Meankitty Wants to Know: Kate Willoughby

MochialertThis human author type, Kate Willoughby, has a dog that’s pretty catlike, I must say. Small enough for me and Big D to take out if it tried to creep into our territory. I like that in a dog. My human saw these pictures, and she was all, “Awwwwww!” so I had to scratch her to remind her who is boss in this house. The Willoughby author writes books about humans who take off their clothes a lot and do that thing I don’t care about because I’m fixed. I’ve asked the dog, Mochi, what it’s like to live in the Willoughby household.

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.

1. My human has written one book that had three dogs in it, A Wolf at her Door. (Link: http://amzn.to/MxDHic)  One of them, Rocky, was a Chihuahua like me, and he was my favorite character. The dogs played a crucial role in the story since they all defended the heroine when she was chased by coyotes. I personally would never take on a coyote, but she writes fiction. I don’t think humans would do half the stuff she makes them do in her books. I suppose the stories are interesting, despite the lack of cats and dogs. The one with the dogs won an Eppie, though.

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?

2. My human had a cat when she was younger. That black and white cat was precious to her and lived to the ripe age of fifteen. Tonto was a good mother, a skilled hunter, and champion purrer. My human was very sad when Tonto disappeared and suspected that her beloved pet knew the end was near and went off to expire with dignity and privacy. These days, my human is older and weighs more than a human her height should. She needed a pet to help motivate her to exercise. Enter me! We go on walks all the time. Adopting a cat wasn’t going to help her in that way.

{Meankitty’s note: Here’s a cheery grey and white cat that would like to live with Willoughby and Mochi ANYWAY and could probably find a way to make Willoughby increase her activity level by running amuck, going into other rooms and howling as if in pain, kakking on the opposite side of the house, escaping out the door and making a break for it, etc.}

Bandits_Smile

3) So why did your human end up a writer instead of a animal sanctuary owner or something like that?

3. My human loves to read. She is often reading more than one book at a time. She also loves to write, one of the main reasons why she needs that exercise. Her butt is in the chair for many hours everyday.

4) Does being a writer mean your human is home all day and easy to access? What is her day like?

4. My human leaves the house regularly for a job. When she comes home she smells strongly of coffee. She and one of her male pups work for a place called Starbucks. She brought me there once to show me off to her co-workers. Unfortunately there was no food on the floor for me to eat.

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?

5. I am often in need of petting, so I have been known to rise up and plant my front paws on her leg. She’s pretty smart and knows that means I need to go outside or be picked up. As for distractions, she doesn’t need me for that. She has something called Twitter and Candy Crush Saga that do the job far better than I could.

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)?

6. To tell the truth, I live a pretty good life. I did some time in the animal shelter. I don’t really remember how long I was caged up because I try to block it out, but I do remember it was a cold, heartless place filled with despair. Living with my human is like a dream come true.

mochiblanket7) 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?

7. No comment. (Please don’t scratch me. It’s not my fault.)

8) When your human gets together with other writers, do they spend half their time sniffing each other’s butts like dogs do?

8. I’ve never actually witnessed my human with other writers except for this one time she met with her critique partner, Dee J. Adams. Dee J. has two dogs, so I’m afraid I spent all my time sniffing their butts and vice versa and I can’t answer your question.

9) Tell us, from a dog’s POV, about your human’s most recent publication.

9. My human is writing a bunch of books about hockey players. It’s not surprising. She’s watching hockey on TV all the time. I’m not exaggerating. We have a very large HD TV and she turns the sound up real loud. She yells. She leaps up and cheers. She curses. She gets so excited, sometimes I think hockey is the human equivalent of going on a walk. Last night, there was a big kerfuffle because a human who is a retired hockey player agreed to be her hockey consultant. Personally, I’m hoping she takes me along when she goes to tour the Los Angeles Kings practice facility because there have got to be some outstanding smells there to smell, especially in the locker room and the workout area.

Anyway, the first hockey book is silly if you ask me. It’s about a hockey player who punches someone. A female human is standing in line so the player can write his name on a hat (which is a completely useless exercise, if you ask me), and some other human in the line gets mad at her and pushes her to the ground and the hockey human doesn’t like that and punches him. I guess maybe the hockey human got a whiff of the female and wanted her to be a member of his pack and not a member of that other human’s pack.

