Sneaky’s Interview with Janet Cantrell’s Fat Cat, Quincy


Meow there. I have another interesting guest here today. He’s had a little trouble fitting through the door, but I helped him squeeze in.

Hello there, big guy. Can you please introduce yourself and tell us the name of your author?

I’m Quincy and Janet Cantrell writes about me. She calls me a Fat Cat.

I wonder why.

What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

Fat Cat at Large, Fat Cat Spreads Out, and Fat Cat Takes the Cake, all cozies. You can see that I’m the main character, right?

I certainly can. I’m a cozy cat myself. Please tell us about your series.

My human is named Chase, and I think that’s because she’s always chasing me. No wonder I sneak out as often as I can—she has me on a strict diet because she thinks I’m too fat! She’s beginning to wonder why I find dead bodies sometimes, but I also find clues that help her track down bad people. She and the police should give me a medal. A catnip metal. My human owns a dessert bar shop in Dinkytown town, part of Minneapolis, and the co-owner, Anna, is a special friend of mine. She ignores Chase, being much older and wiser, and gives me treats all the time from the things she’s baking. Yum!

No wonder you have trouble controlling your weight. There are so many bakers in Cobble Cove. If I ate Dora, Gilly, or Claire’s baking, I would be too fat to fit on the page.

Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.

Janet, the author, says her cat Agamemnon was very much like me. By that, she means he was extremely intelligent, clever, handsome, and winsome. She has told me that if Agamemnon had thumbs, he would be a menace to the world. I wish I had thumbs sometimes. I could open any door and escape any time I want to.

That sounds interesting. Debbie’s cat, Oliver, is a Siamese, but the only thing he has in common with me are his handsome good looks.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that feature you in an important scene? If so, please include it.

This is the beginning of the first book when you first meet me. That seems important to me.

The butterscotch tabby cat crouched in his soft-sided carrier in the strange room. His nose twitched. This place was full of the smell of fear. He hadn’t eaten for two hours. Time for a decent meal. At least a snack. He clawed at the inside of the zipper. The top flap budged a bit. After he silently worked at it for a few more minutes, the flap opened far enough. Purring, he sprang out.

***

Charity Oliver jumped up from the plastic chair in the examining room and caught her cat. “Quincy! How did you escape?” She stroked him and he twisted his head to lick her hand.

“Here, let me, Ms. Oliver.” Nice deep, rumbly voice, she thought. The veterinarian took the cat from her. His strong hands were warm. He cuddled Quincy, who began a steady purr.

“Please call me Chase, Dr. Ramos.” Only Anna called her Charity, after all, and hardly anyone called her Ms. Oliver.

Dr. Ramos set Quincy on the stainless steel examining table and fished his stethoscope out of his lab coat pocket. After sticking the earpieces into his ears, he bent his dark curls close to the cat to listen to his insides, then palpated Quincy’s stomach.

Chase felt bad about the poking and prodding her little darling was enduring, but Quincy didn’t seem to mind it. In fact, he licked the vet’s hand.

Very mice scene, Quincy. I act in a vet scene in Between a Rock and a Hard Place, my second adventure, but I must admit that I was not as good a patient as you. – MOL (meow out loud).

What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?

That everyone loves me and gives me treats when they’re not supposed to. Don’t tell Chase, though! She might cut back on my treats or my din dins. In the second book, I escape at a fall fair and so many people stuff me that I can hardly move. When I find all those butter statues I’m in ecstasy. I don’t know why they get so upset that I’m licking one of them. The man who made it won’t mind. He’s dead on the floor.

Mac is very good about giving me treats, and Laura and Donald slip me some, too. Thank goodness I am able to keep my slim physique. Sorry to hear about the murdered man. There’s been a few corpses in my books, as well.

Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

I never talk in the books, only on blogs and guest appearances. In the book, you can see what I’m doing, but can’t hear my thoughts. I’m a very private cat and prefer it that way. I do meow when I’m hungry.

Same here. That’s why I enjoy this blog and when I appear as a monthly guest host on the Cobble Cove Character chat.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Always be kind to your human, the one who feeds you. If you don’t, you might not get fed. If your human is looking for a piece of paper that you tucked away somewhere, and you think she would be happy if she found it, I would advise you to claw it out where she can see it. Finding other clues that she needs helps her out, too, and makes her feel good enough to reward me. With treats, of course.

I haven’t been rewarded with treats for my help on any of the mysteries, so far, but I will definitely suggest that to my author. She already caved in about letting me on a cover of our upcoming third mystery.

Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

The Fat Cat series has ended, but I hear that Janet’s very good friend (and alter-ego) Kaye George will have a new cozy series coming out with Kensington next year. There will be a cat, too! She can’t give you details yet but should be able to soon.

Awww, too bad your series is over, but I’ll be sure to check out the new one.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

Janet blogs on Killer Characters on the 4th day of every month. (http://www.killercharacters.com/) The best posts are the ones she has let me do, of course. She is also a member of the Facebook group, Nose for Trouble, with 4 other cozy writers who have awesome pets in their mysteries. Check it out for cute animal posts. Her own blog is occasional and is called Janet and Quincy, since I’m such an important member of the team. (http://janetcantrell.blogspot.com/).

Janet’s  Facebook page is: https://www.facebook.com/janet.cantrell.167 

Pawsome. I will definitely take a look at these. Thanks so much for joining me, and don’t worry about the broken chair. It’s only virtual. Best whiskers to Janet on her new series.

Interview with Ling Ling Oddboddy from Elaine Faber’s Mrs. Oddboddy Series

Oh, my whiskers! It’s been some time since I’ve had an interview, but I’m very lucky today to have a fellow Siamese cat character here to talk about her series.

What is your name and your author’s name, pretty kitty?

My name is Ling-Ling Odboddy and my ‘person’s’ name is Elaine Faber

Mice to meet you, Ling Ling. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

 I first appeared in Mrs. Odboddy Hometown Patriot and then had a lesser role in Mrs. Odboddy Undercover Courie, both set in hometown California during WWII.

Pawsome. I love historical mysteries even though my books are in present time.

Please give more details about your series.

Mrs. Odboddy is an eccentric elderly woman who fights the war (WWII) from the home front and is determined to end conspiracies and bring Nazi spies to justice. In the sequel, she carries a secret package cross country to President Roosevelt by train.

That sounds very exciting.

Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.

Physically, I look like Ling-Ling, a Siamese feral cat that appears at mom’s ‘free soup kitchen’ morning and night, however, I’m a more clever cat than she.

All Siamese are smart. I’m based on my author’s cat, Oliver. He is not only smart but has a large vocabulary.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.

From Mrs. Oddboddy, Hometown Patriot:

Meow! A beige streak raced by Agnes and slipped past Godfrey’s feet as he shoved open the door.

