Broken Pieces of Tomorrow: Interview with Soulla Christodoulou


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A little about Broken Pieces of Tomorrow:

Sometimes we have to face the unimaginable…sometimes life changes direction and we have no choice but to walk away from the familiar and head into the unknown landscape of a different future.

Georgia, a Greek Cypriot woman, married with three young boys, living in Finchley, North London, does just this after she discovers something she cannot live with.

A ‘coming of age’ story in later life, which will keep you gripped, have you laughing and shedding tears, as Georgia starts over with her best friend, Thalia, by her side. But most of all you will be screaming encouragement as she challenges herself, emotionally and intellectually, on her journey to new beginnings. This semi-biographical story, will stay with you for a long time as Georgia mends her broken pieces of tomorrow.

With determination and resilience she does everything she can…through tears and thrills to learn to love again…and live again…on her terms.

If you like a pacy story with a touch of realism and characters and descriptions that jump off the page, then this book is for you…happy reading.

Interview:

Tell me what you write.

In addition to this Women’s fiction novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow I have written a collection of 30 poems called Sunshine after Rain and a second novel published March 2018 called The Summer Will Come – based in Cyprus in the 1950s and towards the end of the 1950s in London; my research included on-line research which I collate on Pinterest and has taken me on an incredible journey and I have met people who have opened up to me for the first time, with their personal accounts and memories, which has been a privilege and an honour. I am currently doing final edits and revisions on this story while 43,000 words into a third novel, ‘Trust is a Big Word’.

Have you visited Greece?

I am of Greek Cypriot origin and so Cyprus, growing up, was my family’s destination for Summer holidays where we would escape London and disappear for a few weeks to enjoy both the beaches and the mountains. We also holidayed on the Greek island of Crete. But yes, I have visited Athens many times both for business and pleasure as well as many of the Greek islands including Corfu, Zakynthos, Kos, Xios, Oinousses and Sifnos.

And how does Greek culture play into your life and your books?

Greek culture has played a large part in both my books; Broken Pieces of Tomorrow about an Anglo Greek Cypriot woman’s journey of self-discovery after discovering her husband’s infidelity. In The Summer Will Come the story begins in 1950s Cyprus so the reader is drawn into life on the island.

If your book was made into a movie, which actors would play the main characters?

Julia Roberts would play Georgia as she is feminine, unpretentious yet strong and determined and Salma Hayek would play Thalia as she is glamourous. Robert Downey would make a great Nicolas as he has that boyish innocent face yet can play someone who is angry, calculating and controlling too.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I tend to write out a chapter synopsis of the main action in each chapter, the characters and their motivations, key plot ideas and a running time line alongside this. Both these documents are organic and once I start writing I go back and tweak, change, move chapters around and ‘build’ on my original story idea. Sometimes my story goes in a different direction or I decide to bring in another obstacle or challenge.

Do you prefer to read traditional books or ebooks?

I actually read both. I borrow lots of books from my local library and tend to download books on my Kindle that I have heard about or read about through social media. I have recently read Lady Chatterley’s Lover by DH Lawrence, currently am reading your book Vivir el Dream,  and I have Dead Man’s Prater by Jackie Baldwin to read next.

Who designs your book covers?

I put a shout out on Instagram and a wonderful young student called Mya Glenister has designed two of the three book covers for me and an Athens University student called Alex Sainidis has designed my third book cover. Both students have been absolutely brilliant and as a former Business Studies teacher I am pro pushing and encouraging entrepreneurship in young people so this seemed to work all round; it gave the students a platform on which to showcase their work and has given me the satisfaction of knowing I have given them an opportunity to shine, build their confidence and develop their ideas on a formal footing.

Do you attend literary lunches or events?

As a fairly new writer I haven’t attended many but spent three days at LBF2018 where I met with and connected with a number of authors and publishers. I have attended a Bloggers and Authors event in London and recently attended a networking event organised by the Federation of Small Businesses. Both events have allowed me to talk about my work and gain an insight into how other authors and entrepreneurs have been able to be successful. I am always open to learning new techniques and trying out new ideas. My thoughts on last year’s LBF2017 can be seen here.

What do you think about writing groups or critique groups?

My experience of both has been positive. I suppose as a former teacher I know how important feedback is when you are working on a project and sometimes we can be too close to an idea or a story to see something might be missing or not quite working. I would say take the feedback about your writing, don’t take it personally, and use it, to improve your writing for the reader.

What does literary success look like to you?

It’s too early for me to tell but I’d like to think that for me it’s having my books published and people talking about them, leaving reviews, being invited to talk about my writing and my writing journey and hopefully making some money along the way.

How long does it take you to write a book/poem?

