Welcome to Rosa Sophia as she regales us with how she created Clara, the heroine of OVER THE IVY WALL.
Creating Clara, the Unusual Teenager
By Rosa Sophia
At the library one day, I overheard a woman talking about her young son: “He doesn’t read. My daughter reads. It’s boys, you know. Boys just don’t read. You have to force them.”
This generalization irked me and got me thinking about my own upbringing with my little brother, Miles. We were both readers, and this didn’t have to do with any kind of generalization. It was our surroundings. We grew up somewhat isolated, and spent much of our time at our grandmother’s house while our mother worked. We did not watch television outside of Sesame Street, and once the show was over, the TV was turned off. There were books everywhere, and that’s what we had to entertain us. Miles grew into a scholarly young man, even authoring a book on martial arts under the name M.D. Holden (entitled Sphere of Influence: An Approach to Self-Defense). We both became readers and writers, and I partially attribute this to the way we grew up—surrounded by books.
From this, my inspiration for the character of Clara originated. Clara’s different than most teens. Because of her isolation, she’s an avid reader and tends to process things differently than most her age. When the story begins, Clara is still a teenager. Ever since she was a small child, she’s been living with her wealthy uncle and aunt in Clearwater, Wyoming. But she’s a virtual prisoner. She and her cousin Tammy are homeschooled and rarely leave the house or the surrounding grounds.
Someone once said to me, “Clara’s not very much like a teenager.” My response: She was a lot like me when I was a teenager. I admit I had a very unusual upbringing, and so did Clara—sequestered from the world, Clara emerged and grew more brave, until one day she climbed Over the Ivy Wall. When you’re not immersed in the world around you, it’s hard to know how to be.
Clara goes back for her cousin, Tammy, to rescue her from her alcoholic and abusive father, leading readers into the sequel, entitled Orion Cross My Sky.
When I think of the woman I overheard at the library, I remember my childhood surrounded by books.
And this is what I want to tell parents everywhere: Turn off the television. Surround your children with books. And without other distractions around them, they’ll read.
I guess this means you might have to hide the iPhone. But it’s a small price to pay, right? The most we can hope is that we bring more readers into the world, so we can slow down, enjoy a quiet activity, and escape the constant barrage of technological wonders.
It’s best to lead by example, as well: Keep the TV off this evening. And read on, instead!
Genre: Romance, New Adult
Publisher: Sunshine Press
Publication Date: February 3, 2015
– Crystal’s Many Reviewers
Other Books by Rosa Sophia
ORION CROSS MY SKY
Series: Clearwater Book 11 (Sequel to Over the Ivy Wall)
Tammy Pendleton thinks she’s broken beyond repair. Sheltered by her parents, a victim of sexual abuse, she wants to escape but doesn’t know how. Until her cousin Clara leads her away from the Pendleton estate, and into Clearwater.
Orion Bennett is a motor-head who works at Pete’s Service Station. At nineteen, he is battling depression. But he’s also suffering with trigeminal neuralgia—the suicide disease—and he’s desperate to escape the pain.
When Tammy wanders into the shop one day, she finds herself strangely comforted by the scents and sounds of the garage. Although the pain they suffer is very different, they discover comfort and understanding in one another. The companionship they share has the power to heal. The question is, will they let it?
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About Rosa Sophia