Wednesday, 7 September 2016

Getting to Know the Authors: Featuring Sophie Hardcastle!

    Sophie Hardcastle is a twenty-two year old author and artist currently living and creating on the Northern Beaches in Sydney, Australia.
    Sophie is studying a Bachelor of Fine Arts at Sydney College of the Arts. She is majoring in painting.
    Sophie's memoir Running like China is published by Hachette and was released in September 2015. Hachette will publish her debut novel, Breathing Under Water on the 12th of July, 2016.
In addition to her books, Sophie has written for various magazine publications, including ELLE, Harper’s Bazaar and Surfing World and has also written for theatre.

She has written: 
Breathing Under Water
and Running Like China!

Now on to the Interview!!
1) How old were you when you started writing, in your opinion?
     I’ve been writing stories since I first learnt how to write, but I’ve been telling stories for even longer. I would dictate stories to my mum and she’d type them up and print them out, leaving enough room on each page for me to draw the illustrations. She’d then get them bound for me. In a way, they were my first books.  

2) What do you want a reader to gain from reading your works?
    As a writer, I want to tell honest stories, even if, at times, I have to be brutally honest. I want to show what really happens when your heart breaks, or when you fall in love because I think readers, especially young adult readers, connect with books that reflect their own realities. Sometimes our emotions run wild and things get messy and I want my work to honour that. I want my readers to know that their feelings and experiences are valid and real. 
     I also want to challenge my readers to consider ideas and beliefs that are different from their own and encourage them to ask questions. I believe that as soon as you stop asking questions, you close your mind and miss out on so much beauty.

3) What are your three top suggestions on becoming an author, or being a pleasure writer?
    I think you have to love writing, like really love it deep down inside of you. I find it so strange hearing people say they had to force a book out of them like it was punishing. Writing, for me, is liberating. It brings me so much joy and balances me in a way few other things can. I believe people have connected with my stories because they’ve sensed that passion.
    Also, enjoy the draft process. Don’t try to perfect every word… that comes later in editing. Just enjoy the flow of language, and embrace all the beautiful mistakes.
    Lastly, if you want to pursue a career as an author, you have to be patient. The publishing world moves so slowly and you need to commit to the long haul. If it’s your passion, you’ll surrender to the process and hang in there. Waiting can be so hard and raise serious doubts, so it’s vital that you have trust and keep faith.      

4) What is your favourite novel, why?
    Blueback, by Tim Winton. It was published when I was five-years-old and my dad read it to my sister and me before bed, a chapter every night. I loved it because Abel loved the ocean and swimming just as much as I did, and because there were little illustrations of shells separating the chapters. It’s still my favourite novel.

5) Who is your favourite author, why?
    Tim Winton. His writing is lyrical and poetic and every sentence can stand beautifully on its own.

6) What are your favorite pass times besides writing?
    Surfing, traveling, painting and drinking tea

7) Who in your life do you credit your imagination to the most?
My parents. My dad read us stories every night before bed, and my mum told us stories every day.

8) What are the top five things on your bucket list?
     Visit Antarctica. Write a New York Times bestseller. Surf in Peru and Sri Lanka. Drink tea in Mongolia and drink masala chai in India. Have one of my books get turned into a movie.

9) What is your funniest childhood memory?
     Making up a secret language with my sister so we could speak without our parents understanding us.

10) To the youth of today, if you could tell them one thing, what would it be?

     This is a funny question to answer because I’m twenty-two-years-old so I still consider myself as part of the youth of today and don’t feel like I’m really any wiser than anyone else my age. I guess I could say that we need to keep questioning things and to keep our minds and hearts open. There are some awful things going on in the world today, so I believe we need to focus on the positives and be champions of change.

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