Zoe Maffitt and Kate Kerns have been best friends and partners-in-story since they met while studying abroad in Galway. Zoe had a yellow umbrella. Kate had the confidence of someone who moved to Ireland without a raincoat. Zoe found Kate stuck under a pine tree in a torrential downpour and offered to share her umbrella. The rest is history.

After years of working in publishing, romance writing, and arts marketing, they founded Sonder & Spark in 2020 because they believe reading romance can be a spark of light and breath when the world feels small and dreary. Also, stories are a lot more fun when you make them with people you love. 

Sonder & Spark is an e-book romance publisher of magical love stories that center community, adventure, and a bit of rebellion. Join the Sonder & Spark mailing list and stay up to date on new releases, sales, and other riveting plot twists. 


Kate has loved reading and writing romance since she bought a Nora Roberts book for $0.25 at a garage sale in high school and discovered the love story didn’t have to be the subplot. Mind. BLOWN. Since then she’s ghostwritten independently published contemporary romance novels for various clients and original romance outlines for Relay Publishing. As a marketing associate at two of Oregon’s largest performing arts companies (Portland Center Stage at the Armory and Oregon Ballet Theatre), Kate helped each story find it’s perfect audience via social media, earned media, partnerships, and advertising. More importantly, she learned from all sorts of fierce, funny, brave, transformative storytellers. She’s passionate about using storytelling to bring more joy and hope into people’s lives.

She holds a B.A. from American University in political science, with a minor in communications, and volunteers with Women for the Win.


By the time Zoe realized it wasn’t “proper” to be loudly in love with romance novels, it was too late for even an English degree to sway her. Especially since one of the things she loves most about the genre is its blatant flaunting of the status quo and structures of power. After following her love to New York City and spending a few years doing the traditional editorial thing, she was convinced that the road to her own HEA was definitely not there. Now she’s in St. Louis working at an indie bookstore and providing freelance editorial services to publishers and self-pubbed authors. 

She graduated from Truman State University with a B.A. in English, and is also a Denver Publishing Institute alumnus. In her free time she seeks out radically inclusive stories to champion, and fosters small communities intent on discussing them and supporting each other. 

photo credit: Ethan Hoover, @ethanchoover, courtesy of Unsplash