It’s Meet the Author Monday! Each week we meet a new author and get to know a little about them, their writing process, publishing experience, and tips for other writers. Today we’re talking to Sofia Due, author of Finding Jack.
About Sofia Due:
Sofia Due lives and works in London but spends much of her time on the North Cornish coast, which inspired the setting for this book. She works as a lawyer, specialising in asylum and human rights claims and often acts for victims of modern slavery. Her debut novel, Ed & Lily, was published in 2021. Finding Jack is her second novel.
How do you get over the loss of your husband? And not only your husband but your home too and all the trappings of your old existence?
Gennie moves back to Cornwall in search of a fresh start. Working for Marion’s children’s charity seems perfect. Tucked away in the countryside, close to an artists’ community, it’s a place for Gennie and her daughter, Alice, to rebuild their lives in peace and quiet – until ex-soldier Jack comes along with the same idea in mind, a face from the past, forcing Gennie to confront things she would rather forget and igniting fears of another turbulent relationship.
Involving herself with Jack and his problems is the last thing she needs, not now she’s made new friends and opportunities are opening up again, but can either find happiness and a new direction without the other?
Author Interview with Sofia Due:
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- What literary pilgrimages have you gone on?
I love Sicily – the perfect combination of history, weather, sea and food. On my second trip, my friends and I took a rainy drive around the towns and villages following our own Godfather tour. We may also have dropped in on a few Inspector Montalbano haunts. So much of the island is so untouched by tourism and people still speak dialect rather than Italian, it’s fabulous.
- If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
Start sooner and be braver
- Do you view writing as a kind of spiritual practice?
Definitely. It’s something you have to do on your own and digging deep into yourself, not just your head. It can be cathartic – when you solve problems for your characters that you couldn’t solve in life with only a few well-chosen words. It can also be frustrating when the flow isn’t there or I’ve hit a problem plot point and then I have to take myself off to do something physical until things fall back into place.
- What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?
It’s giving them the right voice, making them sound plausible. Sometimes they have to say things that don’t seem natural to you to make sure they ring true for them and give them independence. It’s probably the same for all characters to be honest!
- Have you read anything that made you think differently about fiction?
The end of Atonement by Ian McEwan made me think differently about the power of fiction, the way you can both create a world and also destroy it. I hope that’s not a spoiler.
- How do you select the names of your characters?
It’s a bit random. Sometimes they need to have a name that works for their cultural and ethnic background and other times I pluck it from the world around me. Jack’s surname came to me when I was taking a bottle of vinegar from the cupboard and thought ‘Oh, not Aspall, Aspinall!’ The dog in Finding Jack is called Roxy because I was watching ‘Chicago’ when I was thinking of names and the cat is named Sergio after the guitarist in Kasabian.
- What comes first, the plot or characters?
Another interesting question. What arrives first is an outline of a person and the problem I want them to solve and then I fill in the other characters and develop the rest of the plot around them.
- Describe your writing space.
We have an open plan kitchen with a sitting area at the back with doors opening onto the garden. I like to get up early and plant myself on the sofa with my laptop and notebook and gaze out at all the greenery and sometimes I achieve some writing too! It’s very peaceful.
- Are you on social media and can your readers interact with you?
Yes! I’m on Twitter/X (as @SofiaDue_words) and hoping to get an invite to Bluesky soon. You can also contact me on my website sofiaduebooks.com and sign up for my newsletter.
- Do you write listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book?
I often listen to music when I’m trying to get into a character. Thinking of songs they’d like or describe how they’re feeling helps me get the right mood for a scene. I hope that translates to the page. I can’t listen to songs when I write as the voices distract me although I can listen to jazz or classical music if I’m doing writing sprints. Here’s one for Gennie:
Corinne Bailey Rae ‘Breathless’ breathless Corinne Bailey rae – Google Search
And one for Jack (for chapters 43 and 44!):
Patsy Cline: ‘You’re stronger than me’ Patsy Cline – You’re Stronger Than Me (Audio) – YouTube
(John Grant does a great version of this but I couldn’t find a recording)