Agnes gasped and dashed toward the bathroom. Godfrey might have dealt with a chicken or two during his exhilarating career in the military, but he wasn’t equipped to deal with a cross-eyed Siamese cat on a Black-Ops Death Raid.

If a hand grenade had detonated in the bathroom, there couldn’t have been greater chaos. Ling-Ling sprang from the floor to the back of the toilet, and then to the top of the shower curtain. Within the close confines of the bathroom, feathers flew as the six chickens exploded in six different directions. The frightened fowl squawked.

Ling-Ling yowled. For a little cat, she was making a grand effort to annihilate the six-pack.

Godfrey flung up his hands as a chicken—was it Sophia—flapped into his face, and then to the shoulder pad of his jacket, and onto the top of his head.

Agnes screamed.

Chicken Mildred escaped, raced down the hall and turned at the first doorway.

Myrtle and Mrs. Whistlemeyer sprinted toward the living room. Clara flapped into the kitchen. Crash! Was that the kettle of oxtail stew hitting the linoleum? So much for dinner!

Belly to the floor, Ling-Ling had Abigail by the throat, dragging her kill out the bathroom door, down the hall and into the garage.

“Godfrey! Run, catch Ling-Ling. She’s got Abigail!”

Godfrey shoved Sophia off his head and raced after Ling-Ling, toward the garage.

Katherine followed a trail of pinfeathers into her bedroom.

Agnes streaked toward the living room behind Mrs. Whistlemeyer. This had turned into the dinner party from H.E.L.L She burst into giggles. Yes. This ought to dampen Godfrey’s amorous intentions. She should write a piece for Luella Parson’s advice column.

Six Ways to Utilize your Victory Chicken to Dis-Ignite Unwanted Ardent Advances Number One: Turn your Victory chickens loose in the bathroom

Number Two: Open the door and toss in the cat.

What a purrfect excerpt, and you are quite the actress or cattress, as the case may be.

What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?

Agnes adopted me when my former ‘person’, Lilly Jengyu, was taken to a Japanese Internment Camp. Even though I am very naughty at times, Agnes and Katherine forgive me because I’m just so darn cute.

Yes, we cat characters have a way of wrapping our protagonists around our fingers.

Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

Since I am not a POV character in this series, I only meow and get into trouble in both Mrs. Odboddy books. In Ms. Faber’s other books, Thumper is a POV character and much of the story is written through his POV. (Black Cat’s Legacy, Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer and Black Cat and the Accidental Angel)

I must speak with Thumper some time. I don’t talk in my books either, but I did get my photo on my upcoming third adventure, Written in Stone.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Even if you are a POV cat character and/or narrate part/all of the book, physically stick to what cats can do. They do not have opposable thumbs, and should not walk through walls. Stay true to ones’ true cat nature. Thinking and talking to other animals is acceptable and even desirable at the will of the author.

Yes, realism is so important in fiction even for cats.

Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

Mrs. Odboddy Undercover Courier was just published last month. A third Mrs. Odboddy is scheduled next year…Mrs. Odboddy – And then There Was a Tiger.. and yes, there is a real live tiger… Also another cozy cat mystery WIP scheduled for late 2018 with part of the mystery taking place in Germany and Austria.

Very mice.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

www.mindcandymysteries.com (website) 

http://tinyurl.com/zm2j4n5  (facebook)

Thank you for the interview, Ling Ling, and best whiskers to you and your author on your upcoming books.

 

Sneaky Interviews Diesel from the Cat in the Stacks Mysteries by Miranda James

Meow, there. I have an interview with another pawsome guest, Diesel Harris from Miranda James’ Cat in the Stacks mysteries. It’s great to have you here Diesel. Can you please tell us about your series?

arsenic-and-old-books silence-of-the-library murder-past-due-high-res

Yes, I am in the series known as “The Cat in the Stacks” but I also make an appearance in the “Southern Ladies” mysteries (that’s in Bless Her Dead Little Heart).

Very mice. I think my author, who is a librarian and cat lover, would enjoy your series. I am a library cat myself, so I am quite familiar with stacks and mysteries, of claws.

Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.

The inspiration for my character was a cat who belonged to the late Barbara Mertz (better known to readers as Elizabeth Peters and Barbara Michaels). Her Maine Coon, whom Miranda met once, was named “The Diesel” after a Washington Redskins running back. The Diesel weighed 40 pounds and was a really big kitty!

Maine Coons can be large. I’m a Siamese based on my author’s cat, Oliver. He’s a pretty big guy but not that big.

What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?

I like helping my human, Charlie Harris, when he gets involved in a murder. And I like it that he takes me everywhere with him (except to church and the grocery store, whatever they are). I get to meet lots of humans who give me attention – but there are some who I can tell aren’t nice humans.

Sounds like you have some prime time in those books. I am trying to get more action parts with my co-stars Alicia and John. I also have a dog co-star, Fido, but I don’t mind. He doesn’t have his own blog – MOL (Meow Out Loud).

Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

I do talk a lot, but it’s all in warbles, chirps, trills, and meows. I don’t speak human.

I’m the silent type myself, but Siamese can be vocal when they want to be. You should hear Oliver first thing in the morning.

Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

twelveangrylibrarians_finalThe next book, Twelve Angry Librarians, will be out today, February 21st, 2017.

Wow, Meow! Concats. That’s the book Debbie has on reserve at the library. I hope she reads it to me.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

I have my own page on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DieselHarrisCat

djbestheadshotThe Miranda person (also known as Dean James) is also on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/MirandaJamesAuthor

Purrfect. Thanks so much for the interview, Diesel, and best whiskers to you and your author on your new release and upcoming books.

Interview with Gravel from Periennials by Bryce Gibbons

fidoWow, Meow! I never thought I’d see the day that I’d have a dog interviewed on my blog. However, although I prefer fellow cats, I don’t want to discriminate against other animal characters. To do this interview justice, I decided to invite my co-star Fido to conduct the interview. He only agreed if I could feature his photo. Okay, Fido old Bud, your picture is posted. Take it away.

Woof Woof! Thanks, Sneaky. I am excited about my first interview. I don’t have your experience, but I will do my best.

Bow Wow, there. What is your name and your author’s name?

My name is Gravel and my author’s name is Bryce Gibson

Nice to meet you, Gravel. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

book-coverSo far I am only in one book. Perennials is a Young Adult mystery/thriller

Hot Dog! I love mysteries of all kinds. I’m in the Cobble Cove series with Sneaky.

Are you in a series? If so, please give information about it.

Currently it is not a series, and Bryce doesn’t have any plans of turning it into one 😦

But maybe he’ll write a sequel one day soon?