10) What is your human’s next project (bonus points if you answer: getting a cat)?

10. My human’s next project is another book about another hockey human. This book should be more interesting because there is a lot of food mentioned and described in it. I love human food. The female human in it is a chef. My human wants to cook some of the recipes in the book, like tamale soup. If I’m good, I may get a little tidbit tossed my way.

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Meankitty and the Human Typist

www.meankitty.com  * www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants to Know: Janni Nell

It’s another dog-tending author day! Poor Janni Nell. Good books, according to my human, but this awful dog named Vitomus Maximus aka Vito lives at her house! Let’s find out more about the human from the dog’s perspective…

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.

[[Note: this question had no answer. Hm!]]

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?

Well, puss—you don’t mind if I call you that—my human is allergic to cats. Just like me. Go figure.

3) So why did your human end up a writer instead of an animal sanctuary owner or something like that?

I can only guess that she’d rather be at home with me than out in the real world. Frankly, who wouldn’t want to spend all day with a gorgeous boy like me.

4) Does being a writer mean your human is home all day and easy to access? What is her day like?

Not only is she easy to access but she’s well trained. We go for lots of long walks around the neighbourhood. While I’m having my post walk nap, I allow her to write.

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?

If the ‘nose nudge’ doesn’t work, there’s always the ‘sit and look cute’ or the ‘whine and look neglected’ ploys. One of these usually results in a nice tummy rub.

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)?

Are you kidding? I rule that house. There’s no cat because I make it so.

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?

Gee, scratching my head here… My human is a woman of discernment and taste. Nope, no cats in her books. Okay, there was that one cutesy scene, but we don’t talk about that.

8) When your human gets together with other writers do they spend time sniffing each other’s butts?

Of course not, their olfactory system is very primitive compared to a dog’s. They mostly spend time talking and drinking that foul beverage coffee.

9) Tell us, from a dog’s POV, about your human’s most recent publication.

It was called Night of the Dark Horse. Horse? Seriously? She couldn’t have used: Night of the Noble Dog or Night of the Scaredy Cat.

10) What is your human’s next project (bonus points if you answer: getting a cat)?

You know what you can do with your bonus points. I don’t suck up to cats. My human’s next project is a cozy mystery series. No dogs in it yet, but I’m working on that.

***

Sincerely,

Meankitty & The Human Who Is Thankfully Not Allergic to Cats
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants to Know: Sharon Cullen

MORE DOGS. I don’t know what it is with all these dog writer types out there, but my human just keeps stumbling across them like fleas. What happened to all the cat-owned writers? Did we already interview them all? I don’t know, but I’ve got another dog for you today, by the name of Cory (and Winston), who lives with author Sharon Cullen.

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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?

Well, now, you certainly don’t mince words. Her stories are interesting and they contain dogs, but no cats.

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?

Psssshhh. So that’s how this interview is going to go, is it? My writer actually has TWO dogs. Winston is a Labrador Retriever. My name is Cory and I am an American Bulldog. Winston’s old. He can’t hear very well and he sometimes has trouble getting around. I like to snuggle with him. And my writer is very smart. She writes books.

3) So why did your human end up a writer instead of a animal sanctuary owner or something like that?

My human would love to adopt every abandoned dog out there, but she says she can’t afford it and the house is too small. She hopes to someday sign that million dollar contract that would allow her to purchase a larger home for all the DOGS she wants to adopt.

4) Does being a writer mean your human is home all day and easy to access? What is her day like?

Unfortunately she works outside the home so she isn’t home to scratch my belly all day long. When she is home she lets us out in the morning and feeds us, then she pets us for awhile. After that we curl up in the sunny patch and fall asleep. She calls this our food coma. That’s when she gets some work done, like promoting and what she calls the “business” side of writing. Whatever that means. Every once in a while we’ll wake up enough to wander over and ask for an ear scratching and she’ll happily oblige. She writes in the evening, after our dinner. I like to play in the evening and she gets mad sometimes because if she doesn’t pay enough attention to me I sort of knock her lap top over.

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?

Sometimes I get jealous of her computer because its the only thing that can sit on her lap. I would make a GREAT lap dog, but she doesn’t allow me up there. And she stares at that screen ALL THE TIME. Sometimes I don’t like it. I’ve learned that I can get attention real fast if I put my nose under her laptop and flip it off her lap. She gets mad but when I look at her with my big brown eyes she’ll usually pet me.

