Stockings & Stilettos Blog

My Lightning Survivor Story

Bizarre but true fact about me: I was struck by lightning when I was 7 years old. I was on the back porch of my parents’ house enjoying my favorite kind of weather—a thunderstorm. I remember it vividly. I was eating a creamsicle and watching the dripping eaves and smelling the petrichor when suddenly I felt a searing pain and heard a deafening pop and was thrown off the porch into the sopping grass. It was instant—it happened within a blink. One second I was on the porch, the next second I was sprawled on the wet lawn, my creamsicle a few yards in front of me. I don’t know how I was able to understand what happened so quickly, but I immediately knew, and through my sudden, wracking sobs I screamed to my mother inside, “I got struck by lightning!” She rushed me to the ER, where they examined me and tested me for internal organ damage. Luckily, there was none. All the evidence present was a big black mark where the bolt had entered my shoulder, and my right big toe was black from where it had exited. The doctor told me the voltage had traveled down the right side of my body, bypassing my chest cavity & thereby sparing my life. He said had I not been wearing rubber-soled flip flops I’d have lost my toe. The last thing I recall the ER doc saying to me was, “You have survived Thor’s thunderbolt. You are destined for great things.”

What’s a totally bizarre but true fact about you?

Desire and Social Distance, The Distance Duet Book One

Greyson and Elena were both astounded at how much they had in common–from writing style to taste in furniture, from the meaning of life to the philosophy of sex, and the two quickly became best friends and set about investigating their mutual attraction and undeniable chemistry. Despite the fact that the world was burning outside, Greyson and Elena forged an intimacy so deep that it occluded the day-to-day worries that had previously consumed them.

A girl like a graven image and a boy like a righteous fire.

Elena di Marco’s life was in shambles. Still reeling from an unexpected divorce from her husband of ten years, Elena struggled daily with an entry-level job she despised, in a small apartment in the city of Buffalo where she suffered in isolation as the COVID-19 pandemic spread across the globe. Her outlook was bleak and her depression was worsening as financial problems mounted and the futility of existence began to plague her–that is until she ran across her former American literature professor from undergrad twenty years ago on Facebook–Greyson Jameson. She was mesmerized by his coal-black eyes, the way he smoldered in his profile photo, and couldn’t resist sending him a friend request, setting into motion a friendship that quickly escalated into mutual infatuation despite their living half a country apart.

Greyson Jameson had married his high school sweetheart twenty-six years prior, and they had created two wonderful children together as he taught literature at the University of Tennessee. But under the surface of their ostensible happiness lurked a darkness that had invaded his home life and leveled his marriage. Greyson had adjusted to life without his wife, taking the responsibility of parenting solo in stride, all while effortlessly pivoting to remote instruction at the outbreak of the virus. He was a man of rules and order, and it seemed nothing could arise that Greyson could not masterfully handle. Until he got a friend request one day from his former star student Elena di Marco and her profile picture stopped him in his tracks. Ordinarily Greyson was a master of restraint and control, but from their first interaction he found himself powerless against her beauty and wit, unable to resist their daily flirtations on Facebook Messenger.

But when disaster strikes, threatening the future they both fantasized about, Greyson and Elena learn that distance is not always a matter of proximity, and there are ways to touch someone without necessity of physical contact. As Greyson and Elena’s involvement continues to escalate, so does what hangs in the balance–and neither of them will emerge from this unchanged.

Book one of The Distance Duet, Desire and Social Distance, will be released in early 2021, with preorders opening soon. Sign up for my newsletter to receive periodic updates and announcements about The Distance Duet, or follow me at the usual haunts: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Goodreads, and Bookbub.

Mood Boards as Writing Tools

A lot of authors use implements to assist them in the creation of their books. While music is not something I utilize for writing, visuals totally are. I make mood boards for my characters, settings, and for the book itself. I even use stock photos that closely resemble my characters in the profiles I outline for them. For a word-slinger, I’m awfully visual. What tools & implements do you use to help you visualize your creations?

