Alexander and Maria

Please welcome Soulla to my blog. Shall we have a chat about what is new with your books, and news?

Please introduce yourself to those reading this blog post.

Hi I’m Soulla Christodoulou, author of Broken Pieces of Tomorrow, The Summer Will Come and Alexander and Maria. I also write poetry, enjoy posting and creating inspirational, uplifting quotes and absolutely adore the language of love.

I am also a mother of three grown-up boys, a yiayia (grandmother in Greek) to my granddaughter Eleni and live in London with my life-long partner Alan.

I am a private tutor of English Language and Creative Writing and also offer writing services to new authors, including mentoring and editing.

Has writing always been part of your life and when did you “know” that it was time to start writing your first book?

Writing has always been a part of my life; keeping a diary in my teens, journaling as an adult. I was always the one who wrote “an essay” in the wedding guest book and in birthday cards. I was always the one my mum approached when she had to write a letter and who sat for hours writing out our family Christmas cards growing up.

I first knew that it was time to start writing my first books, Broken Pieces of Tomorrow, when I joined a Creative Writing Class in January 2015. One of the writing projects was to write the first chapter of a story and that led to a semi-biographical story which evolved into one of fiction over time. It was the book which healed me and I cried writing many of the scenes.

How difficult was it writing your first book?

It didn’t feel difficult at all writing my first book. It was exciting, invigorating and motivating. I was working full-time at the time and yet still found the time and energy to write in the evenings and at weekends. I used to browse the internet for writing advice and podcast on the craft of writing. I wanted to find out everything I could about writing and writing well.

Have you ever wanted to give up and what stopped you?

Actually, no! I write when I want and when I don’t feel like it I do something else… I have my “other” life and my “writing” life and both support each other. Since leaving my teaching career I have found a balance between writing and teaching privately which is so much better for my health and mental well-being. And of course, I am still in a place to support young people and adults with their writing. I’m truly blessed.

Who is the most supportive of you and your dream to be a writer?

My mum and my partner have both been relentless in their support of and love of my writing. They are both behind me every step of the way and understand how passionate I am about my writing. They are my biggest fans and in fact, both talk about my writing to other people as much as I do!

Anything specific you want to tell your readers?

I recently started a newsletter which comes out once every six weeks and I would love your readers and blog audience to join. They can join via the link in my Instagram bio or here:

What is the best advice given to you (book or otherwise), and by whom?

That’s difficult to answer but I’d say most recently it’s do what you feel is right for you. Don’t worry about what others are doing or saying. Just do what feels good for you. Even if you feel scared, push forward and see where your ideas will take you. If you’re doing what feels right for you, the rewards will always be greater and bring so much more joy. Success is different for everyone and the only way to be happy is to be true to yourself. It’s about finding your purpose.

One of my best friends always says this although I don’t think she’s all that good at taking her own advice. She spends too much time procrastinating so I find I have to remind her of her own advice often!

What is your target audience and what aspect of your writing do you feel targets that audience?

My target audience is made up of both men and women who love to read real, gritty stories full of realism but which have a happy ending. My stories don’t fit into a certain trope but they will make you question life, question your own ideas and opinions and they will always leave you with a warm glow.

Hard-hitting themes such as immigration, illicit love, complicated relationships, teenage pregnancy, societal imperfections, injustice, racism and domestic abuse are written in a sensitive and sometimes bold way. My audience likes to read relatable stories which have been researched and written well.

Did the cover evolve the same way, or did you work with someone to make it come together for you?

The covers for my first indie-published novels were the winning entries to a “Design My Book Covers” competition I ran on Instagram.

Broken Pieces of Tomorrow’s cover was designed by a fourteen-year-old UK student – I loved her simple yet striking cover and blue is my favourite colour. The Summer Will Come’s cover was painted on canvas by an Athens University student who I have since met when I visited Athens in April 2019. The bright colours and the candle sitting in the window capture the book’s essence perfectly.

Alexander and Maria’s cover was designed professionally by a book designer who works with my publisher The Conrad Press. This was the fourth or fifth design and even then it took a few tweaks to achieve the cover I felt happy with me. I absolutely love it!

What are you working on now? Can we get a peek, an excerpt?

I’m working on the fourth draft of a contemporary fiction story called The Village House. I can share the first draft of the back cover copy with you as the editing of the book is still underway.

Part set in the Cyprus mountain village of Omodos, and London, Katianna, a successful UK Greek Cypriot entrepreneur, who has turned her back on love, receives a solicitor’s letter.

Still mourning the loss of her parents, she reluctantly leaves her business, her anchor, and flies to Cyprus. There she is pulled in by the country’s culture and her childhood memories and meets Polis.

What she discovers surprises and unnerves her and back in London, she faces some tough decisions which threaten the fabric of her life. She struggles to stay focused.

Will Polis be the one to breathe life into The Village House and also find a way to unlock Katianna’s heart?”

Any last words before we wrap things up?

I’d like to thank you Mary, and your community, for having me and for reading this interview and if anyone needs any support please give me a shout.


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