I just started reading one of Sophie Ann Russell’s works this year, and wow, can she write! I hope you enjoy this interview with the talented author, and check out her book, The Story of Jason Griffin!
To start things off, here’s a sneak peak of the new cover hitting the shelves soon:
How did you discover your book idea?
I discovered it by pure coincidence – I was not a natural writer, and neither considered it nor flirted with the idea of possibly becoming a writer when I was older … simply because I knew that everyone in the world was doing it, and so, wanting to be different, decided to pursue other career ideas instead.
Nonetheless … the writing was clearly meant-to-be, because, out of the blue, came THIS story idea – actually, let’s be honest, the story didn’t come first, the characters did. The two main characters, Jason and Serena Griffin, are twins, and they were the first images I had in my mind when I created this story … What you should probably know as well is that this story was initially created for the sole purpose of getting ahead of an English Creative-Writing project in Year 10 – which, in Britain, is Year 4 in High School (when I was fourteen and a half years of age, basically) – I did very poorly in my previous year, as I took ages trying to create a story, and remembering this bad experience I decided to create THREE storylines, just so that, when and IF the time comes, I was ready to just plough on with WRITING the story and therefore could get a decent grade …
Funnily enough, I latched onto the first idea I came up with, which was of a boy who wakes up on a train after having had a dream about a baby going missing from a terrible weather incident (which just so happens to have been him, before he was mysteriously found by another being and whisked away somewhere safe) – fifteen years old now, he wonders where these strange dreams come from, when one day his parents disappear from his life and he must come to terms with the fact that his upbringing was not all what it seemed, that his real family live somewhere else … The first chapter I wrote in high school was of the scene where the baby goes missing and then right at the end, the boy wakes up on the train. This scene was to become a little redundant as time went on and I decided to continue the story on and turn it into a proper series of books for teenagers; I only wished I could have kept the train scene, but it became useful later on in a different context.
In case you’re wondering, I got a really good grade for this piece of coursework – and rightly so, with all the effort I put into writing it, and predicting that I was going to need the story one day was indeed worth the grade in itself … who’d have thought that two weeks after I came up with the initial three story ideas we’d have got set this creative writing project?!!!
Why should adults – not just teenagers – read this book?
Well, I think adults should read it because there is much about it that would feed their questioning souls and intellectual minds as teenagers’ souls and minds – the whole point of this series is that it manifests all those random fantastical ‘what-if’ scenarios that we, even in adolescence and adulthood, dream up, and it forces us to come to terms with what could be possible in a world that seems quite limited and un-magical. I would recommend this book to adults, teenagers, and young kids, alike, because every person in this world deserves to see their imaginations reflected on the page.
Are some of the characters based on people you know?
Yes. And I cannot put greater emphasis on the word ‘YES’, for nearly ALL of these characters came from real people that I subconsciously knew about, and some of them I didn’t actually meet until YEARS after I wrote them into the story! Strange, huh? You don’t know the half of it … But to make it sound simpler and less farfetched, the main characters I originally created RANDOMLY, and then I decided to model them on myself so I could relate to them better; the same is pretty much said about all the other characters, they were all manifested from my subconscious, and then I discovered later on that they represented people from my real life. I suppose I have been able to flesh them out a lot more, that way.
In a few words, how would you describe your own book, or series of novels?
Magical. Unique. And Other-Worldly Spiritual.
What can a reader expect from this particular book/episode?
You can expect a lot of mystery. It is not full of action, this one, it is more of a thoughtful book, but there is definitely plenty to take a person’s mind off of the mystery, enough for them to be surprised when the final curtain call comes and the answer to the mystery is revealed. There are a lot of unexpected twists and turns, as it is with life – and what’s most important is that the emotions of our main character are conveyed with much depth and realism that it’s almost like you are really in the head of the person experiencing these things, whether they are odd or relatable or not. It is a roller coaster of an adventure, and it chugs along slowly at first, making you unsure of what is about to happen or whether indeed ANYTHING is about to happen – but then it should plunge you into the great unknown and make you question everything about life, or at least the universe that is represented in this what I would call EPIC series.
By the end of this particular book, it will leave you WANTING MORE, as a reader has said in an honest review.
What’s the one thing you might like to warn a potential reader of this book about?
Don’t judge the book by the first page: there’s always more around the corner to leave you with an even better, more rounded impression of what the story is about – the series is full of layers, full of meaning that you cannot gain from just a few words. Appreciate every single sentence and word that IS used and also, let your curiosity guide you through every page.
That is another reason why I think adults will enjoy this book as much as the teenagers, if not more – because they are more inclined to look into the DEEPER MEANING behind stories than perhaps the younger reader might be … this story is full of deeper meaning.
As a reader, or author, what is your favorite genre of book?
Fantasy mainly, but a good mystery really turns me on. Anything with a uniquely odd twist that hooks you into the story, makes you go, ‘What … on earth … is going on here? How bizarre … how interesting … I must read on, because this has given me goose-bumps.’ That feeling is what I hope to have instilled/conveyed in the first chapter of my ‘Book I’ of ‘The Story of Jason Griffin’ series.
If this interview intrigued you to delve further into Sophie’s work, please check out her links below:
Read the first 7 chapters now on Sophie’s BLOG: http://jg16riffin.blogspot.co.uk/