Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester is happy to shine our Friday spotlight on cozy mystery author Sofie Ryan. Or is it Sofie Kelly? Maybe I better let her tell you.
The first question I asked her was, can you please tell us briefly a little about yourself and your writing? How would you like us to introduce you?
I write two cozy mystery series. The Second Chance Cat Mysteries as Sofie Ryan, and the Magical Cats Mysteries as Sofie Kelly. I live on the east coast, I’m married and have one adult daughter. People are always surprised to learn I’m a bit of a math geek. It was my favorite subject in school. And while I’ve been writing since I was a kid—I won a prize in a poetry writing contest in third grade—I didn’t aspire to be a writer when I grew up. I wanted to be a TV director, move to Hollywood and marry Michael Cole from the Mod Squad.
Where can people find your work? (Besides Annie’s Book Stop of Worcester—though they should totally check here first!)
People can, of course, find my books in Annie’s Book Stop and in bookstores everywhere. The books are also in libraries all over North America and I like to tell readers if you like either or both series, please suggest them to your local bookseller or librarian.
How can we follow your work and share your awesomeness?
The best way to learn about my books is to visit my website www.sofiekelly.com and subscribe to my newsletter. The sign-up is at the website. You’ll be able to find out when the next books in each series come out and my husband organizes some fun giveaways.
What kind of research went into writing the Undercover Kitty? What is your favorite research story? What cool facts and findings didn’t make it into the book, but you loved discovering?
My favorite part of the research for Undercover Kitty was going to a cat show. I had so much fun. There were cats everywhere I looked and their owners were so friendly and so happy to answer all of my questions. Before the show I didn’t really understand how the judging process worked. It made a lot more sense watching the judges do their job than it had reading about it, and there was always someone nearby willing to explain what the judge was looking for and why one cat was ranked higher than another.
One of the most interesting things I learned was that calico cats aren’t always female. Male calico cats are rare but they do exist and instead of having one X chromosome and one Y, they have two X chromosomes and one Y. I had no idea. I’m planning on using this piece of information in a future book.
How important has the New England setting been to your writing?
Maine is one of my favorite places to visit. Everything that’s been said about Mainers being so friendly and welcoming has been true in my experience. They’re always happy to talk about their state. No one has ever made me feel I was a bother or being too nosy. (Writers ask a lot of questions!)
What else can we expect from you in the near future?
Hooked on a Feline, the next book in my other mystery series, the Magical Cats Mysteries, which I write as Sofie Kelly, comes out in September. These books feature librarian Kathleen Paulson and her two cats, Owen and Hercules, who have some very unique skills. For this book I got to hang out in music stores and pick the brain of a friend who is a musician. It was a lot of fun indulging my rock and roll fantasies. Plus I got to kill my endodontist, the man who has done two root canals on me. He’s a very god sport and he was very happy to play the victim in a book.
What is one thing that most people don’t realize about you?
I used to work in radio and for a big chunk of that time I was a late-night disk jockey. I learned a lot about music. I met some fascinating and eccentric people. And I learned how to sleep anywhere, anytime!
What is/are your passions when you’re not writing? How do you make time for your non-writing hobbies/things you love?
I like to cook and because I enjoy it so much it’s not a challenge to make time to do that. And I do have to eat. I make everything from brownies to soup to sardine crackers for my friends’ cats. The first time I make something new I’m pretty good about sticking to the recipe, but after that I tend to start tinkering with the ingredients. What if I added this? What if I changed that? It drives my friends crazy because when they ask for the recipe for something I’ve made it always comes with a list of addendums.
Thanks so much for taking the time to answer our questions, Sofie! They were Purrfect!