Go Inside the Mind of Sonya Deulina Williams
We asked Sonya to tell us about her journey from writer to published author. Here’s what she said.
My writing career started around age seven when I got my first Disney Princess Anastasia musical diary. I loved that thing! I would write down all the kid things that were so important to me at the time, the birthday parties I attended and missed, how this one girl was mean to me, and the cool things my pet parakeet did. Later on, I ended up majoring in English, concentrating in poetry, because at that point I gravitated to that form of writing, while writing a short story here and there.
I first started writing my novel "Mirrors" back in 2015. I had just left the most stressful job of my life and felt like the biggest weight was lifted. During the five months I was at that job, I didn’t write at all, as the life had been sucked out of me.
Months later, with a renewed sense of freedom, and a new job as a traveling mental health therapist, I finally had the time and drive to write again. It had rushed back to me with such a velocity that I decided I would write a book. It was almost like, if I survived that job, I could do anything. I could write a book, and I had things to say. I just needed a story.
So, I started and stopped, started and stopped, until finally the concept for the novel came to me. After that, ideas began flowing in. I would write them down wherever and whenever lighting struck: in my journal in the middle of the night, on a napkin in a restaurant, or in between seeing clients. I knew I had to capture it. Eventually, it was like putting together the pieces of a puzzle until they all fit.
After I wrote it, I spent a significant amount of time looking for an agent, to no avail. I had a couple bites, but in the end, no one really seemed to be interested past the first 50 pages, and come on, we all know the meat of the story starts at least in the middle. Then, I started submitting directly to publishers. Again, I had a few positive responses, but mostly from vanity publishers who agreed to publish my book if I forked out several thousand. That just did not sit well with me.
Finally, I came across Chandra Press. I remember immediately being drawn to their website, the neat space graphics, and more importantly how they talked about working with their authors, hand-in-glove. Okay, if I'm going to be honest, I grilled them. I was skeptical, because they were a newly formed publishing company, albeit they had many years of experience in the industry under their belts. After a lot of back and forth, Erik my editor/publisher, told me it required a leap of faith on my part, and so after obsessing a little bit more, I took the jump.
So, after many months of honing my book to perfection, cutting back the fluff to make the heart of the story shine, then adding detail back in, here I am. It was more work than I ever imagined. I even made a painting for the cover. I can truly sit back now and say that it was worth it. Through the long nights, tossing ideas around, self-doubt, aha moments, frustration, and finally triumph, I, no WE have made something I am truly proud of.
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Her blog: https://authsdwilliams.wordpress.com