Saturday, April 26, 2014

Olga Soaje on Motivation, #Writing & Favourite Books (#AmReading #Women)

at 11:30 AM

Have you always enjoyed writing?
I have always expressed myself better in writing than verbally and when a serious topic was on the table, it was easier for me to do it with pen and paper. I was from an early age an avid reader but somehow I saw writing as something foreign. Little did I know it would be something that would bring me so much joy.

What motivates you to write?
I wish I could explain something that seems so intangible, but the best I can do is describing it as a need to do it. To express myself and get rewarded every time a reader sends me a message of how my book touched their life or inspired them.

What books did you love growing up?
I loved and still do Dr.Seuss books; I also loved “Little Women” and Jane Austen lather on. In high school I started a routine of mix-reading self-help books with novels (a thing I still do).

What book genre of books do you adore?
Women’s Fiction.
Literary Fiction.

What book should everybody read at least once?
I would say there so many great books but one I always come back to for some reason is “Great Expectations” by Charles Dickens.

Is there any books you really don’t enjoy?
I would say I don’t enjoy horror or terror in movies or books.

Where do you get inspiration from?
From seeing life situations and thinking “What if?” there are so many stories to waiting to be told.

Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
I have been blessed with family and friends that have supported this passion since I’ve told them, with many expressions from reading the book in process, discussing stories, proofreading, to helping me thinks of ways to market.

Do you plan to publish more books?
Yes, I have more ideas that still need to come to life.

How do you write – laptop, pen, paper, in bed, at a desk?
I write mostly in my laptop either on a small desk I have at home or at a coffee shop in between errands.

Can you give us a short synopsis of Twelve Houses?
Dying often has its own decorum. The family gathers, the doctors explain, and kind nurses murmur advice and consolation in sterilized corridors. Nathan’s death was not like that. He went abruptly, without a hint of warning. Amelia woke up to find her husband dead of a heart attack, beside her in their marriage bed. Only then does the family gather, the circle of friends console, and the rabbi arrive. As the rabbi tears Amelia’s garments in the ancient ritual of mourning, her world is turned upside down. She feels like a shadow in her own life, almost like she is watching someone else act her part. She has become a stranger to herself in her shock and disorientation.

Her son offers consolation. As a doctor, he also offers her medication to take the edge off her sharp suffering, which she will not allow herself to accept. Instead, she lets him give her something of more lasting value: his spiritual support and his certain, understanding love. Yet she knows she cannot intrude on his life, cannot lean on him. He is soon to be married, to start a new life, and his own family.

Amelia’s daughter, her first-born child, is more of a problem. Amelia knows they were never as close as they should have been. As a mother, she feels she was too interested in her own life and her own career to give her daughter the warmth and nurturing she deserved.

As Amelia wanders through her artist’s studio, she comes upon her old wishing jar, the handmade prayer jar in which each family member placed their secret longings. Opening it, written on an old scrap of paper, Amelia finds her daughter’s dearest wish: “Help mom understand me.”

Work has become impossible, though her agent nags. For decades, sculpting has been her livelihood and much more. The feel of the soft clay in her hands has satisfied her in a way nothing else could and allowed her to express herself when she had no other way. Her talent has brought her money and fame, but now it is useless to her.

The work that had been a source of goodness and wholeness now seems to be betraying her. In her studio, she now finds hopeless grief instead of peace. She cries and does nothing, speaking silently with her absent husband and endlessly reworking the past.

It is her daughter who rescues her. Chloe needs help with her pregnancy and her marriage. It is the kind of help her mother is glad to give. Yet the two women still struggle to build a relationship, neither quite able to accept the other’s choices. Nevertheless, their attempts at understanding help to draw Amelia out of her consuming grief.

Amelia does find new work. With it she finds a new way to look at the world, one that that does not ignore her ideals. In the city in which she first fell in love with the man who would become her husband, she begins to learn to live again.

Can anything good follow the best thing that ever happened to you?
Amelia Weiss loved her husband of thirty-five years very much, but now he’s left her a widow. Without him, she is unable to work in her sculpture studio without crying. She no longer has a bridge to her estranged daughter. And she can’t seem to keep her mind in the present.

But when her daughter reaches out asking for her help and her agent threatens a lawsuit if Amelia doesn’t deliver for an upcoming exhibit, she’s forced to make a choice. Will she reengage with her life and the people in it—allowing room for things to be different than they were before? Or, will she remain stuck in the past, choosing her memories over real-life relationships?

Thrust fully into the present, Amelia stumbles into a surprising journey of self-discovery.

Buy @ Amazon
Genre – Contemporary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Women’s Fiction
Rating – PG-13
More details about the author
Connect with Olga Soaje on Facebook


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