Geraldine Solon, is an established, successful and well-respected author in the world of women’s fiction writing, although her books do come liberally sprinkled with romance and a deep insight into the enduring power of love.
I’ve always been a firm believer that love conquers all and that every woman’s experience is a story in itself. Life is a never-ending journey and my imagination and experiences have inspired me to write powerful stories. Although my books are fiction, my goal is to offer compelling lessons about life and love. The message I wish to convey to my readers is that despite the many challenges we face in this world, we must have hope and faith. Overall, it is love that binds us together. I hope you enjoy reading my books as much as I enjoyed writing them.
‘Chocolicious’ – Fiction Books Review
QFollowing on from that last question, I see that you have opted for the independent publishing option for ‘The Assignment’. How have you found the experience and is this an option that you would recommend that any new author should use right away, or are there tangible benefits for a fledgling author in having the backing of a traditional publishing house, until they become more established and experienced?
Since I have already built my brand and have gained followers from my previous books, I decided to self-publish ‘The Assignment’. This is the best time to be an author and you have more options to choose from today, than a decade ago. My advice for a new writer, is to know your market and reach out to your readers. Whether you publish traditionally or decide to go the Indie route, you will need to promote your books and build a brand. In other words, learn how to be an ‘Authorpreneur’.
QThe location for ‘The Assignment’, is your home country of The Philippines and I was wondering why you chose to wait until so far into your writing career, before featuring your beautiful homeland and its friendly people in one of your stories?
I actually wrote more than a hundred pages of ‘The Assignment’ before writing my second novel, ‘Chocolicious’, but I encountered writer’s block. After completing ‘Chocolicious’, I went back to ‘The Assignment’ with fresh eyes and realized that I needed to change the gender of one of my main characters. Marina Saurez started out as a man – Manolo Saurez, but all the female hormones started screaming at me and the minute I changed the gender, everything fell into place. The story unfolded so well, that I left it to the characters to lead me in the right direction.
QGiven the added emotional elements, connected to the Battle of Bataan, which were represented in ‘The Assignment’, did you find this story more difficult to write than your previous books?
Yes, I would say that it was more difficult compared to my two other books. For one, I had to do a lot of research for this book and I also spoke to friends who had families that were casualties of the war. I wanted to make sure that I not only featured the historical aspect of that era, but also captured the intense emotions that were present during that time. Since ‘The Assignment’ contains a sub-plot of Marina Saurez’s life, I had to balance and make sure I wove Sophie and Marina’s story together well. I wrote Marina’s story first then added Sophie’s after, I then divided the finished thing into different chapters, making sure that their stories followed a chronological order.
QDid you research all the material for ‘The Assignment’ from your San Francisco base, or did you travel ‘home’, to try and recapture the essence of the Filipino spirit and love of life, before starting out on, or during production of the book?
I did all my research and wrote the book from San Francisco. However, I spent twenty nine years in The Philippines and do visit my country every now and then, so the Filipino spirit and love of life, is embedded in my memory. I also visited again just last August, to sign a contract with a Philippine producer/director, who will be adapting the novel into a film. We will begin filming next year and I am very excited about this project.
‘The Assignment’ – Fiction Books Review
QIs there any part of the story, which cameo’s part of Geraldine Solon’s family heritage, or is this purely a work of fiction?
I would say this novel is very close to my heart, because I added bits and pieces that represent my experiences from growing up in the Philippines. It was also very emotional to write a tragic story, but I have to say that this is my favourite book and I never grow tired of reading it.
QIs there any message which you would like readers to take away after reading ‘The Assignment, and can you sum up in just a couple of sentences, how you would like the book to be remembered?
The themes of this novel are love, loss, betrayal and fogiveness. In a nutshell, it’s a powerful love story combined with tragedies. Circumstances required my characters who love each other, to be apart as a result of the choices they were forced to make.
Geraldine, thank you so much for stopping by and agreeing to talk to myself and the readers of Fiction Books Blog. I realise that I am probably only the last in a long line of interviewers vying for your time. The questions we all ask, are probably by their very nature, often repetitive and I would like to say that I appreciate your patience and understanding, if this is indeed the case.
Thank you so much for hosting me today, Yvonne. I enjoyed chatting with you. More power to you and your blog.