Last year, I interviewed the dog of author Julia Knight as well as the author herself, even though it appears Julia does belong to a couple of cats. Today I’m going to talk to Julia about her latest release, the sequel to Ilfayne’s Bane entitled Love Is My Sin. (Personally, I think her sin is owning a DOG as well as some issues I uncovered in the interview having to do with lack of cat goddesses, but supposedly the books these humans write aren’t about THEM, they’re about made up people. Made up people who are frequently unclothed.)
1) Is the heroine in your new book of the race that’s based on cats, like you mentioned in your first interview?
JK: The main heroine of this book is human, however Hilde (who is half of the cat-like people) is there too, getting into trouble, as per usual.
1.5) Can you tell us more about the cat-like people? How are they cat-like besides thinking they are superior? ARE they superior? What biologically connects them to felines? Can they see spots on walls that lesser humans can’t see? Do they sleep a lot? Do strays on the back porch offend them? Do they enjoy killing small animals and then leaving them in the places where humans tend to walk? Do they get hairballs, and if so, how do they deal with them? Do they prefer fish or chicken?
JK: Well, the cat-like people don’t really show up in the second book. But they feel superior, for sure! They also have superior senses to mere humans, so yes they can see spots on the walls that humans can’t, plus nice tails that indicate their emotions and very cat-like eyes. Human strays bother them, but they don’t leave them small animals as presents. Humans aren’t worthy of presents. No hairballs luckily. And chicken, definitely chicken.
2) With the Gan [the race of the hero] having wolves on their armor, are they based on dogs?
JK: Hehe no not quite, though I suppose the loyalty they are so proud of is rather dog-like.
3) Does a reader need to read book 1 to understand book 2?
JK: Not at all. While there is an overarcing plot to the series, each book can be read and enjoyed individually.
4) What’s the heat level of these books? I notice they don’t have a ‘red hot’ designation at Samhain (but the humans on the cover are half-naked).
JK: No, these aren’t red hot. Sweet (Ilfayne’s Bane) / sensual (Love is My Sin) would maybe better describe them. Although I’ve tried my hand at an erotica novella. Saucy pirates! Hopefully my editor will like it.
[[[Meankitty’s Note: Your editor would like it more if they were pirate CATS. Although technically it’s the ninjas who are cats, which makes pirates dogs. And losers. Which probably won’t work for your book.]]]
5) If the heroine were a dude, would he have to sleep with all the chieftans in order to ensure their loyalty? [See the excerpt of Love Is My Sin for an explanation.]
JK: If the heroine were a dude then no, he’d get his wife / sister / daughter to do it, as the chiefs are currently all men, unless he wanted to maybe…. Though he’d get to swap with the other chief’s wife / sister / daughter. Ohh la la! They have a saying ‘Never trade with a man you wouldn’t share your wife with.’ My heroine is trying to get out of having to do it, but it’s so engrained into their culture, it’s very difficult. She hopes that by marrying Aran she can stop it, at least for her, because the Gan are extremely monogamous. Extremely. As she thinks in her first appearance – a Gan man would kill any man who tried it!
6) Do any of the gods or goddesses in your world’s religion(s) take on cat shapes? What about just their heads?
JK: Sadly no, no cat-like gods. Maybe I could pop one into the third book, just for you.
6.5) Do you have any DOG gods or goddesses? If you don’t have any cat ones, clearly you can’t have dog ones.
JK: No dog gods, of course not. I wouldn’t offend MeanKitty in such a way!
7) Why is the second book shorter than the first book?
JK: That was just the natural length of each story, really. I didn’t want to add fluff just so they’d be similar sizes :D. The second book has a rather faster pace than the first, but that’s more because of who the main hero / heroine are, their personalities.
[[[Meankitty’s Note: It’s probably because the first book had more cat people and thus required more words to describe their awesomeness.]]]
8) How long did it take you to write this manuscript? Compared to book 1? What about edits?
JK: This book took eight months from start to finish, including my own edits (Ilfayne’s Bane took a couple of years, mainly because it was the first thing I’d ever written and I had to re-write as I learned. This book required a lot less re-writing, more just polishing.) The edits from my editor were more minimal this time too. Maybe I’m getting the hang of this. I hope so!
9) How much did you have to neglect your cats to get this book finished?
JK: Not at all. They sat on my lap and helped by clicking / sitting on / chasing the mouse while I was trying to write.
10) Does the hero shave off his facial hair in the course of the book so he looks exactly like the dude on the cover?
JK: Hehe, no he still has a short trimmed beard [[in the book]]. But I’m not complaining about the guy on the cover because I could drool all day. Other than the beard he looks very similar to how I pictured the hero, so I’m very pleased.
11) Would you like to tell us more about how you’re going to incorporate cat-headed goddesses, cat people and/or cats in your next book? This will obviously make your book a lot better and ensure it sells more copies, so we agree with you that it would be a wise career move.
JK: I haven’t worked out the details yet. Maybe a cat could save all the stupid humans from the bad guy? 😀