Today, I’m honored to welcome a pretty calico cat to my blog. Hello, Miss Kitty. You’re so sweet sitting there in the interview chair crossing your paws. Please introduce yourself and your author.
I’m Olivia and the author (who is also my mom) is Patricia Fry.
Mice to meet both of you. My author knows Patricia through the Cat Writers’ Association.
What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.
Mom (Patricia Fry) has been writing the Klepto Cat Mysteries featuring a cat named Rags, for about ten years. The Klepto Cat Mysteries are cozy mysteries with cats. When she started planning Book 51 of the series, she thought it would be fun to introduce me as one of the characters. She even re-furred to me in the title, Calico Calamities. I am a calico, you see. She called this my debut into the world of cozy mysteries.
I’d already become pretty popular on Facebook, and Rags’s fans loved meeting me in Calico Calamities, so Mom got all excited about starting a new series featuring me. Now I’m a star in the new Calico Cat Mysteries.
Book One is called Oh! Olivia. That’s something Mom says a lot around here, (“Oh Olivia, what have you done now?” “Oh Olivia, where are you?” “Oh Olivia, get down from those curtains!”) Yes, that was the purr-fect title for my debut book.
MOL. I’ve seen your photos on Facebook. You’re quite photogenic. My author, Debbie, also has a calico, Hermione, who has the same cute habit of crossing her paws. It must be a calico thing.
Are you in a series? If so, please give information about it.
Yes, both the Klepto Cat Mysteries and the Calico Cat Mysteries are series. The Klepto Cat Mysteries features Rags, a cat that can’t keep his paws off of other people’s things, and the things he takes are often clues in a mystery or a crime. Rags gets into a lot of trouble, but he does some fabulously courageous things, too, like saving people and other animals. He’s much older than I am and has the most amazing instincts. I just turned one year old, but I hope I can someday be as brave as he is and help people like he does.
The Calico Cat Mysteries feature ME, Olivia, and my storybook mom, Parker, an investigative reporter. In these stories, I’m just an ordinary calico cat with an amazingly quirky purr-sonality. I’m silly and refined; naughty and well-mannered, and super intuitive. I’m also adventuresome and a bit of a comedian. Mostly, I like to help. I have the helping gene, which, as you can imagine sometimes gets me into trouble.
Wow, Meow. You and your author sure are busy. I know that Debbie read Oh! Olivia, the first book in your Calico Cat Mysteries and she asked me to post her review along with your blog tour below this interview.
Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.
Pinch me; I’m real. I lived under a house in a strange city during a pandemic before I was rescued. A kind lady found me a home with Mom and Dad when I was about 10 weeks old. They say that the isolation during 2020 was so much more bearable with me because I made them laugh. Yup, they laughed their way through 2020. And I just enjoyed being loved. Mom has loved a lot of cats, but she says I’m different. I’m so different that Mom could envision me frolicking across the pages of a cozy mystery. And frolic I do—fictitiously, of course.
What a pawsome story. I think you and your author are lucky to have found one another. I was based on Debbie’s Siamese cat, Oliver, who went to Rainbow Bridge three years ago, but I’m still representing him in my Cobble Cove series. Debbie has also featured her real life cats, Stripey, Harry, and Hermione in her other books and stories. It’s great to be an author’s cat, literally.
Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.
It’s Christmas Eve, and Olivia has been “arrested.” A police officer took her to the station to be picked up later by animal services. The reason—she had found a lost little boy and his weirded out mother wants Olivia in quarantine in case she scratched him or bit him. Olivia’s mom, Parker, an investigative reporter, is frantic. She eventually remembers that she has Olivia’s vaccination record on her phone, along with Olivia’s certification as a therapy cat, so she races down to the police station to rescue her beloved cat. Parker had forgotten to tell the “arresting” officer that Olivia is an escape artist, and when the officer on duty went to retrieve the cat from a small carrier in a back office of the police station, they discover that she’s gone. Officer Inez Franklin asks Parker and her brother, Wade, to wait in the lobby while she looks for Olivia. Here’s where the story takes up:
Within minutes the inside door opened, and Officer Franklin entered the lobby.
“You didn’t find her,” Parker said. “I can tell by your posture.”
“No, but there’s one room I haven’t looked in, yet,” the officer said.
“A bathroom?” Parker asked. “Oh no, not a bathroom. She’ll be playing in the toilet for sure. She likes water. In fact, she likes watching a toilet flush. Sometimes she even manages to flush it herself.” She faced Wade. “I don’t think I told you about our hotel stay in Mexico that time. We got in big trouble for wasting water while we were there. I couldn’t for the life of me figure out why, then I caught Olivia sitting on the toilet seat just flushing and flushing away. She can also sometimes turn on a faucet.”
