Sunday, March 23, 2014

NEW BLOG ADDRESS

You must now go to: http://jodywallace.com/blog/ for new entries. Eventually I'll figure out how to move all this shizz over there. You're welcome to volunteer to help, cuz it intimidates me! The cat and I have nearly 1000 blog entries and years worth of stuff on here.

Jody & Meankitty

Friday, March 14, 2014

Meankitty Wants To Know: Amylynn Bright

Handsome Joe and his human, Amylynn Bright, write Regency romances like the Secrets Series (Lady Belling's Secret, Miss Goldsleigh's Secret, The Duke of Morewether's Secret). While we might suggest these be retitled as Lady Don'tBellTheCat's Secret, Miss Goldshedding's Secret, and The Duke of Meowether's Secret, since they are not just romances but comedies, my own human was intrigued and encouraged me to do this interview, since she likes funny stuff.

1) For Joe: So, your human writes books. Does this mean he or she is home all day and easy to access? Elaborate if necessary.

Nah, she still goes to her day job which is actually a blessing otherwise she'd be driving ME crazy 24 hours a day with the constant belly kisses and nonsense like that. Her husband found me in their boat when I was about five weeks old. I was a wild little thing then, but she's an excellent cuddler, and I was pretty smitten with her from the get go. She took me with her to her job every single day for a year before the building manager put the kibosh on that. I'll say I do miss battling the copier and eating the office plants.

2) Joe, she sounds pretty well trained. Amylynn, with cat adoration like that, why did you decide to be a writer instead of a cat sanctuary owner?

Honestly, I don't know. There's probably just as much money in sanctuaries as there is in publishing.

3) Speaking of $$, Joe, how large a proportion of Amylynn's income do you have her devote to your gourmet tuna, cat beds, toys and other basic necessities?

WHOA WHOA WHOA. Are you telling me there's gourmet tuna? What the hell?

4) There is, Joe. There is. Let's give her a chance to redeem herself. Amylynn, tell us why you think cats are better than dogs? (Since you call yourself a writer, I trust your answer will be eloquent.)

Please don't shun me, but I love dogs. I have as many dogs as I do cats. Jojo Kitty is best friends with my Lab, Winnie. However, cats are very helpful. Mine redecorate my desk, keep my keyboard warm, and maintain a watchful eye on the weird, tiny people inside the television. Dogs just lay there and bark at the mailman.

5) Joe, tell us more about your helpfulness. For example, what are your techniques for distracting your human during crucial writing moments, just because it's fun?

I love to shove my face into a glass of tea. I also enjoy a good cursor chase across the screen.

6) And how do you give her all her best new ideas?

I whisper them into ear at night while she's sleeping. I'm a cat. I'm stealthy.

7) Sounds like a dubious method, Joe. How has it worked so far? Tell me about the felines in your human's fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play?

In her most recent book, The Duke of Morewether's Secret, the other cat in my house was featured only she changed his name to Ferdinand which I find absolutely hysterical. I'm not in much of her fiction--so far--but I appear in her blog all the time.

8) Amylynn, that doesn't sound like NEARLY enough feline worship! What are your plans for making sure you rectify this egregious error and demonstration of poor writing skills?

So far, cats haven't played a huge role, but I do suspect that will change as my current work in progress is about a veterinarian who owns a Savannah and a Havana Brown. One thing I love about writing fiction is that I get to have all the animals I want vicariously through my characters. There is no way on this earth my husband is going to let me have a $20,000 cat. Our cat Jojo was found in our boat as a feral kitten. I did get my husband to agree that if I find a Savannah in our boat I can keep it. Now I just have to figure out how to get one in the darn boat.

9) Joe, maybe Amylynn needs more...direct inspiration. What works of fiction or cinema involving cats does your human enjoy sharing with you?

I'm not too proud to admit we watch a LOT of Youtube. Also we own Puss in Boots. Puss is very handsome and orange, just like me.

10) Amylynn, what about you?

I love Hemingway. Hemingway loved cats. Also, I have an affection for Bill the Cat from Bloom County. That may be showing my age.

11) Amylynn, perhaps you can show us some of your narrative abilities now. Do you have any amazing, or at least humorous, real life cat stories you'd like to share?

I think Jojo might be homicidal. He drowns all his cat toys. I'll find his entire water bowl full of pipe cleaners and cat nip mice. He doesn't just put them in the water and walk away. He actually holds them down with his foot until they stop floating up. It's a bit disturbing.

12) Joe, if you could make one change to your human, what would it be?

