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Illinois Author Publishes Fourth Novel
Illinois author Sophia Zufa just published her fourth book, 'The Watchers', a spy novel. Inspired by a trip she took in the 1970's to the divided city of Berlin, Germany, it is a psychological study of a man driven to betrayal.
She became obsessed with the idea of using Berlin as the background for a story ever since she and her sister visited the city in the early 1970’s. The infamous Berlin wall was still standing, dividing the city, and rubble from World War II was still in evidence, 30 years after the war had ended. “The soldiers with their machine guns were standing guard in the towers to prevent people from escaping into the Western section.”
Crossing from West to East Berlin was like night and day, she remembers. The West resembled any other large city, alive with it’s bustling traffic, shoppers and workers going about their daily business, cafes and restaurants filled with people. But East Berlin was a different story. She remembers it as dreary, devoid of color, with next to nothing in the shop windows .
After years of writing articles, short stories, and three other books, she finally wrote her spy novel. More a psychological study than a James-Bond type characterization, ‘The Watchers’ is about an ordinary man whose devotion to his only sister causes him to be blackmailed by corrupt agents of the German Democratic Republic who discover a shameful secret involving the woman’s husband, a government official. As the main character, Wilhelm Weber is drawn deeper into the scheme and finds his previously high moral values disintegrating.
Sophie’s previous book, ‘Why God Has Gray Hair’ was a short collection of stories based on her childhood in Joliet. Growing up Catholic during the depression years was not easy, but there were happy times and Sophie compiled some of those reminiscences into a successful book. Her next novel, ‘St. Michael the Archangel’s Washboard Band’, was also based on an incident that she remembers from her childhood – a robbery gone bad.
Having completed and published “The Watchers”, Sophie, who writes under the name Sophia, doesn’t think she has another book in her. “But who knows? My daughter is always after me to write. She keeps telling me that I have lived through a lot of history that makes for some very interesting stories.” But Sophie insists she has said all she has to say and looks forward to reading the works of other writers, a pleasure she has always enjoyed and for which she now has time.
You can find out more about Sophie and her new book on her website: www.sophiazufa.com.
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Mauverneen Blevins is a freelance writer/photographer. Formerly a resident of Illinois she currently resides in Reno, NV.