Q&A With Soraya Lane

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Q&A With Soraya Lane 

Today’s Q&A is with historical & contemporary women’s fiction author Soraya Lane. Some of Soraya’s novels are Hearts Of Resistance, Wives Of War, The Italian Daughter, The Royal Daughter, Once Upon A Cowboy Christmas, Cowboy Stole My Heart & coming out on March 8th of this year, The Sapphire Daughter. 

Q: Soraya would give us a brief description of The Sapphire Daughter & where did the idea come from?

A: The Sapphire Daughter is the fourth novel in my Lost Daughters series (they can all be read as standalones though), and it all stemmed from an idea I had during Covid lockdowns to create a connected series of books about family secrets set in beautiful European locations. I was dreaming of love, laughter and travel, and figured that my readers probably were too! They’re all set between the past and present, and in The Sapphire Daughter we go between present day London and Switzerland, and Switzerland in the past. All of the books in the series are essentially dual timeline love stories, and each of the books features a granddaughter in the present, and a great-grandmother in the past. 

The stories are all connected by a summons each granddaughter receives to the offices of a lawyer in London, where they discover that all of their maternal grandmothers were born in a home for unmarried mothers. They are each given a small box, which contains clues about their past, and it sends them each on a journey to discover their secret family history that they knew nothing about. 

Q: You write historical fiction & contemporary women’s fiction. Which genre do you prefer to write more of? What advice would you give to anyone wanting to write in those genres?

A: I love them both equally! I really enjoy going between the two genres, I feel as if it keeps my writing fresh and helps my creative process. I think my advice is the same for any writer in any genre – if you want be an author, start writing. Stop talking about it and procrastinating and just start writing. You will learn more from writing each day and finding your own voice, than from any writing course, and read as much as you can in the genre you want to be published in. And then, when you’ve finished your first novel, start the next one! It took me seven completed manuscripts before I was published, and I think of those years as my writing apprenticeship. With each novel, I developed my voice and my writing style, and I encourage any unpublished writers to just keep going and believing in themselves. 

Q: What is the process like researching, plotting & writing historical fiction? How long does it normally take for you to write a book?

A: My first historical fiction took me two years to write and research, maybe longer. I found balancing the research so hard, and I also struggled to know when to stop researching and start writing. I’ve learnt that the best thing is to research as much as possible, and then just start writing and research the smaller parts along the way as needed. I generally have a very detailed plan before I start writing, most often a chapter by chapter outline, so by the time I start writing I’m very organized and can hit the ground running. This means it usually takes me 10-12 weeks to write a first draft, and then another 4-6 intensively editing the manuscript.  

Q: I know we briefly spoke on Facebook about you writing your next historical fiction novel. Is it too early to give any details or can you discuss it now?

A: Of course! I have my next historical WWII novel being published May 16th (The Berlin Sisters) which I am so excited about. It’s one of my favorite novels I’ve ever written, so I can’t wait for it to be available to my readers. Right now, I’m working on my 2025 historical release – The Pianist’s Wife – which is similar to The Berlin Sisters in that they’re both set in Germany during WWII. I can’t give away too much, and I’m still very much in the middle of writing it, but it’s basically about two best friends who’ve grown up together in Berlin, who should be enemies but will do anything to help each other survive 

Q: If Hollywood were to get the rights to your work, who would be your dream cast for the characters you created?

A: Oh, I think about this so often! I am always dreaming of which actresses and actors I’d want to cast. For the various characters I’ve written, my dream cast would include Emily Blunt, Amanda Seyfried, Gal Gardot or Emilia Clarke. In terms of male leads, Chris Evans would be top of the list!