What if the only way you could save your own life was to kill yourself? Someone is trying to kill Sophie Rippetoe, and she has no place to hide. But Sophie has a unique option. Her husband designed and built a duplicator machine to make exact copies of complicated and sophisticated machine parts. She knows how the duplicator works. Will it work for people? No one knows. There’s just one problem: the duplication process destroys the original. The only thing Sophie knows for sure is that trying to make copies of herself will end up killing her. Sophie isn’t sure who’s trying to kill her or why – but she has her suspicions and has gathered some evidence. She has created a trail of clues, hopeful that at least one of the Sophies she creates will figure out who the killer is in time to save herself.
1. If you were to describe your e-book/book in only one word, what would it be?
2. What would you say inspired you to write it?
Like a lot of people, I often feel overwhelmed by life. Sometimes I wish I could make more of me so we could split up the work and take the pressure off. I have a friend who is also a scientist and a science fiction author. When I asked him if instant human duplication (not cloning, which takes a long time and creates an infant with your DNA) is possible, he talked to me about the science behind how to make this possible.
3. What was the source of inspiration for your protagonist? What about your antagonist?
I’m pretty much always the inspiration for the protagonists in my books but especially for this one. On the other hand, the inspiration for my antagonist came from thinking about the millions of people worldwide whose hopes and dreams were crushed by the economic downturn of 2008. I created an antagonist who felt so destroyed by all she had lost that she reached a point where she’s willing to do anything for money, even if that means killing someone.
4. Have you ever been hit by the infamous “writer’s block”? What did you do to escape it?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. But I do believe that there are times in your life where other things have to come first – such as dealing with the death of a loved one. You have to work your way through that kind of loss and change before you can get back to writing. I’ve also learned that what some people call “writer’s block” feels more like a fork in the road to me. When I’m writing, I feel like I’m travelling on a highway with a million exits that lead to other streets or roads or highways. My intuition tells me when I’ve taken a wrong turn. I find that if I pay attention to what my intuition says, I can double back and get on the right road and keep writing. So it’s not a roadblock so much as a brief detour.
5. Your all time favorite book?
That’s a really difficult question, and my answer is likely to change depending on when you ask. But most of the time it’s Bang The Drum Slowly by Mark Harris, a mainstream novel about baseball.
6. What made you pick that one above all others?
This novel is really about how important it is to treat every person on this planet with kindness. Every time I read it, I learn something new.
7. What’s the longest time you’ve spent working on a project?
I typically spend years thinking about short stories and novels before I write them. The longest time I’ve spent is for a project I haven’t written yet. There’s a series of books I’ve been thinking about for about 30 years, and it might be another 10 years before I write them. Also, there’s a stage play I want to write, but the characters are in their 70s, 80s, and 90s. I believe I won’t be ready to write that play until I’m in my 70s because I won’t have the life experience I’ll need until then. So that one will probably be the longest.
8. Would you say becoming an author has changed you? In what way?
Every time I write a novel, it changes me. For example, when I wrote The Iron Maiden (Book 2 in my Dragonslayer series), I gained compassion for people who hate women. I never dreamed that would happen. When I wrote All Of Us Were Sophie, I gained a new appreciation for all the hard decisions I’ve made throughout my life. It taught me that I got on the right track a long time ago, and I’m grateful for that.
9. Was there ever a time, during your work on the e-book/book, when you felt like giving up? What made you change your mind?
Yes! I first wrote All Of Us Were Sophie about 25 years ago and sold it to a major publishing house that later withdrew the offer because they decided they would stop buying “first” novels. Originally, this book was a science fiction novel. Because science fiction ideas become obsolete so quickly, I gave up when no one else would buy it. I threw away the hard copy and the soft copy. But I was never able to forget the first chapter, and it always stayed in my head. Within the past two years I had an experience that made me feel like Sophie – I began to feel like I was living in my novel. I got the idea that instead of it being a science fiction novel, it could be a murder mystery that just happens to have a science fiction premise. So I rewrote it from scratch. I think this version is far better than the one I wrote 25 years ago.
