Hello, Mr. Cat. You look familiar. May I ask your name and your author’s name?
Oh, Sneaky. Of course you know me. I’m Salem from your latest mystery, No Gravestone Unturned, and my author is your author, Ms. Debbie De Louise.
I was just teasing you, Salem. I invited you for an interview because I thought my readers would like to know more about you. Since our book is a new release, maybe you want to fill people in about your role in the mystery.
That’s a good point, Sneaky. I’m not a regular character in the Cobble Cove books like you and Kittykai who joined you in the last book. I’m only visiting the town with my humans, Suzanne and George Winters. Suzanne is John McKinney’s cousin. As you and most people who have read Debbie’s mysteries know, John is Alicia’s husband. She’s the main human star of the series. The reason I visited Cobble Cove is that Suzanne and her brothers came to bury their mother, John’s Aunt Gwendolyn. Suzanne is quite attached to me, so she didn’t want to leave me at home in Florida.
Thanks for that introduction, Salem. It was certainly nice working with you, although I have to admit I was somewhat jealous that you were staying at the inn with Kittykai. We didn’t hit it off that well at the beginning and neither did you and Kittykai, but we all worked out our differences to help solve the mystery of the caretaker’s son’s murder. Can you share an excerpt that shows when we first met?
My pleasure, Sneaky.
He walked around the porch and peered through the screen door. To his surprise, Kittykai stood there next to a black cat he’d never seen before. When she spotted him, she said, “Sneaky, how did you get here?”
“I walked through the library door after a patron. I wanted to visit you and hear all about your guests, but I didn’t realize you had a cat guest, too. Who is he?”
Salem, peeved at being spoken about in the third person, said, “My name is Salem. Just because you’re Siamese doesn’t give you the right to be rude.”
“Well, excuse me. I wasn’t being rude.”
Kittykai, fearing a cat fight might break out, said, “Now boys, there’s nothing to be upset over. Salem will only be here until Sunday. Sneaky, it might be better for us to talk if you came inside.”
“How do I do that? I couldn’t find any open windows.”
“You can use the cat door. Ramsay installed it recently. Gilly asked him to after she saw me going out. I tried to earn her trust that I wouldn’t go far, and I guess it worked.”
Sneaky followed Kittykai to the other side of the enclosed room and slid through the cat flap she indicated. Ambling over to Kittykai, he rubbed his face against her whiskers. He was so happy to see her again.
Salem said, “I didn’t know you two were a couple.”
“We’re just good friends,” Kittykai told him. At her words, Sneaky’s heart tumbled. He thought they had an understanding especially after that night last August walking back to the inn over the bridge and standing there watching the carp swim in the lake.
Salem approached Sneaky. “I hear you’re a library cat. What’s that like? Do you know how to read?”
Sneaky could only read a few words that he heard over and over again when Alicia edited her work aloud and he was at her house, but he felt like boasting. “Yes. I’ve read Shakespeare and Dickens, most of the classics, and lots of cat books. The library also holds story times where Laura, the children’s librarian, lets the kids pet me after she reads books to them.”
“Interesting. Sounds like you’re a celebrity here in Cobble Cove. I’m from Florida. It’s hotter there than here, but I know your summers can be warm, too. I enjoy lying in the sun out on my patio and looking at the birds in the palm trees. My Lady feeds me real fish sometimes. Her husband catches them.”
Sneaky had never been fed real fish, although Alicia sometimes treated him to boiled chicken tenders. He’d also never seen palm trees except on TV when John was watching golf games taking place in other states. “How did you get here, Salem?” “I flew. My lady had to check my cat carrier at the airport. They told her I had to be stored with the luggage, or she’d have to pay for another seat. I wasn’t too happy about that, but it wasn’t so bad. Then we got in a rental car and drove to the inn.“
Loved that scene, Salem.
What did you like most about your role in No Gravestone Unturned?
Working with you and Kittykai was great. I don’t want to give away anything else that might be a spoiler to readers, but I think I played a big role in the book, aside from you, of course.
Is it true that you came to be added to this book in an unusual way? Can you fill us in about that?
Well, Sneaky, I’m not too proud of the fact that I was an afterthought, but I think I made up for that with my great acting. Debbie originally was only going to feature you and Kittykai in this mystery, but then, while looking at possible images for cats in graveyards for the cover of the book, she noticed there weren’t any Siamese or Calico cats but quite a few black cats. She then decided to add me, and I’m so glad she did.
Thanks for sharing that tidbit of information. I’m sure you know that Debbie has a black cat named Harry. Do you know why she put you in the book and not him?
Well, Harry was just in another of Debbie’s releases, her medical thriller, Memory Makers. I guess she felt she wanted a different dark-furred guy for this one.
That makes sense. Do you think you’ll be back in another Cobble Cove book in the future?
One never knows. Suzanne is John’s cousin so may want to visit Cobble Cove again, or maybe Alicia and John will take a trip with their kids to Florida. I mean Disney World is a great place to visit. There may even be a murder for them to solve there.
Hmmm. That sounds interesting, but Alicia would have to find a way to bring me, and I would love it if Gilly brought Kittykai.
What advice would you give other cat characters who might want to join in a series that has already been ongoing?
Dive right in. There’s plenty of opportunity in cozy mystery books. Cats are very popular in them, but the competition is tough, so don’t give up until an author discovers you.
Excellent advice, Salem. Is there anything else you’d like our readers to know about you or the book?
I guess I just want to recommend it as a great October/Halloween read. It’s available as a paperback and is also an eBook on Amazon and is free on Kindle Unlimited. And don’t forget that the last Cobble Cove book that introduced Kittykai, Love on the Rocks, is free until October 15.
Thanks for mentioning that Salem and for being my guest. It was a pleasure working with you, and I hope we meet again in Cobble Cove or Florida.