Please welcome Meankitty, Jody Wallace and Penny Watson to the Cafe!
Hi, CRC readers! I’m Jody Wallace, and I write Southern-set contemporary romance, as well as SF/F romance. However, I’m not that great at interviewing other authors, so I’ve asked my cat, Meankitty, to interview contemporary romance author Penny Watson for us today.
Meankitty: Why did you decide to be a writer instead of a cat sanctuary owner?
Penny: I opted for the “glamorous” lifestyle of an author…you know, wearing high-heeled pumps every day, eating bonbons, avoiding the paparazzi. Cat sanctuary owner = Birkenstocks…so, no on that option.
Meankitty: Cats don’t really like Birkies, you know. We prefer more expensive shoes that we can claw up like a crazy thing or gnaw on, adding decorative tooth and nail holes, but only right before you really wanted to wear them. Dogs do a *lot* worse to shoes. As such, why do you think cats are better than dogs, even wiener dogs? (Since you call yourself a writer, I trust your answer will be eloquent.)
Penny: I have to admit, even though I adore my weenie dog with all of my heart, her brain is the size of a walnut. Or a hazelnut. Or maybe a poppy seed. It’s small. So she does stuff like eats a bag of chocolate, goes to the vet to get her stomach pumped, and then comes home and eats another bag of chocolate. You see where I’m going with this, right?
I don’t think cats would go for the second round.
Meankitty: You are correct in your estimation of cats as being more intelligent than dogs. Since you seem to be wise, I must ask. Why is your household currently deprived of a cat? Do you ever pretend Lucy the Wonder Weenie is a cat?
Penny: 75% of the humans in my house are allergic to cats. Much to my daughter’s chagrin. She used to leave pics of kittens on my computer every night trying to convince me to get a kitty.
Lucy does actually look quite a bit like a cat. She’s soft and fluffy and weighs only 10 pounds.
Meankitty: All the cats in this house except for me outweigh Lucy. I could still take her, I bet. Tell me about the felines in your fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play in your narratives?
Penny: Cats are prevalent in LUCY THE WONDER WEENIE—my children’s book (http://www.amazon.com/Lucy-Wonder-Weenie-Nina-Clark/dp/1482326094). In fact, a cat has a very prominent role as “the ice-cream man” in one of my favorite illustrations.
Meankitty: What about your contemporary romances? If you haven’t put cats in there, how do you plan to rectify this egregious error and demonstration of poor writing skills?
Penny: I have never included cats in my romance novels, clearly a hideous oversight. I will make sure to include some cat-characters in my next novel, The Curious Incident of John B. Hamilton and the Blueberry Pie. This book includes bears, so…cats. Sure, cats.
Meankitty: Bears, huh? They’re very…doggish. Now I suppose you can tell us about dogs in your fiction and share a photo of your dog, who I hear could double as a cat snack.
Penny: Henry, the English Bulldog, is one of the main characters in LUMBERJACK IN LOVE http://www.amazon.com/Lumberjack-Love-Penny-Watson-ebook/dp/B0097T6OGE/). And Lucy the Wonder Weenie—a superhero weenie dog—is the main character/star of the show/diva of epic proportions in LUCY THE WONDER WEENIE.
Meankitty: Thinking beyond your own work, what are your favorite works of fiction or cinema involving cats or favorite fictional cats?
Penny: This might be a bit of a reach, but I love the cat shape-shifters (and by cat, I mean wild animal living in the jungle) in Christine Feehan’s books.
Meankitty: They sort of count, though you should have named my human’s cat shifter books (COOLEY’S PANTHER, STALKING EVAN http://jodywallace.com/books/cooleys-panther/). They’re probably less emo than that Feehan lady’s work. Do you have any amazing, or at least humorous, real life cat stories you’d like to share? Barring cat stories, you may share stories about your dog embarrassing herself if you like.
Meankitty: Why do you write contemporary romance about mature adults, with or without pets, as opposed to books from a cat’s POV, which could still be contemporary romance if handled correctly?
Penny: Dude. Don’t EVEN give me that idea, because you KNOW I’LL DO IT. In fact, the GIRL WITH THE CAT TATTOO by Theresa Weir (http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Tattoo-Cool-Cats-Book-ebook/dp/B0087IE3QO/) is one of my favorite romance novels ever, and that has a cat’s POV. THAT BOOK IS BRILLIANT!
Meankitty: My human agrees about the cat tattoo series. If you were going to write another animal superhero story, what kind of wonderful, amazing cat would be the main character with Lucy the Wonder Weenie as her sidekick? Can you describe the supercat’s powers and methods for defeating the enemy? How would Lucy supplement the hero cat?
Penny: The cat’s superhero power would be “SUPER BITCHY”…she would teach children never to show weakness or fear with your nemesis. Just roll your eyes, turn your head away, and act like you couldn’t care less about that loser giving you a hard time. And Lucy would wag her tail in agreement.
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TEAM CAT: Jody Wallace doesn’t always include cats in her fiction, but she tries. Her contemporary romances are sometimes written as Ellie Marvel, in honor of Meankitty whose human name is Ellie. Meankitty also allows Jody to write sf/f romances and edit for other authors as long as it doesn’t interfere with the pettings and feedings of the cats.
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TEAM DOG: Penny Watson writes quirky, feel-good fiction with happy endings. Her romances often feature mature and/or cranky characters, which appeals to Meankitty quite a bit, as Meankitty is also both mature and cranky. Penny is obsessed with dachshunds, which is shockingly hard to spell, and very fond of plants.