Saturday, July 14, 2012

Interview with Connie Sokol--Author and Real Live Wonder Woman

One of the best things about being an author, is that you inevitably meet other authors. Connie Sokol is a new friend of mine whose energy makes me think of her as Wonder Woman.

Just reading a list of what Connie Sokol does makes you breathless. And knowing she's just had her seventh child adds to your amazement. And if you've seen her on TV, you can't help but be amazed by her boundless energy and positive outlook. 

In addition to writing, she is a national and local presenter, a monthly contributor on Salt Lake City television station KSL. She's been a radio and TV host and produces talk CDs and podcasts. Whew! You can find out all about her here at her website:

Connie has written several nonfiction self-help books for women, but has branched out recently into fiction. Her new novel, called Caribbean Crossroads, is the story of Megan who is recovering from a broken heart. Her best friend talks her into joining her on a dance crew on a cruise ship. She'll meet someone wonderful but will have to overcome her bitterness over her last breakup.

I asked Connie a few questions about her latest venture into fiction.

Susan: You've gained so much success as a nonfiction writer. What made you take the leap into fiction?
Connie: So many times I've been done with the day and just want something to read that isn't violent, graphic, or emotionally turbulent--I just want to check out of life for a bit! I have three other fiction manuscripts that I've been working on over the years but nonfiction took priority. Then one night I had that same feeling of where's a good chill out book and I thought, "Why not write one?" So that's what happened. Out of the blue I had this core idea for a plot and then scenes kept coming to me so I wrote them as fast as I could. I wrote the core book in about 60 plus hours, but then almost as much time in rewrites and revisions with critique groups. And now I have a romance I love to read. Ironically, one night a few months ago I was in the mood to read a romance and couldn't find something that was the right fit and then I thought, "Oh, Caribbean!" and it hit the spot. 

Susan: How did you come to the decision to self-publish?
Connie: I first self-published about ten years ago and did a total of three books.. Then I opted for the traditional publishing route with two books. Now that I've seen both sides, I felt it wise to self-publish this one, especially since it's in such a different genre. There are so many fabulous options today that weren't available even ten years ago. I wanted to see what could be done with it using those new avenues. It's my sort of experiment book. I've given myself permission to play around with it.
Susan: Caribbean Crossroads talks about a world unfamiliar to me. Were you ever on a cruise dance team? If not, how did you get all that wonderful information to create that world for us?
Connie: It's so nostalgic, and enjoyable, to write something that you're somewhat familiar with but not fully. As I wrote, I found myself pulling from a variety of experiences--a cruise my husband and I took, plays and musical groups I was in during college, things and people I've observed over the years. While writing passages, different ideas would come to mind from those personal experiences, and those of other people who had randomly shared during the years. For example, Mrs. Van De Morelle's name came from a fourth-grade teacher (Mrs. Van De Mortelle, so a little change), and the final Broadway number is an amalgamation of something my mom and I watched years ago with Cyd Charisse, etc. And the premise of the story is very loosely based on an experience of a dear college friend about 25 years ago.  
Susan: I can tell from your main characters that you admire people who help other people. Do you think that even lighthearted fiction should try to make a difference in people's lives?

Connie: I really do. You can tell from my nonfiction that I feel strongly about each person finding their purpose then sharing it with others. How vital that is for all of us to help one another grow and become! So I was surprised how much of  that came out in my fiction. But especially in romance, I think it's vital that we show it's more than just hot guy meets beautiful girl, a little angst, and then it's all solved. I wanted to show that real relationships work because they are able to not only develop themselves, but have a desire to help others. Being a good person is what helps make a relationship work, especially when someone has been deeply hurt before.
Huge thanks to Connie for sharing her thoughts! Look for my next author interview with Braden Bell, author of Middle School Magic: The Kindling.


  1. Thanks for sharing this interview! I really enjoyed it. Connie is such an amazing lady!

  2. Great interview! I love Connie and her books!

  3. Thanks for sharing that interview, it was great.

  4. Great interview, thanks for sharing. Love Connie and her books. She really is Wonder Woman!