Twilight Times Feature
with Stefani Sobers
Interviewer: L. Quillen
1. Does your creativity express itself in ways other than writing?
I think most creative people come across as open-minded and spiritual, and I am no exception. I love adventure, have a need to experience change, and have an overall openess toward all people, which I think defines me as creative on a daily basis.
2. Do you feel you were creative, even as a child?
As a child, I had a vivid imagination, which often led me to have vivid nightmares. As I grew older, I began to channel that positively and would often keep a journal of my dreams as an outlet. Some of the darker imagery in Blessed be the Jewel and in my other works are products of those dreams, of that childish imagination that I so often wished away.
3. Could you share with the story behind the story? In other words, how did your writing lead you to your first novel?
Shortly after my second child was born, my husband's company moved us to England. With no friends and limited American television, I began to write more in my spare time. One dark night, I looked over at a Wonder Woman doll I had recently purchased for my daughter and began thinking up my own heroine. My fingers hit the keyboard and the rest is history.
4. How did you prepare for the creation of your first novel, Blessed Be the Jewel? How much research was necessary?
I have read several books on the Wiccan religion, and a few on astrology to make sure I was accurate with spells and other imagery. Reading these books also gave me ideas when I would reach a stalemate in the story. As far as other preparation goes, I am a 'fly by the seat of my pants' kind of writer and do not feel a need for outlines or strictly planned chapters. I like to see how the story develops as I am writing.
5. What kind of reaction do people have to your writing?
I feel that most readers have a strong reaction, as my stories usually have some type of underlying meaning, so to speak. I think I have a flair for the dramatic, which usually provokes a teary eye or two (sometimes my own).
6. Do you find anything difficult in the writing process, and if so what?
Because I am not a 'planner' I sometimes reach a difficult period about three-quarters of the way through a book. Once I get past that, the rest flows quickly and easily. I will say..."thank God for computerized spellcheck!"
7. Do you currently have any writing projects?
I recently finished my third novel entitled The Devil's Punchbowl and am beginning a fourth, which is currently untitled. My short story collection, Tales of the Human Spirit is slated for release with TTB this fall.
8. Is there anything else you would like to add?
I feel extremely lucky to have been blessed with the talent and love for writing. I think that having creative ability can allow an outlet during stressful times, and aid in one's overall attitude, enabling that person to see life a little more colorfully. Whether I become a household name or not, I will always consider myself a 'writer.'
Ms. Sobers has always considered herself to have an adventurous spirit, which is why she loves to write. “You can explore magical worlds and be anyone or anything you want to be.”
“As a child, my father used to read the ‘Tarzan’ novels to me, which gave me a real love of adventure stories. I still live that through my writing and my imagination.”
Stefani graduated California State University Northridge in 1991 with a degree in journalism. She went on to a career in newspaper reporting, first as a city reporter in the Silicon Valley, then a features writer in the Central Bay.
Shortly after the birth of her second daughter, Stefani moved just west of London with her family where she published her first short story, “Lady of the Dance” (previously titled ‘Mouth of the Gift Horse’) in the British magazine The Lady.
Her love of writing fiction continued to grow and she has now completed nearly twenty short stories with other projects in the works.
Stefani's first novel, Blessed be the Jewel was published by Twilight Times Books in August 2002. This first novel, identified under the genre magic realism, typifies her affinity for the unknown and her strong attraction to stories that portray the strength of womankind.
When motherhood took the front seat, Stefani put her career on hold to raise her two daughters and write free-lance articles from home. Her work has been seen in countless magazines and newspapers throughout the Bay Area. Ms. Sobers currently lives in the North Bay with her husband Sean, and daughters, Sammie, five and Stevie, three.