We had the good fortune of connecting with Codi Schneider and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Codi, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
As the author of a quirky, cozy cat mystery, creativity makes up my core. Without it, I think I would be lost. I remember even as a child being struck by a story idea that I simply had to write down ASAP. I would stop in the middle of playing with my brothers or friends, rush inside, and spend the remainder of the day filling up my little notebooks.
It isn’t always simple though, pursuing a creative career, and I had many years of self doubt. During college, I remember trying to fit myself into a more traditional box. But I felt more lost than ever. I didn’t seem to fit into any career I tried. As an introvert, I often felt like a fish out of water in the traditional workspace and I would come home every night exhausted, wondering how I would wake up and do it all over again day after day.
It was my husband who encouraged me to return to writing, which I’d abandoned. And once I did, once I let go of outside expectations and embraced who I really was, I knew writing was the path I needed to pursue. It’s been a long road teaching myself to not only write full length novels, but ones quality enough for publication. And after that, learning about the business and marketing side of writing as well. But I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It feels like home.
Today I’m so grateful that my debut novel, Cold Snap: A Viking Cat Mystery, was published by SparkPress (based in Tempe, AZ) in September, 2021. And I’m busy writing my second novel now!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As a lifelong animal lover, I enjoy bringing our four-legged friends into focus in my writing. In the case of my debut novel, Cold Snap, my protagonist is a Viking cat and the story is told from her point of view. I found a lot of enjoyment and humor in writing from her perspective and I was inspired by my own cat, Cassie. I’m constantly looking at her and wondering what she’s thinking and how she perceives the modern, humanized world she lives in (She loves it, btw). In my Viking cat’s case, she finds herself solving small town mysteries while discovering her inner warrior and balancing it all with her intense love of laps and food. You know, general cat stuff.
I’m very proud of the fact that Cold Snap has won several awards, but more than that, I’m proud that it has appealed to animal lovers of all ages and made them smile. If I can continue to bring people joy in my future novels, I really couldn’t ask for more!
Writing hasn’t always been easy over the years, but I think two of the main lessons I’ve learned are: trust in the process and have persistence! Publishing is hard. Often incredibly so. The competition is fierce and marketing in a world oversaturated with things to buy can be disheartening. But I think people make the mistake of giving up too soon. Persistence is key! Also, if you’re not enjoying the process of what you’re creating and only thinking about an end goal, where’s the fun in that? Writing and storytelling can and should be enjoyable, for both writer and reader.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
For some tasty food I would recommend going to the Green New American Vegetarian restaurant. It’s all about that veggie comfort food and it’s delish! Also, the Pomegranate Café. Their BBQ jackfruit mac and cheese is amazing.
Then, to work some of that off, take a ride at the KOLI Equestrian Center for some horsey love and breathtaking scenery!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
While writing is mostly solitary, there are many people who support me along the way. First and foremost is my husband, Thomas. Also a creative, he is the first to hear my ideas and see the potential in my messy first drafts.
I also want to give a huge shoutout to my publishers at SparkPress and my publicists at BookSparks for believing in my work and helping me release it into the world.
My family, friends, and fellow authors (including Shina Reynolds who nominated me for this article) provide much needed support, especially on those days when I can’t quite believe in myself.
Also, my animals. I have a rescue cat, Cassie, and a rescue horse, Sarge. They are my muses and they provide endless love and humor. I can’t imagine a world without floofs.
Thomas Schneider Mercedes Stacey