Sophie was brought up in Leicester and Scotland. Following an MA in Medieval History at St Andrews University, she qualified as a Chartered Accountant and had a busy career in international finance. For a few years she worked in New York, Europe and the Far East. Then she met her husband and settled in Derby. Three boys followed and she took a career break. Returning to work part-time, she was a non-executive director for the Derbyshire Building Society whilst developing her interest in writing and storytelling.
Sophie trained as a traditional oral storyteller. She now performs stories under the name Sophie Snell - fairy tales, folk tales, myths and legends, and sings a little too. It's a life she adores, entertaining all ages in some amazing venues - typically historic buildings, festival, arts and education settings. In 2013, Sophie was nominated for the British Awards for Storytelling Excellence as Outstanding Female Storyteller. For more about her work storytelling, see her website www.sophiesnell.co.uk.
"Traditional stories and ballads re-configured for a modern audience like barbed wire."
Sophie writes: "Writing novels was something I'd hoped to do all my life, but for a while life kind of got in the way. Until I started organising arts events and trained as a storyteller. Then I was nominated for a couple of awards at the Buxton Festival Fringe, including New Writing, and this brought me back to my love of the written word as well as spoken. After a few stops and starts, I got stuck in to what became Cuckoo.
Cuckoo is a gothic psychological thriller. It won Sophie the Bath Novel Award 2017 and also the York Festival of Writing Friday Night Live Award 2017. Cuckoo was published by Avon at Harper Collins and was selected as a Fern Britton Pick in conjunction with Tesco's. It reached the No 1 spot on the Bookseller's Heatseekers chart. Her second book, Magpie, is a domestic suspense / mystery, also set in Derbyshire. After its first three days on sale, it went straight to the No 1 spot on the Bookseller's Heatseekers chart, and by its first full week of sales the No 10 spot in the Bookseller's Mass Market Fiction chart and No 11 in the Sunday Times Paperback Fiction chart.
"During the Covid lockdowns, my Dad and I exchanged poems by email [Sophie won the Ripley Poetry Award 2009] and I helped him self-publish his own collection. It was a project that kept us both sane. I live in Derbyshire now, in a very rural spot surrounded by green hills and gentle rolling fields. There is a sense of peace in sitting in the kitchen and admiring the views, or watching the mist drift past the windows. It's a good way to ponder twisty tales."
Sophie continues to work as an oral storyteller, and also works as a copy-writer, editor and coach. She is currently working on her next novel.