10. What does your day-to-day life consist of? What else do you do, aside writing?
The vast majority of writers are either supported financially by someone else (usually, a spouse) or they work. I’m lucky in that my job usually allows me to work part-time most of the time, which gives me time to write novels. I’m an exercise fanatic, so I exercise every morning (step or dance aerobics), walk at least 2 miles a day, and do yoga. I also strive to eat healthy food and cook as much as I can. I recently went to my first winter farmer’s market, which was wonderful! I’m also a big fan of TV, movies, and Broadway plays.
11. How do you deal with bad reviews or acid criticism? What would you advise other authors to that effect?
When anyone writes a review, what they’re really doing is telling you who they are and what matters to them. Each one of us has our own unique likes and dislikes. A reviewer is simply talking about what they like or don’t like. Imagine this: what if I wrote a review about an apple? What if I either raved about its wonderful taste or bashed it because I wanted it to taste like a pineapple and apples don’t taste like pineapples? That review would be ridiculous because the real issue boils down to whether you like apples or not – it’s absurd to criticize an apple for being an apple. I think it’s like that with books and reviewers. People tend to either love or hate my books, and I think that’s great.
12. Is this title part of a series? Without giving us spoilers, of course, what can we expect from the next e-books/books in the series?
Right now I don’t think it’s a series, but you never know. I’m already thinking about bringing some of the characters back in future books.
13. What do you have stored for us in the future? What are you working on/planning on next, aside this title/series?
I have a lot planned! I typically have about 30 unwritten novels in my head at all times. I plan to start two new series this year. The first series is a spin-off of my Dragonslayer series, which will begin about 15 years after the end of the final Dragonslayer book. I plan to write the first book in that series during the first half of this year. It’s going to be an epic fantasy series with paranormal elements. Later this year I want to begin a brand new series, which is leaning toward being a horror series whose hero is a little girl. After that, I want to write another stand-alone novel that I’ve been thinking about for 15 years or so. The standalone will be a near-future action/adventure thriller.
1. If you could wish for any one thing, and it would immediately come true, what would you wish for?
To find the people in the world who would enjoy my books. I think the most difficult challenge that any author faces is how to find their audience.
2. If you were stranded on an isolated island, what’s the one book you’d absolutely wish to have with you?
Great Expectations by Charles Dickens
3. Name your favorite fruit.
4. Coffee or tea?
Tea! My favorite is pomegranate white tea.
5. Favorite season?
6. How about fav time of 24 hours?
Just before dawn. I love how quiet and beautiful the world is right before the sun rises. It’s my favorite time to go for a walk.
7. Were you a boyscout/girlscout?
Very briefly. But I quickly learned that I’m not a fan of camping.
8. Favorite food for breakfast?
I eat oatmeal with walnuts and cinnamon, but I’d really rather have some kind of decadent pastry. Once in awhile, I do.
9. Latest book you’ve bought and read?
Right now I’m reading Doctor Sleep by Stephen King. Before that, Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn – love her work so much.
10. Do you collect things, like stamps, or key chains, or shoes?
I’m a huge fan of ancient Egypt, and I collect small reproductions of statues and other things as well as paintings on papyrus.
11. Favorite color, you know you want to tell us!
12. Drama or comedy?
Depends on how I’m feeling at the moment.
13. Have a fav quote or personal motto?
Whatever doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.
14. Cats or dogs?
15. Dinner by candlelight or a night out clubbing?
Dinner by candlelight
About the Author & Links:
Resa Nelson’s first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine’s first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer’s Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series, which also includes The Iron Maiden (Book 2), The Stone of Darkness (Book 3), and The Dragon’s Egg (Book 4).
Resa’s standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it “a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended.”
She has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom.