For this week’s Feature Friday cat film, I’m proud to present the PBS Film “The Story of Cats” that aired this week. For those who missed it or would like to see it again, just click your fingers or paws on the link below. I’m also including another video that had me ROCL (rolling on catnip laughing). Enjoy them and have a pawsome weekend.
My guest today is Hamlet, the feline sleuth extraordinaire of author Ali Brandon, who also known as Diane A.S. Stuckart.
Meow and good day to you, Hamlet. Please tell us what book(s) you have appeared in.
I am the star of the Black Cat Bookshop Mysteries from Berkley Prime Crime. The 6th in this cozy mystery series is TWICE TOLD TAIL, which is on the shelves today, November 1. This is a very exciting series set in an independent bookstore, Pettistone’s Fine Books, in Brooklyn. I oversee things there, although my caretaker, Darla Pettistone, actually owns the bookstore. I was content being the store mascot and keeping an eye on customers until Darla showed up. For some reason, ever since she arrived from Texas, people have been strangely murdered in our neighborhood. If I did not solve all these murders and know who was responsible, I would have my suspicions about her!
Concats on your new release, Hamlet. I love mysteries set in bookstores and libraries. My own series, the Cobble Cove mysteries, is set in a library where I am the library cat.
Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.
Ali Brandon tells me that I am an homage to her original editor’s feline, also called Hamlet. I am not quite sure what that means.
I think it means that you are based on a cat who is now on Rainbow Bridge. I am based on Debbie’s siamese, Oliver, who has also appeared on this blog and who even interviewed me-ow about our new book.
Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.
Leaving Hamlet and James to shut down the computer, Darla did her usual pre-closing walk through the store to check for wayward books and stray customers. She found none of the latter, but picked up a couple of the former—a French cuisine cookbook and a sports bio—that had been left behind on one of the chairs scattered about the shop for browsers. Which, while something of an annoyance, was preferable for inventory purposes to being shelved back in the wrong spot.
She halted, however, at the sight of an oversized paperback book lying smack in the middle of the self-help aisle.
She retrieved it and looked at its cover. “The Fool’s Guide to Wills and Estates,” she read aloud. And then, feeling suddenly unsettled, she glanced around for Hamlet.
For the cagey feline had developed a habit of communicating with her by means of book titles from volumes he’d would surreptitiously pull from the shelves when she wasn’t looking. Of course, said communication only happened after some sort of disaster or another . . . such as an unexplained death. Darla frowned. Fortunately, nothing like that had happened in months. So why the book snagging?
Hamlet chose that moment to stroll up the aisle to join her, tail waving gently as if to show he just happened to be walking past. Nothing to see here, nothing to do with the book, he seemed to be saying. She was just about to agree and chalk the incident up to coincidence, when it hit her.
“Aha! Sorry, Hammy,” she told him with a smile as she waggled the book at him. “Your whiskers are crossed on this one. Connie thought she saw a dead body at the bridal shop this afternoon, but it turned out it was just a woman who’d fainted. So, no one’s going to be reading wills and settling estates around here. So, no sleuthing necessary on your part.”
By way of answer, Hamlet flopped on the floor, green eyes narrowing into slits. Then, he flung one hind leg over his shoulder and began licking the base of his tail—his classic “kiss off” gesture when offended.
Darla’s smile broadened.
“Back atcha, Hammy,” she said without rancor as she reshelved the book and started back toward the register.
But when the cat remained stubbornly in place, so that she had to step around him, she coaxed said, “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have made fun of you. Every great detective blows it one time or another, and today was just your turn. Now, come along. It’s time to close shop and head upstairs for some supper.”
Very mice. Did I say I love cats who deal with books in their mysteries? Cats and books tend to go together, methinks.
What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?
I always enjoy outsmarting humans…and, of course, I am the star of these stories. What is not to like?
You lucky, kitty. I have had some mice scenes in Debbie’s books, but I share the pet co-star thing with Fido, a golden retriever.
Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?
I understand human but I speak only feline—and a bit of canine, when necessary.
What advice would you give other cat characters?
Remember that you are cleverer than most humans (and canines!), but it sometimes is useful to make humans think they are almost as smart as you!
Out of the mouth of kittens.
Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.
Purr-fect. I enjoyed having you here, Hamlet. Best whiskers on your new release, The 6th Black Cat Bookshop Mystery, TWICE TOLD TAIL, and you and your author’s upcoming Black Cat Bookshop mysteries.
I am proud to announce the first book in my Mew Book Spotlight. If you are a cat author or write about cats and have a new book coming out, send me the info, blurb, release date, and cover photo before the 1st of the month in which it is publishing at firstname.lastname@example.org. I will select one book a month to be in the Mew Book Spotlight.
Releasing November 15:
Makin’ Biscuits – Weird Cat Habits and the Even Weirder Habits of the Humans Who Love Them by Deb Barnes
$16.95 · 280 pages · paperback · 6” x 9” · black and white with photos
Description: Makin’ Biscuits is a compilation of candid, personal anecdotes from cat lovers across the globe that delves in the feline psyche to unlock some of the greatest cat behavior mysteries of all time, such as why do cats zoom from one room to another for no apparent reason? With story submissions from well-known celebrities, musicians, cat behaviorists, authors, everyday people and more, some stories will have you laughing out loud, some will tug at your heart, and some will leave you scratching your head in puzzlement.
Along with the entertaining peek into the feline mind, Makin’ Biscuits is also a serious book with an important message on proper pet responsibility and is filled with well-researched advice, tips, and solutions to help guardians ensure their cat lives an optimally happy and healthy life befitting his feline nature. With a special Foreword from bestselling author, Gwen Cooper of Homer’s Odyssey, the ultimate goal of Makin’ Biscuits is to help make the world a better place for cats by busting outdated misconceptions, such as that they’re too aloof to make good pets, and to enlighten the reader with easy to understand information to help enhance the feline-human relationship and correct certain common behavioral problems that often land a cat into a shelter—such as litter box issues or scratching furniture.
Author and Blogger
Makin’ Biscuits – Weird Cat Habits and the Even Weirder Habits of the Humans Who Love Them
Purr Prints of the Heart – A Cat’s Tale of Life, Death, and Beyond
The Chronicles of Zee & Zoey – A Journey of the Extraordinarily Ordinary
Vice-President of the Cat Writers’ Association
2013 “Friskies Cat Writer of the Year”
Secretary – Pawsitively Humane, Inc.
http://amzn.to/1naY6eC (The Chronicles on Amazon)
http://amzn.to/1HUwEe1 (Purr Prints on Amazon)