I’ve also learned how to unplug her laptop. She gets mad at that too, but it doesn’t last long. All I have to do is bat my long eyelashes at her.

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)?
Sometimes, when her fingers are flying across the keyboard, she’ll forget to feed us on time. We like to start bugging her about eating around 4pm but she grumbles that it’s way too early for us to eat. But we’re HUNGRY. So we pace in front of her. If she doesn’t move, then I’ll bark, but that just makes her growl at me. What really gets her up and moving is when I grab things like the mouse, or the pillows off the couch. Then she’ll get up and feed us.

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?
Er. Well. That is to say. I don’t believe there are any felines in her books. There are dogs, of course, because no story is complete without a loyal dog at her hero or heroine’s side. But no cats.,

8) When your human gets together with other writers, do they spend half their time sniffing each other’s butts like dogs do?
Haha. You are so funny. Not. Although how they know who everyone is without sniffing butts, I don’t know.

9) Tell us, from a dog’s POV, about your humans most recent publication.

The hero, Phin, is a pirate and the king has told him to capture a traitor or his life is forfeit. The heroine, Mairi, is the sister of the traitor who hires Phin to find her brother, not knowing Phin has to kill her brother. It’s all rather intriguing and suspenseful.

10) What is your human’s next project (bonus points if you answer: getting a cat)?
From what I’ve heard her say, it’s a different story than she usually writes. No suspense or danger or intrigue in this one. It’s about a hero who returns from the Crimean War with a brain injury. He and his wife have to learn to live with his injuries and find a way to save their marriage. That book will be released in the beginning of 2015. No cats. But the story is still a work-in-progress. If she includes a cat, I’ll have to flip her laptop off her lap.

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Meankitty & the Typist
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants to Know: Seleste deLaney

Author Seleste deLaney confessed to the human the other day that there were dogs, Zeus and Pandora, in her house, kind of like a termite infestation that Orkin just can’t spray out of existence. While I do fear for the stability of the author’s home, I decided to go ahead and get the dogs’ POVs on what life is like in the deLaney household, because I’m awesomely open-minded like that.

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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.

Zeus: A! A! Lots of A! B is only for bacon!

Pandora: *sigh* Zeus, darling, I think I saw a squirrel in the yard.

Zeus: Squirrel? *runs off*

Pandora: Sorry, he’s a little…special. B, because my human’s books are as good as bacon.

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?

Pandora: *growls* Watch it, furball. I could eat you. My human would have a menagerie if she could. But as cats are known to instigate, she is unwilling to allow them into our home.

Also…she’s allergic.

3) So why did your human end up a writer instead of a animal sanctuary owner or something like that?

She learned early that if she started collecting animals, she would never stop, so she had to limit herself. As far as writing, she is as lazy as a cat during the day and comes alive at night. Thus she prefers to set her own schedule. We’re trying to train her properly, but so far it isn’t working.

4) Does being a writer mean your human is home all day and easy to access? What is her day like?

She is home much of the day, but easy to access is a different story. Since she keeps cat-hours at night, she is often tired in the morning. But she uses her daytime for non-writing work like hanging with the birds on that twitter thing and showing off her face on the computer book. Then, the children come home and she turns into the human we all know and love. Only once they are in bed does she settle in to write. And it is best if we leave her alone then as she gets cranky if disturbed. So we sleep on her feet so she remembers to let us out.

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?’

As I am a dog, I am more polite than most cats. However, if I need my human, I jump on her. I can assure you that a properly timed 50-lb jump is more effective than anything one of your stature can accomplish.

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)?

She sometimes forgets we are outside. I don’t mind so much, but Zeus prefers his comforts. Also water. Other than breakfast and dinner, she almost has to trip over the bowl before she notices if the bowl is empty…fortunately the toilets are clean enough.

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?

My human writes more cats into her books than dogs simply because cats are easier to forget. If she needs to kill off an animal, she puts in a dog because people care more when the dog dies. The two main cats in her books are Nikita (a Russian Blue in the Blood Kissed series) and Cyclops (a partially clockwork and slightly crazy mountain lion in the Badlands series). Both play somewhat integral roles in the books, but I still prefer Worf in Gaming for Keeps. He was sexy—but don’t mention that to Zeus.

