Pleased to chat about her cozy mystery, Cold Snap, with author Codi Schneider on the Spotlight this week
Author Name: Codi Schneider
Book Title: Cold Snap: A Viking Cat Mystery
Book Genre: Fiction/Cozy Mystery
Release Date: September 14, 2021
Welcome, Codi! How would you describe Cold Snap?
When a murder shocks her peaceful mountain town, Bijou, a plucky house cat with a Viking spirit, must dive paws-first into solving the mystery before another life is taken—maybe even her own.
What sparked the idea for this book?
I first got the idea when I read an article about real-life Viking cats. These brave felines sailed the world in longships, working as mousers for their human counterparts. I also find great amusement in watching my own cat and trying to decipher what’s going on in her head. Writing a story with a cat protagonist and from a cat’s point of view simply sounded fun.
What drew you to the cozy mystery genre? And what made you want to feature animals?
I wrote Cold Snap purely for my own pleasure/amusement and then I wasn’t quite sure how to categorize it! After some doing some research and taking advice from other writers/editors, the cozy mystery genre was clearly the best fit for this book. I love how the genre embraces small town/amateur sleuth characters and how it allows for a lot of quirk and humor. I’m very happy to be a part of it.
As for featuring animals, I find them almost easier to write than humans! Surprisingly, it’s often my human characters that I’m in danger of writing as bland or one-dimensional. Animals are more fun, quirky, and therapeutic for me to write. I can suspend my own disbelief. I can follow them through a tangled wildwood of thoughts and actions that most humans, even fictional ones, wouldn’t dare explore. When I’m stuck, or in need of a little inspiration, I can look at my cat, or my horses, or a puppy taking a walk and say, What are they thinking right now? What are they feeling? How do they perceive their whiskers?
What are your favorite parts about writing/being an author? What do you find challenging?
My favorite parts: Watching the story unfold (often in surprising ways). Befriending some of my characters (some of them are way too mean and miserable). Working in my pajamas with my cat on my lap.
The most challenging parts: Lacking confidence in my work. Feeling stuck. Worrying about “success.” Working in my pajamas with my cat on my lap (she’s ample).
If you were speaking to someone who hasn’t read your writing before, why should they want to read Cold Snap?
Okay, I’m picturing this future reader now. . . . I suppose I would sidle creepily up to them, look at them askance, and enquire if they liked cats, mysteries, Vikings, and hefty pints of ale. If they answered yes, I would congratulate them on having impeccable taste, thump them on the lumbar, and give them a copy of Cold Snap. If they answered no, I would bow and retreat, all the while refusing to break eye contact.
What about the writing/editing/publishing process has been the most surprising to you so far?
How much there is to learn! I’m loving every minute of it though, and am so impressed by all of the amazing people who work tirelessly to help bring Cold Snap and so many other books to life.
What advice would you give your pre-published writer self?
Truthfully, I still tell myself the same things I did before I was published: Don’t compare your work or yourself to anyone else. Be open to possibilities. Don’t lose your love of storytelling in the process of writing.
What are your interests outside of writing and reading?
I’m a curious person and so I have a lot of interests. Probably too many and I often have to remind myself to narrow my focus to avoid becoming overwhelmed. First and foremost, I’m an equestrian and I love spending time at the barn with my horses, Sarge and Novi. I also love trail running, traveling, cooking, and diving into any water I can find (puddles exempt).
How are you adjusting to promoting your book during a pandemic?
As an introvert, I really appreciate doing most of my promotion from home. Though the fact that a pandemic has caused this is gut-wrenching. While I’ll probably always hide behind my computer a bit, I’m also looking forward to a mended and reanimated world where I can meet more people face-to-face.
Are you working on a new project? Please tell us about it.
Yes! I’m always juggling a couple of projects at a time. That way if I get stuck on one I can switch to the other and vice versa. Right now I’m working on my next Viking Cat mystery and I’m also outlining a fantasy book. It’s still very much a work-in-progress, but think Pony Express in a despotic, frozen, faraway kingdom.
Where can readers find you (website, blog, social media, etc.)?
I always love connecting with other readers and writers! Find me at any of the below:
Thank you, Codi! Cold Snap is available NOW.
Tucked in the cold Colorado mountains lies the remote village of Gray Birch, a place where outsiders are frowned upon. In this village lives a cat named Bijou. But she’s no ordinary house cat; her ancestors were mousers on Viking longships, and their blood runs through her veins. Since her battle skills are hardly needed in this modern age, however, she spends her energies running the Fox Burrow Pet Inn with her human, Spencer, and her assistant, Skunk, a mentally negligible Pomeranian. Together, the happy trio has created a safe haven for their four-legged guests.
But when Eddy Line, a handsome baker from California, comes to the inn―along with his piglet and pit bull puppy―everything changes. Spencer falls for Eddy, Bijou is unhappy with the sudden changes to her clan, and the townspeople are anything but welcoming; in fact, threats are made against Eddy when he buys the town’s historic firehouse in order to open a bakery.
Then a shocking murder/dognapping occurs on the night of the bakery’s grand opening, and Bijou finds herself thrust into a tangled mystery. To solve it, she will have to summon her inner Viking―and fight tooth and claw for her new clan.