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Who is Sophie?- Without Spoilers

If it is not already obvious, Sophie is an extension of myself. At least, she is the way I wished that I was when I was a little girl. I suppose that every kid imagines that they have magical powers at some point in there lives. Our imaginations are pretty much at their peak in childhood and mine was no different.

Sophie was more of my escape than anything. As a child, I was bullied relentlessly and that led to me having depression and anxiety at a an early age. Mind you, both of these went completely untreated throughout my entire childhood. I’m really not going to go through the whole sad story that was my life, I’m sure that’s another post for another time. Ultimately, I lived in books; in other worlds that did not belong to me because mine wasn’t always so great. I imagined places where I was powerful, where things could be different, but also places where I could still be myself. Sophie, was and is a version of myself that I wish that I could be. Even though she is still a hell of a lot like me in many different ways.

She is not a perfect protagonist and that is exactly what I wanted. Too many protagonists are ‘squeaky clean’ and can do no wrong. Sophie is flawed, much like me, and that is okay. She wants to do the right thing but that doesn’t always work out, especially since the right thing for her isn’t the right thing for everyone else. She’s brash, feisty, somewhat selfish, mentally ill, loving, caring, sweet, and most of all she is a person. I do not shy away from her issues in the book, especially those concerning her mental health. Often I feel like those characteristics are shied away from but those characteristics make Sophie who she is. Also, she is not mentally ill in some weird ‘pseudo-romantic’ way. It is realistic in the way that my mental illnesses are realistic, there is no way they make me ‘hauntingly beautiful’ or anything fucking ridiculous like that.

Hopefully I did it right and I hope that people can see just what exactly I’m trying to portray through Sophie. I also hope that she will give you the chance to get to know me just a little bit. Though I promise you I do not have any supernatural powers (wouldn’t that be awesome though?). Alas, my only superpower is remembering to take my meds everyday and maintain a small bit of sanity.

What else would you like to know? About me, about Sophie, or about my book in general?

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Why Now?

This is a question that I ask myself a lot, especially these days. Why am I doing this now? Why did I wait so long? Why don’t I wait a little longer? My mind is full of questions and doubts as I go through this process. Writing is something that I have always loved and while my depression often gets in the way of the things that I love, I always come back to writing somehow.

I have tried my hand at many different things, as most people do when they are searching for a place in life. I think I have actually spent more time trying new pursuits¬†than I have with sticking with just one thing. Honestly, I have spent pretty much all of my life so far just looking for a place I belong in. To me, that sounds crazy high school but I am slowly realizing that even adults struggle with this. That even adults just want to feel like we belong somewhere, like we are going to be someone, and even that we¬†are going to make a difference in the world. It may be cliche but it’s the truth.

I had a realization this year, one I was finally happy to have. I realized that not fitting in anywhere, is exactly who I am meant to be. Being a writer typically means being solo, it means being stuck in my own head, but most of all it means that there are molds that I want to break. Now I know what you’re thinking, is this a goddamn manifesto? Ha, no. I am not trying to be on my soapbox in the least bit. I’ve just learned that is time for me to do what I want to do and let go of the fear of ‘not fitting in’. It is a difficult thing to do when I also have anxiety to go along with my depression but I have to start doing what makes me happy.

Imitatore has helped me with this so much. Writing this novel has been the happiest I’ve ever been (well next to being with my boyfriend, he’s my number one happy). How about I say, this is the happiest I’ve ever been in my own life outside of my relationship life. Imitatore is a culmination of years of therapy, medication treatment, mental breakdowns, and alternative therapies. Again, sounds ridiculous and cliche but I can’t help if I am ridiculous and cliche. Writing this novel has changed me, most of all it has helped me see that my path is to write. While I will maintain going to college and finishing my psychology degree, I will never leave writing behind.

A. Rose