8) When your human gets together with other writers, do they spend half their time sniffing each other’s butts like dogs do?

As opposed to licking themselves like cats? As I haven’t ever been with her for such an event, I can only assume she behaves as a human should—providing love and affection for all the animals around her. Including ungrateful cats.

9) Tell us, from a dog’s POV, about your humans most recent publication.

My human’s latest book came out February 3 and is the sequel to Gaming for Keeps. I am sad to say that Worf doesn’t play a role of any sort in Conning for Keeps, but I’m sure it’s still a perfectly wonderful book as far as humans are concerned. More spies. This time one is a former con artist who can become another person under hypnosis—which is good because Marissa has more of a thing for Trevor than I do for Worf. *licks self* Oh…where was I? Yes, there are mobsters and a cursed painting and a couple nice mounting scenes.

10) What is your human’s next project (bonus points if you answer: getting a cat)?

What comes after depends on something with her schedule. It didn’t rhyme with bacon or food, so I’m not really sure…credits? Can you eat those? Anyway. It will either be Kiss of Life (the next Blood Kissed novel—and yes, Nikita is in it) or she will be branching into her other pen name, Julie Particka, with her first new adult romance about a girl whose fiancé dumps her for her best friend…and she falls for the friend’s older brother. It’s like a love quadrilateral—which is the perfect shape for making a nest of my blankets to sleep on.

Zeus: *runs in* I cornered the squirrel.

Pandora: Where, dear?

Zeus: In a tree. If we hurry, we can catch it. *runs off*

Pandora: *sighs* Yes, dear. Did I mention how incredibly special he is?

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Sincerely,

Meankitty & Typing Human
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants to Know: Danube Adele

We keep running into authors who are dog people. It’s really sad. But my human is fond of them anyway and has convinced me to allow some of them and their slobbery pets to have space on my blog.

Today’s DOG is named Warick and he belongs (dogs belong…cats own) to author person Danube Adele. Danube’s first romance novel QUICKSILVER DREAMS came out in early January 2014. Something about dreams and sneaking into them. The tagline is, “What would you do if you could suddenly read minds, jump into someone else’s dreams and travel instantly to another planet?” Well, MY answer is that I’d find the right humans to dreamwalk, jump into them, and gain control of the world to make it a better place for felines, but apparently Ms. Adele’s heroine doesn’t do that. Because she’s a human, not a cat.

Anyway, let’s talk to the dog for a bit.

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.)

She is a very funny human. I try to show her how exciting the life of a dog can be. I jump after squirrels as they race the super-highway of trees in the backyard, bark at the neighbor’s dog through the fence to show it who’s boss, beg for leftovers (especially when I can smell bacon in the air), but she doesn’t write a story about dogs. She writes about other humans, and how they want to rub on each other and have to save lives on different planets or something like that. I give up.

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?

I convinced my human to let me be her footstool. See, I’m a big, big, Rottweiler puppy (she still calls me her “puppy”, oh, and “puppy-chow” and “stinky” and “chow-hound”). I’m also really cute. She says I have a “Disney” face.

3) So why did your human end up a writer instead of a animal sanctuary owner or something like that?

My human has always been drawn to her imaginary friends. She likes to live in her head and talk to characters who try to convince her to let them come out and play. My other human, the man human, sometimes shakes his head because he doesn’t understand.

4) Does being a writer mean your human is home all day and easy to access? What is her day like?

My human is almost never home! She leaves when the sun is just barely coming out and only gives me my food and a pat on the head before she’s gone. I think she’s a teacher for kids with special needs, but I sure love when she comes home. She sits on the couch with that little electronic square thing on her lap, and I get to sleep under her legs. See, by being right there, I know she’ll reach down and pet me so I can smile up at her with my tongue hanging out. Heaven.

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?

He-he-he…I let out toxic gas smells that are big, just like me. I can really fill up the room. Or I go bark at the squirrels I see through the windows and really make a racket, which I can do cuz I’m a big Rottweiler boy with a loud bark.

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)?

Well, I have to walk clear from one end of the house to the other when I want to go outside because my human likes to sit in the front room of the house. Then I have to wait extra time because she needs to get up and come all the way to the back door, too. Sometimes she doesn’t hear me at first, and I have to cross all my legs to hold it.

