Catch Up With Author Clea Simon
Learn more about the inspiration behind her book ?Cries and Whiskers.?
Stacy N. Hackett
1. What inspired you to write “Cries and Whiskers”?
|Author Clea Simon poses with her cat, Musetta.
“Cries and Whiskers” has been on my mind for a few years, ever since a friend forwarded me an e-mail claiming that a popular animal rights group “killed pets.” That made me aware of the tensions between animal rights groups and animal activists, and the sometimes uneasy place that domestic cats have in the middle. So the conflict was brewing on the back burner. On the front burner, I wanted to write a book that increased the tension, and to do that, I knew I had to have my heroine’s beloved cat, Musetta, in danger.
2. What type of feedback have you received about “Cries and Whiskers” and your other Theda Krakow books?
In many ways, I’m a very small author. I don’t get written about in major newspapers. But my readers — the ones who find me — seem to love me. They understand that I really love cats. I’ve had a lot of people involved with feral rescue and trap-neuter-return programs e-mail me about “Cries and Whiskers” in particular. They love that I write about real cats and real cat issues.
3. How do you continue to come up with new ideas for the Theda Krakow/Musetta series?
The problem isn’t coming up with new ideas, but keeping them in line! I’ve already started the next Theda Krakow and Musetta book, and it deals with some shelter issues. I’m now thinking I want to get a pet psychic in it, too! How can you ever run out of ideas when you’re writing mysteries with cats in them?
4. Which characters in the series are your favorites? Why?
You mean, besides Musetta? Musetta is based on my own cat, Musetta, so she’s my No. 1 favorite, and of course, I love my heroine Theda. But otherwise, it is probably Violet, my “riot grrrl” rock-and-roller. She has purple hair and runs a small shelter. In some ways, she is who I would love to be if I were that age again and a little braver!
5. Can you give us any hints about the next book in the series?
Once again, Musetta might be in danger, and Theda herself is going to be accused of the murder! Also, Musetta is going to get her teeth cleaned, which is a first for both of them.
6. Will Theda Krakow adopt any more cats or other pets?
I don’t know. Theda might be a one-cat gal, but I will keep introducing new cat characters through Violet and her shelter.
7. Tell us about your other books besides the Theda Krakow series.
I’ve written several serious nonfiction books about mental health and family issues. The most relevant is probably “The Feline Mystique: On the Mysterious Connection Between Women and Cats,” which celebrates the connection between women and cats in history, mythology, popular culture and present-day time. That book is still available in paperback. In many ways, it is the nonfiction research basis for my mysteries.
8. Are there any subjects you’ve always wanted to write about that you haven’t yet?
When I become intrigued by a topic, I put it in my mysteries. Right now, I’m interested in different theories of running animal shelters and also in pet psychics, and I am writing about them. There are other ideas, but they are on hold for the next books!
9. When can we expect the next Theda Krakow book?
Probably not until spring 2009. I hope to finish Theda #4, which may be called “Claws of Death,” by June 2008, but my publisher takes about nine months to a year to produce a book. They want it, and I’m writing, but it’s a slow process!
Stacy N. Hackett is a contributing editor to CatChannel.com who lives in Southern California with her husband James, children Kayla and Parker, and two adorable Cornish Rex cats, Evita and Carson.
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Catch Up With Author Clea Simon