We had the good fortune of connecting with Sofia Uraizee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sofia, have you ever found yourself in a spot where you had to decide whether to give up or keep going? How did you make the choice?
I know it sounds cliché but never give up. If you really, truly want something, I am a firm believer in staying persistent. It took me twenty years to successfully accomplish my goal of publishing my book. Had I gotten discouraged or decided it was “not worth it” or it was “too late”, I would not be where I am today.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Absolutely, so what makes this story unique is that I began writing it in fifth grade, as a school English project!
Every year we had a project where we had to create our own story. We would write it and then “publish” it in school to share with our classmates. I looked forward to this project every year, but something about the story I wrote in fifth-grade stuck with me.
I was excited by it. I found myself coming back to it and adding to it in middle school. I sent it to some writers and got some feedback and continued editing it. I then got busy with the pressures of applying to college and dental school, so it stayed in my drawer. After finishing dental school, I moved to LA where I met other creatives who encouraged me to publish it and now here we are!
I decided to publish it from my grade-school perspective, with my goal being to inspire children to pursue their dreams, even at an early age. I want kids to realize that what they are doing today can make a difference. I never imagined when I was writing this in school that I would actually publish it one day for the world to see. I hope that by hearing my story, children realize that they can be anything they want! In addition to inspiring children to pursue their dreams, I also want to entertain and stimulate their imagination.
Legend Land is the story of a young girl who stumbles upon a mysterious tree house in her backyard. As she explores it more and more, she notices weird things beginning to happen…
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
There is so much to see in Southern California! I would first take them to Sherman Oaks, a place very special to me since it was my first home in California, and show them around Ventura Blvd, a road full of all sorts of restaurants and shops. We would eat at one of my favorite restaurants Sweet Butter. I would then be sure to take them by at least one of the many beautiful beaches, Malibu being my favorite, for a day by the water. While in the area, I would want to show them Santa Monica and all the restaurants and bars in the Santa Monica/Venice Beach area. I would also take them to a rooftop to get beautiful views of LA, some of my favorites being Catch LA, the rooftop by JG at the Waldorf Astoria in Beverly Hills, or EP & LP. The Griffith Observatory is also a great place to get an amazing view of LA for someone who has never been and you can catch some neat hikes from there as well!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I want to shoutout my fifth-grade teachers Mrs. Parker and Mrs. Mosely. They not only taught me fundamental academic skills, but also inspired me to keep my creativity and imagination alive and share it with the world. They sparked this passion and excitement in me that I am forever grateful for. Also shoutout to my friends, family, and artists who helped me tackle roadblocks along the way and supported and encouraged me to publish my work. Wouldn’t be here without you.