More fingers for scratching and a bigger lap.

13) I have to admit, Joe, except for neglecting your gourmet tuna and letting DOGS into your house, this writer of yours doesn't sound half bad. Amylynn, what do you think? How goes the discussion about discipline in your house?

Blahahahahahahahaha. Discipline. Blahahahahahahaha. I do whatever the cat tells me to do.

14) Amylynn, here's a bonus question: can you type with a cat stretched out across your wrists? If not, why not? Otherwise, how's the carpal tunnel?

I absolutely can. I am firmly in the camp that says you may never, ever, under any circumstance, disturb a sleeping cat.

15) Prove it, Miss A! Here's a multiple choice question. You have a writing deadline but the cat who rules you wants some attention. Desperately. Do you:
A) Lock the cat in another room and keep working?
B) Pet the cat for a couple minutes and then toss her cruelly aside?
C) Pet the cat as long as she wants because you know it will inspire and refresh you?
-- Note: If you answered anything besides C, we suggest you consider the fact you could have written a much better book if you had been inspired and refreshed instead of mean to the cat.

I'm choosing C but because I will take any excuse whatsoever to procrastinate. If the cat wants to procrastinate with me, he's welcome to it. I love company.

16) And last but not least, Joe, did your human name a character for you? Are you pleased? If not, why? And did your human name you for a fictional character? Hate it or love it?

So far no, but I suspect that's because she gave me such an original name--Joseph "Jojo" T. Kittywiggles, Esq. That's quite a mouthful, don't you think? Mom just calls me Sweet Baby Joe.

***

Thanks to Joe and Amylynn for being our guests today!

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

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

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

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Meankitty "Bad Libs" Review: Dial M for Menage

Recently I had the burning sensation of reading DIAL M FOR MENAGE by Emily Ryan-Davis. It was sort of like when you fall asleep on the vent and it clicks on high because the humans can't understand why the house is so cold. I think it's probably because of the cat on the vent, but what do I know? I'm just hogging the air. Anyway the massive burst of hotness means you actually wake up all annoyed and sweaty. So...burning. Just laying there napping away peacefully reading with my butt via osmosis and suddenly...burning.



I read a lot of haiku, as I mentioned in a recent Bad Lib, so here is another catku for you to admire before we continue with this review.


Anyway, this erotic romance was a crusty change of pace. When the humans don't get to the kak in time, it gets crusty. That is pleasurable because of what it represents, so this is not a bad thing. The humans then walk across the carpet with bare feet and find the kak that way, when it's all nice and ground in. In some ways DIAL M FOR MENAGE reminded me of the story Thumbelina except with adult characters faced with disastrously fragrant situations. You know, like when the human is cooking fish or turkey and WILL NOT GIVE YOU ANY? (Might I suggest you go kak on the carpet in a place they won't find it until it's crusty to eke your revenge?)

The book starts off with Hunter and Adele faced with a boogery challenge. Maybe they're allergic to the fish they wouldn't share with the cat. Serves 'em right. Both characters behave demonically about this. The boogers irritate them, I guess. When Katrina is introduced, in a scene involving leaping (up onto the table to try to get the fish), the plot really starts to get orange. Now, I am a black, grey and white cat, so orange to me is the color of an outdoor stray Nemesis. This adds excitement to the plot for sure! Katrina is adamantly no Benedict Cumberbatch. She's much shorter and her face doesn't have that odd longness to it that makes it where you can't decide if she's gorgeous or funny looking.

And don't even get me started about Liam. The involvement of Liam in the narrative will leave readers over-caffeinated. IE, more excitement. Like humans running around looking for kak when they heard you doing it in the other room but missed the exact spot. The story frenetically continues until it seems all comic books are lost -- comic books being a nice place to puke if you can't get to the crusty carpet -- and the ending will google you. The pace was like riding in a covered wagon with a driver who is stand-offish on a road that winds off a cliff. Like...slow, slow, slow, won't share the fish, won't pet you, slow, slow, so stuck up, so you work up a mighty kak and BOOM! Right over the edge!

If you are looking for a way to spend twelve meeeeellion hours, this book is definitely an option. Conversely you could cook fish for the cat. The characters and plot are so scratchy compared to other books on the market today. Scratchy is a good thing in cat-land. Granted, the feline content in the book was eleventy trilling, but I don't think it was the FELINE kind of feline, if you know what I mean. I guess no author is completely bitchin', despite that whole excitement at the end of the book thing she had going. All in all, this is a cold tale (for the humans, because you're blocking the heat) about broodiness (because the humans hogged all the fish), snow shoeing (that part's just a shocker) and being burnt out. You will not be frustrated if you pick this one up!

