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Dogs, cats and top writing tips with Carlie Sorosiak!

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!

If you like to read stories about cats, dogs and other animals we have lots more to choose from here!

Comments (44)

Nathan B - 19th October 2020

My daughter really wants a cat, this book will more than likely force me to get one

Lia B - 19th October 2020

This looks like a great book my daughter can’t wait to start reading!

Tracy B - 19th October 2020

This sounds like such an amusing book, I'd quite like to be a cat myself but not a stray, I'd be a pampered puss and sit on a cushion all day. Does Carlie have any pets herself?

Denise W - 19th October 2020

My granddaughter would love this book

Sandra F - 19th October 2020

absolutely amazing for imagination, love this for grandchildren

Janet M - 18th October 2020

great book

Gill M - 18th October 2020

This would be amazing,what a great idea. My daughter would love it.

Florence T - 18th October 2020

I wish I had a pet cat. Kittens are so cute!

Paul Anthony G - 18th October 2020

I'd prefer to be a cat. Would get more love!

Susan B - 17th October 2020

An interesting interview and sage advice for budding writers in the last paragraph.

Hayley W - 16th October 2020

This really appeals to my little man, he's cat crazy!

Michael O - 16th October 2020

Lovely interview with some handy tips

lynn n - 15th October 2020

Great advice from Carlie here!

Jennifer R - 14th October 2020

Sounds like a lovely book, I think my little girl would really like it x

Lesley S - 13th October 2020

What a great idea, cats are strange!

Hannah C - 11th October 2020

It sounds like a lovely book! I work at a school library and I can think of so many students who would love this read!

Sean E - 8th October 2020

Looking forward to reading this with my daughter

Debbie E - 7th October 2020

Sounds great!

Andi G - 4th October 2020

We are such a cat family

Leah T - 1st October 2020

I'm pretty sure most cats are aliens, one look into their eyes & you're their slave forever.

Gill W - 27th September 2020

Sounds like a wonderful book for cat lovers of any age!

Priscilla S - 26th September 2020

I love cats and fish and chips!Sounds like a lovely book

Fiona K - 25th September 2020

This book sounds great and I enjoyed reading the preview. I'm sure my granddaughter will love it as she loves cats and wants to be an astronaut when she grows up.

Peter W - 25th September 2020

She has such a knack of opening up the imagination.

Sheena B - 25th September 2020

I love reading animal stories to children

amy f - 25th September 2020

Great interview x

Flo B - 24th September 2020

Epic I have so much in common with this author the book sounds epic too!!

Melanie W - 24th September 2020

My 10 year old niece would love to read this book. She would also like a book from a rabbit's eye view.

Hannah O - 24th September 2020


Karen P - 24th September 2020

Sounds great, I'm sure our Prep school pupils will love it

Sue D - 23rd September 2020

Greenwich Park is one of my favourite places too. The school where I am the librarian is just across the river. I look forward to sharing your new title with the kids!

Nicola E - 23rd September 2020

It is always good to read a book that not only inspires young readers but also gives them the motivation to be writers themselves. Thank you!

Kath V - 23rd September 2020

thank you for writing such a great sounding book!

James H - 23rd September 2020

Great interview!

Philippa W - 22nd September 2020

What a great idea for a story. It is easy to believe that cats ARE aliens!

Karen V - 22nd September 2020

The description of this book reminds me a little bit of The Humans by the wonderful Matt Haig. Something different from the usual for children. I'm looking forward forward to reading it.

Pippa A - 22nd September 2020

My daughter loves books featuring cats, I'm definitely going to pick this up for her.

MARIA R - 22nd September 2020

sounds a wonderful book!

Sally C - 22nd September 2020

Do you have a cat of your own?

Nina M - 22nd September 2020

My 10 and six year old would love this book!

Jackie W - 22nd September 2020

Oh this book might be perfect for my cat loving partner to read with our dyslexic 10yr old. Thank you

Theresa C - 22nd September 2020

lovely reading about you.

Susie W - 21st September 2020

I too would miss proper fish and chips!

Elaine G - 18th September 2020

Fantastic book! Great writing advice too. Well, it's Friday so Fish and Chips for tea! :)

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