Our interview series has sadly become sporadic as my human has slowly harassed and conned nearly every reader and author she knows into participating. Today we happily have fresh meat in the form of author Pippa Jay, who writes sciencey romancey lovey stuff, among other things.
1) Why did you decide to be a writer instead of a cat sanctuary owner? (You do, after all, seem to have many animals that cats would really enjoy eating, I mean, meeting.)
Well, first off writing is generally a lot less smelly. I actually worked at a local cat rescue centre for a year, so I know from experience (unless one of my little monsters is home, in which case it can be as smelly, noisy, and destructive as running a cat sanctuary. Maybe more so.). It’s also cheaper (in relative terms. I occasionally sell a book but I think I’m meant to *give away* the cats to new homes). Writing also doesn’t demand I pet it, doesn’t vomit on my carpets or trash my furniture. On the other hand, my writing doesn’t purr for me either.
2) Why DO you have chickens, a gecko and fish instead of a cat, anyway?
We had two cats before we had our kids. The cats didn’t enjoy the arrival of the kids, and we had a few clashes. When the the second cat passed away (at the grand age of 17 in his favourite sunbathing spot), I couldn’t actually face getting another one to replace him. I refused to have a dog – hubs refused to have cats, hamsters or rabbits, so those were out. We chose chickens because they come with benefits (eggs), the gecko is unusual (and I have a fondness for reptiles), and fish are easy and don’t leave hair on the furniture. My youngest was diagnosed with asthma last year, so we also felt any pet hair might be a health risk for him and aggravate his condition. I would still like to have a cat one day but hubs would then insist on having a dog (and I am NOT having a dog).
3) Why do you think cats are better than dogs? (Since you call yourself a writer, I trust your answer will be eloquent.)
Cats are bad-ass, self-sufficient, confident, fluffy – I’d love to be at least three out of those four myself, so I admire cats a lot. Cats don’t need to be taken for walks, and you aren’t legally required to pick up their poop (not on a regular basis anyway. We do, unfortunately, find ourselves occasionally having to deal with poop from the neighbours’ cats when they use our veggie patch as a toilet). I’m also a Leo, so I identify with cats a lot more than dogs.
4) Tell me about the felines in your fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play in your narratives? (On the off-chance you have yet to incorporate cats into your fiction, when or how do you plan to rectify this egregious error and demonstration of poor writing skills?)
Oh, I have cats in my books! I have a war-like, felinoid species called the Tier-vane in my SciFi rom Tethered. They’re the villains of the piece – ferocious and powerful – and play a big role in that book. As yet, that’s the only story they’ve appeared in. I also have a species similar to griffins (part cat, part bird) that’ll appear in book four of my current time-travel series – I’ve only published up to book two so far, with number three due for release 2017, so I haven’t quite reached them, but they are awesome! Smart, but not monsters. I even have a superhero short with a cat-based heroine, though I’ve yet to finish it. So I’ve no doubt other cat-related creatures and races will turn up in future books.
5) Do you have chickens, fish or geckos in your books?
In a manner of speaking, yes. I have both avian and reptilian races in several of my books (I try to give all species a fair representation!). I also have a cephalopod species, but in general fish have mostly just appeared as a food item.
6) What are your favorite works of fiction or cinema involving cats or favorite fictional cats?
One of my favourite SciFi stories ever is a Star Trek extended universe book called Uhura’s Song by Janet Kagan. It features two divided felinoid cultures, and I loved it. My first email address was even based on one of the characters – Toolongtail. I also have a soft spot for the Cheetah People in Survival (Doctor Who, 7th), and the feline Sisters of Plenitude (New Earth and Gridlock, Doctor Who, 10th). And of course there’s Cat from Red Dwarf, played by Danny John-Jules, who evolved over six million years from Dave Lister’s pet cat Frankenstein.
7) Tell us the funniest story you remember about your current menagerie or past pets, unless, of course, it’s a story that reflects poorly on cats. (Stories of dogs being dumb are received particularly well by our audience.)
8) If your space travelers were to encounter a world run by cats, what do you think that world would be like?
It would depend if you’re talking about our modern domesticated cat being on a world specially adapted for them, or an evolved feline species capable of shaping their own. With the former, I imagine it would be pretty much like Earth except humans would be the stay-home pets serving their feline overlords, no dogs obviously, and a plentiful supply of cat treats, gourmet cat food, litter trays, and cosy warm places to sleep. If they’re evolved – well, they’ll have high-tech versions, including robotic petters. Human beings would definitely be redundant, and dogs totally extinct. 😛
9) Zombie cats superheroes. How would that work?
DON’T GIVE ME MORE PLOT BUNNIES!!
10) What’s for dinner?
Bacon, eggs, sausages, baked beans, and chips (fries). Not really suitable kitty snacks.
Meankitty’s note: BRING ON THE BACON AND EGGS! I will sniff and lick them and then bat them all over the rug!
Some cool stuff about Pippa’s newest book:
Sal, a legal carrier (just about) of whatever comes her way, puts her trust in just two things: her guns.
Keeping out from under Imperium eyes—especially those belonging to a certain Ehi Wahu—while making a living, and trying to keep a lover who can tolerate her twitchy trigger fingers, are the extent of her ambitions.
Then a kiss from a passing stranger, and a promise of the biggest score in a long time, tempt her. Devin fulfils more than one need, but he comes with more trouble than one woman can handle. And this time it’ll take more than her guns to save her. She’ll have to trust a man again.
Releasing 31st March. Pre-order at Amazon for $0.99 or read for free via Kindle Unlimited http://mybook.to/Quickshot
Meankitty & Jody W.
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com