What is your name and your author’s name?
Martin. Joanna Campbell Slan
Mice to meet you both.
What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.
I make my first appearance in INK, RED, DEAD, and I’m a part of the Kiki Lowenstein Cozy Mystery Series from them on. (That’s sixteen+ books!)
Love, Die, Neighbor
Bad, Memory, Album
Paper, Scissors, Death
Cut, Crop & Die
Ink, Red, Dead
Photo, Snap, Shot
Make, Take, Murder
Ready, Scrap, Shoot
Picture, Perfect, Corpse
Killer, Paper, Cut
Group, Photo, Grave
Handmade, Holiday, Homicide
Shotgun, Wedding, Bells
Glue, Baby, Gone
Fatal, Family, Album
Grand, Death, Auto
Law, Fully, Dead
Wow! Meow! That certainly is a long list. Please tell me about your series.
The Kiki Lowenstein Cozy Mystery Series is a fun, cozy series that touches on social issues in a thoughtful, engaging way. Paper, Scissors, Death (Book #1) was a finalist for the Agatha Award. There will be at least one new book in the series this year, and maybe two. The series is contemporary, set in St. Louis, and a *clean* read. If you love crafts, fur babies, female friends, and family, you’ll love Kiki.
Sounds purrfect! My author visited St. Louis once for a Cat Writers’ Association Conference. She had a pawsome time.
Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.
Joanna has never owned a yellow cat. She’s had gray and white, a gray tabby, a white cat, a black cat, and a Siamese. Right now, she has a gray tabby named Maple. Maple does a wonderful job of telling Joanna when it is time to wake up and time to quit work. She simply reaches up and taps Joanna with a paw. Message received.
That’s a smart cat. I was based loosely on Debbie’s Siamese, Oliver, who has since departed three years to Rainbow Bridge. Her current cats have a way of purr-suading her to pay attention to them when she’s typing away. Her calico, Hermione, loves to jump up on the desk and play with the keyboard.
Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.
Excerpt from INK, RED, DEAD
Kiki is part of a crew, cleaning out a hoarder’s house…
At some point, I yanked the curtains to one side to allow the maximum air flow. As I lifted my arms, my back screamed long and loudly with pain, the spasms taking their toll. I stood up, pressing against my lower lumbar and using my knuckles to relieve the muscles. I was rubbing at my skin fiercely when something landed on the top of my head.
I whooped with fear, batting at my hood with both hands.
No one heard me because everyone else was busy in other corners of the house. The thing on my head slipped to one side. Tiny pinpricks stabbed through the Tyvek and into my scalp. Suddenly, a tiny yellow paw appeared through the lenses of my goggles. I held perfectly still. What had landed on me?
To my shock, it moved.
I stood perfectly still. Could it be that I’d been bombarded by a stray cat? Had one been overlooked?
But this…this thing on my head was far too light to be a cat.
I froze, strained my ears and was rewarded by the tiniest “meow” ever, in a voice so hoarse I nearly missed it. Slowly I moved my hand upwards. Finally, I plucked from my head a palm-sized yellow tabby. He stared at me with big lime-green eyes and tried to “meow” again but nothing came out.
“You poor little tyke. They rounded up everyone else, didn’t they? Let’s see what we can do for you.”
I carried the kitten over to Mert, who’d been working in Marla’s bedroom. We walked outside. She pulled off her hood and shook her head. I did the same. She glanced down at the kitten and gave me a glum look. “He’ll probably die.”
“What?” I cradled the cat to my chest. “What do you mean, die? He’ll be okay. Has to!”
She sighed. “Most of Marla’s cats were sick. If this one don’t have feline distemper, it’s a miracle. You can’t take him home because he’ll only kick the kitty litter bag over on you—and that would break your heart.”
“He’ll make it. You can tell he’s a fighter. His name is Martin.” I said without thinking. I don’t know why I called him “Martin,” but it fit.
“Martin, huh? Oh, boy. Change outta your biohazard suit and drive him over to the shelter. See what they say, then get right back here.”
A few minutes later I was handing the kitten to Mrs. Gershin, the shelter volunteer. Giving him up nearly did me in. Martin clung to me. On the ride over, he’d curled up in my lap and purred. Now he cried out hoarsely, as the volunteer tried to disentangle him from my clothes. He gripped me with his claws and seemed to beg me not to walk away.
Mrs. Gershin wrinkled her nose behind big trifocal glasses that magnified her eyes to comic proportions. “Yours? You giving him up?”
“Gosh, no.” I explained who I was and how I found him.
