WELCOME SONJA LEWIS
Sonja Lewis is a former newspaper journalist for The Albany Herald, in Georgia USA. Now living in Battersea, London, Sonja is a full time writer. She blogs at www.sonjalewis.com and also for the Huffington Post www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/ sonja-lewis When Lewis moved to London fifteen years ago she set up and managed a successful communications consultancy, where she worked with high profile clients including The Royal National Institute for the Blind. She also freelanced for The Guardian and studied for an MA degree in journalism. Lewis was later accepted on to a range of writing courses with the Arvon Foundation where she met her mentor Jacob Ross, who later became heavily involved in the proofreading and editing process of her novels. Lewis’ first novel The Barrenness was incredibly well received, appearing in The Voice, and WM Magazine in the UK, US national media including CNN, Black Enterprise and The Tom Joyner Morning Show along with a host of regional media across Canada and the US. The Blindsided Prophet by Sonja Lewis is available now as an eBook RRP £2.99, and will be available in paperback from mid October 2013 (published by Prymus Publications, RRP £8.99) online at retailers including Amazon.
Connect with Sonja at these sites:
Q&A with Sonja Lewis
Writing and Reading:
-Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
Sure I do. The fact that I didn’t have children and was perceived as being unhappy sometimes, prompted me to write The Barrenness. I don’t have a specific connection as such to The Blindsided Prophet, although I find the theme of thinking and taking responsibility for one’s thoughts intriguing. I wanted to create a larger than life character, a global thinker, to demonstrate the importance of thinking as a communications skill.
-Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I often start with the engine of the story—the main reason for writing it, the compelling event that drives it. I want the reader to know upfront what the story is about and why they should read it. This is often not the beginning of the story so to speak but answers the question why the story is worth telling in the first place.
-Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I need to be committed to a story before I decide to write it. I am often in full flow in my head but when I sit down to write, poof it goes away, which is why I try to write several chapters and imagine even more before I commit to an idea and do research, unless it is the research that has grabbed my attention.
I do like to imagine that I am in my own room of sorts, my writing sanctuary in my head, a bit odd to some. And when I’m writing I don’t like anyone around me, not even in the house, although I can write in cafes. I have noticed though that I do more thinking and planning in public places than actual writing.
-Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?
Yes, writing is what I do full-time now, though I do still serve as a communications advisor with Pocket Living.
-Who are some of your favorite authors?
I enjoy reading Tony Morrison, James Baldwin, Gloria Naylor, Amy Tan, Claire Keegan, Andrea Levy, Andrea Lee, Zoe Heller, Maggie Gee, just to name a few. As for non-fiction, I am a big Malcolm Gladwell fan.
-What are you reading now?
I have two books on the go – Mary Munroe’s Mama Ruby & Pam Grout’s E-Squared: Nine Do-It-Yourself Energy Experiments That Prove Your Thoughts Create Your Reality.
-Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?
Uncharacteristically, I haven’t started yet because I haven’t decided what to do next. I have two novels that I plan to re-work, one with the Voting Rights Act at the centre, and the other, racism in the southern US in the 80s.
A year ago, however, after losing both my in-laws, I kicked around the idea of doing my first novel set in England, perhaps a historical romance. My mother-in-law’s story, in particular, is quite intriguing, major joys and pains. What a fascinating woman!
-Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
Will Smith as Isaiah, who is the main character – although maybe he is a bit old now but yeah, sounds good!
Jill Scott – Mae Cook, who is his mother figure.
Freema Agyeman as the beautiful, reckless Lucky Lee. Freema and I go to the same hairdresser and though I have never been a fan of Law & Order or seen her in anything else, I was struck by her presence.
-Manuscript/Notes: hand written or keyboard?
Keyboard or no one would be able to decipher. My handwriting has deteriorated over the years. Sometimes I can’t read it, but I do take pen to paper in the middle of the night quite often.
-Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
That is a hard call but going to great restaurants need not be a leisure activity but I do so enjoy as well as catching plays in London. But for me, just me, I love running.
Pan fried fish, seabass, salmon, etc., with risotto and spinach. If no risotto on the go, give me chips (French fries). Simple pleasures are the best! Oh yes, fish has to be filleted. If not, have to choose duck!
ABOUT THE BOOK
1980 was the year of an unforgettable tragedy in Coffee, a small town in Georgia, when a mass killing at a church claimed the lives of twelve innocent people. Fourteen-year-old prophet Isaiah Brown, failed to predict the massacre that took the lives of his beloved mother and grandfather. Traumatised and inconsolable, young Isaiah fled the scene, disappearing into a woods close by, where he went blind. Fifteen years later, at God’s bidding, Isaiah must return to Coffee, to repent and free himself from the years of guilt he has endured. God has entrusted him with the knowledge that will save the people of Coffee from an even worse trauma than they encountered in 1980.
Days before he is due back in the town where he was an outcast for so many years, he experiences a vision from the past; he sees his mother and father’s forbidden love-story and his miraculous birth. He goes ahead with his trip back to Coffee, where he is faced with a town that has been unable to move on from the nightmare of the 1980 devastation. Visions continue to haunt him; not only from his family’s past, but also from the town’s past. Soon he learns the shocking and inconceivable secret that has been hidden from him. Isaiah knows what he has been sent to do but he starts to defy his own nature, whilst falling for the reckless Lucky Lee, and he ultimately begins to question whether he can remain a prophet. Will he be blindsided by the discovery about his past and his love for Lucky Lee? Or will he be able to prevent the impending tragedy?
The Blindsided Prophet explores thinking at the deepest level and whether we have a say in shaping our thoughts, ideas and beliefs, or whether we are at God’s mercy. The idea that we must take responsibility for our thoughts and actions is a powerful theme. The Blindsided Prophet employs science and religion, whilst not mutually exclusive, to unravel themes of prophecy, incest, pain and love. Sonja Lewis conducted extensive biblical and scientific research whilst writing the book, and drew inspiration from a number of non-fiction authors including Joseph Murphy and Robert Waggoner as well as the fiction works of Tony Morrison and Gloria Naylor.
Publisher: SDL Communications
Publication date: 9/20/2013
ISBN: 978-0-9567105-3-6 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 978-0-9567105-5-0 (e-book Amazon)
ISBN: 978-0-9567105-4-3 (e-book Smashwords, Sony, Apple, Kobo, Diesel, Barnes & Noble, etc…)
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