Rating: 79 catnip bananas and a furry container of hummus. I don't like hummus, so I just shed in it a bit. You can have the rest.

***

Sincerely,

Meankitty and the Fish-Hoarding Human Typist
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Monday, March 10, 2014

My Writing Process -- Blog Tour!

Step one: Acknowledge the person & site that involved you in the blog tour.

That would be the awesomely furry (because she lives with pets) Angela Campbell! You can find her books that dutifully include cats here: http://www.angelacampbellonline.com/

Step two: Answer the 4 questions below about your writing process.

1) What am I working on?

Two things. No, three. Well, a bunch of things, but as far as new words are concerned, three things. One, the sequel to my science fiction romance ANGELI, which I've contracted with Entangled Publishing. Two, the next book after STALKING EVAN, which I've contracted with Meankitty Publishing (yes, that would be with myself). Three, a secret project with Heather Massey of The Galaxy Express, because everyone always talks about working on secret projects and I was jalus.

2) How does my work differ from others of its genre?

I'm going to pretend like this means the things I'm working on RIGHT NOW instead of some general philosophical statement, because I just found a huge cat pee stain on my mom's futon which EVERYONE in the family thinks is not there but I can smell it, so I'm not in a philosophical mood. The ANGELI sequel is different because my post-apocalyptic world setting doesn't have any zombies or motorcycle gangs. The Felidae story is different because my heroine and hero don't realize there is a whole other world of shapeshifters out there and don't even KNOW about the rules. And my secret project with Heather is different because I can't tell you.

3) Why do I write what I do?

I like to lie without it reflecting on my moral character or leading my children astray.

4) How does your writing process work?

Are the kids around? If yes, it does not work. Are the kids at school? If yes, I fuel myself on coffee and peanut butter sandwiches and type my words in like a crazed beast before they get off the bus.

Step Three: Say who is on next week – give a 1-2 line bio and link to their website.

First, go visit Shawna Thomas today, who is posting about her process! She's is a writer with an adoring and gorgeous husband, seven active children, a day job, huge backyard and penchant for ordering too many flowers from catalogs. You could say she never learned how to juggle with her head in the clouds. Her debut novel, ALTERED DESTINY, won an RT Reader's Choice award 2012. Visit her blog at http://authorshawnathomas.blogspot.com.

Next week you need to....

1. Go see Veronica Scott, she of the ancient Egyptian romances and the science fiction romances! Her bio: "Best Selling author and “SciFi Encounters” columnist for the USA Today Happily Ever After blog, Veronica Scott grew up in a house with a library as its heart. Dad loved science fiction, Mom loved ancient history and Veronica thought there needed to be more romance in everything."

2. Go see Petra Grayson, an avid reader buddy I've made on Twitter who may soon dive into the writing side of publishing. Her bio: "Petra Grayson reads romance novels and writes reviews whenever life allows it. She’s very spoiled in her house full of men and keeps busy working out, volunteering, and trying to remember what life was like as an engineer. She tries to write stories when things are quiet but so far they contain too much sex and not enough talk. Find her on Twitter at: https://twitter.com/LietoFine7 or check out her blog http://theoryoflietofine.blogspot.com."

3. Go see Jeanne Hardt, who writes historical romance and is the president-to-be of my local RWA chapter. Her bio: "Jeanne Hardt first thought she would be a famous singer until she dreamed that a college professor challenged her to write a romance set in turbulent times. When she woke up...she did! Four books and a couple years later, her dream professor is still inspiring her to pursue publishing."

4. Go see DT Dyllin, who writes paranormal romance and loves dogs. Her bio: "D.T. Dyllin is a Bestselling Romance Author who writes in both New Adult and Adult genres. She is a member of the RWA (Romance Writers of America) and also her local chapter, the MCRW (Music City Romance Writers)."

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Meankitty "Bad Libs" Review: Murder Comes Ashore

Recently I had the terror of reading MURDER COMES ASHORE by Julie Ann Lindsey. Coming ashore, you understand, means at some point the murder was out in the water, and I hate water. Unless it's in a cup and I'm knocking it over on a computer. I read a lot of random journalism (since journalism is so random these days) so this mystery novel was a pointy change of pace. I'm guessing something pointy was used to commit the murder, which isn't a spoiler, because I could be totally lying.

