Sneaky here with another pawsome interview of a pet character. Today, it’s my pleasure to chat with a cozy mystery cat whose current book, Murder in Tranquility Park is on tour with Escape with Dollycas Into a Good Book. Hello, there, Kitty. What is your name and your author’s name?
My full name is Gina Lollobrigida Ferrara Scaglione, but everyone calls me Lola for short. But when I’ve done something I wasn’t supposed to do my pet mom, Alberta, calls me by my full name. Usually in a really loud voice.
My author’s name is J.D. Griffo. The J.D. stands for Jean Dolores.
Very mice to meet you, Lola. Do I detect an Italian accent? How interesting. What books have you appeared in?
I have appeared in MURDER ON MEMORY LAKE, MURDER IN TRANQUILITY PARK, and the upcoming MURDER AT ICICLE LODGE. All these books are cozy mysteries, but not for nothing, with so much murder and mystery in every book I’m not sure why they’re called cozy.
Good point, but usually there’s less violence in a cozy and no sex or bad language. Who needs those, anyway, when they can have cute cats like us in the stories?
Are you in a series?
Yes, the three books above are part of The Ferrara Family Mystery Series and since I’m part of the Ferrara family I’m in all three books. J.D. knows better than to leave me out of all the fun!
Of claws. Are you based on a real animal such as your author’s?
Listen closely because I’ve got a secret – my author has never had a pet. Isn’t that shocking? It’s also fantastico because I can say without a doubt that I am a completely original creation that is the product of my author’s own imagination.
Well, it sure is easier to have a character cat than a real one. No litterbox cleanup and stuff like that, but my author has had cats all her life and swears by them. Each to their own.
Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene?
I’d like to think that I’m featured in every important scene in every book, but here’s a scene from the upcoming MURDER IN TRANQUILITY PARK that takes place in Alberta’s cottage and thanks to me I help the family find a major clue.
Alberta, Jinx, Helen, and Joyce were sitting around Alberta’s kitchen table along with Bruno, Sloan, and Freddy, sitting on mismatched chairs brought into the kitchen from the rest of the house. There were trays of lasagna, baked ziti, and stuffed peppers; two cold-cut platters with prosciutto, soppresata, and capicola rolled into thin meat cylinders; several small dishes with mozzarella floating in a river of watery milk; platters stacked with sliced cheeses and sprinkled with olives; bowls of peppers in a variety of colors; little dishes filled with artichoke hearts; a bowl of broccoli rabe; in between all the trays and platters were scattered loaves of hard, crusty bread; and in the center of the table there was a huge bowl filled with meatballs, sausage, and bracciole. It was a feast fit for several kings, plus their entourages, but hardly anyone was eating and no one looked festive. Lola, whose shiny black fur with her chic white stripe over her left eye made her appropriately dressed for the occasion, sauntered into the kitchen enticed by the cavalcade of smells, but took one look at the dismal-looking crowd, let out a disdainful purr, and returned to her bed in the living room. At least in there an Eydie Gormé CD was playing from the DVD player so the room might be empty, but the atmosphere, at least, was festive.
After a few moments it sounded as if Eydie got a case of laryngitis and lost her voice. There was an earsplitting screeching sound heard from the living room, immediately followed by the sound of a loud crash, and topped off by a triumphant meow.
“Lola!” Alberta cried. “What have you gotten into now?”
Alberta ran into the living room followed by the rest of the group to find Lola standing on top of Eydie Gormé’s album and spinning around the record player purring contentedly and clearly enjoying herself. A brown wicker cornucopia and wooden pieces of fruit were strewn all over the hardwood floor, obviously the cause of the loud crash. Mesmerized, Jinx bent down and picked up a fallen banana as if she had just found the proverbial needle in a haystack and found out the needle was encrusted with diamonds and precious jewels.
Excellent excerpt. I applaud you with my paws, Lola. My author has a cat who jumps on counters, too. He doesn’t uncover any clues, though.
What do you like most about your role in your author’s books?
What I love the most is that no matter what scene I’m in I always seem to be the center of attention. I guess when you look like I do with such luxurious black fur and a chic white stripe over my eye, it’s hard not to go through life without a spotlight on you. But I really do relish the fact that everybody wants to pick me up and cuddle. Alberta, Jinx, the whole family, their friends, even cranky Helen, no one can keep their hands off of me.