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?

Well, in QUICKSILVER DREAMS, Taylor lives in an apartment and works two different jobs, so she didn’t want to leave an animal alone for so long. She was trying to do the right thing. But in the next book, DREAMS OF A WILD HEART, she decided to make felines the protectors of the forest, and they are spirit guides for the humans living near their forest. Pretty cool, really.

8) When your human gets together with other writers, do they spend half their time sniffing each other’s butts like dogs do?

They really should! She doesn’t believe me, but you can really learn a lot about someone by sniffing their butt. Sadly, they go to a pub in town, eat hamburgers (without me) and french-fries and have apple ale while they talk. Why do they like to talk so much? What is there to say? Eat, sleep, and poo, then have someone else clean it up. That’s the life.

9) Tell us, from a dog’s POV, about your humans most recent or upcoming publications.

QUICKSILVER DREAMS was just released 1/6/14, and many people have been emailing and posting wonderful feedback. I know this because my human has been on her square electronic box even more than usual. Taylor, the one character, suddenly starts to read minds and go into people’s dreams. Then she meets a man she likes (not a dog) and he has to save her because for some reason someone’s trying to kill her. They end up having to go to another planet. My human is very happy and excited, but I think she would also be happy and excited taking me to the park so I can sniff other dogs’ butts.

10) What is your human’s next project (bonus points if you answer: getting a cat)?

We had a cat*sniff*, but when I first came as a 6 week old puppy, she didn’t like me and left. I was only trying to play with her, but she just hissed and whacked me with her claws on the face. She decided she didn’t want to live with us anymore and started letting a neighbor feed her on another street. Did I do something wrong?

My human is trying to edit DREAMS OF A WILD HEART, BOOK #2 OF THE DREAMWALKER SERIES at the same time that she’s starting to write Book #3, which doesn’t have a title yet.

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I guess since the human puts cats in her books instead of dogs, we can approve this message :).

Sincerely,

Meankitty & the Typist Human
www.meankitty.com  * www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants to Know: Kendall Grey

Kendall Grey is the author of INHALE, a book described as an urban fantasy by the author and described by me as a long tail about some big fish and some humans. She’s donating all the proceeds from the sales of her fishy trilogy to… Well, you’ll see in the interview. You can find out more: http://www.kendallgrey.com/ and you can find her profanity on Twitter at https://twitter.com/#!/kendallgrey1 (not for the faint of eyeball).

1) While I respect that you want to save the whales and you’re donating the profits for INHALE to whale education programs, why did you decide to be a writer instead of a cat sanctuary owner?

The husband is allergic to cats, so we can’t have any. 🙁 It makes me very sad because I do so adore your species.

There are so many great organizations already out there for cats. It would be redundant to start a sanctuary. But I often donate to such causes, so I do support you, I promise!

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 clearly more intelligent and have more interesting personalities. Dogs have two settings: bounce and sleep. Cats are multidimensional, mysterious, and they don’t bark or eat their own poop [like the dog in the photo]. Therefore, they are superior.

3) Since you already explained your household is deprived of a cat due to a husband’s “allergies”, which we have heard many times before, would you care to discuss why so many writer-females tend to attract biologically inferior mates? I mean, it was YOUR hypothesis, so now you can explain it. (PS If you need us to block hubby’s IP address so you can answer honestly, send it in a separate email.)

It’s because we women like to take care of people. These idiot males don’t know how to organize milk cartons in the fridge based on the freshness date. They can’t load dishwashers properly for maximum cleansing effectiveness. They can’t find what they’re looking for in the closet when it’s staring them in the face. And when they get sick, it’s never “normal” sickness. It’s MAN sickness, which is by definition 1000 times worse than any other form of sick. So, we smart writer females — who have way more sense than any male — take care of the stupid oafs because no one else will.

4) Would you like to share some stories of your floppy dogs embarrassing themselves or being otherwise ridiculous?

I have a long-haired miniature Dachshund. She’s very cute, but she has a habit of humping her bed until she falls over. Not sure what that’s about, other than sexual frustration. She also likes to steal the kids’ underwear. She’s not the sharpest tack in the box.

5) How do your dogs make it harder or easier for you to be a writer?