Broken Pieces of Tomorrow, from the initial idea to the final formatted draft, has taken me about a year to write. A poem can take anything from 15 minutes to an hour or more! My collection of poetry probably took me about 60 hours.

How do you market yourself and your book?

So far it has been mainly through my social media although I have recently engaged in author interviews, blog posts, attending business and author networking groups. I had an official launch and book signing for The Summer Will Come, and it went tremendously well and has definitely made a huge difference in sales for the new release and my first book too!

Why do you write?

Quite simply it makes me feel happy from the inside out and the outside in!

How often do you write and what is your process?

I write every day and I treat writing as my job, my business, and so I tend to write for a minimum of 6 hours a day, and often at weekends too. I write at my laptop which is set up on my dining room table. I have a beautiful outlook onto the garden and in the summer months I open the French doors and let the outside in; I find this conducive to losing myself in my ‘writing’ world and sometimes forget to stop for lunch as I am so engrossed and in my writing. In terms of my process, I read over what I have written before to remind myself where I am in the story and just get on with it. I normally have a paper copy of my chapter synopsis open next to me which I annotate if I change or need to tweak anything while I’m tapping away.

What writing advice can you give?

I would say surround  yourself with a support network – writing buddies, readers, bloggers, beta readers – as writing can be a lonely occupation, way of life, and it’s very easy to shut yourself off and bury yourself in your writing in complete solitude. Don’t get me wrong this is great as you need to get the writing done but equally, in my experience, you need people around you even if it’s just to say you’re on the right track or have you thought about this?

Can you create a short writing prompt?

Ooh yes…It wasn’t what she had expected and realised she was about to make either the best decision of her life or the biggest mistake. She pressed send…

What is your favorite food?

That’s a really difficult question to answer! I enjoy home cooked food the most, especially Greek Cypriot cuisine, but equally enjoy Thai, Chinese, Mexican, Persian and Indian. I tend to like foods with great flavours and tastes.

If you were trapped on a deserted island and could only bring 5 books, what would they be?

Only 5?

I’d bring:

The Secret Garden which was one of the first books I received as a gift when I was a child from my god-sister. It has a red leather cover and gold embossed lettering on the cover. It’s a beautiful book to not only read but to hold.

The Five People you Meet in Heaven by Mitch Albom which gets you thinking about life and actions and consequences and ‘what ifs’. It’s a spiritual book which turns life on its head.

Teacher Man by Frank McCourt which captures the life of being a teacher so aptly.

Nacht (translated simply as Night) by Elie Wiesel which is a personal account written by a Nazi concentration camp survivor. Reading it had me in tears almost from start to finish. It is profoundly thought-provoking.

And definitely my third book, currently a work in progress called Trust is a Big Thing (though this may change) so I can finish writing it!

Thank you, Soulla! I can’t wait to read these books!!!!!

soulla

Bio: Born in London to Greek Cypriot parents Soulla Christodoulou spent much of her childhood living carefree days full of family, school and friends. She was the first in her family to go to university and studied BA Hotel & Catering Management at Portsmouth University. Years later, after having a family of her own she studied again at Middlesex University and has a PGCE in Business Studies and an MA in Education.

Soulla is a Women’s Fiction author and wrote her first novel Broken Pieces of Tomorrow over a few months while working full time in secondary education and is a mother of three boys.

She is a compassionate and empathetic supporter of young people. Her passion for teaching continues through private tuition of English Language and Children’s Creative Writing Classes.

Her writing has also connected her with a charity in California which she is very much involved in as a contributor of handwritten letters every month to support and give hope to women diagnosed with breast cancer. One of her letters will be featured in a book ‘Dear Friend’ out in September 2017.

When asked, she will tell you she has always, somewhere on a subconscious level, wanted to write and her life’s experiences both personal and professional have played a huge part in bringing her to where she was always meant to be; writing books and drinking lots of cinnamon and clove tea!

She also has a poetry collection, Sunshine after Rain, published on Amazon and just released her second novel, The Summer Will Come.

Website: https://www.soulla-au thor.com/

 Social Media links:

Blog: https://www.soulla-autho r.com/blog/

Books: https://www.soulla-auth or.com/the-summer-will-come/

            https://www.soulla -author.com/sunshine-after- rain/

            https://www.soulla -author.com/broken-pieces- tomorrow/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/s christodoulou2?lang=en

Instagram: https://www.instagr am.com/soullasays/

Facebook: https://www.facebook .com/soullabookauthor/

Scriggler: https://scriggler.c om/Profile/soulla_christodoulo u_anastasia_loizou

Pinterest: https://uk.pinteres t.com/asceducational/

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The Demon Duke: An Interview with Local Author Margaret Locke


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Behind every good man is a great secret.