Standalones are okay. My author features cats in all her writing besides her series. There’s a cat in her short story and her novella that came out on February 14. Roxie, a female Siamese owned by a handsome jewel thief is in her novella,  When Jack Trumps Ace, and Seashell is an orange tabby that lives at an inn in Cape May, New Jersey during the 1880’s in Debbie’s historical romance, The Seashell and the Stone, from the Cupid’s Arrow anthology.

Are you based on a real dog such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.

I am not based on a real dog. I am a hound dog. In real life, Bryce has a Yorkie named Ginger.

Yorkies are cute and I have nothing against hounds.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.

This is the beginning of an important flashback scene:

IT WAS a fittingly gloomy, rainy day in the spring after Tyler’s death when I first heard about Jenny’s past.

I was at Gran’s house. Gran and Catherine were in the kitchen where they were making preserves out of the last of the figs that Catherine had picked from her own backyard tree.

I was in the den, sitting on the floor and watching TV. Gravel was lying next to me. He had his head resting on my bent knee, and in his slumber, the old dog would drool every now and then.

The den opened up into the kitchen, making it easy to see and hear what was going on from one room to the other. There were the sounds of boiling water and the clink of glass jars.

The entire house was filled with the smell of sugar and figs that, every so often, would cause Gravel to lift his head and sniff at the air. The aroma was undeniably what was making him drool in his sleep and led me to wonder what kind of sweet, nectarous dreams the fragrance was evoking.

Excellent. I can just picture that scene.

What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?

I like that my owner, Dusty Miller, got me when I was just a puppy. The two of us got to grow up together.

Awww. Mac got me as a pup, too, but John wasn’t a child then. When he came back from college to live with his father after his wife died and his mother shortly later, I kind of shared both of them and helped them cope with their losses.

Are you a talking dog in your books or just a silent one like I am who just barks occasionally?

I do not talk.

Neither do I, but actions speak louder in my opinion.

What advice would you give other dog characters?

Even if you don’t talk, please bark and do everything you can to alert others to danger.

I’m with you, Gravel even though I wasn’t able to prevent a kidnapping in my second book. It wasn’t my fault the bad guy drugged me.

the-reading-buddy-coverDo you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

Bryce has a new book coming out this year. It is called The Reading Buddy. I’m not in it, but I have a friend that is. Her name is Wolf. She is a beautiful black Labrador.

Bow wow! Maybe Sneaky will let me back to interview her. My tail wags at the thought. The reprint of my first mystery and my third book will be out this spring. Sneaky got his wish to be on the cover of the third mystery, so I hope Debbie will consider putting me on the fourth.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

author-photoWebsite: https://www.BryceGibsonWriter.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BryceGibsonWriter

Twitter: https://twitter.com/BGibsonWriter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bgibsonwriter

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/bgibsonwriter

Thanks for the interview, Gravel and best dog bones to you and your author on your books.

 

Sneaky Interviews The Topiary Cat

tollyttcWow, Meow! Do I have an interesting guest on my blog today. He is not a cat character in a book but a cat character indeed. I will let The Topiary Cat introduce himself, explain what he is, and the history and art behind his creation.

Good day, Topiary Cat. Please tell us your story. How old are you? How did you come about? Where are you from?  Excuse all the questions. I know I am very curious, but I don’t believe curiosity kills the cat (character or real feline) or anyone else for that matter. If it did, Debbie (my author and a librarian) and I would be out of work. 

Hi, Sneaky! First of all, thank you for addressing me as ‘The Topiary Cat’ or in this case ‘Topiary Cat.’  I don’t have a ‘Christian’ name, for religion is a mystery to me. I am immortal and have been around as long as recorded time. However, The Master, who created me, has weaved a fantasy around me that many people believe.

origins-1Some say I was first created around seven years ago. The Master, or ‘Richard’ as mortals call him, visited a stately home in Buckinghamshire, England not far from his home in Hertfordshire. He’s a keen photographer and took a photo of a huge ‘cloud’ topiary in the grounds. When he got it home it appeared to him to resemble a giant topiary animal sleeping by the lake. For fun he decided to photograph Tolly, his beloved Russian Blue cat, in the same position and marry the two images seamlessly together.

Then some of the images of me were put on social media and went viral, unfortunately with Richard’s name removed. The BBC picked up on my fame and the story went around the world. Richard reposted the pictures on my Facebook page and had over three million hits. I was famous – ‘The Topiary Cat’ had arrived!

Oh, my Bastet! That is a pawsome story. Maybe I should have my author Debbie take some unusual photos of me. I’d love to go viral or whatever that means. I think it’s a good thing and would get a lot of exposure for our mystery series (MOL)- Meow Out Loud.

 Which of your poses and locations do you like the best and why?

ttcdrinking  ttcmeetingThat first image of me is still a favourite of mine for obvious reasons, and I love the photo of me drinking from the lake at Painshill Park, Surrey. I’m also very fond of the one of me meeting another topiary cat over Hertford Castle wall.

While I am just a cat in a book series, I think I have an eye for art. Debbie showed me your photos that she is posting on this page, and I think they are all purrfect especially the water licking one. It makes me thirsty.

 Tell me a little about Richard’s cat Tolly who I understand you are based on. 

Beloved Tolly. Poor Richard still tears up at the mention of him. A pure bred Russian Blue with the pedigree name of Whaylee Zanechka, he sadly passed away in February 2016 at only 12 years old. He was intelligent, loyal, loving, a remarkable hunter and guarded his territory fearlessly.

Awww. I know Debbie was very broken up when she lost her cat Floppy. He wasn’t a purebred Russian Blue, but he was a beautiful shade of gray with white boots and chest (not as handsome as my sable and cream Siamese colors). Floppy suffered from a condition known as diabetes for many years, and Debbie had to give him insulin shots twice a day. He passed away at 15, a few years later than Richard’s Tolly, but she loved him so much that she wrote her first book, Cloudy Rainbow, to memorialize him, much as Richard created you in Tolly’s memory. Now Debbie has Oliver, a 16-year-old Siamese whom I am based on as a younger version.

Tell me also about your guardian and master, Richard Saunders. How long has he been an artist? What else does he do besides your cat topiary photos?

richardworksRichard can’t really remember a time when he didn’t create art. Most of his family did and it seemed a normal thing to do. He discovered surrealism as a teenager and failed to grow up. I, The Topiary Cat, am much more sensible and logical than he will ever be. He retired from his job as a Creative Director in advertising to concentrate on art … and me, of course.

It is important for humans to follow their passion. Debbie has also been writing since a very young age but has only recently begun to publish her work. It takes time, and I am glad that I and her other characters are there to help her as you help Richard.

What is surrealism?