NEW from Sophia Thorne!

The Distance Duet by Sophia Thorne

Book One: Desire and Social Distance
Book Two: Time Is the Greatest Distance

None of this was supposed to happen.


I wasn’t supposed to be newly divorced and starting my life over again at 39. I was not supposed to become an essential worker at a bank call center during the outbreak of a deadly pandemic. And I definitely was not supposed to have fallen in love with my former professor from twenty years ago over the internet while trying to mend my already-broken heart. But one lonely night after my shift at work, I ran across a friend suggestion on Facebook that stopped me mid-scroll. We only had one mutual friend, but I knew his face practically better than I knew my own. It was Greyson Jameson, my former American literature professor at the University of Tennessee. I hadn’t seen or spoken to him in twenty years, yet there he was, looking shockingly good.


The University of Tennessee sent our asses home at the beginning of March, which is when I reconnected with my star student from two decades ago, Elena di Marco. I remembered her vividly. She had been a cute girl, to be sure, but in the intervening years she had become a ravishingly sexy woman. It isn’t enough that the world is burning outside–I have to go and fall in love with a former student via Facebook Messenger. As if my life wasn’t already complicated enough with my estranged wife away in rehab since the revelation of her affairs, and my two kids home from school with me 24/7. But I just couldn’t help myself. Usually I pride myself on my dominance and ability to exert control in any situation–but with Elena my restraint went out the window, leaving only one uncertain path into the future before me.

But then disaster strikes…

When Greyson’s wife’s rehab center closes down for quarantine and she is forced to move back in with Greyson, the burgeoning romance between Greyson and Elena seems as though it might not survive.

But distance is not always a matter of proximity, and there are ways to touch one another that don’t involve bodily contact. As Elena and Greyson’s involvement escalates, so does what hangs in the balance–and neither of them will emerge from this unchanged.

A Note from Sophia Thorne

Book One, Desire and Social Distance, is slated to release in early 2021. Sign up for my newsletter to get updates! In the upcoming weeks I will be sharing more details and sneak peeks into The Distance Duet, and pre-orders will be opening soon, so watch for an email link to reserve your copy! Thank you for reading.

~ Sophia

Show Don’t Tell – What That Really Means

You always hear writers give this advice. “Show, don’t tell.” But what the hell does that really mean, anyway? Nobody has ever given me a clear explanation. But I did figure it out by myself, and here’s the best way I know how to explain it: using dialogue tags.

The road to hell is paved with adverbs. –Stephen King

If you’ve read King’s On Writing, you’ll recognize that witticism. It’s also true. And that’s because using adverbial dialogue tags is bad writing. For example:

“Put the phone down now,” Alicia said menacingly.

As King puts it in On Writing, “who farted, right?” We don’t want to be told that Alicia’s tone was menacing; we want to be shown. So how would we do that? Instead, we might write:

“Put the phone down. Now,” Alicia said.

That little pause afforded by the period imbues her statement with a hint of malice, a bit of a threat, which shows the reader how Alicia is feeling about what she is saying, which construes her emotions better than an adverbial dialogue tag appended to the end. Or we might change the verbiage to imply urgency:

“Drop the phone! Now!” Alicia said.

Or if we’re trying to denote a threat, perhaps:

“If you’re smart, you’ll put the phone down. Now,” Alicia said.

There’s no need to add that she said it “menacingly,” because the words themselves are menacing.

That’s it. That’s showing instead of telling. Simple, right? What’s the best or worst writing advice you’ve ever been given?

How I Know I’m a Writer #001

Am I insane? Tell me other writers do this so we can be insane together.

Reason No. 001: I’ll see a cute guy, and instead of approaching him, I’ll sink deep into imaginative thought, and five minutes later–after he’s long gone–catch myself concluding my summation of the entire hypothetical relationship, like, “We’d realize we only stayed together for the kids.” Am I insane? Tell me other writers do this, so we can be insane together.

Do you have any writerly quirks? I’d love to hear them in the comments.

%d bloggers like this: