Secrets of a Mystery Writer and Her Cat Characters:
I’m a woman with passions. I meet people from time to time who claim to have no passions in life, and I hurt for them. So what is a passion? To me, it’s the things you live for—the things that feed your soul and lift your spirit.
I’m passionate about writing and I’m passionate about cats. I’m one of those who melts upon seeing a kitten or even a picture of one. And I’ve always had cats in my home. I’m fortunate enough to have found a way to integrate these two passions by writing about cats.
Writing about cats is not new to me. I’ve been writing articles about cat care, feral cats, colony cats, understanding cats, cat personalities, etc. for years. But writing fiction is new to me.
When I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing fiction, of course, cats came to mind. What better combination for light reading than mysteries and cats—cats and mysteries. But wait, I needed a unique angle. I rejected the idea of talking cats, cats with super powers, angelic cats, ghost cats, un-catlike cats and so forth. Would my cat character be an escape artist/Houdini, stow away, habitual scrapper? Would he or she levitate, respond to music in some unusual way, herd ducks?
It didn’t take me long to decide—he would be a kleptomaniac whose habit helps local authorities solve mysteries. Thus, Rags (Ragsdale) was born and the Klepto Cat Mystery series idea spawned.
Rags is not a cat I’ve ever known, except in bits and pieces. He looks like my mother’s handsome grey-and-white boy, Smokey; and he has Smokey’s regal confidence and sense of humor. Rags steals things sort of like my tabby, Lily does—except she only takes stuffed toys out of her toy basket and scatters them around the house. Rags, on the other hand, lifts all sorts of things from pockets and purses and hides them in his stash in an upstairs closet.
I’ve enjoyed creating Rags and giving him challenges and exciting adventures. But he isn’t alone in the Klepto Cat Mystery stories. Aside from the human element (interesting people with rich personalities), are additional cats and a few dogs. In fact, Rags once helps to save the dog that lives in his household. That was a traumatic day for everyone but Rags, who truly wasn’t trying to be a hero. He was just being catlike.
Rags also lives with two other cats, Buffy, who has the coat and demeanor of my Himalayan, Katie and the sweet, soft personality of Lily, our tabby. Rags doesn’t have much use for Buffy, but he does like to take over her pink canopy bed whenever he can.
Dolly is probably Rags’s best cat friend. She expresses my Lily’s kittenish side and she looks a lot like Lily. As far as Rags is concerned, Dolly is sometimes a pest. But like most guys, he can’t resist a cat that idolizes him. Yup, Dolly is following in Rags’s pawsteps in some ways. She’s already done some minor sleuth work on her own. Be sure to read all about it in The Colony Cat Caper.
Rags is prevalent in all five of the Klepto Cat Mystery books, but he probably has the most fun, the largest role, and is in the most danger in Undercover Cat. But then he was an eye witness in Cat-Eye Witness. That was a harrowing ordeal for him.
It’s no use. There’s no story better than the other, so I (and Rags) urge you to start at the beginning. Order Catnapped, the first in the series for your Kindle. Follow up by reading Cat-Eye Witness, Sleight of Paw, Undercover Cat, and The Colony Cat Caper. They are all formatted for Kindle. The first three are in print as well. Stay tuned, before the year is out, all five current Klepto Cat Mysteries will be in Kindle and print, and there will be a brand new book launched.
Order your copies here: http://amzn.to/1kAI8I2
Thanks so much for guest hosting today, here is a bit about Ms. Fry.
Patricia Fry is the author of 37 books (and counting), including "Publish Your Book, Proven Strategies and Resources for the Enterprising Author," "Promote Your Book, Over 250 Proven, Low-Cost Tips and Techniques for the Enterprising Author," "Talk Up Your Book, How to Sell Your Book Through Public Speaking, Interviews, Signings, Festivals, Conferences and More" and "Catscapades, True Cat Tales." She started her writing career in 1973 and had her first book published by a New York publisher five years later. She established her own publishing company, Matilija Press, in 1983, before it was fashionable or even convenient.
Patricia supported herself for many years by writing magazine articles, and currently spends most of her time working with other authors on their projects. She is the executive director of SPAWN (Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network), a networking organization for anyone interested in or involved in publishing.
Her interests, outside of writing and publishing, include grandchildren, her kitty cats, travel, gardening and her daily meditation walk.