Author Interview: Sylvia Massara
Sarah Jamison is on a mission to find a boyfriend for her lover’s partner; and Sarah’s best friend comes to the rescue with an idea so crazy that it just might work. Enter the enigmatic Mike Connor. Sarah hates the man on sight, despite the fact that her body tells her otherwise. Mike Connor is smug and full of himself; but Sarah thinks that with his help, she can finally be with the love of her life.
"The Other Boyfriend" is Sylvia Massara's debut novel. While Massara affectionately calls the book "chick-lit," most readers agree that it's so much more. Smart, funny and real, Massara's characters come to life in the most unexpected and interesting ways.
Currently available in ebook format only.
Partly inspired by real life events, this is a story of courage, the gift of friendship and unconditional love. The story involves three people whose lives cross for a short period of time and the profound effect which results from their interaction. Alex Dorian, freelance travel writer and a survivor of severe child abuse, arrives in Sydney in an attempt to exorcise the ghosts of her past. She shares a house with Steve and the disturbing Matthew, a homosexual couple. Alex finds herself inexplicably attracted to Matthew, and she must battle with her repressed sexuality and her fear of intimacy.
Due to be released in late September, this beautifully told story explores the true meaning of unconditional love--for both one's self and for others. Readers of "The Soul Bearers" will come away with a deeper understanding of human relationships and of what it means to truly love without condition.
Sylvia Massara has been writing since her early teens. She has written in a variety of genres, from stage plays to screenplays to novels. Since she can remember, she’s loved immersing herself in a world filled with characters of her own creation.
Massara has recently published a quirky romantic comedy in ebook format, entitled "The Other Boyfriend", and is about to release a general fiction life drama, "The Soul Bearers" soon. Both books will be released in paperback toward the end of 2010.
Additionally, Massara is the owner of writing services business, Tudor Writing Services, where she provides freelancing writing, proofreading, editing, website and social media services.
Massara lives in the Sydney, Australia, with husband, Nick, and four-legged daughter, Mitzy.
For more information about Massara's background and full bio, visit her official website and blog.
1. When did you decide to start writing?
I’ve been writing since my early teens. My whole life I’ve been making stories up in my head, so it’s only natural that I would write them one day.
2. What is your genre and why did you decide to write a novel in it?
I don’t have a particular genre; I would call myself a ‘mainstream’ author, though I’ve written chick lit and have recently released a general fiction drama. In past years I wrote comedy, thrillers and action stories as well.
3. Were you worried about the word count of your work?
No. A good book will be finished when the story is told, whether it takes 60K words or 160K. It all depends on the story and how it keeps moving.
4. Do you have any writing quirks and what are they?
Writing quirks ... hm ... only that I’m crazy if I find even one typo in my manuscript. I am very picky and I tend to over edit at times.
5. If you can describe your novel in one word, what would it be and why?
My romantic comedy, I would describe as “quirky”, because it’s a bit mad-cap.
My drama novel, I would have to describe as “inspirational” because it teaches one to persevere in the face of adversity, move on and face the future with optimism.
6. How did you decide on the title and what does it mean?
“The Other Boyfriend” was named thus because the heroine in the story comes up with a plan to find a boyfriend for her lover’s partner (her partner is in a relationship gone sour, but he cannot seem to let go of the woman he’s with; so our heroine hopes to find her a boyfriend so the way is clear for the heroine to be with the man she thinks she wants).
“The Soul Bearers” was named after a particular story that one of the characters in the book relates. He says that it’s a sin to kill a butterfly, because when a person dies, the soul is carried by the butterfly until the soul is ready to go onto its divine source, hence the butterfly is a ‘soul bearer’.
7. What do you hope your readers will get out of reading your novel?
Inspiration, not to be afraid of change (even when it seems that the change is not for the best). This is reflected in both novels and the characters learn to overcome obstacles in the face of adversity.
8. Tell us a little about your road to publication.
After many years of trying to go down the traditional publishing way I decided to take destiny into my own hands and went with digital publishing. This has opened the door to many opportunities and has widened my networking circle. I have full creative control of my work and don’t have to write to a formula, just to please a publisher. So now I publish when I want and I do all my own promotional work through the social media.
9. What advice can you give other aspiring authors out there?
Persist and don’t give up; whichever way you choose to go – traditional or self-publishing. Above all, if you self-publish be prepared to invest a little money and get someone to proofread your work. You want to make a good first impression. Lastly, be prepared to promote yourself as much as possible. It can take months and months before you will have a large enough following to start making big dollars, but in the end it’s worth it.
I would like to take this chance to thank Sylvia for giving me a chance to interview her. Both books look fascinating. Take the time to look them up, dear reader. Also, on the Author Info section of this interview, there are links that you can click on which will give you more information about Sylvia and her other projects. These links are in purple.