Photographer: Joanna DeGeneres

Starting initially as a journalist in the UK, Sophia (www.twitter.com/teamgloria_) wrote about art, fashion, media and technology for The Independent newspaper, The Guardian, Time Out (London), Black + White (Studio Magazines in Australia), Out (NYC), International Broadcast and Screen International. Sophia then went digital, leading digital media ventures for Hearst's U.K. operations (The National Magazine Company Ltd.) from 1999 to 2001.

Five sunny years in California followed directing a range of digital projects, including online, 3-D animation, motion capture and mobile applications for clients including New Line Cinema, 20th Century Fox and Neven Vision (now part of Google's mobile operations). New York beckoned though, and Sophia headed to the Big Apple where she became a multi-award winning Executive Director, digital for Hearst Magazines International.

Life took a dramatic turn in recent years, which you can read about in her forthcoming book, "How To Stay Sane In A Crazy World" out 14th Feb 2014. Sophia is now back in Los Angeles and pursuing a number of options. She has a column in this months Red Magazine.

  1. What did you want to be when you 'grew-up'?
    A writer and a film director.
  2. What are you now you've grown up?
    What they call a "triple-hyphenate" in Los Angeles (where I now live): writer-photographer-digital media consultant. Am still working on the film director ambition, although I have made a few (very) short films featuring friends' pets with interstitial titles like silent movies, just for fun.
  3. What is your best memory of school?
    My most poignant recollection is from December 2nd 1985, the day that Philip Larkin died. We were in one of those classrooms by the sporting pitch behind the school, in the middle of studying "The Whitsun Weddings" with Mr. Smith and had a moment of silence for the dead poet. It was very moving, respectful and made me feel part of a tradition of reverence for the written word, which has never left me.
  4. What was the best piece of advice you were given?
    Sadly I didn't get this first-hand. In his autobiography, "Future Indefinite", Noel Coward talked about his years in Paris running the propaganda office for the British Government. Whenever the letters from England would arrive, he would take himself off for a "very long lunch" to read them to avoid sentimentality in the office. Emotion in the workplace is best avoided.
  5. What do you do as a career? And what does your job involve?
    I am a writer-photographer-digital media consultant. As a writer I write books (my first one comes out Feb 2014: "How To Stay Sane In A Crazy World" from Hay House publishers). The book features all my own original travel photography from far-flung places such as China, Taiwan, Korea, and beyond. I started my career as a journalist on The Independent newspaper and still write about digital/technology issues. I have had pieces published this month in Esquire magazine (the edition in Spanish for Mexico), Red (UK) and I write a weekly column for "Los Angeles, I'm Yours". But I spend most of my time as a digital media consultant advising companies on their strategy for online/mobile content, after leaving my job in NYC as the head of digital for Hearst's international magazine business with responsibility for the vision/strategy for Cosmopolitan, Harper's Bazaar, Esquire and their other brands in almost 100 countries.
  6. What are the most challenging parts of your job?
    Deadlines, time management, people skills – one must be highly organized and exceedingly diplomatic to be a consultant ;-)
  7. What have you done that you are most proud of?
    I won multiple school scholarships and one of the last Assisted Places awarded by the Government to attend Brighton College, which I believe gave me a superb start in life.
  8. What is the single thing that would most improve the quality of your life?
    My own Jeeves (as per P. G. Wodehouse) – and he/she could be an artificially intelligent robot version – I'd be very comfortable with that.
  9. What are the three objects you would take with you to a desertisland?
    A knife, a wind-up radio and my robot Jeeves.
  10. How would you like to be remembered?
    With a wry smile and a raised eyebrow.

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