“Oh my,” the officer said, walking swiftly toward the door. “Come on, let’s go see.” She said over her shoulder, “I actually looked around in the women’s restroom, but maybe we’d better check the men’s.” She stopped outside the bathroom door and motioned to Wade. “Sir, I’ll let you go in.” She asked Parker, “So Olivia likes water, does she?” She cringed. “You know, I heard some flushing going on in there when I was checking the women’s facility. I figured that if she was in there, whoever was using the facility would see her.”
“Well?” Parker asked eagerly when Wade returned.
“Officer Franklin,” Wade said, “either you work with some squirrely officers, or someone turned loose a pack of monkeys in there.” He shook his head. “It’s a disaster—paper towels and toilet paper all over the place.” He grinned at Parker. “I thought Olivia was more refined than that.”
Parker sighed. “Not when she’s unhappy or feels cornered. She’ll take it out on whatever she can get her paws on.”
When the officer heard a door open at the end of the hallway, she turned and called out, “Camille, can I speak with you for a moment?”
Camille nodded and said quietly as the trio approached, “I was just going to call you when I heard you out here.” She glanced curiously at Parker and Wade.
“We’re looking for a cat,” Inez said. “Can we…”
“By all means,” Camille said, cautiously opening the door for them to enter. She put her finger across her lips in a shushing manner and motioned for Inez to follow her across the room to a small futon covered with a blanket. Camille lifted a corner of the blanket, and Inez gasped. She eagerly motioned for the couple to join her.
Parker was sure her heart missed a beat as she approached the officer. When she got close enough, she could see an infant lying on the futon contentedly sucking her thumb. The baby held the edge of the blanket up against her face and stared out at Parker with wide eyes. The officer lifted another edge of the blanket and revealed a shock of black, orange, and white fur.
“Olivia!” Parker hissed. “Oh my gosh.” She clasped her hands under her chin and smiled down at the baby and the cat.
“Is this your cat?” Camille asked. “What’s she doing here at the station?”
“Long story,” Wade said, running his hand over the sleeping calico.
Olivia raised her head and looked at him briefly through squinty eyes, then lay back down.
Parker cupped one hand over Olivia’s head tenderly. “My sweet girl.” She smiled down at her and at the baby.
“It’s an abuse case,” Camille explained. “We’re waiting for social services. I guess maybe the cat heard the little thing crying in here. When I came in to relieve Wentzel, she must have sneaked in. I was freaked out when she suddenly appeared at my feet…”
Parker chuckled. “She does that. She seems to materialize out of thin air sometimes.”
“So she just climbed into bed with the baby?” Inez asked, amused.
Camille nodded. “When I saw how gentle she was with the baby and how relaxed the little one became, well, it was the miracle we needed.” She tilted her head. “Didn’t I hear that a cat found the Anderson boy this afternoon?”
Parker nodded. “Yes, that was Olivia.”
“That poor soul,” Camille said. “He’s another child who needs help.”
Suddenly Olivia raised her head and looked around. She stood up, sniffed the child’s face a couple of times, then stepped slowly onto the floor and stretched—her bushy tail arching across her back.
“Olivia, sweetheart,” Parker cooed, kneeling. “Come here, girl. I missed you so much.”
The pert calico stretched again, then walked up to Parker and put one paw on her leg.
Everyone chuckled when Olivia reached up toward Parker’s face with her other paw, waving it in the air a couple of times.
“What was that?” Wade asked.
Parker grinned and shook her head. “Heck if I know. She always does it. I assume it’s a special greeting—she’s greeting me.”
“She missed you,” Officer Franklin said, smiling.
“Yeah, we’re rarely apart,” Parker explained, lifting Olivia into her arms.
“They’re joined at the heart,” Wade added, running his hand over Olivia’s fur. “Can we take her home?” he asked.
I’m impressed. What a purrfect excerpt. You are quite the actress, Olivia.
What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?
My character cat gets to have fun and she does some very important things too—helping things, courageous things. I like making people smile and making them feel better about whatever is going on in their life. If I can bring a little joy to a life, I’m a happy kitty-cat. And if I can have fun while I’m doing it—all the better.
What a great catitude!
Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?
I only mew, meow, yowl, hiss, and purr, like you do, Sneaky. My mew is squeaky and my purr is deep. That may be weird, but that’s how it is. So no, I don’t have a speaking part unless you consider silent words. I use a lot of body language—especially with my tail. Parker is just about the only one who can read my body language. We have a special way of communicating, but I love to trip her up—you know, show a certain behavior, then do something completely unexpected. The way I look at it, you need to keep your humans guessing.
I totally agree.
What advice would you give other cat characters?
Don’t take yourself too seriously. Seriously, you’re a cat—a fabulous cat, I’m sure, and you get to do a lot of fun stuff and some that’s not so fun. Just try to remember why you’re where you are today—pictured on the cover of a beautiful book and being allowed to do all kinds of naughty things. Enjoy the journey. You are blessed.
