Today I’ve tracked down author Yolanda Sfetsos from Australia. She publishes an assortment of mostly paranormal fiction with a number of publishers including Samhain and Cobblestone. She is owned by Loki (pictured), who keeps her on task but needs to be working a leeeeeeeetle bit harder on seeing to that whole “feline protagonists” bit authors of good taste and great skill are known to heed. I mean, all those books and no CATS? Come on, Loki. You can do better by your poor author! Don’t you want to increase her sales and popularity?
1) Why did you decide to be a writer instead of a cat sanctuary owner?
That’s a question that I’ve often asked myself. But I don’t think Loki (my kitty) would want me to start one at the moment. Still, there’s time to convince him otherwise. 😉
2) Why do you think cats are better than dogs? (Since you call yourself a writer, I trust your answer will be eloquent.)
Let me just start by saying that I like dogs, as well as most other animals–especially big cats, like tigers. But cats are just so independent and easy to live with. They’ve all got their own unique personalities and a lot of confidence. I also love the way they strut around.
Loki’s with me all the time. I call him my writing buddy.
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?
I’m a little embarrassed to say that I really haven’t included felines in my fiction as much as I should. But I did write a story about a shape-shifting black cat called THE CAT’S CHARM, and it was a lot of fun to write. I promise that I’ve also got other ideas that will feature more felines.
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?
5) What are your favorite works of fiction involving cats or favorite fictional cats?
I really enjoy Rachel Vincent’s Shifters series, which features some lovely black cats that also become humans. Oh, and I like Mercy Thompson’s cat, Medea, from Patricia Briggs’s popular urban fantasy series. As well as Simon’s Cat.
6) Do you have any amazing, or at least humorous, real life cat stories you’d like to share?
If I want humorous, I usually go to YouTube to check out funny kitty videos. But I can tell you that my cat knows how to say “Now?”, “Daddy” and “Mum”. I have no idea how it happened, but it’s very clear when he says each word. Oh, and he likes to give me his version of kisses – rubbing his head against my forehead – throughout the day. Sometimes he does it on his own but if I ask, Loki always delivers.
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.
I prefer short hair, which is what Loki is.
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.
Definitely C. I actually enjoy playing a little game of hide and seek with Loki before I settle down to write. Then, when the game’s done, he settles down somewhere nearby, where he’s always close enough to pet.
How goes the discussion about discipline in your house?
We try not to get into it too often… since Loki’s pretty sure that he runs the place and dishes out the discipline. He certainly keeps my daughter in line.
What one thing would you change about your pet/human?
I wouldn’t change anything about Loki. Except, maybe it would be cool if he could talk. Then I’d know exactly what’s going on inside that head of his. I’m pretty sure he’d have a lot of interesting things to say because he’s always chatting in cat-talk.
Can you type with a cat stretched out across your wrists? If not, why not? Otherwise, how’s the carpal tunnel?
I think I could type with a cat stretched out across my wrists, but luckily, I don’t have to. When Loki joins me, he likes to stretch out on the desk in front of me. Or if we’re on the couch, he likes to sit nearby.
When you’re in the zone with your writing, what does your cat have to do to get your attention?
He jumps up onto the desk (if he’s not already there) and instead of stretching out, he sits up straight. Right in front of the screen so that I can’t see anything but him.