Meankitty Wants to Know: Tula Neal

Romance author Tula Neal is formerly owned by a dignified feline named Victor. Clearly she needs to rectify that “formerly owned by” situation since there haven’t been enough cats starring in her books. She claims to be fixing that in her WIP, a paranormal romance (see below), so perhaps that means there’s a little kitty in her future!

1) Why did you decide to be a writer instead of a cat sanctuary owner?

That’s a very good question. I’m not sure. I love writing but I also love cats. I’ll have to give that more thought. Maybe the sanctuary is in my future! Or maybe I can write about a cat sanctuary owner. Hmm.

2) Why do you think cats are better than dogs? (Since you call yourself a writer, I trust your answer will be eloquent.)

Cats are the very epitome of genteel elegance, of course. None of that vulgar barking and slobbering for them! It’s no wonder that the cat represented the goddess Bastet in ancient Egypt. Cats are also the perfect companions for writers – quiet and medititative.

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?

Sadly, there are no cats in my published fiction – mostly because my characters are usually on the move. For example, in my vampire short story, Sleep: The Vampire Oracle, my heroine has been living in captivity for more than a hundred years while in The Mermaid’s Mission, she’s, well, a mermaid trying to save her home. In my latest, Daughter of Egypt, which will be out from Amira Press in November, Imi, the heroine, steals the symbols of Egyptian royalty from a Roman temple and is on her way back to Ephesus when she’s captured by a pirate.

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?

Actually, I’m working on it. I’ve begun a novel-length paranormal and one of my characters is a were-cat. Does that count? She’s a red-headed spitfire who is an expert knife-thrower and a Muay Thai master. She hates water!

5) What are your favorite works of fiction involving cats or favorite fictional cats?

The Cat in the Hat, of course. Just love his zaniness! And you didn’t ask but my favorite cat song is Mr. Mistoffeles!

6) Do you have any amazing, or at least humorous, real life cat stories you’d like to share?

I’d had other kittens before I got Victor from the shelter and all of them used to go hide under the bed or the nearest piece of furniture but not Victor! From the time he came in the house, it was like he owned it. I still remember how he strutted up and down on that first day, inspecting everything and totally the king of all he surveyed! Another thing I thought was amazing about him – I used to go hiking in the hills behind the house I lived in then and he’d come along! He just took the initiative and started following me out the door and up into the hills. I was so proud of him! Victor is gone now but he will never be forgotten

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. Less of a furball problem.

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?

D) None of the above. Victor used to sit on my lap as I typed. Usually, he drowsed but I’d stroke him whenever I was having trouble with a plot point or whatever. Then he’d purr like a little engine. Eventually, I’d start writing again so petting him must have helped!

9) When you’re in the zone with your writing, what does a cat have to do to get your attention?

Kneading my thighs will definitely do it!


Meankitty & Typing Slave *