I like the way you think, Olivia.
Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.
Book 2 of the Calico Cat Mysteries just came out. It’s called, Where’s Olivia? This book takes up where Book 1 left off. We’re on a mission to find the detectives missing daughter—who was first thought to have perished in a mud slide. You aren’t going to believe where this investigation takes us. I can tell you this—it’s brimming with twists and turns, ups and downs, and some pawsitively pawsome surprises.
Gosh! You and Patricia sure are fast. It takes Debbie and me time to write the books in our series, but Debbie publishes a few short stories featuring me and KittyKai, who also happens to be a calico cat, to keep her readers happy. In fact, one of those stories, Sneaky’s Summer Mystery, just won a Certificate of Excellence from the Cat Writers’ Association of which I know you’re also a member and have won awards.
It’s been great having you here, Olivia, and best whiskers to you and Patricia on your new series. As promised, I’m featuring your blog tour below and Debbie’s review of your book.
Oh! Olivia: A Calico Cat Mystery
by Patricia Fry
About Oh! Olivia
Oh! Olivia: A Calico Cat Mystery
1st in Series
Publisher : Matilija Press (May 19, 2021)
Paperback : 254 pages
ISBN-10 : 1736943006
ISBN-13 : 978-1736943007
Digital ASIN : B095BV39KQ
Olivia proves she’s not just a pretty face.
Parker Campbell, an investigative reporter, and her calico cat, Olivia, have been summoned to help save a long-standing cat colony site from the grips of eager developers. They arrive on scene to discover that the property has become enshrouded in a most unsettling mystery. The feral cats are digging up personal items belonging to missing persons who vanished years earlier. Was this the site of a mass murder, a cult ritual gone wrong, or an unexplained phenomenon? Parker teams up with Detective Judson Caldwell, who has taken a personal leave to secretly investigate the mystery, and soon learns what drives his obsession with this case.
Olivia, the sweet and sassy calico, struts her stuff in this story. She locates a lost toddler and ends up getting herself arrested. She isn’t about to take this insult lying down, however. She escapes from custody and trashes the police station. Olivia alerts Parker to trouble when they visit her aunt’s home and find that the woman has detained a burglar in a most unusual way. Olivia also finds major clues in the convoluted cat colony mystery, one that promises a glimmer of hope for a long-grieving parent.
About Patricia Fry
Patricia has been writing for publication for over 45 years. The first Calico Cat Mystery will be her 94th published book. But she didn’t start out writing fiction. She had a passion for writing nonfiction articles, and she wrote hundreds—maybe thousands—of articles over her career for around 300 different publications including, Woman’s World, Entrepreneur, The Toastmaster, The World and I, Western Horse, Cat Fancy, Cats Magazine, Los Angeles Times Magazine, Your Health, Writer’s Digest, and many, many others.
Throughout the 1990s and early 2000s she wrote columns, articles, and books for authors teaching about the business of writing. She presented workshops for authors and gave presentations in dozens of cities throughout the US.
In 2010, she wrote her first cat book—Catscapades, True Cat Tales. The following year she shifted from writing nonfiction and teaching, counseling, and mentoring other authors and she wrote the first in the award-winning Klepto Cat Mystery series, CATNAPPED. This series is 51-books strong as of April 2021 and counting.
Patricia is past president and director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists, and Writers Network—now WPN, The Writers and Publishers Network). She is a professional member of the Cat Writers Association since 2009, and she has been writing a daily blog—Catscapades since 2009.
Patricia has almost always had a cat at her hearth and in her heart, loving many mixed breed cats as well as a Himalayan, a Persian and a Siamese. She prefers the long-to medium haired cats, but she has also shared her home with short-haired cats over the years. All but two of the cats she’s had over the years were adopted. Several of them were rescues and some of those came from feral beginnings. Every one of her cats had a story and those stories sometimes appear in the mysteries she writes.
Currently, Patricia shares her home with Sophie, a seventeen-year-old classic formerly feral tortie, and Olivia, the gorgeous diva calico featured in the Calico Cat Mystery series.
OH, OLIVIA! is an adorable book, the first of a new series by prolific author, Patricia Fry, who writes the Klepto Cat Mysteries. While I hadn’t read any of her previous books, I found it nice that she included some of the characters from her other series featuring Rags, the cat, and hope to read some of these in the future. Olivia was also introduced previously in CALICO CALAMITIES.
In OH, OLIVIA, there is a mystery involving a group of unrelated people who have disappeared as if into thin air. Clues discovered years later help Parker and her calico cat, Olivia, solve the case. It was a real stumper and kept me guessing. The only fault I found with the book is the ending because I’m not fond of cliffhangers. However, the author writes so quickly that the next book in the series, WHERE’S OLIVIA, is already out. If you’re a cozy fan who enjoys reading mysteries with cats in them, you’ll love this book. Highly recommended.
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