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21 Aug

 

A scientist turned health coach who also does science, meet Sofia C Pereira…

 

JR: Tell us about yourself, and how would you describe yourself?

Sofia: I am Portuguese/Canadian with a PhD in biology/genetics (Toronto, Canada) and a Health Coaching certificate (Institute for Integrative Nutrition, New York). I often refer to myself as a scientist turned health coach who also does science. I live in a small sea-side town just outside of Lisbon, Portugal, have two awesome teenage kids and a great husband.

 

JR: When did you first realise you want to be a writer? Who spotted that talent and what was the first thing you do knowing that?

Sofia: I have always loved to write, and as a scientist, I have always written to publish my work. For me, the skills in writing have improved with experience (I hope). More recently, my writing has drifted from the technical style required of science journals to the more accessible style appropriate for newsletters, blogs and of course my book.

 

JR: Do you have any formal education in creative writing? Do you think formal education in writing is necessary?

Sofia: During my University years, I had to write a lot, including a thesis and scientific publications. My PhD supervisor was excellent and extremely patient in her editing of my initial written work, circling entire paragraphs as being awkward until I got them right. No, I don’t think formal education is necessary, although it may help significantly. I teach how to write and publish science at the University and believe that it helps… but is not essential.

 

JR: Are you a full-time author? Do you have other activities as main source of income? How do you organise your schedule and time in writing a book?

Sofia: I am a full time Health Coach who is also an author and a scientist. My income mainly comes from coaching.

 

JR: What made you decide to start writing something? What or who influences you?

Sofia: My first and only book, The Food Anthropologist, is based on a personal one-year long experience with consecutive 30-day food and drink challenges. More about this on Thrive Global, link: https://www.thriveglobal.com/stories/11382-insights-from-a-food-anthropologist.

 

JR: What is the greatest lesson you have learned and/or greatest achievement you have reached as a writer?

Sofia: This is a difficult question. I am not sure…

 

JR: Do you have habits in writing? Any specific time and/or place to write?

Sofia: I love to write, and can’t seem to stay away from it… it’s a bit like therapy for me. Regarding times and schedules, I do not stick to any schedule and usually just let my creativity surges guide me.

 

The food anthropologist: ...a one year journey through food challengesJR: How long do you normally finish writing a book? What is the hardest part in the process?

Sofia: My first book took just over one year to write, with half coming from regularly kept daily logs and another half written over a two-month period. I found the most difficult part to be not to get into a negative space regarding the quality of the work… especially surges of extreme insecurity in the final stages. Once published, I also found it hard to let go.

 

JR: Do you have professional editors to furnish your books? If you do, any recommendation you would like to share to fellow authors?

Sofia: No, my book is self-published and self-edited for now,

 

JR: How do you think you have evolved creatively?

Sofia: Yes, the whole experience was a huge lesson.

 

JR: Do you ever face Writer’s Block? If you do, how did you overcome the situation?

Sofia: Most definitely! I tend to take time to let my brain rest.

 

JR: Do you have professional designer to design the cover and/or interior of your books? If you do, any recommendation you would like to share to fellow authors?

Sofia: No, my simple cover was designed by me (my 19-year-old daughter thinks it looks like a kid was playing on Paint, but I like it)

 

JR: How do you involve in promoting your books? Any marketing technique you can share?

Sofia: I have mostly been using social media.

 

JR: Give your thoughts about traditional publishing Vs. self-publishing?

Sofia: So far, I like that I can change my book as a self-publisher.

 

JR: How many books have you written (published and non-published)?

Sofia: One book.

 

JR: What genre that you normally write, and what draws you to this genre? Do you always write in the same genre?

Sofia: I have never tried writing fiction, but maybe one day…

 

JR: What advice would you want to give to an aspiring writer?

Sofia: Enjoy the process and let your fingers translate your thoughts into words without worrying too much about how. Edit later…

 

JR: How can readers discover more about you and your works?

Sofia: On my website, at http://besthealth.life

 

 

H. Sofia de Campos Pereira