No idea! Richard tells me it’s painting whatever comes into his head with very little editing, tapping into his subconscious. I know nothing of such things. He takes a lot of photos, he’s a classic car enthusiast with a 1949 Triumph drop-top with dickey, or ‘rumble’, seats in the boot. He loves his garden and going for long walks. He also loves Cornwall and has created many images of me when I go there on holiday with him, because it is such a magical place and I feel at home there.

Debbie lives in the United States, and our books take place in a small, fictional upstate New York town called Cobble Cove which may resemble some of your English villages. Debbie has visited England many years ago and was impressed with their gardens and parks.

 Are there any “real” cat topiaries that you know of?

I have yet to see a single cat topiary that looks like a real cat. The only ones I have seen look like cartoons. I think a cat is too subtle a shape to be replicated in topiary.

I had a feeling it would be difficult to grow a cat topiary. By the way, Debbie has an unfinished manuscript that she hopes to get back to that features topiaries. Maybe she can slip something in about you. She once read a gothic mystery, whatever that is, in her childhood by Phyllis Whitney called Hunter’s Green that featured topiaries in the form of chess pieces.

 Can people purchase prints of your topiaries?

Of course, there are cards, posters, and calendars produced. A book is planned but that will take a long time to be realized. Richard is not the most organized person in the world, he’s a dreamer and not very worldly in such matters.

I see. Please keep me posted about the book. I am a library cat and Debbie is a librarian as well as an author. We would both love to know when it’s released.

Is there anything else we should know about you, Tolly, or Richard or anything you would like to add to the interview for our readers?

I would just like to say thank you for interviewing me, Sneaky. It’s been delightful. And to your readers, if you see me posted without The Master’s name or ‘The Topiary Cat’ logo on social media, please let them know who I really am: the immortal spirit of beloved Tolly.

I certainly will, Topiary Cat. It’s been a unique pleasure having you here. Can you please list your website and any social media links and also those of Richard’s. I am sure my readers would like to connect with both of you.

http://thetopiarycat.co.uk/

http://www.facebook.com/topiarycat/

http://www.vycombe-arts.co.uk/onlineshop/cat_1069237-Richard-Saunders.html

http://surrealmoustache.co.uk/

http://walkerngallery.com/galleries/saunders/saunders.html

Sneaky Interviews Svetlana and Rex from the Moorhaven Mystery Series

What a lucky cat character I am to have two new guests on my blog today. Can you please introduce yourselves and your author?

morgan-talbot-author-pic-bigSvetlana: I am Svetlana, Kitty Mistress of Moorehaven, and my author is Morgan C. Talbot. Oh, and that fluffy tabby back there is young Rex. He is merely two years old, but I will kindly allow him to answer one or two questions if he is a good kitty.

That sounds purrfect, Ms. Svetlana. What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

Svetlana: We live in the Moorehaven Mysteries series, which only has one book out so far: Smugglers & Scones. Our world is very cozy, and comes with plenty of yummy food!

smugglers-and-scones-cover-reveal

There’s lots of food in my Cobble Cove mysteries, too — special PB&J sandwiches, delicious muffins and cookies, and tons of tasty scraps from the library staff lounge which I enjoy sneaking bites of (my name is “Sneaky,” after all).

Can one of you tell me more about your series? It sounds pawsome.

Svetlana: You may speak now., Rex. Be polite.

Rex: Yes, Svetlana. *ahem* Moorehaven Mysteries is a series set in the small town of Seacrest on the Oregon Coast. Moorehaven is a Victorian B&B, which used to be the home of world-famous mystery author A. Raymond Moore. All the humans in Seacrest know about murder mysteries because of him. And all of the guests who come to Moorehaven write mysteries, too.

Our owner, Pippa Winterbourne, runs Moorehaven, so we get to sit on all the laps and computer keyboards we can find! The B&B has so many windows for us to gaze out of, it’s great. Plus there’s all the kitchen leftovers. Pippa and her Uncle Hilt make the best breakfast food I’ve ever eaten, and if I sit in the kitchen window sill and stare at them long enough, they’ll give me some!

Svetlana: Yes, that is enough, Rex. Thank you. I apologize for his youthful exuberance.

No apologies necessary. Rex did very well. While I’m a library cat, I sometimes pay visits at the Cobble Inn which used to be run by a nice lady named Dora when my author’s main character, Alicia, first came to town. Now her friend Gilly is in charge, and she is just as good a baker. Alicia is a librarian and is a co-author of a mystery series, so we have a lot in common.

Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.

Svetlana: No, Rex, I will answer this one. You are too young and get the facts wrong. Now then. Rex and I are not based on real cats because our author’s husband is allergic. Such a tragedy, I know. But in our book series, we are both named for characters from Mr. Moore’s fictional bestsellers. It’s a rule of Moorehaven: the B&B must always have two cats, and they must always be named for characters from Mr. Moore’s novels. I am named for a gorgeous Russian spy, as you might have guessed, in The Alabaster Guile. Rex, well, he is less interesting. He was a bodybuilder who got mixed up with the wrong crowd in The Brass Artifice. But Rex is very lovely to snuggle with in window sills during the winter. And he licks my ears. He really is a good kitty. Even if he is just named for a musclehead.

How interesting.  What do you like most about your role in your author’s books?

Rex: Hey, I like being named for a musclehead! Actually, I think it’s neat that we’re named for characters in bestselling books. Moorehaven is a mansion with over a hundred years of history—and mysteries of its own—and we get to live there and be part of its atmosphere. Writers and cats have always been natural allies. Except, y’know, when keyboards are involved. I’m proud of my job to help set the tone of the B&B and the book we’re in.

Svetlana: That was a decent answer, Rex.

Very decent indeed. Don’t be so hard on him, Svetlana.

Are you talking cats in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

Svetlana: We don’t speak, but with our body language, we offer a kind of color commentary on the life and excitement in Moorehaven.

Rex: Yeah, you are a white commentary, and I am a tabby commentary.

Svetlana: No, just no. You should probably stop talking now.

MOL (Meow Out Loud). Give the Kit a break. He’s just got a weird sense of humor.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Svetlana: Be cats. Everyone who knows cats will know when you get it right. And beware of dog characters. They are all spies for the humans.

I agree cats are the superior species, but my co-star is not a spy. Fido is just a dumb dog even if the human characters treat him the same as me. Cats make much better spies especially the “sneaky” ones like me.

Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

Svetlana: Our author is hard at work on the second book in our series, which is tentatively called Burglars and Blintzes. But its release date is classified Top Secret. Even I don’t know it.

