1. Tell us about your latest book.
Two Brothers: Heritage, YA sci-fi is the second in the Ramtalan Trilogy and it steps up the action and the struggle of half-human, half-alien twin brothers Argus and Tai to understand the world around them. They’re far from ordinary teenagers, although deep down, that’s all they want to be. While Tai is held captive at the Citadel, the Ramtalan headquarters on Earth, Argus finds himself mixed up in the long-time battle between hostile Invaders and his friends, the Ramtalans. The boys are in for a surprise when they learn more about their father and have to continue their evasion of Max Jackson from AURA, the Astronomical Urgent Recovery Administration. With everything that’s going on, Argus still tries to maintain a semblance of a relationship with his human girlfriend, Lola.
2. Where did the idea for the book come from?
I really enjoy young adult fiction, especially science fiction, and after raising three daughters (yep, I had three teenaged daughters in the house at the same time) by myself, I thought it would be fun to write about teenaged boys. Of course, these boys aren’t entirely normal, but still, they are teenagers!
3. Who and what inspire you to write?
I’m inspired by every writer, everyone who puts pen to paper-well, fingers to keyboard-to create something purely out of their imagination. That’s a gift and there are so many fabulous, incredible writers out there, I couldn’t even begin to pick one. As for what inspires me to write, that came from my childhood. I was born in Australia and we moved to the United States when I was young, so I still had a strong accent. I was bullied and teased because I was different, so I quickly learned that if I stayed to myself with a notebook, I’d be left alone, more or less. So, I started writing as a way to escape the world around me and create wonderful, happy places and people.
4. Each author has his or her own inspiring journey. How did you begin writing?
Just what I said above! It was self-preservation really.
5. What has been the most pleasant surprise about writing? How about an unexpected down side?
The best thing is getting published and seeing all that hard work produced into a lovely book. Hands down, that’s what it’s all about for me. Down side? All of the work that comes after the book is published! It’s amazing just how much there is to do, with marketing, promotion, social media, presentations/talks/signings. It cuts into writing time for sure, yet I manage to find a way. I have to because I have to finish Book Three!
6. Do you have any writing rituals?
No really. I suppose a sort-of ritual might be that when I first start writing for the day, I need a cup of chai or something doesn’t seem right. So, yeah, I guess that’s a ritual!
7. Do you write your books in order?
Pretty much. For me, I have to have the beginning set before I can continue, which means I will usually edit that opening chapter before starting on chapter two. That doesn’t mean it has to be perfect, but it has to be good enough for me to move on. And like every author I think, I jot down plot elements, characters, dialogue or whatever when I think of them, and save them until I need them.
8. Any favorite writing snacks?
Other than chai and diet Coke, I do like to nibble on popcorn, cashews and carrot sticks. That’s not too bad, right?
9. What advice would you give writers who aspire to be published?
It’s kind of cliché, but I would stress not to give up. If you want to get published, don’t stop writing and make sure you get critique, preferably from a critique group made up of several other writers. If you can edit your own work, and do a very, very good job, then you might be able to skip using a professional editor, but otherwise, find a great editor and have them work their magic on your manuscript before you ever query. And don’t forget the query letter. That, like your manuscript, must be perfect. It’s the first impression an agent or publisher will get from you!
10. Are you working on anything new right now?
Other than Book Three, yes. I’m about ¾ of the way through another YA sci-fi with a girl protagonist this time, and an adult thriller. There are a couple of already complete manuscripts that I’m editing in between. Sometimes it’s hard to concentrate on one manuscript, but I’ll get to a point where I want to finish one, so the others will go on the back-burner.
11. Who is your favorite character in your current book?
I love them all, but I’m really fond of Argus and his girlfriend Lola. They have a lot in common, although their journeys are very different, and I can’t wait to see what happens to them in the third book.
12. What is your favorite book of all time?
The Call of the Wild by Jack London. My dad bought it for me when I was probably around eleven and I couldn’t stop reading it. I’ve read everythinig else by Jack London, but The Call of the Wild is my favorite. For sci-fi, it’s Ray Bradbury, Jules Verne, and of course, H.G. Wells. Then, for pure fun, it’s Clive Cussler and his books. Oh, how can I forget J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter!
13. Tell us in one sentence why we should read your book.
Everyone struggles with growing up and the transition from teen to adulthood, even half-aliens who have to deal with the typical issues of school, bullies, girls, being popular, and protecting the world from hostile Invaders.
About the Author:
Sofia Diana Gabel is a multi-genre fiction writer who was born in Sydney, Australia, but is now living in the United States with her family. With undergrad degrees in environmental science and archaeology, and currently attending graduate school in archaeology, she enjoys learning and being out in nature when she's not glued to her desk writing or researching a new story idea. Writing is a true passion of hers, born from a love of the written word that can transport the reader to different places or worlds and deliver them back to reality, safe and sound.