“Sad day. We’ve put twenty-two cats to sleep already.” She held up Martin with one hand and examined him carefully. “Very young. I’d guess he’s two weeks old. See how his ears are still folded over? This one will need to be hand-fed.”
“I’ll do it. I’ll hand feed him.”
“You want to get up every four hours?”
I swallowed hard. “Uh, no. But I will.”
“Hey there, little boy,” cooed Mrs. Gershin.
“His name is Martin.”
A flicker of a smile started on Mrs. Gershin’s face and blossomed into a big grin. “You’re sunk. Once you name them, you claim them.”
I figured as much. “I have to get back to work.”
“We close at five. Come back then. I’ll give you instructions for feeding Martin. We’ll have the vet check him. You do know you’ll have to encourage his bowels to move, don’t you?”
“I’ve probably encouraged bowel movements in the past. But not on purpose.”
She grinned. “Let’s see if we can perfect your technique.”
Excellent excerpt. Thanks for sharing it.
What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?
I make people smile, and I remind them how much our fur babies matter.
A worthy endeavor.
Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?
I can say, “Meow.” I’m fluent in cat and dog, but my English is shaky.
I’m the same. I actually learned how to hold conversations with the pets in Cobble Cove, both my friend and fellow sleuth, KittyKai, who joined the series in the 4th book, Love on the Rocks, and Fido, the golden retriever, who doesn’t play a major role in all the books but was important in the first one, A Stone’s Throw, and also in the latest Cobble Cove story, Barking Up the Wrong Tree.
What advice would you give other cat characters?
Try not to trip your authors. They could fall and hurt themselves. Also, when they’ve worked too long, feel free to lie down on their keyboards. They’ll quit and give you the attention you deserve.
My author’s cats follow the advice all the time.
Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.
Slay, Bells, Ring: Book #17 in the Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series will be out this fall.
Concatulations! It sounds like it will be a fun holiday read.
Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.
Thank you for the inter-mew, Martin. It was a pleasure. I’m sharing your blog tour below. Best whiskers to you and Joanna. .
Ink, Red, Dead: Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series
by Joanna Campbell Slan
About Ink, Red, Dead
Ink, Red, Dead: Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series
3rd in Series
Setting – Missouri
Spot On Publishing (September 30, 2013)
Paperback : 221 pages
ISBN-10 : 1543209998
ISBN-13 : 978-1543209990
Digital ASIN : B006KZ5M84
On a sweltering day, ace scrapbooker Kiki Lowenstein has to cancel a crafting party when she discovers Marla Lever, their hostess, nearly dead of the heat. Not only is Marla seriously “under the weather,” she’s also a hoarder, and her home is a house of horrors, complete with a corpse in the cooler. Meanwhile, Detective Chad Detweiler works a cold case that involves women disappearing all over St. Louis. The attraction between Kiki and Detweiler heats to a red-hot fever pitch, but will it boil over and leave both of them feeling burned?
About Joanna Campbell Slan
“Our best friend, our next-door neighbor, and ourselves with just a touch of the outrageous.” That’s how RT Book Review describes Joanna’s protagonist, Kiki Lowenstein. The truth is that’s a pretty good description of Joanna Campbell Slan as well.
Joanna is a New York Times Bestselling, USA Today Bestselling, and Amazon Bestselling author as well as a woman prone to frequent bursts of crafting frenzy, leaving her with burns from her hot glue gun and paint on her clothes. And the mess? Let’s not even go there.
Otherwise, Joanna’s a productive author with more than 80 written projects to her credit. Her non-fiction work includes how to books, a college textbook for public speakers, and books of personal essays (think Chicken Soup for the Soul).
Currently, she writes five fiction series: The Kiki Lowenstein Mystery Series (Agatha Award Finalist, contemporary, St. Louis setting, crafting), the Cara Mia Delgatto Mystery Series (contemporary, Florida setting, DIY, and recycling), the Jane Eyre Chronicles (Daphne du Maurier Award Winner, 1830s England, based on Charlotte Brontë’s classic), the Tai Chi Mystery Series (contemporary, senior citizen female amateur sleuth and Washington, DC setting), and the Friday Night Mystery Club Series (traditional mystery, 1980s setting, Midwest).
A former TV talk show host, college teacher, and public relations specialist, Joanna was one of the early Chicken Soup for the Soul contributors. She won a Silver Anvil for her work on the original FarmAid concert to benefit farmers.
In her ongoing quest never to see snow again, Joanna lives with her husband and their Havanese puppy, Jax, on an island off the coast of Florida. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit her website at https://linktr.ee/jcslan
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