Hmmm. I hate when authors keep secrets from us characters. Debbie has the third book in our series coming out soon and a reprinted version of our first, A Stone’s Throw, but the only thing I know is that she may have taken my advice and put my photo on the cover of Written in Stone. Actually, it’s not my photo but another Siamese model. I also noticed, when I peeked at her screen, that she was adding some new scenes featuring me in more adventurous roles. That was after I complained about the silly storytime and annoying vet scene she cast me in our second book, Between a Rock and a Hard Place. I guess my blogging has opened her eyes to my true talents.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

Svetlana: Our author has these social media links you speak of. They are just distractions from petting us, you know, but I will slip you the information you need anyway. You owe me a treat for this, okay?

No problem. I always keep some catnip on hand to loosen up my guests, so go ahead, and I will share some with you and Rex, too.

Here is the bird one: https://twitter.com/MorganCTalbot

Here is the purple one: http://morganctalbot.blogspot.com/

Here is the blue one: https://www.facebook.com/MorganCTalbot/

I’m such a clever kitty, just like the spy I’m named for!

And quite modest, Svetlana. Thanks for the interview, and best whiskers to you, Rex, and your author on your upcoming books.

Sneaky Interviews Oliver and Max, the Cat Characters of J. Schlenker

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Oliver by J. Schlenker
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Max by J. Schlenker

I have the honor of interviewing two cats today. One shares the namesake of my author’s cat, Oliver, and the other is named Max. Good day, lads. Welcome to my blog. Can please you share with my readers the name of your author and what books you’ve both appeared in?

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https://www.amazon.com/Missing-Butler-Other-Life-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B01N41RJP7/

Max meows: Our author is J. Schlenker. She wrote “The Mysterious Butler and Other Life Mysteries” (A Collection of Short Stories). Oliver and I are in the story, Nine Lives, in that book.

Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.

Oliver says:  One of my lives, the one of Buddha, is based partially on a true story about my author’s cat.

Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.

Oliver announces:  This is me starting to tell my tale.

Nine Lives

“You look old,” the white fuzz ball of a kitten said, keeping a cautious distance from the fat cat. The old cat, almost the same color as himself, but marked with age, sat curled up next to a bowl of milk.

“If you’re looking to get some of my milk, that’s no way to go about it,” the fat cat replied with a sluggish raise of his eyelids.

“No, still nursing. Have no need of your milk.”

“Ugh,” the fat cat grunted, dropping his eyelids back down to a narrow slit.

The small kitten edged closer but toppled over on the fat cat after being distracted by a butterfly.

“Meow,” came the gruff voice of the fat cat. “Why are you still here? Why don’t you go somewhere else to play? Find another cat to bother.”

“You don’t have to be mean,” the kitten said, jumping back and sliding over on its side.

“I saw your brothers and sisters earlier. Why aren’t you off playing with them?”

“I didn’t want to. Besides I’m the runt. They ran off and left me.”

“Oh, you want to bother me then, do you?”

“No, not bother. I came to ask you questions. My name is Max.”

“Well, Max, could you kindly come back after my nap?”

“When will that be?” asked Max.

“How about tomorrow? No, make that next week,” the big fat cat said, hardly moving his lips, as it took up far too much energy. But Max just sat there silently, staring.

The big cat half-opened an eye and cringed. “You still here?” Max sat in silence, all wide-eyed.

“What’s wrong? Cat got your tongue?” The big cat almost laughed, but his rheumatism was acting up, so he stifled the urge for any kind of movement, even his mouth.

“No, the cat doesn’t have my tongue. My mama said be respectful because you’re old, and she said you were wise.” Max stiffened in reverence. “She said you were on the last of your lives. She said you are called Oliver, but before that was called Buddha.”

“Your mom knows about me, does she?”

Max nodded with wide-eyed awe and waited for Oliver to speak, but nothing came but a low snore. Max ever so lightly touched Oliver’s leg with his paw. Nothing. Max tapped harder until Oliver jumped up in a growl. “What is it, you young whippersnapper?”

“I just want to know,” Max said, keeping his position, remembering what his mama said, show no fear.

“Know what?” Oliver snapped.

“About your lives?”

“You’re a persistent chap, aren’t you? Hmm, well, I’ve been persistent in my day. Don’t get to nine lives without being persistent.” Oliver repositioned himself and took a slurp of milk. “Well, I guess since you’re here. Nothing else to do these days. Might as well make yourself comfortable.” Oliver looked young Max up and down. “This your first life?”

“Yeah, how did you know?”

“Written all over you.”

Oliver took another slurp of milk. “I go back, way back. Ever hear of the pyramids?”

Max shook his head.

“Well, they’re in Egypt, a far piece from here. That was where I spent my first life. Barely weaned when an Egyptian princess took a fancy to me. In the nick of time, too. I was orphaned.”

“Oh?” Max questioned in awe.

“Yes, my mama was hit by a huge obelisk. Faulty construction. Happened back then, too.”

Max looked puzzled. “It’s a huge pillar. Well, never mind. Not really pertinent to the story. There were human lives lost, too. Not that there wasn’t law suits. Shifty lawyers back then, too. But being a cat, I had no recourse. All I cared about was that I lost my mama, along with all my brothers and sisters. But, like you, being the runt, I tagged behind. That saved my life. Maybe it was karma. I don’t remember my lives before being a cat. Maybe it was just dumb, blind luck. I didn’t think so at first. I just curled up into a ball and whimpered until someone picked me up. It was the princess who saved me from a life of begging.”

“A real-life princess? Wow,” said Max. “Was she beautiful?”

“No, not in the least.”

Max looked down in disappointment.

“But not being beautiful was a good thing. At least for me. Now her sister, Neffie, as everyone called her, was drop dead gorgeous, but no, Miffen, was a little on the pudgy side. I’m sorry to say that people called her Muffin behind her back. But Muffin, I mean Miffen, had the biggest heart.”

“Why was not being a beautiful princess good?” Max interjected.

“Because not everyone can be beautiful. Like I said, she was kind. She didn’t have any toms all over her like beautiful women. Her attention wasn’t divided on this or that, not the trivial things that interest most women, hair brushes, hair ornaments, lip rouge and the like. Time goes on, but humans change little. She lavished most of her attention on me, at least for a long time. Oh, she took in other strays from time to time, but I was her first and was always dearest to her heart, until…”

“Until?” Max perked up.

“She fell in love. Not with a prince but with a lowly worker, a stonecutter. Well, at first I thought no worries. But then, one day, she scrambled off to spy him through the reeds. He saw her. He knew how she felt. They lost all abandon.”

Max sat up straighter.

That was pawsome. Thanks for that purrfect excerpt, Oliver. You and Max are great cat actors.

What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?

Oliver answers: Educating Max. Possibly he can avoid some of my mistakes.

You are doing a great job. I’m sure he appreciates that.

Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

Oliver replies: Really, I’m not much of a talker or a meower, mostly a lounger in my old age.

I see. With age, comes wisdom.

