Saturday, November 23, 2013

Sadie and Sophie: Two Lovely Works in Progress...

Authors Sadie and Sophie Cuff  (Can you find them?) were born in coastal Maine -- privileged to be raised in a large extended natural and Spiritual family. Much of their childhood was spent in the island churches of Five Islands and Georgetown. The rural church remains a major force in their lives today.
As siblings Sadie and Sophie bring the strength of a living sisterhood to their writing, with forty years of combined writing experience and 116 years of life experiences (you do the math). They also run a small farm in Unorganized Territory (which explains so much!) and bring Jane-of-all-trades know-how to their novels, writing squarely to the heart of real women who aren't twenty-something, who don't wear a size two, and who prefer boots and flannel to high heels and the LBD.

Now, we shall see what these fine authors
really look like.  Naturally, I cheated.
I stole their picture
from their publisher's website.

SDC: Tell us about the book you are working on now, and what you would like to share with us today.
S and S: We’re currently at work on a novel devotion called
A Woman Like Me. It’s a little different from our usual projects because it's fiction fusion. It's sort of like a-year-in-the-life type story, except it’s set up as a weekly fiction serial (every Tuesday), a devotion/journal entry by the lead character (every Wednesday) followed by short daily devotions for the remainder of the week.

Unfortunately, no publisher was taken with the idea (YET!), but we wanted to try it anyway. On January 1, 2013 we put it up on the internet as a WordPress blog and add to it every day. It’s been fun, but it’s BIG!

A WOMAN LIKE ME is the story of Susanna Jacobs, a woman who finds a Bible shoved in the bottom of a box of yard sale booty. She reads the name Joanne Hancock written in the flyleaf, and feels convicted to find the mystery woman. But when Susanna finds the unhappy Joanne and tries to repair her broken family, Susanna’s life, family, and faith get derailed in the process. It’s a good laugh-and-cry read. And we like to think it reflects every woman’s heart. We hope you’ll check it out at

SDC: What would you say your theme scripture is for your books? One that explains your vision and makes it plain to the readers why you write?
S and S: There are so many verses we love, that inspire and motivate us every day. Right now the one that really speaks to us is: Philippians 3:12-14 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus (NKJV).
God blesses us with so much, we want to share the grace and love He gives us and glorify Him in the process, but, as the verse says, it’s a lifelong pursuit, and a wonderful challenge.
SDC: How do you thread faith, love, and hope along with the reality of life work together in your stories?
S and S. We love our life and see the reality of Christ working in and around us in all things. Writing is a big part of our lives, but we also run a small farm and have worked a wide variety of outside jobs. This creates a natural flow between fiction and real life and, hopefully, we get it right in both venues. We write what we know, so most of our characters struggle with some tough life issues and don’t always find out all the answers, but they almost always find a closer relationship with God and a deeper faith in the process.
SDC: How long did you have to wait before getting published the first time?
S and S: Actually, the first book we wrote was a juvenile novel and got picked up within a year. Unfortunately, the publisher went out of the book business after a short while and the book was remaindered. After that, we had a DRY spell for about 20 years, but we did a lot of freelance writing for newspapers, magazines, and Christian publications, which helped us hone our craft. God knew we needed the extra practice! It’s all been good, and now we’re enjoying some more diverse opportunities. God has opened some new doors for us and our books.
SDC: Right now as I ask these question, I have a candle lit at the corner of my desk. Just the scent gets my creative juices flowing, but I have a difficult time sitting in this lonely office for too long at a time before I have to go say hello to my husband. Does a room or special place or thing play any part in your story writing and how?
S and S: We share a small office crammed with everything, including a dog and two cats. Why they congregate under our chairs is a mystery, but our office space is never dull or lonely. We sit back to back as we work. Sophie listens to music. Sadie listens to the voices in her head (Scary!). When things get dull, we eat sunflower seeds or get up and do a little exercise routine in the living room. BUT, reading about your scented candle has inspired us to light one, too.
SDC: How does your family and the ministry with your church correspond with your time to write and do research for writing?
S and S: It can be challenging! One day we thought we'd have all day free in the office, but God had other plans. A neighbor stopped by to visit and stayed a couple of hours. Before he left, two more dropped in, then another. We figured we still had the afternoon, but the phone rang and as soon as we hung up, it would ring again. That was a turning point for us. We realized our time is really God's time. So whether we're doing doctor visits, or visiting shut-ins, we know He'll provide the time we need to get things done, if we don't neglect those he brings into our day, because in the end, it's really all about Him and what we accomplish for Him.
SDC: What advice would you give to a new writer?
S and S: Write. Write. Write. And after you write, don’t take the criticism to heart because writing is a subjective medium and there’ll always be criticism. Use what’s constructive and make your story better, but never let what anyone else says crush your spirit and stop you from letting the words flow. Awhile back someone had some rather harsh things to say about one of our books, but she ended with some good advice. She said, “I just read back my comments and they sound really mean, but just remember this is MOO –My Opinion Only.”
It may take awhile to find your place and your audience, but it’s out there. Don’t give up.
SDC: What is the best lesson you have learned from other writers?
S and S: We all have a different voice and don't need to write like anyone else. As long as your writing is clean and clear, believe in it. Keep on honing your craft, but by all means, keep on writing! We had several good reviews for one of our books, and one person who apparently hated it. That one lousy review haunted us for days until we realized we can't make everyone love our writing, but if the majority like it, then we must be doing something write (LOL). So we keep on keeping on...
SDC: What is your weakest point as a writer and how do you deal with it
S and S: Our weakest point is starting off a story too slow. We get better after the first chapter or two, but we need to grab the reader from the first line. Lately, we’ve tried writing the first part of the book, then, when the story and characters get flowing, we go back and rewrite the initial scenes or take them out and start differently. It’s very much a work in progress.
SDC Where can readers best find your books?
SDC Would you like to do a giveaway?
S and S: We'd LOVE to give away a pdf of one of our books. How about making it the winner's choice? We have two series: Contemporary romantic suspense that takes place in the mountains of Maine. Civil War romantic fiction involving members of the New England Wainwright family.
Thank you to Sadie and Sophie for spending time with us. For those  who drop in, tell us what you enjoy reading most. Are you a romantic suspense enthusiast or does your heart render back to the historic wonders of yesteryear?  Drop us a line. We'll add your name to our basket where we'll be drawing that book winner's name at random. 


  1. Hey, Shirley, thank you so much for inviting us into your space! Great will be your reward in heaven :)

    1. love having you here. :) :) :)

  2. Wish I could meet you ladies in person someday! You already feel like friends.

    1. We feel the same way about you, June. Hopefully we'll meet this side of heaven, but if not - wow, what a cool gathering it'll be to meet all our sisters and brothers! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Yes, the friendship comes through in everything they write. They're certainly the kind of folks we'd all like to meet.

    1. And we'd love to meet you, too, Donn! If you're ever in Maine, please look us up! Thanks so much for taking the time to leave a comment.