Where Did it Start?: An Interview

Romantic woman using laptop

I'm asked a lot of questions about writing, inspiration, and where it all comes from, so I thought I'd answer typical questions here in a post and share. Enjoy!   Where does your inspiration come from? I'd love to know.   You grew up in Bakersfield, California. What was that like? I can’t imagine growing up anywhere else. We called it Nashville West, since Buck Owens and Merle Haggard were topping the country charts. I still go back to visit friends and stop by Dewar’s for ice cream and taffy. Living in the heat well-prepared me for life in Saudi Arabia too. You married and moved to Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1979. Did you have to veil? Not at all, and I didn’t cover my hair, but I dressed in modest kaftans. Saudis were welcoming and hospitable. I fell in love with Saudi Arabia: with the people and the desert landscape and the Red Sea! It was like going back in time, except it changed daily. Mud-walled palaces came crashing down and new shiny marble ones … [Read more...]

My Thanks to the Arab Community!

Fatiha Copyright

شكرا جزيلا Thank you very much! This post goes out to the Arab community to thank you for your support and encouragement. Thank you for each and every like on my Facebook author’s page (S. Woffington). Thank you for each and every purchase of Unveling. The novel is a dedication to the history and passion of the Saudi people, inspired by my residence in Riyadh. During that residence, I met Safeya Binzagr, whose art I greatly admire. Just having met her briefly on two occasions inspired my story of Sara in Unveiling. I appreciate your help in spreading the word about Unveiling and for taking the time to post likes. I am happy to have met each of you along the journey. Al-Fatiha© from Unveiling (Image may only be duplicated with the copyright insert and author’s name as posted below; all rights reserved) … [Read more...]

Writing is a Lonely Business: Tips to Joining a Writer’s Group

Birds of a Feather

I finished my novel in silence, leaned back in my chair, and sighed, “It’s done. After all of these years, it’s done.” Other than the two women in my Goal Group and my daughters, I had no one to tell, no one with whom to share the experience. Oh, I have tons of friends. Life with children—most of my peers can relate to this subject and discuss it into the wee hours; divorce, same story. But writing a book—only one friend to call. I’d been to the San Diego State University Writer’s Conference and the San Francisco Writer’s Conference, and, at each, I met “my people,” my "birds of a feather," who can gab into the wee hours about character arcs, plot twists, social media marketing or creating the perfect query letter or synopsis, but the conferences are only once a year. I looked up writer’s groups in my area and made a list. I chose to begin with just one (like social media—Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest, I found it’s best to choose one at a time and work at mastering it. Otherwise, … [Read more...]

A Writer’s Inspiration for Unveiling

Dariyah

My favorite book while growing up in Bakersfield, California, was 1001 Arabian Nights. I loved the locale of vast cities, deserts, caves, and seas. I loved the genies and magic carpets and magic lamps, but I equally loved the cleverness and cunning with which it took a character to succeed. When I landed in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, at the age of twenty-two, as a new bride to an American working in Riyadh, I felt like I had stepped into that wonderful imaginary childhood world. Of course, the political tide in 1979 was unique. Saudi Arabia was dominant in oil production and an ally of the United States. Yet, the Western media continually touted the backwardness of the country in several arenas, including women’s rights. It seemed like the only books in English that I could get my hands on revealed the negative side of this culture, until I later discovered the texts of Richard Francis Burton, Charles M. Doughty, Gertrude Bell, and many other Westerners who had traveled to this mystical … [Read more...]