In some ways the book reminded me of a fairy tale except with adult characters faced with obnoxiously pink situations. I've never been to a beach, but I hear there's a lot of pink there--naked Caucasian humans and stuff like that. If I were a human, Caucasian or otherwise, I'd never take off my clothes and obnoxiously scare people like that. So many better ways to scare without making such a fool of yourself.

The book starts off with the characters Patience and Sebastian faced with a sticky challenge. They keep trying to walk away from it and it sticks to them like cat hair. Or a dangleberry on Big D's butt, if you know what I mean. Both characters behave dreamily about this. It's like, when Big D has a dangleberry, he's not dreamy--he runs around the house like a crazy cat, trying to get away from the little ball of poo chasing him! He's so dumb. But these characters don't care about balls of poo that follow them.

When Adrian is introduced, in a scene involving kissing, the plot really starts to get chocolate-covered. I've got no personal interest in chocolate myself, what with being a cat and all, so at this point I'm wondering, is this story for me? Not only are we near the ocean with murderous pointy things drifing ashore, but there are naked people everywhere and they like chocolate. On the plus side, Adrian is enthusiastically no Tom Selleck. He's like the opposite of Tom Selleck, which is great if you hate Tom Selleck.

And don't even get me started about Claire, because I'll never shut up! The involvement of Claire in the narrative will leave readers euphoric. FINALLY! Claire is this cat person who... Well, telling you that would be a spoiler. But at this point, I realized the story was definitely for me.

The story accidentally continues--because it should have ended with that thing Claire did that was so catlike and awesome--until it seems all sailboats are lost. I'm cheering, you know? Because sailboats. And water. Boo! Thankfully the ending will pet you. Not in the bad spots that make you want to bite the humans, but in the good ones. The pace was like riding in a Prius with a driver who is curious, just driving this way and that looking at stuff, on a road that meanders down the beach. As long as the Prius doesn't go offshore, I guess that's okay, but I can't promise you won't puke a little and hide under the seat.

If you are looking for a way to spend 7 hours, this book is definitely an option. The characters and plot are so bendy compared to other books on the market today. First you think it's going to be all dreamy with characters who don't care about poo, and then WHAM! There's Catty Claire! Granted, the actual feline content in the book was only 3 pounds, which could have been heavier, but no author is completely tenacious. It does take tenacity to write a book that I'd give a total paws up to, with enough feline content. All in all, this was a spunky tale about fascination, swimming and then being comatose. You will not want to go on the sweetest hike if you pick this one up!

Rating: 1 Rosie O'Donnell and a fuzzy milkshake. Wonder how the milkshake got that way? Oh, I dunno!

***

Sincerely,
Meankitty & The Horribly Pink Typing Human Who'd Best Stay Dressed
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Wednesday, March 05, 2014

Cattification: Meowder Comes Ashore by Julie Anne Lindsey

A book that takes place on an island...about humans being murdered. Clearly Meankitty owes it to the very nice human who contacted her, Julie Anne Lindsey, to show her an example of how cats make every book better! First check out the original, catless version of the book Murder Comes Ashore. Then feast your eyes on this...



Persian Price is just settling into her new life as resident counselor on the all-feline Cattietigg Island when things take a sudden turn for the canine. A collection of dog squeaky toys and empty cat food cans have washed up on shore, and suddenly nothing feels safe on the quaint island. Somebody is eating all the best food...and possibly preparing to turn this kitty-only paradise into a dog park!

Persian instinctively turns to current earlicking crush and FBI (Feline Bureau of Investigation) special agent Sebastian TomJerry for help, but former flame Abyssinian is also on the case, hoping that solving the grody canine crime will land him free tuna for life in the upcoming mayoral election.

When the empty can count rises and dogs are being spotted in all sorts of places on the island, all the cats are stressed and coming to Persian for counseling and help. Then Persian’s human staff members are brought in as suspects for who might be dogging up the island. Could her can opening human and her typist really be sabotaging Cattietigg? Or have they been framed?

Because she fears her can opening human will be taken from her, Persian is spurred to begin her own investigation. It's not long before she starts receiving terrifying threats from a secret dog lover group as well as visits from a smelly stray pooch by the name of Bosco. Though she's determined to clear her humans’ name, it seems the closer Persian gets to finding answers, the closer she comes to being the dog lover’s next victim.

And if she can’t stop the canine guerilla group, she’ll have to live on the same island...and in the same house...with DOGS.

***

You're welcome.

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

Cat pictured: Abbott from Angela Campbell's On The Scent.

