Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Steampunking Sofie Kelly

Wonderful books are a huge joy in my life, for which I will always be grateful. I've also been very fortunate to have met a few generous authors who in various ways over the years have provided me with guidance and motivation. A writer who brings both into your life is marvelous; to call that soul a friend means you are truly blessed.

For me that particular blessing is Sofie Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of the Magical Cats mystery series. Sofie has been a constant source of encouragement and understanding in my writing life, and a very patient and dear friend in real life. The fact that she also happens to be a natural, beautiful storyteller is but frosting on the cake. I think we all want to be friends with people we admire, who just by being in the world inspire and energize us. Sofie is all that, and so much more.

I talked Sofie into letting us steampunk her for November, so here's my interview with her:

1. The world wants to bring back one person, place or thing from the Victorian era. It can be anything, but whatever it is will be made a permanent part of our reality. Who or what do you pick to bring back?

Natural dyes to replace synthetic ones. The Victorian era was when we began to use synthetic dyes. Natural dyes are kinder to the environment and the colors are richer and more vivid than anything created in a test tube. Personally, corsets. I have not so great posture and the one time I tried on a corset--at a fashion show I was emceeing--I was forced to stand up straight. It made me taller.

2. A secret guild of steam-powered gadget inventors needs to borrow your garage for a month. In return for the work space they offer to make something special for you. What gadget do you want them to invent, and why?

A mechanical, steam-powered elephant. I live in a cold and snowy part of the world. There's no way a mechanical elephant would get stuck in a snow drift and I'd never have to worry about someone parking too close to me necessitating that I get in the passenger side and climb over to the driver's seat. Which now that I think about it, would not have been easy to do in a corset.

3. We know how fond you are of fictional felines, especially the stray variety. Tell us some of the things that you wish people would do to help homeless cats in the real world.

Please don't increase the population. Have your cat spayed or neutered and if you can't take care of your cat for any reason, take it to an animal shelter. Please don't abandon it.

4. If you could spend a weekend writing retreat with three deceased authors (we're going to bring them back to life for you), who would you choose to hang out with, and what would you want to work on?

Shakespeare, Agatha Christie and Kurt Vonnegut. I'd want to work on either a stage play or a screenplay.

5. We want to know you have planned for your readers in 2014, but our internet service is down and our crystal ball is in the repair shop. Can you tell us what to expect next year from Sofie Kelly, and any of your other pseudonyms?

Sofie Kelly will have another Magical Cats book out in 2014, tentatively titled, A Midwinter's Tail. I'm also taking on another identity. As Sofie Ryan, the first book in my new Second Chance Cat mystery series, The Whole Cat and Caboodle, will debut April 1st. (No, that's not a joke.) It has a cat, three senior ladies who think of themselves as Charlie's Angels, a melodramatic teenager, a geriatric computer hacker, a hunky investigator for the medical examiner's office and the owner of a repurpose store who tries to keep them all out of trouble. It's not as complicated as it sounds.

While we're waiting for Sofie's next novel to hit the shelves I thought it would be fun to have a magical cats giveaway, and here's what I have for one of you:

This giveaway includes:

Unsigned copies of all five of Sofie Kelly's Magical Cats mysteries: Curiosity Thrilled the Cat, Sleight of Paw, Copycat Killing, Cat Trick and Final Catcall
The Scheherazade Storytelling Game by Levenger
Tne Writer's Lab by Sexton Burke
Mochi Mochi by Anna Hrachovec
Birds on a Wire photo hangers
What Cats Teach Us 2014 calendar
An Asian Happy Cat tote from BAM

If you'd like to win it all, in comments to this post name someone you consider a blessing in your life by midnight EST on Friday, November 29th, 2013. I'll draw one name at random from everyone who participates and send the winner the tote packed with all the books and goodies. This giveaway is open to everyone on the planet, so please join in.


  1. Just one person I'm thankful for? I guess I'll have to say my little sister then. She's like my own child and shows me the world in different ways all the time. She's about to leave for college and this is her last Thanksgiving as a high school student. The world is changing for us and though I'm happy to see her going away to start her adult life it makes me sad.

  2. My best friend of 25 years, the one person on the planet who knows all my secrets and would never tell a one... ;D

  3. My sister is a special blessing for me and I am thankful for her everyday.

  4. I am very thankful for all my friends and the fact that at this time we are all healthy and able to celebrate with our respective families and get ready for the holiday season.

  5. I'm thankful for my best friend James. He knows me through and through and I know my secrets are safe with him.
    Thanks for another great giveaway!

  6. I'm thankful for all of my sisters (I have 5). They all enrich my life with their many different personalities and interests.


  7. Sisters seem to a common theme today. I'll add mine. I live alone and don't get out much and she visits almost every day by phone (and she'd come in person if she could).

  8. My mom is the biggest blessing in my life. She always supports me - except in politics. ;-)

    btw, I highly recommend Sofie Kelly's books. She's a fun and interesting storyteller.

  9. My husband whose integrity, devotion and kindness is always there for me.

  10. A best friend who helped me with a serious illness last year and is always there for me with her sense of humor and sweetness.

  11. my mom

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  12. My best friend is who I am very thankful for. She is always there for me through good and bad.

  13. My dog. He keeps me sane when people are driving me nuts. And I am beyond grateful to the Humane Society for him.

  14. My daughter, who brought my son in law into the family who both adopted Jackson !!! It's Jackson's birthday today!!!!

  15. My guy. He was put in my life when I'd pretty much given up and decided I was going to be alone and stay alone - and when I tried to make him go away because it was simpler - and less scary - to be alone, he stuck and stuck and stuck. Seven years later, he's somehow still here. Crazy guy.

  16. My guy. He was put in my life when I'd pretty much given up and decided I was going to be alone and stay alone - and when I tried to make him go away because it was simpler - and less scary - to be alone, he stuck and stuck and stuck. Seven years later, he's somehow still here. Crazy guy.

  17. Although I didn't always consider her a blessing, I now know that my older sister definitely is one. We did not get along when we were growing up, but once we were adults we became close friends. I was lucky enough to be very involved in the lives of all 3 of her children and helped my sister in every way that I could.
    manning_J2004 at yahoo dot com

  18. I can't decide between my sisters (2) and my sons (2). I'm just grateful they are all in my life, enriching my days and being there for me.

    And I agree with Deb, Sofie's book are fabulous.

  19. I can't. There isn't just one. Each person in my life is treasured for reasons I can't explain here, there's not enough room. I have two friends of 45+ years who have been at my side in my darkest times. My husband is my number one, my daughters, blessings when I thought there would never be friends who mean the world to me...too many. Just too many.

  20. Like Fran, I couldn't choose between my two sons or my daughter. All three are a blessing.


  21. I am grateful for my daughter and sons who love cats.

  22. My parents always, but lately I've been discovering I have more blessings in my life than I allowed myself to realize.