What advice would you give other cat characters?

Oliver states: Not all dogs are bad.

Very true. My co-partner in the Cobble Cove mysteries is Fido, a golden retriever. He’s a nice guy but not all that sharp. I’ve also just started featuring dogs and other animals on this blog. I still think cats are the superior species, though.

Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.

Max explains: Our author J. Schlenker’s  current project is Sally. It will be fictional history, based on a woman she met when she was eight years of age. She was born into slavery in 1858. She lived to be 110 years old. Our author projects it will be out in late spring or early summer.

That sounds very interesting. I will tell my readers to keep an eye out for it.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

Max indicates: Here are our author’s links. You can contact us through any of them:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14763892.J_Schlenker

https://www.facebook.com/J.SchlenkerAuthor/

https://athursdayschild.wordpress.com/

https://twitter.com/athursdayschild

Thanks for the interview, guys. Paws-up to you and your author on your future books and best whiskers also to your author on her participation in Mystery Thriller Week.

Sneaky Interviews Chloe, author Lisa Diaz Meyer’s Kitten

What a pawsome surprise! My guest today is a kitten, the first one on my blog. She is so sweet. Hi, there, Kitty, please introduce yourself and tell me a little about  yourself.

chloe1Hi Sneaky! It’s nice to meet you! My name is Chloe Anne Meyer! I am a 15-week-old kitten and a newly adopted rescue! I am so happy I have found my forever home with the Meyer’s! My owner is Lisa Diaz Meyer, she likes to write books. She has 2 books out already ALL ROADS HOME AND ALL ROADS DESTINED and when I’m not playing with my favorite toys, I sit by her feet when she’s typing!

What fun! I am a character cat, but I know my real-life counterpart, Oliver and his step-brother, Stripey, also enjoy watching my author Debbie type. They find it just as enjoyable as looking out the window at birds.

Have you appeared in any of your owner/author’s books?

I am not in any books. Yet! But she has told me… because I’m so spoiled… that my personality will be used for a cat character in a future book.

Wow, Meow. You must be excited about that. Tell me more about your author’s plans for you.

I will be in a book of four historical romance short stories. My owner wrote them years ago, but needs to revamp them. They will be considered “clean” romance. Clean and sweet, like mew – I mean me. I am told there will be other animals devoted to their character owners as well in that anthology. A horse and dog for two of the other short stories.

Purrfect. Please keep me posted. I’m sure my readers will love to get their paws on that book. It sounds so good. I’d love to include an excerpt of it when you have one to share.

I don’t have an excerpt ready but I do know my character’s owner will be given “me” as a gift and I become a delightful lap cat to her because she is sad and so far away from her home. While my character’s owner questions her life choices, which most period piece women don’t get, my cat character will be by her side for support. I like that my name will be Duchess, even though I will probably be in book number 5.

Are you going to be a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?

I’m just a meow-er. My writing owner thinks only the humans should talk. But I’m sure my actions will show my opinions!

Of claws. What advice would you give other cat characters?

My advice is to be cute, loyal and lovable!

You certainly take your own advice.

Can you tell me something about your author, Lisa’s other books? Can you share an excerpt from the latest?
lisa1I definitely can Sneaky! Right meow, my author/human goddess is known for dark fiction, which means her stories are strange or serious and the endings are sad; twisted. She prefers short stories because it is more fun to grab the readers quick. She also writes poems and short stage plays. Her readers enjoy the post apocalyptic, sci-fi ongoing saga The Outposts. Zaxton and George are the main characters that live on the bombed out world of Outposts. They must be really likable because everyone always asks my author about them!  There are so many other stories,too. She is a multi-genre writer.
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Here is an excerpt from ALL ROADS HOME:
“There’s something about tragedy that freezes a mind, freezes it to a time and place, to who and what mattered just before the incident. Even years later, there’s a tethered rope secured to that blissful moment, that moment before you changed. It becomes your hallowed place and you don;t even know it. You’ll hand over hand yourself over that rope or twine or barbed wire until all that burning and bleeding is nothing but a simple puff of air. Your long and painful decisions, your instant impulses – it’s that first real tragedy that forges you. Tragedy after tragedy, the first one brings you home.”
Chloe, your author is very talented. You must be so proud of her. I know my author enjoys reading her Outpost stories. She tells me she can hardly wait for the next installment. Do you know when that will be?
My owner has her third book all written and ready to send off and is waiting patiently to send it off to the publisher. She is hoping around March 2017 and then it will take three months from there. Give or take.

It’s so hard to wait. My author has also finished our third book, but it takes a few months for editing and publishing.

Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.

My owner/author so far is on social media. She might make me a facebook page because I am so pretty and adorable. Here are her links:

Website: http://www.lisadiazmeyer.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaDMeyer 

FB: Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/LDMeyerAuthorALLROADS/

Mice. I was thrilled to get my own blog. Just keep batting your pretty eyes at her and make your request. She won’t have the heart to turn you down.

It’s been really fun having you here, and best whiskers to you and Lisa on your books.

chloe2Thanks, Sneaky. Can we play now? I’d love to chase your tail, and I’m really good at hide and seek. 

Actually it’s my naptime, Kitten. These interviews knock me out, but I’m sure your humans will satisfy your abundant energy. Have fun!

 

Sneaky Interviews the Cats from The Winery at Marjim Manor

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Slinky and Pewter, winery cats at Marjim Manor

Wow, Meow. I have some very special guests here today. They’ve come all the way from a winery in Appleton, New York up near Niagara Falls. I’ve never been to a winery, and the closest I’ve come to imbibing anything alcoholic is when Alicia gave me some catnip as a treat. My author, Debbie, once gave her real life cats a bottle of catnip champagne on New Year’s. That must’ve made their whiskers real tipsy.

As a departure of my interviewing a cat character from a book, I thought speaking with these felines from the winery would be of interest to my readers.

I’m happy to introduce my guests, Slinky, Pewter, and Skipper who are littermates and Tootsie who is also part of the family. Their owner and significant person is Margo Sue Bittner.

Hi, there Kitties. Thank you all for joining me on my blog today. Please tell me about the history of your winery, its name and where it’s located and also how long it’s been around and if it has a a website.

(Slinky said): The Winery at Marjim Manor opening in August 2004. We are located in Appleton, NY right along Lake Ontario, about 40 minutes from Niagara Falls.  We do mostly fruit wines because the owners husband, Jim, grows tree fruit: apples, pears, peaches, plums, nectarines. (Margo and Jim makes Marjim).  Our website is www.MarjimManor.com. We ship wine all over.

Our winery is haunted and we’ve been on Ghost Hunters. Our owner wrote a book called “The Legend of Appleton Hall” which contains all the ghost stories written about the place. She’s working on the “Real History of Appleton Hall” now. She likes to say her job is pouring wine and telling ghost stories. 

