Episode 5

What makes a 'suspense' novel and leaving law for writing with Sonia Velton

Sonia Velton grew up living between the Bahamas and the UK. She has worked as a solicitor at an international law firm and lived in the Middle East for eight years. She has since moved back to England where she lives with her three children. Her first novel, Blackberry and Wile Rose, was a historical fiction inspired by real characters and events. Her latest novel, The Image of Her, is something entirely different and that's what we're chatting about today.

Our interview starts at 15 minutes. 

Michelle recommends

You're Dead to Me 

A history podcast for people who don’t like history (and those who do) hosted by the mind behind Horrible Histories.

Caitlin recommends

Kitty Flanagan's 488 Rules for Life (audiobook version)

This is a joy to listen to and perfect to improve your lockdown mood. Listen to the audiobook to enjoy a little extra content. The audiobook is free on the ABC Listen app at the time of recording

In this interview, we chat about: 

  • How Sonia was inspired to write The Image of Her and why she believes the idea finds her, regardless of genre
  • What makes a suspense novel or genre fiction?
  • Why Sonia felt the need to change her career after working as a lawyer internationally and how her London borough inspired her first novel
  • The desire to have someone externally ‘approve’ of the decision to write and how this affected Sonia’s writing process
  • Why Sonia decided to pursue publication and how she got her book deal

Books and other things mentioned

  • The Weekly with Charlie Pickering
  • Homeschool History (podcast)

Follow Sonia on Instagram @Soniavelton

Follow us on Instagram @betterwordspod

The Image of Her is available now. 

Thank you to the team at Quercus Books UK for sending us copies of The Image of Her in preparation for the interview. 

About the Podcast

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Better Words

About your hosts

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Caitlin Toohey

Hi, I'm Caitlin! I've been on bookstagram since 2016, a podcaster since 2017, and worked in publishing since 2019. So books and reading are my entire life. When I'm not reading, I like listening to Taylor Swift, watching sitcoms, and generally being a theatre kid.
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Michelle Gately

Hi, I'm Michelle! I'm an Aussie living in the UK, working as a bookseller at Waterstones. I'm obsessed with storytelling in all its forms – I spend as much time watching TV or listening to podcasts as I do reading. Other hobbies include bouldering, hiking and generally obsessing about my pug Percy.