Author Sophie Littlefield grew up in central Missouri, daughter of a history professor father and an artist mother. She earned a degree in computer science and made very little use of it. After living in Chicago for ten years, she and her husband packed up the kids and moved to Northern California in 1998.
Most important influences on Sophie’s work? The critique group she’s belonged to for a decade; her brother, writer Mike Wiecek; and members of the romance and mystery writing communities, who have made for excellent company along the road.
A Bad Day for Sorry (2009), Sophie’s first release was an Edgar Award Finalist for Best First Novel by An American in 2010. This month she releases A Bad Day for Pretty (Minotaur Books; ISBN: 978-0-312-55975-5; $24.99; June 8, 2010) which is set to be just as adventurous and kick-ass as her first crime novel. It’s also featured in the July 4 issue of People Magazine!
Today we honor Sophie Littlefield as a woman making history.
Sophie Littlefield’s explosive debut, A Bad Day For Sorry, introduced readers to Stella Hardesty, a middle-aged, tough-as-nails widow who takes justice into her own creative hands as an avenger of wronged women. Becoming an Edgar Award Finalist for Best First Novel, winning the RT Book Award for Best First Mystery, and making #9 on the San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller List, as well as #5 on the August IMBA Bestseller List, Littlefield is out this June with the thrilling sequel, A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY.
Read more bout A Bad Day for Pretty below:
Stella is getting cozy with Sheriff “Goat” Jones when the tornado that is blazing a path of destruction through Prosper, Missouri blows none other than his scheming ex-wife, Brandy, through the front door. Adding to the chaos, the tornado destroys the snack shack at the demolition derby track, pulling up the concrete and unearthing a woman’s body. The main suspect for the dumping is Neb Donovan; he laid the foundations, and there’s some pretty hard evidence pointing to him. Years ago, Neb’s wife asked Stella for help getting him off oxycontin. Stella doesn’t believe the gentle man could kill any woman, and she promises his frantic wife she’ll look into it. Former victim from the debut novel, Chrissy Shaw, is now fully employed at Stella’s sewing shop, and becomes the long-suffering sidekick, as Stella negotiates the unpredictable Brandy and the alluring Sheriff to solve the latest domestic abuse crime.
A BAD DAY FOR PRETTY is the next wickedly funny Stella Hardesty adventure that delivers on every page.
Sophie was kind enough to take a minute to work on a M.I.S.S. survey by hand! Read some fun facts about the author below:
Aspiring writers, this one’s for you! We asked Sophie to give us some insight on being a writer and she delivered! When she says, “Sugar, listen up,” she’s talking to YOU!
M.I.S.S.: What woman, besides your mom or grandmother, do you find inspirational?
I’m inspired by every woman who spends her days behind a counter, who is hoping traffic’s light so she’s not late to pick up her kids from day care, who has a run in her hose and an ache in her back and just had to swallow her pride for the fifteenth time today when her boss or customer or ex couldn’t be bothered to treat her with dignity, and still goes home and makes her kids feel like they matter.
M.I.S.S.: How did you get your start as a writer?
Um, I picked up a pencil. Seriously, I wrote and wrote and wrote and then I wrote some more. I sent out queries and manuscripts and stories and poems and I cried when the rejections came back – for thirty years. I got my first rejection from Seventeen magazine when I was fourteen years old. In my 20s I collected rejections from literary magazines and journals; in my 30s and 40s I moved on to publishers and agents.
Because it takes a while for agents to respond to submissions, I was still receiving rejections six months after I finally signed with my agent and sold my book. Those were fun, though – I’d pull those out of the envelope and think “Oh buddy, you are gonna rue the day.”
I had kind of a thing about not asking for favors or referrals, or using my connections. That may have been dumb, but I’m really proud of the fact that my agent found me in the slush pile. She and I have worked hard for everything we’ve achieved, but I love knowing we earned it all.
M.I.S.S.: What’s your favorite piece that you’ve written?
I’m delighted to be able to tell you that I’m getting a little better with every book I write – so my favorite is always the last one I finished. (I kind of have to hate the one I’m working on; it’s part of my process to be mired in doubt and loathing until it’s finished and the book and I take a break from each other.)
M.I.S.S.: Who do you want to work with?
Easy: I want to work with people who don’t see limits. Who believe that we can achieve anything we want. Who are undaunted by hard work because we all love our jobs so much. I don’t think it’s any surprise that the people I surround myself with tend to be passionate to a fault – but I’d rather be making mistakes of enthusiasm than timidity.
M.I.S.S.: What part of writing is the most challenging and do you dislike the
Oh, I wish I could say I’m getting better at the details, but I’m just not. Keeping track of them – everything from what work I owe to whom and when, travel planning, accounting, marketing – if a task can’t be accomplished by diving in and beating it to death, I probably suck at it.
Luckily, there are people who take care of a lot of this for me. I would be lost without my agent, Barbara Poelle, who keeps track of everything from what I named my characters to what I’m going to spend my first six-figure royalty check on. And my editors, publicists, and writing friends keep me pointed in the right direction and, for the most part, doing what I am supposed to be doing.
M.I.S.S.: Any advice for ladies who are just starting out in a career path as writers?
Sugar, listen up: lots of people are going to tell you that you’re not good enough. And they’re going to keep doing it until the day you’re dead, no matter how many books you write, no matter how many copies you sell, no matter how many awards you win. So your job is to listen only to your heart. When people give you criticism or even unwanted advice, smile, don’t get riled up, and then get back to work, because the words are what matter. Good luck!!
We end this interview here with Sophie at a recent book reading:
For more information on please visit Sophie at: www.sophielittlefield.com
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