Like many authors, Sofi Croft always has story ideas floating inside her head, and she writes because she wants to find out what happens in those stories.
“Characters and stories form in my mind, and if I don’t write them down they stay in my thoughts in a perpetual state of flux,” Sofi told Cracking the Cover. “I find myself wondering what a character would do in a given situation, or how a particular story might end. It isn’t until I write the story down that things become clear.”
Once she starts writing a story, Sofi says she can become obsessive. “I find I have to finish it. Like when you’re reading a good book and race to get to the end, I am driven to the end of my story to find out what happens. I often feel like the story is writing itself.”
Sofi’s debut novel, “Indigo’s Dragon” is the story of a boy who discovers the world is full of mythical creatures. Strange things begin to happen and Indigo finds himself face-to-face with an injured magpie-cat, a cockatrice and event a dragon. Indigo realizes he must uncover the secrets his family have kept hidden, and travels alone to the Polish mountains to search for his grandfather and the truth.
As with most of the Sofi’s story ideas, “Indigo’s Dragon” came from a few different places. “I wrote it when my children were very young and my son in particular was obsessed with dragons and monsters,” she said. “He loved them, and to him they were as real as the sheep and cows in our valley. Every time we went for a walk he would find cockatrice nests and dragon caves.”
The Polish folk tale “The Dragon of Krakow” was also an inspiration. “Reading it set off my imagination, and acted as a starting point. I took that story and thought what if … and ended up with the idea of Indigo’s grandfather’s story. This combined with my children’s passion for mythical creatures to create Indigo’s story.”
Prior to writing “Indigo’s Dragon” Sofi had only written poems and short stories. When she started “Indigo’s Dragon, she had no idea if she would ever finish it or if anyone would want to publish it.
“When I was offered a contract for ‘Indigo’s Dragon,’ Accent Press asked if I would like to write sequels as they were interested in a series,” Sofi said. “Because I did have ideas for Indigo’s further adventures I jumped at the chance. I have written two more, ‘Indigo’s Demons’ and ‘Indigo’s Deep,’ and have ideas for at least another two stories involving Indigo, so perhaps I will get around to writing even more!”
All the Indigo books feature mythical creatures that are rooted in a mixture of mythology and biology. “I have a great passion for the wonders of the natural world, and wanted the creatures, although fantastic, to seem real,” Sofi said. “A huge variety of incredible life forms has existed, and still exist, on our planet, and I wanted the story to reflect that.”
Sofi is currently working on a book inspired by the Russian folklore character Baba Yaga, aspects of Slavic mythology and spirituality. It also includes what she describes as the “very real struggles of young people to make friends and have the courage to be themselves.”
She is also working on the final edits for “Eidolon,” a novel for older readers about ghosts and supernatural powers. “Eidolon” is slated for an August 11 publication date.
Learn more about Sofi Croft and “Indigo’s Dragon” by reading the complete transcript of her interview with Cracking the Cover.
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