Meow, there, Mr. Cat. Please introduce yourself. What is your name and your author’s name?
My full and formal name is Illius DiVone Esslayterran, but you can call me Slayter. My author’s name is Mollie Hunt.
That’s quite a mouthful. I will use Slayter. Mice to meet you. My author is a friend of yours and a fellow member of the Cat Writers’ Association, a great group of authors and others who feature felines in various media.
What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.
I am the hero of Cat Winter, Book 2 of the Cat Seasons Sci-fantasy Tetralogy. Each book of the tetralogy takes place in the same universe but stands alone as far as its characters. But my story is told well and completely in Cat Winter, and I’m happy to let another feline hero take the spotlight next time.
You sound like quite a modest fellow.
Are you in a series? If so, please give information about it.
My story is one of four in the Cat Seasons tetralogy. Tetralogy means four, though I think it would have been easier if they’d called it a quartet or quadrilogy. Two of the four, Cat Summer (Winner of the CWA Muse Medallion for Scifi-Fantasy, 2019-2020) and Cat Winter are published, with Cat Autumn and Cat Spring to go.
Interesting. I love the season’s theme.
Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.
The original Slayter, a beautiful and wise black feline, cohabited with my author’s cousin, as did the co-hero of Cat Winter, my fur-sister Emma. Sadly, they are gone now, but book-Emma and I pay lasting tribute to their memories.
That’s wonderful. I also pay tribute to the memory of Debbie’s Siamese, Oliver, in our Cobble Cove cozy mystery series where I star as the library cat.
Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.
Since I am the hero, all my scenes are important, but this is my introduction:
Chapter 3. Slayter
Slayter gazed out the window at the chill, white landscape. He’d been like that since he and his sister had watched their cohabitor fall asleep. For a time, the lacy snow had whorled across the beam of the streetlamp, hypnotizing him into a stupor, but all that was changed now. The snow had ceased, flakes suspended in midair. The frozen outdoors lay as rigid and unmoving as a Currier & Ives print. Slayter’s soul burned in anticipation.
Soundlessly, he rose from his place by the window, moving like an obsidian shadow through the darkened room and down the stairs. With the stealth bred into his dark ancestors, he prowled the murk as only Felis can, making sure all was in place for what was to come. Once satisfied, he returned to his cohabitor. As light as a phantom, he came to rest on the bed beside her, caressing her slumbering form. She did not move, but he had not expected her to. He knew she would remain in that unconscious state for a very long time.
But things can no longer be measured in time, Slayter reminded himself. Time had become meaningless once the snow froze in place and Winter Verus came upon the land.
Winter Verus, the true winter, when time itself would cease to exist. Only then could the nine feline emissaries slip between the seconds to execute the Rectification of the Variants and put right humanity’s wrongs. As much good as the humans do, Slayter thought to himself, they manage to make a mess on a regular basis. Without the aid of the Nine and their yearly rectification, things would quickly go to hell in a handbasket.
Slayter fidgeted. The Rectification was one of Felis’s deepest mysteries, and only the chosen Nine knew how it was done. Slayter had always wondered, but now his black velvet breast swelled with pride. This year, he would be among them.
As quickly as his elation had risen, it floundered with questions:
What if the council had been wrong about him? What if he weren’t up to the task?
How could he make a difference in the great ways of humanity? How could any of them?
Could nine cats really expunge the torment the star-children had heaped upon themselves? It seemed an impossible mission.
He kicked himself for having doubts. The Rectification would be done as it had been each winter since humankind attained the power to destroy. The how of it would be revealed—he had only to keep his curiosity at bay for a little while longer.
Slayter stared down at his beloved Claire, still as death underneath the quilts in the old wooden bed. She was as pale as the snow on the window ledge, but he wasn’t afraid. He knew she was in no danger. If all went as planned, his absence would be as the blink of an eye, and she would wake to a better world upon his return.
The obsidian feline felt a prick of disquiet. Time-stall was risky, and sometimes things didn’t go as planned. There were even tales of a brutal and unexplained fatality. He would need to be vigilant. He’d never forgive himself if anything happened to Claire.
Slayter gave the sleeping female one last check. He sniffed her breath, her scent, tuned his scrutinizing gaze for the slightest movement, but there was none. Jumping to the floor, he was down the stairs and through the house like a satin streak. Out the cat flap he bolted, into another world, a world beyond time, frozen in the crystalline formation of forever.”
What a Pawsome excerpt. Thank you.
What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?
Though Cat Winter is definitely entertaining, it also tells an important story, and I am proud to be a vessel for that tale. As a feline yourself, Sneaky, you know there is much more to our world than the human species can see. This makes for all sorts of chaos, most of which they inflict on themselves. A shame they are so limited in their senses, but thankfully they have us to help them out.
High-Five paws to that, Slayter.
Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?
Of course I can talk—we all can, should we wish to do so. But it’s not really talking as much as a focused thought projection. Then, when our cohabitor Claire became a cat herself… well, no spoilers.
Hmmm. Sounds like a spoiler to me but that’s okay. I don’t think Alicia will ever become a cat, but she has come to understand them more since I’ve been helping her solve mysteries. I also enjoy sharing my thoughts with readers and my fellow pet characters. I started doing that in the later part of my series. I tipped Debbie off about making that change, and I’m glad she did.
What advice would you give other cat characters?
Us cats have much to teach our humans. Don’t be afraid to use whatever means necessary to convey your story.
Well said, Slayter.
Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.
My author is now working on Cat Autumn, the third book in the tetralogy, but these tales of feline heroism and daring-do take time so no publish date yet. Mollie is better known for her Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series and recently published #7, Cat Conundrum. She’s working on #8, Adventure Cat, and has just started #9, Cat’s Play. She will also be putting out the first of a new cozy series, The Ghost Cat of Ocean Cove, sometime this year.
Pawsome! Your author is as busy as mine who is coming out with an Easter story starring my co-star cat, although I’m in it, too, of claws. She’s also publishing a time-travel tale with cats but not me. I’m only featured in her cozies, but I don’t mind. They are lots of fun.
Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.
You can find Mollie Hunt, Cat Writer on her blogsite: www.lecatts.wordpress.com
Amazon Page: http://www.amazon.com/author/molliehunt
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/MollieHuntCatWriter/
Sign up for Mollie’s Extremely Informal Newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/c0fOTn
Thanks so much, Slayter. I’ve enjoyed cat chatting with you and wish you and your author best whiskers on Cat Winter and the books that follow.