She makes it easier because she lies next to my leg while I work and keeps me warm. [Note: apparently she helps with laundry, too!] Occasionally, she’ll look up at me with her cute doggie eyes as if to show her approval. That makes me feel better about myself. However, I’m fully aware that I’d be much more inspired with a cat to keep me company. Some of her cleverness would surely rub off.

6) I see that the word “cat” only appears in INHALE when you’re using kitties to describe other things. “Kitty” and “feline” don’t appear as individual words at all. Do you plan to rectify this sad lack of felinity and demonstration of poor writing skills in a future book?

Isn’t imitation the sincerest form of flattery? You see, by comparing my characters to your fine species, I extol the virtues of your greatness. Show, don’t tell, I’ve been told. 😉

7) If a cat and Lily the whale from INHALE had a conversation, what do you think they would discuss? (More info about Lily: http://www.kendallgrey.com/?p=3493)

Feelings. Definitely feelings. “Why are you sad today, beautiful cat?” Lily would ask, and then she’d listen for hours. She’s all about emotions.

8) You also did a lot of research about Aboriginal Australians for INHALE. Where do cats fall in their various cultures or mythologies? Somewhere important, no doubt.

According to Wikipedia: “Ngariman is a cat-man who killed the Bagadjimbiri, two dingo gods and sons of Dilga, an earth goddess. In revenge, she drowned Ngariman with her milk by flooding the underground cavern where she killed her sons.” Hmm…Australia doesn’t look like a very promising place for you, my friend.

9) Your world for INHALE has some speculative aspects which include dream worlds that aren’t so dreamy and elements that aren’t particularly inert. Which kind of Elemental would a cat be? Are cats all one element or would different cats have different leanings?

Cats would be Air, hands down. Air is the Element of intelligence, which your species possesses in abundance.

10) If you threw a book release party for INHALE and invited people, humpback whales and cats, what would be on the menu? Do you think cats would like krill? (Link to INHALE on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12980966-inhale)

Oh yes, I’m sure cats would enjoy krill. Baleen whales also eat schooling fish like herring and sand lances, so I think you could find plenty to eat at my party.

11) Is this one of the stupidest Wiki questions, ever? http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Are_cats_and_whales_the_same

Yes. Yes, it is. Did you know whales evolved from a wolf-like mammal 50 something million years ago? The carnivoristic (yes, I made that word up) tendencies of whales and cats are the same, but that’s where the similarities end, I’m afraid.

12) What are your favorite works of fiction or cinema involving cats or favorite fictional cats? Ok, what about whales?

I’m quite fond of Catwoman from the Batman series. She’s not technically a cat, but she’s close. I used to dress up as her — rubber cat suit and all — at sci fi conventions. I hear Catwoman will make an appearance in the new Batman movie coming out this year. This pleases me greatly.

“The Whale Rider” is a movie about a girl from New Zealand who searches for her identity amid a broken home and finds whales along the way. If you haven’t seen it, you really should. Total tear-jerker for me.

13) Did you know it’s been clinicially proven (by me) that writers with cats make more money and are happier in general?

I did not know that. What if I put up a cat picture on my wall? Will that bring me happiness and money? Maybe I could get a stuffed cat…? Or one of those hypoallergenic Dr. Evil sphinx cats! That would be awesome. 🙂

(Burt from Meankitty.com — this is what you are missing, human!)

***

Sincerely,

Meankitty & Typing Slave
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants to Know: Vanessa Kelly

Last week, author Vanessa Kelly kindly let my human Typing Slave come blather at her blog about some dumb book that came out February 20 with canines in it. Hiss! So today we are going to interview Kelly, who writes Regency-set historical romance for Kensington Zebra. She occasionally departs from the Regency world to write romantic suspense and contemporary romance with her husband, under the pen name of VK Sykes. You can find her on the web at www.vanessakellyauthor.com  or www.vksykes.com

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

Sadly, cat hair makes me sneeze. Plus, I’ve been writing in some form or another since high school. I was an English major in university and grad school, and then a researcher for a trade union. Moving into fiction writing was pretty much a natural extension of what I’d been doing for years. And more fun, I might add.

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

Um, I have to plead the Fifth. The various dogs in my extended family would be most unhappy, otherwise.

