Writing With … Sophie Littlefield

Sophie Littlefield is a one-woman charm machine. Anyone who has met her can back me up on this. She’s also extremely talented and mind-bogglingly prolific. Her first novel, A BAD DAY FOR SORRY, won an Anthony Award and an RT Book Award for Best First Mystery, and was shortlisted for Edgar, Barry, Crimespree, and Macavity Awards. She writes the post-apocalyptic AFTERTIME series as well as paranormal fiction for young adults. She has two books out this summer, REBIRTH, coming in July, and A BAD DAY FOR SCANDAL, which was released Tuesday by Minotaur Books. You can visit her online at www.sophielittlefield.com.

Q. Tell us about your book and what inspired you to write it.

A BAD DAY FOR SCANDAL is the third in my Stella Hardesty mystery series.
I have called the first in this series my “mid-life crisis book” because it was the
result of a lot of frustration and crabbiness — I had not been able to sell any of the
eight previous books I’d written, so I decided to give myself permission to write
whatever I felt like. Perhaps it’s no surprise that the result was a vengeful, irritable,
overweight, fiftyish Midwestern woman with a penchant for bondage gear.

Q. Did you need to do any special research for the book? If so, what’s one of the most interesting facts you discovered?

Ha! Did you catch that word “bondage” in the last paragraph? I’ve become quite
knowledgeable, due to my extensive online research. I didn’t know much about
the subject before writing the book, but I have to say it’s endlessly fascinating.
Recently, I even went to the old armory in San Francisco which has been converted
to a massive studio where very nice people make stunning movies that celebrate a
variety of, um, esoteric tastes.

Incidentally, I should point out (for faint-hearted readers) that Stella does not
actually engage in bondage — she uses these devices in another line of work.

Q. Many people are content to just be readers. How did you become a writer?

I’ve believed, since the day when I first opened a book, that writing is the highest
privilege anyone could ever aspire to. It was simply inevitable. Lots of writers say
this; for the marked, it’s as essential as drawing breath.

Q. What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I’m always writing. I do like to sit in bars, drinking and talking. And I love to
hang out with my kids. That’s pretty much it. I used to have hobbies — sewing and
gardening were my favorites — but with my current schedule it’s just words, words,
words all day long.

Q. What are you reading right now?

I’m reading about a dozen books, ranging from Ann Parker’s most recent historical
mystery to a variety of young adult fiction (my sixteen-year-old and I still read
together every day) to a Kate Atkinson to a Peter Blauner novel that I suspect I’ve
read before but forgotten. I also read the New Yorker cartoons and all the tabloids I
buy, uh, for my daughter at the grocery.

Q. If you were stranded on that proverbial deserted island, what five books wouldyou want to have with you?

I never answer questions like this because I change my mind every thirteen
minutes! One of them would be a giant blank book, however, because if I couldn’t
write I would simply perish, no matter how many bottles of Laphroaig and bags of
kettle chips the island was stocked with.

Q. What’s your favorite movie?

Oh, you are an imp, Todd Ritter. All these “favorites” questions. Okay, well, in
this precise moment in time I think my favorite move is There Will Be Blood.

Q. What’s your favorite food?

Kettle chips!!!!

Q. Cats or dogs?

Dogs. I’ve owned one cat in my life, and am now allergic. I’ve had a collie, a
hound mutt, a teacup poodle/Chihuahua mix (long story there), and two beagles,
the latter of which is sleeping in with one of my teenagers right now. They both
sleep a lot.

Q. Name one thing that people would be surprised to learn about you.

Oh, I’m just full of surprises. Let’s buy each other a round and we’ll talk.

Posted on by Todd Posted in Writing With

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