Carlie Sorosiak has a wonderful imagination. Her latest novel combines cats and aliens and friendships in the most magical, and very funny way and is perfectly pitched to 9+ children who love animals and adventure. Carlie kindly found some time between teaching and writing to answer a few questions for us..
Your debut novel, If Birds Fly Back, was a romance pitched at YA readers whilst your more recent books are aimed at middle-grade readers. What do you enjoy about writing for different ages and do you have a preference?
Writing for teenagers – and about teenagers – is an absolute delight. There are so many complex situations and emotions to explore in that age group: first love, loss, changing family dynamics. But I think that middle grade has my heart a touch more. That’s largely because my middle-grade writing is so animal focused, and there’s nothing I love more than animals.
We love your magical new novel, My Life as a Cat; the relationship between Leonard and Olive is heartwarming. What was your inspiration for the book?
That’s so kind of you to say! When I started this book, I’d just finished writing I, Cosmo, a middle grade novel from the perspective of a golden retriever – so naturally I thought that cats should come next. I was also toying with the idea of writing about a friendly alien. What would happen, I wondered, if I mashed the two ideas together? Thus Leonard, the alien cat, was born. I’ve always believed in the possibility of aliens – and cats are just magical. The two seemed to complement each other.
If you could be any animal for a month which one would you choose?
I’d be, very specifically, my dog Dany. She’s an American dingo, and she lives a life of absolute luxury. I’d love to experience the world almost entirely through smell. Dany, like all dogs, is an excellent sniffer. Turning into a cat would also be nice – as would a whale. And a panda bear. Oh, I can’t choose!
You've written about dogs and cats - will animals feature in your next novel?
Absolutely! I can’t say much more than that, but yes – please expect some very delightful, very intelligent creatures.
Having studied and lived in the UK, what do you miss most now you live back in the US?
Fish and chips on Fridays! And tea – all the tea. Where I live now, the tea is cold and hyper sweet. Is there anything better than strolling around Greenwich park with a steaming cup of Earl Grey in your hands? I also had the privilege of meeting so many lovely people in the UK, and it was really difficult to leave them. I miss their smiling faces!
Thanks Carlie, before you go can you give us a few tips for budding young writers?
Write the book that you want to read, and try to enjoy the editing process. Writing is re-writing. Almost nothing comes out perfectly the first time around. And read as many books as you can!