Thursday, May 4, 2023


I want to thank Sofia Aves for taking the time for this interview!


USA Today Bestselling author Sofia Aves writes fast-paced police romances, sizzling military units, steamy cowboys with a Montana backdrop and the occasional cheeky god. Married to a veteran, she often tackles topics of PTSD and reintegration and has a soft spot for all who work in uniform. Sofia writes kidlit for charity and has over one hundred and fifty publications across four not-so-super-secret pen names. She is the Marketing Manager for Romance Cafe Publishing and loves discovering new romance talent.

Sofia is a mum of three crazies in a returned veteran household and has an overly large fur baby who thinks she’s a teacup puppy. After eighteen years of planning and dreaming, Sofia and her husband opened their very own alpaca park, Lorendel,  this year. Sofia lives near Brisbane, Australia.

When and how did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I've been writing (this time around) for about 4 years. 

My first picture book was published (writing as Jo Seysener) in Dec 2018. 

My first Sofia Aves book (Collision - Blue Blooded Brothers book 1)released mid 2020 during Covid. 

Like a lot of writers, I wrote throughout my school life but once I hit career territory, that dream was pushed aside and forgotten. 

I started writing again as a SAHM when my second child turned one after I had spent years inhaling all the info on young children's education and breastfeeding I possibly could. 

Once that was done, I needed something else for my brain to chew on and...writing came back to me. I started handwriting a woeful bodice ripper one Friday night while hubs and I watched some good old nineties Chuck Norris. He leaned over and asked if I could read what I'd written. (I'm a lefty and we all know the answer to this one). 

The next week he provided me with a laptop that, at 35, was the first computer I had ever owned. I started working out how to write again--even heading to my bookshelf because how do quotation marks work? After a few nights of fumbling and false starts, I got a few words down. Like a few lines, quite literally. 

The next week I wrote more lines. In fact I got out the first chapter of what is now Collision and...stalled. Ballsing up and joining some writers groups both in person (eeep, terrifying for a massive introvert!) and online helped me work out what I wanted my books to look like and where I wanted to go. 

After a year in picture books and another in speculative fiction anthologies, I finally tracked back to what I really wanted to write -- romance.

Did you have any influencing writers growing up?

I loved Enid Blyton - The Faraway Tree, Wishing Chair, the Adventure series and The Famous Five. 

I also loved reading Nancy Drew and the Hardy boys, so a sense of mystery, danger and adventure were always a part of my reading list.

Are any of your characters based on people in real life?


Where do you draw your book inspirations from?

Everything. I can't say where ideas come from, just that they arrive. Once they're there, I get the info down into a clean document as fast as I can before it disappears into thin air. 

My drives are full of one line documents, and I have a full spreadsheet of 'titles up for grabs' and cute character names I don't want to lose.

Do you use a basic outline when starting a new story or do you let the characters lead the way?

I write a brief outline and start a basic series bible (unless I’m writing a next in series). It usually takes me about an hour to sort out what the book should look like, then I start writing. 

My books are scheduled several years in advance, so the chances are that I’ve been thinking lightly on any given book for some time. 

When you are picturing the characters in your book, do you have a cheater photo for inspiration?


Many people read as a form of escape and relaxation. What is your favorite way to sit back and relax?

Writing does this better than anything for me, far more than reading.

Who are your favorite current authors to read?

C M Stunich and K G Reuss

What are your favorite books by others?

C J Samson's Matthew Shardlake Mysteries appeals to my sense of history and police procedurals. I absolutely adore the setting and the depth in those books. They're the sort I can open and sink into for a full rainy day, the perfect reading weather. 

In romance & suspense I love Jemma Westbrook's Alaskan Security series (Aussie girl seeking cool weather) and for RH (reverse Harem) I love K G Reuss and C M Stunich.

Do the locations in the stories have any meaning to you?

Wherever the books are set, I’m invested whether I’ve visited the place in reality or not.

Do you write in single or multiple POV?

Usually dual, though RHR books are written from a single point of view.

What do you find to be your best research tool?

Interviews. I get as much as I can from each person over a few hours on their profession/location/scenario and save all that info to refer back to across multiple books.

Do you write under a pen name? Also, do you write under more than one name?

Current active pen names:

Jo Seysener (kidlit/clean spec fic)

Sofia Aves (romantic suspense and mainstream romance)

Raven Hush (PNR shifters and BDSM romance)

What genre do you write and why is this your preference?

Romantic suspense, and security romance. 

A good bodyguard (thank you, Mr. Costner) never goes astray. There's something about that forced proximity environment with a man who looks just a tad uncomfortable in a suit because he's too muscled for it who can deal out death with his bare hands that's ridiculously appealing and sexy. 

I also have a closet collection of college romances and am planning to write several in 2024. For an Aussie girl, the college experience is so different from our university life, and I'm semi addicted to that taboo glimpse into outrageous wealth and power.

Tell me something about yourself outside of writing. Jobs, accomplishments, family, quirky trait...what led to you being you?

I’ve spent 18 years working towards my own alpaca park and we opened Lorendel last December. 

Right now I have 3 pregnant girls, Skyla, Piccolo and Nedayah.

What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?

Start. Just...start. It doesn't matter if you love or hate your first ten words, or your first ten thousand words. Start. 

A book isn't born in a day, but there is magic in putting dreams to paper. Look at what you want to write and read widely in that genre so you have a solid understanding of what readers expect (writing to market). 

Find community, work out who to listen to (and who not to listen to), and keep writing. 

Get feedback got it, keep on writing. 

Imposter syndrome--that evil little voice that asks you who you think you are and who tells you that you have no business in writing a book--is a constant companion for nearly every creative out there. The best way to deal with IS is to arm yourself with knowledge. 

Learn your craft. How to plot, or not, what you love to write and how to make that most appealing and readable. And keep on writing. 

There is a solid saying: you can't edit a blank page. 

But neither can a blank page be read by others.

How do you deal and process negative book reviews?

Reviews have several functions. They're either helpful (something good/something to fix) to take on board; 

they aren’t helpful (personal opinion/not their book) or they’re trolls. 

I can only do something with one of those and that’s where I focus my energy. Generally if I received the same feedback multiple times anywhere it’s likely a good idea to act on it.

What is the most difficult part of your writing process?

Waiting to write the next shiny idea that comes to mind.

What do you need in your writer’s space to keep you focused?

Somewhere comfy to sit. That’s it. I’ve been writing to Paw Patrol for several years now.

What is your naughty indulgence as you are writing?

A hot drink. Absolute must have. It doesn't matter if it’s tea or coffee or a cup of soup. 

If you could spend a day with another popular author, whom would you choose? And why?

My bestie, Faedra Rose. We’ve been writing side by side virtually for 4-5 years and have never met in person. I want to have a real coffee with my girl and hug!!

What is your schedule like when you are writing? Do you have a favorite writing snack or drink?

I write every free moment around family and marketing, both typing and dictation.

Do you listen to music when you write – what kind of music is your favorite?

I like most music and only listen to it in the car (we’re rural so it’s a good 30+ minutes to anywhere).

Have pets ever gotten in the way of your writing?

No. They all live outside.

What is your kryptonite as a writer? What totally puts you off your game?

Sickness. Crappy health, physical or mental. Pushing through those is critical to maintaining momentum.

Have you ever killed off a character that your readers loved?

Yes. and…no spoilers.

How do you celebrate after typing THE END?

I start editing it and get it out to my editor the next day or two.


I hope you enjoyed this interview!

Check out all my interviews/reviews for Sofia Aves!

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