written by Susan Sofayov
published by Black Opal Books
Belinda reviewed Defective and gave it 5 stars!! Check out her review here.
About the book – from Goodreads: University of Pittsburgh law student, Maggie Hovis, battles an enemy she cannot escape-her own brain. Her family calls her a drama queen. Her fiance, Sam, moves out after she throws a shoe at his head. Maggie knows there is only one way to get him back-control her moods. So she takes the step most of her family is against: therapy. After a diagnosis of Bipolar II Disorder, Maggie begins to investigate her family tree-which is plagued by mental illness and hidden relatives-and develops empathy for her deceased Great Aunt Ella, who lived her life in a mental institution. But Maggie’s journey leads her into fear and insecurity, afraid she’ll end up like Ella and never get Sam back. But what about Nick, her super-sexy old flame, who wants to reignite their passion? And does it even matter, anyway? Won’t mental illness stop any man from loving her?
Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book. It is for anyone who has ever wondered what they really wanted in life, and if they’d be able to overcome the obstacles in front of them, no matter how steep.
Why did you decide to write Defective? I decided to write the book for two reasons. I wanted to give normal people a glimpse into a mentally ill mind. And I wanted to make readers understand that mental illness is not always the drama we see on TV. There is a spectrum of mental illness, and there are people who suffer to an extreme degree. But there are also many people like me—regular people with regular lives. We just face an additional obstacle.
Your bio makes me laugh. Being from Pittsburgh, I agree that Pittsburgh is scenic. I love the skyline. But tropical? Why do you say that? I regret writing that. When my Editor asked for my bio, it was the dead of winter—cold, dark at 4:30. I think I was dreaming of being in the Caribbean. It was just me being sarcastic. But, Pittsburgh is very beautiful, just replace palm trees with oak trees.
Tell us about your fear of punctuation. And how do you feel about the Oxford comma? I’m a fan. Hold on a minute, I have to look up “Oxford comma.” I looked it up on Wikipedia. Since I tend to be a bit of a middle-of-the-road person, I use it on some pages and not on others. But, seriously, punctuation terrifies me. I spend more time worrying about commas than plot. My fear goes back to my seventh-grade English teacher—Mrs. Davis. She terrified me and instilled in me an awful fear of grammar and punctuation.
Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects? I have two in the works. One is just about ready. The first draft of a women’s fiction novel is complete, but I am rethinking some plot points right now. I don’t mean to sound like a downer, but my only brother passed away about eight weeks before Defective was released. Since then, it has been a struggle to focus, but I am trying.
Why do you enjoy reading and writing? My answer to this question has changed over the last five years. When I was a kid, my mother used to yell at me to put down the book and go outside and play. When I took up writing, my reading appetite slowed. I think it’s because I have to allocate my free time and writing takes precedence now. Why do I love to write? As I have stated, I took an online writing class to beat the winter blues. Before that, each winter, my mom and I would build jigsaw puzzles. My husband thinks it’s ridiculous to rip apart something that required so much time to complete. Writing isn’t much different than jigsaw puzzles. It’s all about putting the pieces together—that is without having glued together jigsaw puzzles hanging from my walls.
What is your favorite genre to read? I go through periods. Like the rest of the planet, I’ve been into YA for a few years. I’ve always liked contemporary fiction and spent a few years reading spy novels. I’ve never been into Science Fiction or Fantasy, yet I am working on a YA fantasy.
Who is your favorite author? Tough questions. I’m not sure I can answer this. It has changed a lot over the years.
In your opinion, what is one book that everyone should read? I can’t speak for everyone. Two of my favorites are James Michener’s The Drifters and The Source. I think A Thousand Splendid Suns gives the reader an important view into the lives of women not just in Afghanistan, but in the Muslim world.
What did you want to be when you grew up? Taller. Actually, if I was still in college, I would be changing my major monthly.
Tell us three things about yourself that cannot be found on the Internet . . . at least not found easily.
- My husband is an Israeli, and we spent the first two years of our marriage in Tel Aviv. My daughter was born there.
- I really hate shopping for anything that is not groceries.
- When my husband and I got together it was like a scene from Big Fat Greek Wedding. When I brought him home to meet my family, our first dinner consisted of me, him, my mother and my brother. When I met his family, it was his parents, six of his seven siblings and their children. Pandemonium—Israelis are loud.
About the author: Susan Sofayov lives in scenic, tropical Pittsburgh, PA with her husband, a tenth grade son, and the most hated dog in the neighborhood. She is the mother of two college students and lives for the weekends they come home, and the whole family is together.
She is a former vice president of child care for a large non-profit organization. Currently, she partners with her husband to run their real estate development/management company. She has a BA in English Literature and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and an MA in Teaching from Chatham University.