Gosh, that sounds pawsome. How long have you lived at the winery? Besides chasing ghosts, do you catch mice at the winery? 

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William Shakespeare, rescuer cat, now on Rainbow Bridge, graces a label of the Cat’s Meow White Table Wine of The Winery at Marjim Manor

(Pewter purred): We’ve been at the winery for three years. We lived next door, but when the people moved, they left us and our parents behind. Our parents ran off, so William Shakespeare brought each of us to the winery.  He and Meshuganeh took good care of us until they crossed the rainbow bridge. Tootsie was found at a neighbor’s house. The lady was very sick and called us when Tootsie showed up on her porch.  Mom took her in.

We love to catch mice, moles, snakes.  Mostly, we leave them at the back door for Mom to find.  Slinky even caught a squirrel once.

Great backstory, and I love the adventures you describe with the wildlife in your area. Getting back to the winery itself, what type of wine does it produce? 

(Skipper answered): We make mostly fruit wines and have won many gold medals.  The Cat’s Meow is a dry white; Katapalooza has lots of cats on the label and is a sweet blend. Cherry Concerto; Pear Made in Heaven, Applely Ever After are other wines. Some wines tie into the ghost story: Shubal’s Sunset, Sophia’s Sunrise,  Lord of the Manor, Lady in the Window.  We sell the wines at the winery, at farmers markets, at liquor stores and ship to many states.

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Debbie’s cat, Oliver, makes a handsome wine label cat.

Purrfect. I also heard the rumor that my author’s cat, Oliver, was put on one of your labels. Is that true?

(Tootsie meowed): Yes. Our owner thought Debbie would enjoy that. She also sending her the bottle of wine with Oliver’s label. 

I’m sure she will. Too bad I can’t get my photo on a label, but I’m only a fictional cat. However, since Oliver and I are both handsome Siamese boys, we bear a remarkable resemblance, so it’s the next best thing. 

What do each of you like most about living at a winery? Are there any special events that your winery sponsors during the year?

(Slinky  replied): People come and visit us. They like our Facebook page (The Cats of Marjim Manor). Some friends bring us treats like catnip pillows and snacks.  The local SPCA came here to take a picture for their calendar.  

(Pewter commented ): Also, our winery has 100 windows with big, wide window sills. It is so much fun to lie in the sun.

(Skipper responded): We do wine and food pairing dinners. Ours are murder mysteries: Glo Knight and the Seven Gnomes, Mall’s Fair in Love and War (all the stores are euphemisms for being drunk); Three Sheets to the Wind (A circus), and about a dozen more. We do three a year.  We also do Victorian Teas and craft classes.  We put out enewsletters with different themes: all our events, about the wines, about the murder mysteries, about the Victorian Teas, even birthday and anniversary ones for customers.

(Tootsie added): We are also part of the Niagara Wine Trail and do events with the other wineries.

What fun, and I love Pewter’s description of the windows. They have a spot for me  on the bay window of the Cobble Cove Library’s Children’s Room, and Debbie also has a bay window in her kitchen where her cat, Stripey likes to sit. Oliver prefers the enclosed outdoor room that has large windows in front of which he can sun and watch the birds from a safe distance.

How did it come about that you got your photos on the wine labels? 

(Slinky explained): All our wines have fun names. Mom likes cats. Then she found out that wines with animals sell more. Once we figured out how to personalize the labels, we started changing the label a lot. The owner’s daughter, Janet works at the winery and she takes care of that.  We do have one wine with a dog on in: True Blue. It is a blueberry wine. Jim likes dogs, so we had to be fair and give him a wine with his dog on it.

MOL (Meow Out Loud). I can relate to that. I have a dog co-star in my books, and I plan to interview some dog characters, too, if any are interested in appearing on my blog. After all, you can’t play animal favorites, although cats are the superior species. Even a fictional feline knows that.

Do you know any other cat wineries or wines with cat labels on them? 

(Pewter put in): Another winery on our wine trail has cats on the labels. Other wineries around here have dogs and horses on the labels.

How interesting. I know there are a lot of animal lovers and, just like books featuring pets are popular, I guess it works for wines, too.

What advice would you give other cats who might want to live on a winery or have their photos featured on wine labels? 

(Skipper advised): Be prepared for lots of love.  Sometimes, you may not want scratchies, then it is OK to sit and pose. People will take your picture.  When the fireplace is on, make sure to stretch out wide so people tell you how cute you are.  If you want to be on a wine label, make sure you pose with your eyes open and sit up tall. Then you get more space.

It looks like Oliver took that advice. I saw the label, and he fills it out nicely.

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Margo and Janet

Tell us a little about your owner? You may include her photo if she doesn’t mind. 

(Tootsie told): Margo graduated from Cornell University in 1980. At first she and Jim were dairy farmers then switched to fruit farming. After Jim started selling fruit to other wineries, they thought maybe they should start a winery.  The fruit farm is about 500 acres and their two sons, Kevin and David work there.  Janet works at the winery. She is in charge of wholesale and has the wines in about 150 liquor stores and restaurants. About 30,000 people visit every year.  In the past, Margo was on the local school board and active in PTA.  Today, she is in the Barker Lions Club and is in AM Lockport Toastmasters where she holds the Distinguished Toastmasters degree.  She also participated in American Farm Bureau’s Women’s  Communication Camp and advocates for agriculture.  

Wow, Meow, You all must be quite proud of her. 

(Slinky stated): We certainly are, Sneaky.

I believe you mentioned that your author and the winery are on social media. Can you give the links in case our readers want to follow them? I’m sure Debbie will. She may even want to work a winery into one of our upcoming Cobble Cove mysteries.

(Pewter exclaimed): Of Claws. Here’s the list. 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/margosuebittner

https://www.facebook.com/MarjimManor/

https://www.facebook.com/CatsofMarjimManor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoSue

Winery Website: http://www.marjimmanor.com/

Thanks Kitties for such an interesting interview, and best whiskers to your owner on selling lots of Cat’s Meow and other wines from The Winery at Marjim Manor. A catnip toast to you all. Cheers!

 

Sneaky’s Interview of Alistair Cat from the Witch’s Cat Mysteries by Delia James

Hey, there. I’m back. I had a very nice catnap for the holidays, but I’m glad to get digging my paws again into this blog. Debbie is busy editing our third mystery, and I have a new guest to interview.  It’s my pleasure to feature Alistair, Annabelle Ameila Blessingsound Brittan’s cat (phew that’s a mouseful). Their author is Delia James.

Hi, Alistair. Welcome to my library cat blog.  What book(s) have you appeared in? Please list them and their genre.

