Q&A: Codi Schneider, author of “Cold Snap”

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Cold wave is a witty and engaging story of kindness, adventure and courage. Perfect for fans of The Art of Racing in the Rain, Cold Snap is a reminder that no matter how small you are, little acts of kindness can make a big difference, all through a cat’s whiskers.

We chat with author Codi Schneider about his first novel Cold wave, as well as writing, book recommendations, and more.

Hi, Codi! Can you tell our readers a bit about yourself?

Hi! I am a traveler, an animal lover, and now a novelist. I live in Denver with my husband and two floofs (a cat named Caska and a Highland Pony named Sarge). When I’m not writing, I love to run, ride my bike, and sip coffee swirled with oat milk. The misty forest lakes are my happy place.

When was the first time you discovered your love of writing?

I wrote my first “novel” when I was eight years old. I printed it out, bound in some sort of plastic cover, and pointed out to my editor (a family friend) that using eleven exclamation marks at the end of each sentence was maybe a bit . . . additional. Honestly, I have enjoyed writing and telling stories for as long as I can remember. I credit all the amazing books I read as a child for instilling and fostering this love.

Quick flash tour! Tell us about the first book you remember reading, the one that made you want to be an author and that you can’t stop thinking about!

First book I remember reading: the Boxcar Children series. I read them at my grandparents’ house and I was obsessed. The children’s independence, their adventures and the home they made in the abandoned covered wagon in the forest made reading magical.

The book that made me want to be an author: The Harry Potter Series really solidified it for me. I was the same age as Harry when the series started and I received the last book in the series every Christmas. It was by far my favorite gift. Rowling wrote with so much imagination and with such original prose that I couldn’t wait to write myself. She gave the impression that it was pure pleasure.

The book I keep thinking about: TJ Klune’s The house in the Cerulean sea. I read it while in lockdown and it was just the wellness hug and a half I needed.

Your first novel Cold wave released on September 14e 2021! If you could only describe it in five words, what would they be?

A brave viking cat solves a murder.

What can readers expect?

A humorous thriller centered on animals set in a close-knit mountain town. The story is told through the main character, Bijou, a brave domestic cat with a Viking spirit inherited from his ancestors who worked as mice on Viking longships. When a murder shocks his peaceful town, Bijou finds himself pushing forward to solve the mystery. Readers can expect to be entertained, surprised, and animal-loving both on and off the page.

Where does the inspiration for Cold wave comes from?

I first got the idea while reading an article about real Viking cats. These brave felines have traveled the world aboard longships, working as mice for their human counterparts. I also find great pleasure in looking at my own cat and trying to read what is going on in her head. Writing a story with a cat protagonist and a cat’s perspective just seemed like fun.

Can you tell us about the challenges you encountered while writing and how you were able to overcome them?

Self-doubt is always a big issue for me when writing. I tend to oscillate between “This is awesome! “To” This is horrible! And I know when those tough days come I have to be really kind to myself and get through it, maybe even reward myself with a cookie (or five) when I hit my word count goal.

Are there any favorite moments or characters that you really enjoyed writing about or exploring?

I absolutely loved writing from Bijou’s point of view. There was something so fun about putting her in any situation, no matter how dramatic or benign, and then figuring out how she would react. I’ve been laughed at more than once, which is really all you can ask for from a job.

What’s the best and worst writing advice you’ve ever received?

Best advice: shut up your inner editor and to end this first draft. The first draft is going to be complicated and it’s going to take a ton of rewriting and polishing. But you can’t rewrite or refine something that doesn’t exist!

See also

Worst advice: there is only one correct way to write (plot) and you have to learn it. This is terrible advice because there are as many ways to write a story as there are writers. Everyone has their own process and should embrace what works for them.

What’s the next step for you?

I’m juggling several different writing projects right now and need to flesh them out. The past few months have been exciting with Cold wave coming out, but since this is my debut and everything leading up to its release is new, i haven’t spent as much time working on my other projects. Now is the time to sit down and get down to business.

Finally, do you have any book recommendations for our readers?

I could list so many! Some of my recent favorites include The house in the Cerulean sea by TJ Klune, Murders of Pie by Anthony Horowitz, The purpose of a dog by W. Bruce Cameron, A set of cones by Abby Collette, and The perfect horse by Elizabeth Letts.

Will you pick up Cold wave? Tell us in the comments below!

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