of my fav too

    Ruty @Reading...Dreaming