SOPHIE’S TOP WRITING TIP: Don’t give up! But don’t be stubborn, either—be flexible and keep your wits and sense of humour about you!
Born in Indonesia of French parents, and brought up in Australia and France, Sophie Masson is the author of more than 60 books for children, young adults and adults, published in Australia and many other countries. Her historical novel, The Hunt for Ned Kelly (Scholastic Australia), won the Patricia Wrightson Prize for Children’s Literature in the 2011 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. She has also written four popular YA romantic thrillers under the name of Isabelle Merlin. Under the name of Jenna Austen, she has also published two romantic comedies for tweens and early teens.
2014 was a big year for Sophie, with several novels for young people published: The Crystal Heart (Random House Australia), 1914 ((Scholastic Australia) and Emilio (Allen and Unwin).
As well, her latest adult novel, Trinity: The Koldun Code, first in the Trinity thriller series set in Russia, was published by Momentum Books in 2014, and her non-fiction adult title, The Adaptable Author: Coping with Change in the Digital Age , featuring interviews with more than 40 authors, agents and publishers on the state of authorship and the publishing industry today, was published by Keesing Press in the same year.
Forthcoming in 2015 are Hunter’s Moon (Random House Australia, June 2015) and Trinity: The False Prince (Momentum, October 2015).
Sophie is also one of the founding partners in new children’s publishing house, Christmas Press, www.christmaspresspicturebooks.com
Sophie has served on the Literature Board of the Australia Council, the Book Industry Collaborative Council, the Board of the Australian Society of Authors, the Board of the New England Writers’ Centre and the committee of the New England and North West sub-branch of the Children’s Book Council of NSW.
Sophie’s blog: www.firebirdfeathers.com
Why do you write? Because it’s as natural to me as breathing. Because I love stories. Because that’s what I was born to do!
What would you be doing if you weren’t a writer? I would always have found my way to writing, no matter what. I loved acting too at one stage in my childhood. But writing was more satisfying.
What was your toughest obstacle to becoming published? Getting to understand why my first two books weren’t taken even though I had good feedback on them—and acting on that feedback so that the third book I wrote actually did get through!
What’s the best aspect of your writing life? I go on wonderful mind-adventures every day and take my readers along with me.
—the worst? Waiting around for publishers to decide on proposals!
What would you do differently if you were starting out now as a writer? Nothing, really—I think that the path to publication is different for every writer and I think instinct guides us, so that it’s difficult to take up a path someone else has trod, because it might not suit your way of doing things at all.
What do you wish you’d been told before you set out to become an author? That it doesn’t matter how many books you’ve had published, you still have to fight for every one of them, you can never ‘rest on your laurels’ in this business! When you’re an aspiring writer, you might think that once you reach a certain level, everything’s cool. Nothing could be further from the truth. ‘Established’ writer can be a misnomer—actually most of us who have been in the business a long time don’t feel ‘established’—that feels too settled, too solid. We can never take things for granted—rather than ‘established’ it should be ‘seasoned’—in the sense of a seasoned campaigner in a never-ending battle!
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Don’t give up.
by Sophie Masson
Random House Australia, 2014A girl in a tower. An underground kingdom. A crystal heart split in two, symbolising true love lost . . .When Kasper joins the elite guard watching over a dangerous prisoner in a tower, he believes he is protecting his country from a powerful witch.Until one day he discovers the prisoner is a beautiful princess – Izolda of Night– who is condemned by a prophecy to die on her eighteenth birthday. Kasper decides to help her escape. But their hiding place won’t remain secret forever.
Will they find their happily ever after?
“A deftly woven tale of warring kingdoms and the redeeming power of love. Another winner from Sophie Masson.” – Juliet Marillier, author of the Shadowfell series