3) Why is your household currently deprived of a cat? It’s not because of the writing partner, is it? We find many catless authors blame their significant other for this sad state of affairs. Some crap about “allergies”.

*silence*

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?

*Scratches head* Let me get back to you on that one.

[[Meankitty’s note: SCRATCHES HEAD! HAHAHAH! DOG LADY HAVE FLEAS MUCH?]]

5) 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?

Very soon. I’ll keep you posted.

[[Meankitty’s Note: We will be waiting.]]

6) Ok, fine, if you want, you can tell us about the dogs or other animals in your books too. Briefly.

I did have a dog in my last book. He was a spaniel puppy named Badger, and he made a brief appearance in the epilogue of MY FAVORITE COUNTESS. As a puppy, Badger engaged in various nefarious activities which are best left unmentioned. I also have a dog in my upcoming October release, HIS MISTLETOE BRIDE. He plays a bigger role since my heroine has to rescue him AND face down a band of criminal smugglers, all at the same time.

7) As a sometime-suspense writer, why do you think there are so many mystery series involving feline protagonists and not that many with dogs? It’s because cats are smarter, isn’t it?

I would refer you to the Stone Barrington mysteries by Stuart Woods for the answer to this one! See also Karen Robards, who has many dogs in her books. Oh, wait. Now that I think about it, most of the pooches in her novels are pretty dumb.

[[Meankitty’s Note: Yay for accuracy!]]

8) And what is UP with those Regency kittens? So much better than “Regency Puppies”, am I right?

I must confess that I’ve never met a Regency kitten.

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

Bell, Book and Candle was a good one.

10) Tell us a story or two about dogs embarrassing themselves. Since you’re a self-declared fan of dogs and a frequent dog babysitter, you probably have some good ones.

Well, there was the time one of my standard poodles pulled an entire raw chicken out of a shopping bag my mother accidentally left on the back porch, and ran around the backyard as he devoured it. That same dog also once ate a dead seagull carcass, and then regurgitated the remains at my feet. In every other respect, however, he was an awesome dog who just clearly had a thing for dead poultry.

11) How were dogs and cats regarded during the Regency period, during which many of your books are set? While cats probably weren’t worshipped like in the good ole days of Egypt, were cats considered as awesome in the 1800s as they are now?

I think life for most animals during the Regency period was probably pretty brutal. Unless the animal was a pet owned by the middle or upper classes, or were horses owned by noblemen, I doubt they were treated very well. Dogs probably had an advantage as useful working animals, and cats were likely welcome on farms and in kitchens as deterrents against vermin like rats and mice, but most people back then probably did not sentimentalize animals the way we do. It’s one of those elements of the time period that you don’t want to look at too closely.

12) Did you know it’s been clinicially proven (by me) that writers with cats make more money and are happier in general? As such, I believe there is a current ruling in the tax law for writers (the addendum I wrote) wherein you can declare all feline expenses as deductible.

Huh. You learn something new every day!

***

Stop by here on Thursday, February 23, when Vanessa Kelly’s book MY FAVORITE COUNTESS is getting properly cattified!

Sincerely,
Meankitty & Jody W.
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

It’s Worse With A Dog

Hello. Meankitty here. I’m thinking of starting a new blog series called “It’s Better with a Cat” where authors send me excerpts and I fix them. Some people might call it “cattification” but since I would be making it better, I would be doing the authors a favor. Would any of you like to participate? You can let me know privately, via email, if you’re too embarrassed to admit in the comments that you know it would be better if I fixed your excerpt or blurb or synopsis or whatever for you by catting it up.

Another thought. If you have a series called “It’s Better with a Cat”, you also need a series called “It’s Worse with a Dog”.

Typing Slave’s friend Elly Fisher has a dog. Originally she had one dog until this happened:

http://ellenfisherjournal.blogspot.com/2008/07/shakes-head-at-dog.html

I’ll wait here while you read up.

After that, I believe she ended up getting a second dog to keep the first dog occupied. It’s worse with a dog, I’m telling ya!

Sincerely,
Meankitty
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Meankitty Wants to Know: Marty Chester and the Scotties

Long time, no interviews, huh? Well, in order to break my long, dry spell caused by Typing Slave’s lack of popularity, sucky industry contact list, crappy productivity and other insults in that vein, I am resorting to interviewing a person who seems like a nice enough biped but who has been conned by a couple of DAWGS instead of cats. Marty Chester is in my human’s local RWA chapter and apparently lets herself be run around by a couple of Scottish Terriers. Let’s find out why in this special two part interview.