Familiar_Motives2.inddSo far, two of my books have been released: A Familiar Tail and By Familiar Means.
Are you in a series? If so, please give information about it.
We are.  The Witch’s Cat Mysteries detail how I solve the trickiest, most difficult mysteries in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.  The ones that are quite beyond the talents of the local police  Anna helps on occasion.  She is useful for feline to human translation, although she still needs a great deal of coaching.
Don’t they all? I find human characters quite purrplexing, and I believe they feel the same about us cat characters. 
Are you based on a real cat such as your author’s? If so, please give further details.
There is, I believe, in Michigan, a certain gray cat-of-size named Blueberry who is acquainted with Delia and may have stood in for myself on occasion. There is, I believe a photograph.
I would love to see that and so would our readers. Please have Delia send it to us, and I will include it on this post. I love featuring real cats as well as character cats. I’m based on Debbie’s Siamese, and Oliver has even interviewed me-ow truly on this blog.
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Blueberry, Alistair’s real-life look-a-like
Can you share an excerpt from one of your books that features you in an important scene? If so, please include it.
This is how I met my human, from A Familiar Tail:
“Merow?”
The cat on my driver’s seat tucked all four of its paws underneath its belly. He (or she)
was a solid, smoky gray color, with a surprisingly delicate face and bright blue eyes. Somebody had given him a matching blue collar with a silver bell, but I couldn’t see any tags. I also couldn’t see any sign that she (he?) planned to get out of my car any time soon.
I looked at the cat. The cat looked at me. We both blinked. “Shoo?” I suggested.
  The gray cat yawned, displaying a curling pink tongue and a whole lot of very white teeth.
I folded my arms. “All right. What do you want?”
The cat blinked his (her?) slanting blue eyes at me again. It looked uncomfortably like he/she was waiting for me to say something sensible.
“Okay. We’re gonna do this the hard way.”
I lunged forward as if to make a grab. With a rolling growl of feline contempt, the cat flowed away from my hands. Victory! Or so I thought, until I realized the cat was now pressed against the pavement, under the Jeep, and right beside my front tire.
I swore. The cat hugged asphalt and put his ears back.
“Hey. Everything okay out here?” called a man’s voice from behind me.
It was Sean the bartender. He was strolling out from the Pale Ale, wiping his hands on a side towel.
I sighed and sat back on my heels. “I seem to have a cat.”
“Yeah, you sure do.” Sean bent down to peer under the Jeep. He smelled of lime and a little of whiskey, which would have been nice if I was paying attention to such things. “Hey, you know what? That might be Alistair under there. Alistair?” He held out his hand and spoke in that gentle, coaxing tone used by people who were comfortable around animals. “Hello, big guy. You got half the town looking for you, you know that?”
Alistair, if that was the cat’s name, was not impressed. He just pressed his belly closer to the asphalt and glowered at the impertinent human.
“Who’s Alistair?”
“Oh, he’s a local legend.” Sean rested his elbows on his thighs. “Alistair the ghost cat of Portsmouth.”
“Seriously?” I thought about how he’d been inside my locked Jeep just a minute before, and felt a small shiver creep across my neck.
“Seriously,” answered Sean. “His owner died, maybe six months ago, and no
nobody’s been able to lay hands on him since. Whenever anybody gets close, he just..” Sean made a hocus pocus gesture. “Disappears!”
“Well, I’m seeing him now, and he doesn’t seem to be going anywhere. How come nobody took him to a shelter or anything when he lost his owner?” I knew, of course, cats were famous for self-reliance. I also knew this was New England. It was only a matter of time before the weather turned too hot, or too cold, or too wet, for anybody’s comfort.
“Like I said you, it’s like he disappears.’s made himself scarce.” Sean straightened himself up, and it was a long way up. “But we can try. See if you can keep him here, I’ll go round up a box, and some towels.” Sean trotted back toward the inn, leaving me to stare at the cat.
“Okay.” I sighed and rubbed the back of my neck. Alistair gave another little growl and extended his claws like he meant to dig in. How was I supposed to keep him there if he decided to take off? Then, I remembered my bag of tacos. I pulled one out, tore it in half, and held it toward the recalcitrant feline.
“Here, kitty,” I inched forward. “Puss, puss, kitty, kitty, kitty?”
Alistair, twitched his ears and shrank backwards, clearly unimpressed. I reminded myself that this cat had lost home and owner. He’d been out in the cold for months. Of course he was nervous around strangers.
“Come on, Alistair.” I leaned forward, bracing myself with one hand against the fender. “You’re not going to turn down free food are you? I warn you, Martine won’t like it.” This time, Alistair stretched his neck out to sniff my offering. He sniffed again. He
took a tentative lick of taco. This was followed by a much more enthusiastic lick, and a nibble. I found myself smiling. I reached out and rubbed him between his ears.
Alistair nibbled and licked at the brisket taco, I noticed the smoke and silver color of his fur, the delicacy of his face and the way it contrasted with his rounded belly and hindquarters. If I’d had to guess, I would have said he weighed in at fifteen pounds of
surprisingly sleek feline, maybe more. What breed was he? And how was he keeping himself fed? He didn’t have any of that ragged, desperate air of an abandoned pet.
“So what’s the answer, big guy?” I held out my fingers so he could lick off the last of the taco sauce. “Huh, Alistair? What’s been keeping you out in the cold?”
Alistair lifted his face and gazed at me with those slanting baby blues.
And he vanished.
Wow, Meow! Great action and plot. You and your author did a pawsome job on that scene.
Thanks, Sneaky.
What do you like most about your role in your authors’ books?
Purrsonally, I do not care to be brought before the reading public.  I think the books spend too much time on the chaotic affairs of the humans, and not enough on the orderly, sensible lives of the cats.
I agree, but humans like reading that stuff, so you have to satisfy your audience.
Are you a talking cat in your books or just a silent one like I am who just meows occasionally?
My owner understands me, eventually.
ROTFC (Rolling on the Floor in Catnip). I feel the same way.
What advice would you give other cat characters?
Patience, always patience.  Humans require a great deal of guidance and encouragement before they are properly trained.
That is so true, Alistair.
Do you have any new books coming out? Please give dates and details.
The third book, Familiar Motives will be out in September, 2017.
Excellent. I will look for it. I am hoping the third Cobble Cove mystery will be out soon, too. It’s already written and just need to be polished. I’m helping Debbie with that, even if she doesn’t always take my editorial opinion.
Are you and/or your author on social media? If so, please list your links.
My author has a website: www.deliajamesmysteries.com, she is also on Facebook as simply Delia James, and on Twitter, MysteryDelia.  She looks forward to hearing from all my readers.
Meow.
Purrfect. Best whiskers to both of you on your future books, and thanks for being on my blog.