Once again, to demonstrate my superior egalitarian nature, I have allowed both author Julia Knight and her canine to answer my interview questions. The canine, Frek, or Freckles for short, does seem to have somewhat proper respect for his feline betters!
1) Why did you decide to be a writer instead of a cat sanctuary owner?
1 – I do both! All my animals ( currently two cats, one dog) are rescued. I did have another cat who thought he was both human, and my boyfriend. Sadly he died he though he was superior to cars and tried to attack one. It didn’t work out so well.
2) Why do you think cats are better than dogs? (Since you call yourself a writer, I trust your answer will be eloquent.)
2 – Cats don’t need to be walked even if it’s raining cats and dogs. I appreciate that about them. Sadly the dog needs walking even if it means frostbite.
3) Tell me about the felines in your fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play in your narratives?
3 – While I don’t have strictly felines, I do have a race of beings that are somewhat like cat-people. They have the same eyes, and even tails. They are obviously superior to everyone else, and dislike anyone who isn’t as perfect as they are. Which is everyone.
4) On the off-chance you have yet to incorporate cats into your fiction, when do you plan to rectify this egregious error and demonstration of poor writing skills?
4 – As above. Though I’m currently working on an erotic pirate novel and I’m not sure quite how well feline / human interaction would work in that context….Though one of the ships is called the Black Cat, if that helps.
5) What are your favorite works of fiction involving cats or favorite fictional cats?
5 – Greebo! He does just whatever he likes, including scaring anything upto and including angry she-bears 😀
6) Do you have any amazing, or at least humorous, real life cat stories you’d like to share?
6 – Oh yes, indeed. I came home one day to find feathers all over my front room. No sign of an injured or dead bird though. Several hours later I noticed my two cats were taking an unusual interest in what was behind the TV. I took a peek, and what do you think I found? A chicken. A slightly battered but alive chicken. How they got it through the catflap I’ll never know…. One of my cats likes to attack dogs too – I’m sure Meankitty will like that!
7) Multiple choice 1. What is your preference and why?
A) Long hair
B) Short hair
C) No hair
— Note: I am not, of course, referring to the hirsute qualities of your most recent hero or heroine.
7 – B – Short hair. Less vaccuuming, but still fluffy!
8) Multiple choice 2. You have a writing deadline but the cat who rules you wants some attention. Desperately. Do you:
A) Lock the cat in another room and keep working?
B) Pet the cat for a couple minutes and then toss her cruelly aside?
C) Pet the cat as long as she wants because you know it will inspire and refresh you? — Note: If you answered anything besides C, we suggest you consider the fact you could have written a much better book if you had been inspired and refreshed instead of mean to the cat.
8 – c – My cats are quite good at falling alseep on my desk. Good for keeping my hands warm on cold nights. One of them also likes to chase the mouse pointer around the screen so I can work and keep him amused at the same time.
How goes the discussion about discipline in your house?
Discipline, well the cats have none! The dog does what everyone else tells him – including what the cats tell him. He knows his place.
What one thing would you change about your pet?
I would stop one of the cats whose primary objective in life is to steal my wine! If I don’t keep an eye on the glass he’ll stick his head right in, drink it then wobble off for a nice snooze.
Can you type with a cat stretched out across your wrists? If not, why not? Otherwise, how’s the carpal tunnel?
My cat prefers to sleep on the desk which I can cope with – or my lap. Sadly I have yet to learn to ignore the needle sharp claws paddling into my thigh which means I get a lot of typos
When you’re in the zone with your writing, what does your pet have to do to get your attention?
He steals my wine!
1 – I don’t think she has any dogs in her stories, so they must be interesting? It makes me feel quite jealous.
2) If writers are supposed to be so smart, why does your writer have a dog instead of a cat when it’s common knowledge cats are better? Does that mean your writer isn’t very smart?
2 – I think my owner bought me as a toy for the cats. They love to taunt me by sleeping on the sofa ( which I’m not allowed to do) or climbing on the kitchen worktops to steal food and look at me smugly. If I complain I get a face full of claws. They never actually play with me though.
3) So why did your human end up a writer instead of a animal sanctuary owner or something like that?
3 – The trouble she has with these cats, I think two is enough! Plus her thighs can’t take any more of the clawing. So she has to write instead. It’s quite sad really.
4) Does being a writer mean your human is home all day and easy to access? What is her day like?
4 – She works out of the house in the mornings, but I see her for the rest of the day. She writes until the kids come home from school. Then we play in the park or go to the local forest. Once the kids are in bed she writes some more. I like to sleep on her feet while she writes.
5) As a dog, you’re probably not devious or fascinating, but on the off-chance you do have feline traits, what are your techniques for distracting your human during crucial writing moments?
5 – I do have one cunning way to distract her from writing. I sit and stare at the back of her head for ages. The slightest hint that she’s going to get up, such as the chair wheels back half a milimeter, and then I bark as loud as I can, right by her ear if I can manage it. She loves it!
6) What indignities and neglect have you suffered because of your human’s writing career?
6 – She leaves the cats to ‘look after me’ which usually involves them stealing food and trying to blame it on me, or the face full of claws routine. I know my place – at the bottom!
7) We’ve established your human doesn’t write stories full of hyped up lies about dogs. Tell me about the felines in your human’s fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play?
7 – The cat-like people play a reasonably large role in her first book, Ilfayne’s Bane. In fact the heroine, Hilde, is half one herself, so you could say that they are quite a focus there. The relationship between the cat-people and Ilfayne is very strained though – they regard him as too rash and impetuous, too doglike
8) When your human gets together with other writers, do they spend half their time sniffing each other’s butts like dogs do?
8 – I don’t think so, I can’t think why. There do seem to be a lot of glasses smelling of grape when they’ve finished though.
9) What is your human’s next project (bonus points if you answer: getting a cat)?
9 – She has mentioned getting another cat as it happens. But writing wise, a sequel to Ilfayne’s Bane is finished and she’s working on something to do with pirates. She says she can’t put any animals in it because that would be squicky.