Today’s guest is Lynette Sofras - aka The Manic Scribbler! A former Head of English in a large school in Surrey, Lynette took the plunge a few years ago to give up her job and concentrate full-time on her writing and freelance editing. Since then she’s had three contemporary fiction novels published, all to great reviews. Her latest, Shopping For Love, has been described as ‘a great read for everyone who believes that love will prevail!’ It’s available on Amazon along with her previous novels, The Apple Tree and Wishful Thinking. Welcome, Lynette!
If you could retrieve one thing from your childhood, what would it be?
As a small child I had a large and quite old porcelain doll I called Lady Jane. We were so inseparable that I wore her out - literally. My parents sent her to the local dolls’ hospital for a makeover and when she returned she was so altered I hated her. Her hair colour had changed and she had those old and cold soulless eyes, like a fish. She went in a lady and came out a dowager. I’m afraid I treated her abominably after that and I’d like to get her back now to apologise. Besides, she’d probably be worth a small fortune now!
What’s the naughtiest thing you've ever done?
Well this happened a few years ago when I lived abroad. I was…no, I really can’t say that on your nice blog. It’s far too naughty. The second naughtiest thing? Okay, I remember when…no, that’s no good either – I’m blushing just to think of it. Shame on me – I must have been a very wicked person ;)
I think we're going to have to use our imagination on that one! Lynette, what’s the worst job you've ever had? And what’s the best job you've ever had?
I can kill two birds with one stone on this question as my worst and best job are the same. Being a teacher, especially head of department can be extremely stressful and difficult at times. But it’s also the best job ever because you share those eureka moments with students when you can see their faces light up as they understand something or discover something wonderful in a piece of literature. And that’s when you know why you became a teacher and why you put up with the worst bits.
What’s your favourite piece of music?
I have lots – and they constantly change, but one that I’ve always had a soft spot for is Ravel’s Bolero. My father introduced it to me when I was a child, so it has very special connotations. It was the first serious piece of music I owned – and this was long before it was over-popularised by Torville and Dean. You hear it so often these days that some of the magic dust has worn off. In modern music I tend to prefer female singers to males as I think they have more interesting and versatile voices.
What your favourite sandwich, and where in the world is the best place to eat it?
I don’t usually eat sandwiches, but I would if I could have it served at one of those outdoor pavement tables at a restaurant in Rome, preferable in June. Or in Venice or Florence – I’m not that fussy. I just love Italy so much I wouldn’t mind what was in the sandwich.
Yes, I'd agree with you there - the sandwich would be somewhat irrelevant in those settings! Who would you invite to your ultimate fantasy dinner party?
The Booker Prize Committee and a really good hypnotist or mind controller like Derren Brown or Paul McKenna – you do the maths!
I like your line of thinking, Lynette! Tell me, what drives you seriously nuts?
Well there’s that fashion young men wear with their jeans hanging off and displaying their underclothes. I just don’t get it. I mean I do, to some extent. I sort-of understand the statement it makes, but I can’t believe any fashion-conscious boy actually thinks it looks good or cool.
And the fact that so many foreigners speak better English than vast numbers of people who are born and raised here. It seriously saddens me that we have so little pride in our own language and are wilfully allowing it to degenerate.
I'm with you on the trousers thing. The mother in me wants to get hold of them and pull them up properly! Now tell me, do - you're given a time travel machine - where would you go, and why?
Firstly I’d go back to my childhood and give myself a firm talking to, to ensure I worked harder at school. After that, I’d stop off in Kent around 1890 just to show HG Wells the real McCoy; then I’d nip back another hundred years or so and tell Jane Austen’s sister, Cassandra, in no uncertain terms that she must not destroy her sister’s letters and documents. Next, I’d whizz back to the early seventeenth century to say hello to Shakespeare and ask him if he really did write everything attributed to him, to settle that little argument once and for all and my last jaunt would be to Ancient Greece, to soak up the atmosphere and listen to Socrates in the Agora – though I guess I’d probably need a gender change, so maybe I’d have to go into the future to execute that.
What’s the best review you've ever had?
It was one of the very first, when someone likened my writing to Jane Austen. At first I thought this was from a friend who was playing a joke, knowing I admire Jane Austen’s writing style quite a lot. When no one owned up to it, I had to believe the review was real and felt immensely flattered.
I'm not surprised - what a compliment! My blog readers can check it out for themselves here at your One-Link to your own beautiful blog, where they can find out more about you and your writing and, most importantly, find out where they can buy your books! Lynette, thanks so much for being my guest today. Good luck with all your future projects.