Banished to Yorkshire as a boy for faults his father failed to beat out of him, Damon Blackbourne has no use for English society and had vowed never to return to his family’s estate at Thorne Hill, much less London. However, when his father and brother die in a freak carriage accident, it falls on Damon to take up the mantle of the Malford dukedom, and to introduce his sisters to London Society–his worst nightmare come to life.

He never planned on Lady Grace Mattersley. The beautiful debutante stirs him body and soul with her deep chocolate eyes and hesitant smiles. Until she stumbles across his dark secret.

Bookish Grace much prefers solitude and reading to social just-about-anything. Her family may be pressuring her to take on the London Season to find herself a husband, but she has other ideas. Such as writing a novel of her own. But she has no idea how to deal with the Duke of Malford.

Will she betray him to the world? Or will she be his saving Grace?

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Thank you, Margaret, for you allowing me to interview you today!!! Tell us a little bit about your newest book The Demon Duke.

How did you get the idea for the book? 

My son has Tourette Syndrome. A few years ago, he announced he’d never have a girlfriend, much less get married, because “nobody would want him.” It broke my heart – and still does. So I decided to craft a book in which a duke with Tourette’s (though it wasn’t called that in the Regency period) finds the love and acceptance he’s always wanted.

If your book was made into a movie, what actors would be in it?

 Oh, this one is easy! Ian Somerhalder and Nina Dobrev of Vampire Diaries fame were the physical inspirations behind Damon Blackbourne and Grace Mattersley. J

 Bradley James and Colin Morgan would play James Bradley, Duke of Arthington, and Morgan Collinswood, Marquess of Emerlin, respectively. Hugh Jackman inspired Deveric Mattersley, and Reese Witherspoon makes a perfect Eliza Mattersley.

 I have other family members cast in my mind, and have pinned many of them to Pinterest boards – though of course I hope readers make up their own people in their minds if these names don’t fit for them!

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Should people read the other books in the Magic of Love series or is this a stand-alone book?

The Demon Duke is the first in my Put Up Your Dukes Regency series and is a stand-alone, without any of the magical elements that pop up in my Magic of Love series. However, our bookworm heroine Grace is the sister of Deveric Mattersley, the hero from A Matter of Time. So if you’ve read that book, you’ll have fun seeing familiar names and places in this one, but it’s not necessary to have done so to enjoy the story on its own.

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You are starting to become pretty popular and winning some awards. What is that like for you?

 Surreal! That I have readers who rave about my books still feels totally bizarre. Though I think I have a ways to go before you could truly call me popular. But it’s a dream come true to have people read my work and like it enough to want to read more. I hope I can keep living up to their expectations!

What would be your favorite and least favorite things about living back when The Demon Duke lived?

Favorite? Likely the furnishings. Yeah, I’m a weirdo. The furnishings, that is, if I were rich – more likely I’d be a barmaid or a seamstress or something, and then life would be much less fun. My least favorite thing? Lack of air-conditioning, modern medicine, and showers. Oh, that’s more than one? Well, they’re all important! 😉

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 What else are you working on right now? Will there be more Magic of Love books coming soon? 

 I do have at least one more in the Magic of Love series planned, maybe two, but as to when it will appear, I’m not sure, as I’m thrilled to be part of an upcoming series of books based on legendary figures with fellow Regency authors, and so therefore I need to work on that first so I don’t let the crew down! My contribution will be The Legendary Duke, set to debut in June 2018.

 I also want to write a short story or novella about the origins of the magical manuscript that first appears in A Man of Character.  And then there are several side characters in both my Magic of Love series and my Put Up Your Duke series whom I feel need their own stories told, but whose tales likely won’t contain magical elements or dukes, so, well, new series remain to be born!

 Thank you, Margaret! Can’t wait to read it! Get your copy today by clicking on the link below!

Amazon: http://bit.ly/TheDemonDuke

B&N: https://www.books2read.com/u/4DAddP

iTunes: https://www.books2read.com/u/4DAddP

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-demon-duke

Margaret - MLPic
A lover of romance novels since the age of ten (don’t tell her mom!), Margaret Locke declared as a teen she’d write romances when she was older. Once an adult, however, she figured she ought to be doing grown-up things, not penning love stories. Turning forty cured her of that silly notion. Margaret is now happily ensconced back in the clutches of her first love, this time as an author as well as a reader.
Margaret lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with her fantastic husband, two fabulous kids, and three fat cats. You can usually find her in front of some sort of screen (electronic or window); she’s come to terms with the fact that she’s not an outdoors person.
Margaret loves to interact with fellow readers and authors! You may find her here:

Website/Blog: http://margaretlocke.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorMargaretLocke
GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/MargaretLocke
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/margaret_locke
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/Margaret_Locke
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/Margaret_Locke