Lucky you. I have a lot of admirers in Cobble Cove, too. You sound like a handsome guy. I’m Siamese, and I know human characters find me attractive, too, with my blue eyes and beige color points.
Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?
For now it makes me triste . . . sad to have to admit that I’m a silent cat. However, I do make my presence known in non-verbal ways. But who knows what future books will bring and maybe some day the world will hear my beautiful voice and everyone will say, “Oh Lola sounds bellissima!
Don’t feel bad. I don’t human talk either, but we character cats are quite adept at body language.
What advice would you give other cat characters?
The best advice I can share is one that my friend Felix gave me when I was just a kitten and breaking into the business. Felix told me to get an ironclad clause in my contract to make sure I appear on the cover of every book. He said it would guarantee my popularity even if I never got to speak a word. Felix was a very wise cat, he was.
I wish I had spoken to someone that smart. I didn’t get on the cover of my author’s books until the third one when I threatened to go on strike if she didn’t listen to me about that.
Do you have any new books coming out?
Oh yes! MURDER IN TRANQUILITY PARK, which is book two in The Ferrara Family Mystery Series, comes out this month. It’s very good. Lots of murder, suspense, and I didn’t figure out whodunit until the last chapter! Then after that, MURDER AT ICICLE LODGE comes out at the end of the year. And I’m very excited for that one because we all get to go on a road trip. So never fear, there’s a lot more of me and, well, the rest of the Ferrara’s to come.
Oooh, road trip. I should ask Debbie to consider having Alicia or one of the other librarians at the Cobble Cove library where I live take me on one.
Are you and/or your author on social media?
Claro! We are social media royalty! We have our very own author page at Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Michael-Griffo/e/B004MRYH6K And you can find us on Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/michael.griffo.33, Twitter @Michael2264 and Instagram #j.d.griffo. Plus, we even have our own website – www.michaelgriffo.com Come visit us and say ciao!
Will do, Lola. Grazie for the interview, and best whiskers to you and your author on your new release and blog tour that I’m sharing below.
Murder in Tranquility Park
(A Ferrara Family Mystery)
by J.D. Griffo
About the Book
Murder in Tranquility Park (A Ferrara Family Mystery)
2nd in Series
Kensington (March 26, 2019)
Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
Digital ASIN: B07F5XG3CQ
Alberta Scaglione and her twentysomething granddaughter, Jinx, love to spend time—and solve crime—together . . .
Ever since Alberta Scaglione inherited her spinster aunt’s Cape Cod cottage, she’s been enjoying the good life in Tranquility, New Jersey, with her black cat, Lola. But since things are mostly quiet in this town, she finds other things to do—like joining Jinx for morning jogs in Tranquility Park. She has to do something to stay healthy, as long as it doesn’t involve Jinx’s healthful tofu sausages and gluten-free pasta. But when they stumble across a treehouse hidden in the trees, and a dead body underneath it, they take a detour into solving a murder. Now the Ferrara ladies will have to exercise extreme caution to avoid a permanent decline in their health . . .
Includes Italian recipes from Alberta’s kitchen!
About the Author
Italian by birth, Jersey by upbringing, J. D. Griffo is an award-winning playwright and author who has written ten novels, over twenty plays, and a handful of screenplays that have yet to see the light of day.
Griffo studied Journalism and Marketing at New York University, graduating magna cum laude many, many years ago, as well as Creative Writing at the New School and Gotham Writer’s Workshop.
And the J. D. stands for the author’s mother – Jean Dolores – who absolutely loved to read and tell stories.
Twitter – https://twitter.com/Michael2264
Instagram – https://www.instagram.com/j.d.griffo/
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April 1 – Literary Gold – SPOTLIGHT
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April 3 – My Reading Journeys – REVIEW, RECIPE
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April 8 – Brooke Blogs – SPOTLIGHT, RECIPE
April 8 – Sneaky the Library Cat’s Blog – CHARACTER INTERVIEW
April 8 – Books Direct – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 9 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – AUTHOR INTERVIEW
April 9 – Reading Is My SuperPower – CHARACTER GUEST POST
April 10 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW
April 10 – A Blue Million Books – GUEST POST
April 10 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT
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