PART 1: THE HUMAN

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

I originally believed that I could make more money as a writer. In retrospect, however, I believe my logic was faulty. I wouldn’t be raking it in either way.

2) 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?

I shall immediately rectify the situation in my next work of fiction. Even if it doesn’t fit the character, storyline, or plot. This could be what I need to make those millions. Count me in.

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

I’ve always been partial to Tigger in the Winnie the Pooh stories. Lots of boundless energy and wit.

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

When I married my husband three years ago, he neglected to mention he was allergic to cats (shocking, I know!), so when we went to visit my family (and their cat), I did get a good laugh at his expense.

5) Multiple choice: 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.

Long hair. I just think they’re more regal looking. If a pet is going to be aloof, it should look like a Persian.

6) What one thing would you change about your pet?

As you know, dogs are very needy, so naturally, they would like me to spend every waking moment by their side. Even when they’re sleeping. Or pooping.

7) Do you believe pets and humans come to resemble each other over time?

Definitely. I’m not looking forward to getting those eyebrows…

8) Can you type with a cat/dog stretched out across your wrists? If not, why not? Otherwise, how’s the carpal tunnel?

The broken wrist nearly did me in (don’t worry, not the pet’s doing). Scottish terriers look deceptively small but weigh quite a bit. I usually relegate them to the lap, or they lay on either side of the chair while I write.

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

Pretty much draw blood. Or vomit—vomiting totally works.

***

PART 2: THE SCOTTIES

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?

Stewie: they contain thoughtfully written love stories with no pets involved, which I find questionable, at best. She says there’s already too much going on.

Angus: She writes stories?!

If A, interview is over. If B, you may continue.

2) If writers are supposed to be so smart, why does your writer have a dog instead of a cat when its common knowledge cats are better? Does that mean your writer isn’t very smart?

Stewie: she’s very smart! [[I’m very smart thankyouverymuch!]]

Angus: She writes stories?!

3) Does being a writer mean your human is home all day and easy to access? What is her day like?

Stewie: I wish! She still has a “day job” and writes in the evenings and on weekends which means she isn’t taking me for a walk, which is actually her main function.

Angus: She writes stories?!

4) 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?

Stewie: I have been described as “cat-like” which means I’m quiet, sneaky, and moody. My most effective tool is poking her in the leg repetitively with my cold, wet nose. Secondary is looking sad, which she finds irresistible. I have to be careful with that, or she’ll think I’m depressed.

Angus: She writes stories?!

5) 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)?

Stewie: Well, we’re doing this, aren’t we? Where’s Angus?

6) When your human gets together with other writers, do they spend half their time sniffing each other’s butts like dogs do?

Stewie: Unfortunately, no. I think it might be helpful, but I haven’t been able to talk her into it.

Angus: (sniffings Stewie’s butt) What?

7) What is your human’s next project (bonus points if you answer: getting a cat)?

Stewie: I wouldn’t mind the cat per se, but she’d have to lose the husband, and I’m kinda partial to him. So really, she’s shopping a love story set in ancient Rome and working on rewriting a paranormal. No pets anywhere.

Angus: Wait…she really writes stories?!

***

Sincerely,

Meankitty & Typing Slave
www.meankitty.com  * www.jodywallace.com

A “Debugging” Trick for Nighttime Use

Ever wondered how to locate and dispose of all the insects that may have followed you back into the house late at night when you were trying to get the stupid dog to go outside and potty? Come on, this is such a common problem, I know you have!

Anyway, here’s what you do. After the stupid dog has refused to go potty so you give up and close the door before any of the CATS get out, because they are NOT allowed out at night at Grandma Slave’s house due to the coyote population, you merely turn out all the lights in the room. Then you turn on your laptop and open the screen. To do a little writing, of course, now that everyone else in the house is asleep. But it has a twofold purpose because…

Voila!

All the bugs in the house will buzz around your screen! And you!

Uh. Just don’t try to smack them ONTO your screen or dispose of them by quickly slamming your screen shut, not even if they are mosquitoes.

Sincerely,
JW

www.jodywallace.com * www.meankitty.com