Q&A with Sofie Kelly
1) In your Magical Cats Mystery series,
Kathleen Paulson adopts two cats, Owen and Hercules, who
have magical powers, and big personalities? How did you go
about developing their personalities? Are you also a cat
I had cats growing up, but I don’t have a cat now
because my husband is very allergic to them. I am lucky to
have lots of cat friends, though. Peaches is a little white
and ginger cat that lives across the street. She has this
disdainful stare that I’ve given to Hercules. Bert and
Ernie live around the corner. Ernie has exotic golden eyes,
which turned into Owen’s eyes. Bert likes to squeeze
into ridiculously small spaces—so does Hercules sometimes.
Pepper is a plus-sized tabby that lives at my favorite used
bookstore. She seems to get a kick out of sneaking up on me.
If cats can laugh, that’s what she does after
she’s crept up behind me, licked my ankle, and made me
jump half out of my skin. Owen definitely has her sense of
I still miss George, who was a big, marmalade-colored tomcat
that lived in my neighborhood. We became friends when the
man he belonged to died. It turns out George liked to talk.
We’d discuss everything from how the Red Sox were
looking in spring training, to the cat’s opinion on
what city council was up to. I’d say something and
George would meow or murp his response. Sometimes he’d
tip his head to one side, like he was thinking over what
I’d just said. Other times he’d meow with great
enthusiasm, as though he felt strongly about the subject.
Kathleen talks to Owen and Hercules very much like I used to
talk to George.
2) Owen’s magical ability is turning
invisible while Hercules’ talent is walking though
walls. What magical powers do you think they wish they had
I think both cats sometimes wish they could talk. There are
times that they seem to want Kathleen to understand
something, but she doesn’t. On the other hand, if the
cats could talk, there would be a lot less mystery in the
3) Who are your favorite authors? Do you have a
favorite book or genre that you like reading the most?
I read everything—fiction and non-fiction, mystery,
thriller, fantasy, paranormal, romance. I usually have
several books going at once. I like Krista Davis’s
Diva mysteries—and I’m not just saying that
because she’s a friend. The late Judi McCoy’s
dog-walker mysteries were wonderful. I’m sad that
there won’t be any more of those books.
I’ve read every book set in Lynn Viehl’s Kyndred
world and I love them all. A writer friend recently
suggested Julia Spencer-Fleming’s books. I’m on
the second in the series and I’m hooked.
4) What kinds of hobbies do you enjoy in your spare
In the summer time I like to swim. I run from the spring
through the fall. I can’t exactly say I enjoy running.
My favorite part is when I’ve finished. I love to
cook, but I’m bad about sticking to a recipe.
I’m also a mixed media artist. A lot of my collage
work at the moment involves putting images and poetry together.
5) Can you give us a sneak peek at what you have in
store for the next Magical Cats Mystery?
I think it’s time for Kathleen and Marcus to stop
dancing around each other and decide if they’re going
to be a couple or not. My friend, writer Laura Alden, says
Marcus needs to loosen up a little, and she’s right.
But Kathleen is also going to have to make some compromises.
Two things to look forward to: we’re going to meet a
new cat in Book 5 of the series that may have a magical
skill. And Kathleen’s old boyfriend from Boston,
Andrew, who got drunk and married a waitress from a 50s
diner, is not completely out of the picture.
6) Do you have a favorite word?
My favorite word at the moment is “behoove.” My
daughter was reading Cue for Treason in her English class.
The book is set in Shakespeare’s time and behoove was
used quite a bit. “It would behoove you to clean your
room,” just sounds nicer, for some reason.