Romance author JB McDonald isn’t perfect. She has 2 dogs instead of cats. (Cash is the big hairy dude and Lily is the pit bull.) HOWEVER, her first book has a cat shifter, and from the sound of the following interview, the dogs are giving her sufficient trouble, almost like cats. So I consented to interview Lily and Cash, and I highly doubt, despite Lily’s insistence, that JB’s book Treasure Hunting is terrible :).
1) So, your human writes books. Are they (a) full of praise and hyped up lies about dogs; or (b) do they contain interesting stories? If A, interview is over. If B, you may continue.
Cash: We’re beginning to think our human doesn’t love us at all. She hasn’t published any books with dogs, and in her first book the man changes into a cat (Treasure Hunting). It’s terrible.
Lily: So, obviously, the stories could be better. But they’re still pretty interesting!
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?
Lily: I think she just knows that I’m a fierce pit bull who’d shred a cat to ribbons, and so she’s showing great restraint in keeping it down to dogs and a bird.
Cash: Remember that time the cat chased you from the house and wouldn’t let you back in?
3) So why did your human end up a writer instead of a animal sanctuary owner or something like that?
Cash: That is a good question. We could have had even more dogs, all this time!
Lily: Cash, you dork. If she did something foolish like start an animal sanctuary, then she’d have much less time to play with us. I’m starting to wonder about your priorities, kitty. Animal sanctuary. What are you thinking?
4) Does being a writer mean your human is home all day and easy to access? What is her day like?
Cash: As soon as we see her eyes open in the morning, we leap into action!
Lily: I scoot up from the foot of the bed to cuddle, encouraging her to spend good, healthy time snuggling with me instead of staring at the computer screen.
Cash: And I LEAP onto the bed and announce that the DAY HAS BEGUN, AND IT’S GLORIOUS!
Lily: …you’re such a twit.
Cash: And then there’s DOGGIE WESTLE MANIA!
Lily: *sighs* Then she gets up and makes coffee–
Cash: And NEVER lets me have any. It’s tragic.
Lily –and turns on the computer after letting us out briefly.
Cash: That’s when our real work begins, distracting her from the evils of writing too much.
Lily: Over the next several hours, we work really hard (in between napping), but usually she manages to spend more time with the computer than with us. But then she gets dressed and we start dog training! I have a very important role in this. My job is to get other dogs to calm down.
Cash: OHMYGOSH. OHMYGOSH. Can I tell this part? It’s the best part! We go visit with these other two dogs who are in training, and… we all get to walk!
Lily: But I do the important job.
Cash: And we go downtown–!
Lily: Like keeping one dog calm so she learns not to attack other dogs–
Cash: And there are people–!
Lily: –and teaching the other dog that nothing’s scary.
Cash: And stuff–!
Lily: *sighs* And I’m teaching Cash to behave, too.
Cash: And other dogs–!
Lily: Later when we get home, she goes to the gym and then takes us scootering–
Cash: I’m really good at pulling!
Lily: –which is like dogsledding, but on the sidewalk with wheels.
Cash: Really really good! I could show you sometime!
Lily: And then it’s dinnertime.
Cash: And we get to eat–! …that’s kinda boring.
Lily: Mmmm. Fooooooooooood.
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?
Lily: I find that resting my head on the keyboard and slowly pressing usually works. For added bonus, I like to rest right over the delete key. The sound she makes as she tries to push me away is like music to my ears! And if that doesn’t work, I try to distract her with soulful looks and quiet whining, as if I’m in extreme pain.
Cash: All I have to do is look at her. MASTER OF DISTRACTION, RIGHT HERE! Booyah.
6) What indignities and neglect have you suffered because of your human’s writing career (besides the absence of a cat to properly rule the house)?
Cash: We have to live in an APARTMENT.
Lily: We always had to live in an apartment.
Cash: We don’t get petted every moment.
Lily: That is tragic. And she stays up late, keeping us up, too. I need my beauty sleep!
Cash: …but you nap all day anyway.
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?
Cash: We mentioned the novel with the man who changes into a cat, right?
Lily: It’s horrible. I still have dreams about cats, and she has to introduce a giant spotted cat who’s actually a man. Or a man who’s a cat — I’m a little fuzzy on the details.
Cash: At one point he escapes from being shot by changing into a big cat and vanishing into the forest, taking the girl with him. There’s this scary chase scene and lots of descriptions of racing, but the important question is — who would want to ride on the back of a jungle cat? A dog makes much mores sense. Maybe pulling a sled.
Lily: Which is what happens in the next book! Only without the jungle.
Cash: Or the cat. And the dogs don’t change into humans.
Lily: Well… that’s true. But it’s almost the same.
8) When your human gets together with other writers, do they spend half their time sniffing each other’s butts like dogs do?
Lily: No, which is a pity. They spend an awful lot of time cackling about things, and I’m not sure it’s healthy. I think they’d probably do better to start out with crotch sniffing and go from there.
Cash: …when I sniff people’s butts, they practically fall over escaping. It’s hilarious.
9) What is your human’s next project (bonus points if you answer: getting a cat)?
Cash: She’s writing a book about dogs! There’s sled dogs and crippled dogs and PUPPIES! And the dogs SAVE THE DAY! They get the humans together and show them how to enjoy themselves and even rescue a human when he gets stuck in the mountains! It’s a whole book about doggie derring-do!
Lily: …I think you just ended our interview. Yup, look, there goes Meankitty. Good going, Cash. Sheesh.
The human author will be signing books at Yaoi*Con in San Fran this month, Oct 30-Nov 1, at the Torquere table. To my knowledge, the dogs will not be with her.