Olusola Sophia Anyanwu is British Nigerian. She did all her schooling at Ibadan and studied Education in English at the University of Ife, Nigeria now Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria. She served her National Youth Service at Markurdi in Benue State and she taught English and Literature for 20 years in a federal school for girls in Port Harcourt. She relocated to the UK in 2003 and continued as an Educationist in primary and secondary schools in the UK.
INTERVIEWING AUTHOR SOPHIA
I personally know Sophia and meet yearly at a summer party organised for people from the same community in Eastern Nigeria. As an avid reader, I have read and reviewed one of her books on Amazon – [Their Journey a Christian fiction] and I must say that book was an absolutely riveting read and still remains high on my ‘Top interesting books to read’ list. It is easy to say I am self-confessed fan!
1. You were over 60 when you published your first book, where do you get your inspiration, tenacity and drive from? - Hmmn, in my mind, my age is not a barrier as I believe writing is a talent God has given me. What I keep in my mind is: I can do all things through Christ who gives me the strength and this has been my cornerstone.
2. Have you ever imagined how you would feel when that call comes true? - Yes! I imagine different scenarios: I might sing or cry or scream or just be struck speechless.
3. Where do you get the ideas for your stories? - From the bible, my family and life in general through God’s inspiration.
4. On the average, how long does it take you to write a book? - It depends on the plot and the research required: I would say six months.
5. Which was the easiest of all your stories to write? - Hmmn. Let’s see. Stories for Younger Generations.
6. I have read one of your books – [‘Their Journey’ a Christian fiction], for me what made the story even more captivating was the vivid imagery you used to capture the setting in the mind of the reader. In this area, which of your books posed the most challenging story line for you and why? - I would say The Captive’s Crown. The setting is in Israel and so I had to carry out an extensive research on the rich culture, names, food, the people and the like.
7. What is your favourite amongst all your works and why? - That would be-e-e, er let’s see. Choosing between 2 favourites can be tricky. Between Stories for Older generations and the Crown. I will go with the ‘The Crown’.
8. Tell us a bit about it. - It reminds me of a period in my life, starting employment as a young graduate in a school environment. The main character, Sunbo is portrayed as a wife, a mother and a teacher doing her best in all those roles amidst the demands they bear on her marriage and work life.
9. What is the biggest word length you have written? - 450 pages
10. When did you start writing? - I would say as far back as my memory would carry. In my 20s, I knew it was definitely something I enjoyed and would like to do
11. Do you just write specifically on the Christian genre? - No.
12. Do you have favourite authors? - Susan Howatch, Francine Rivers, Karen Kingsbury, Elechi Amadi and Anna Jacobs.
13. Now that you are a grandma, how has your life changed? - Sometimes, I sacrifice my time to baby sit when they visit. Other than that, my writing career continues by God’s grace.
Favourite food? Starch and Banga soup. [she smiles]
Drink? Sweetish chilled wine.
Hobbies? Photography, Reading, Writing and playing board games.
What would you categorise as your ‘dislikes’?
House chores like: Hoovering, ironing, baking
Travelling long journeys (unless there is a comfortable loo!)