Monday, March 03, 2014

Meankitty Wants to Know: Abbott and Costello

ON THE SCENT by author and cat friend Angela Campbell has some humans in it and romance and mystery, but more importantly the protagonists of the book are Abbott (the cat) and Costello (the dog). Well, mostly the cat is important, but the dog plays a significant role in the book too. Today we've interviewed Abbott and Costello about the book, their feelings about the humans in the book, and life in general.

1) Abbott, you're described as furry, black and white. Can we see a photo?

2) Costello, you're described as some kind of mixed breed or a genetic experiment with short legs, a long nose, and golden fur. Can we see a photo?

3) Costello, what is it about human legs that gets you so excited? What was the best humping you got in through the course of this particular book?

Um, I don't know what any of that means. Hey, I saw a squirrel today.

4) Abbott, what do you think of Costello and his odd habit of humping human legs?

He's an idiot. End of story. (licks paw)

5) Abbott, tell me why you and Costello always follow the human, Hannah, around the house now, including when she goes to the bathroom.

You never know when she's going to whip out a can of tuna. Maybe she has tuna stashed in the bathroom. I dunno. Also, I still haven't figured out what humans actually do in bathrooms. It's kind of fascinating--tuna aside. I mean, why do they go and just sit? Why do they take off their body blankets and stand in water? It's kind of like watching a train wreck. You're horrified, but you can't look away.

6) What are the perks of being the richest cat and dog in America?

Costello: Hey, I saw a squirrel today.

Abbott: The only good to come from it so far has been our bodyguard, Zach. Don't get me wrong--he's an idiot--but at least he listens. If I'm feeling a little hungry and there's no food around, all I have to do is threaten to expose some stupid secret of his and, bam, I've got food. Yeah, I have a slave. It's all good.

7) Near the beginning of the book, your human Hannah mentions she hasn't even unpacked. All those unpacked boxes! Abbott, why is she so cruel to you that she won't unpack the boxes for your amusement?

Let's be fair. I have to take some of the blame. Any time a human tortures a cat, it's because the cat hasn't properly trained his humans. Know what I mean? Don't worry. I made sure she knew the boxes were my play castles. I don't expect to have that problem again.

8) The human, Zach, used to be on a reality TV show called The Psychic Detective. What do you two think the best reality TV show would be?

Abbott: Hey, dog. That means what do you want to watch on the big light box that shows moving pictures?
Costello: Oooh! Squirrels.
Abbott: Oh brother. (licks paw) Me? I think it would be cool to have my own reality show. They could call it Keeping Up With Abbott. Maybe I would get more slaves that way. More petting, but not too much petting. More tuna. More naps. For kicks, I'd run off and hide and see if they could keep up with me.

9) Costello, tell me about the obedience classes Hannah thinks she should put you in? Does she really need that much training?

Costello: Um, I don't know what that means.
Abbott: Remember the park? She made you sit for a treat?
Costello: Oh my god, that was torture! I thought she was playing a game. I thought I would starve to death!
Abbott: Let's just skip to the next question. Make it about me. That's just easier.

10) If you two could talk to Angela, what would you tell her about the next book you'd like to be featured in?

Abbott: She just put us through an awful story where the idiot girl who works for Zach came and took care of us while our humans went away. Three weeks without my slave. Can you imagine? I hope she never does that again. We had to wait endlessly to be fed--
Costello: I thought I'd starve to death!
Abbott: And the idiot girl kept staring out the window and talking to us about serial killers and ghosts. (Human Typist's note: That was in SOMETHING WICKED, another Campbell book that is excellent reading.) Sheesh. Humans. What are you gonna do?
Costello: I want to be able to chase squirrels in the next book. And eat them. I'm hungry. Got any food?
Abbott: Tuna?

***

Sincerely,

Meankitty and the Typist
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.om

Thursday, February 27, 2014

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.

***

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

Friday, February 07, 2014

Cattification: Ravensblood by Shawna Reppert

The book Ravensblood by Shawna Reppert was released in December 2013. It's about humans who like ravens. Now, I don't think the eat the ravens, which was kind of a disappointment to discover, because ravens seem like they might be pretty meaty. Thus we have undertaken the project of making this book more tempting to readers and cats with a little cattification action.
 
As always, with our cattifications, we urge you to inspect the original before savoring the delights of the claw job we have done on this author's cover and blurb...
 


In a life of limited food choices when sometimes dry kibble is the best you can get, can a dark house cat oust the neighborhood dog and save the world?

Catwyn Ravenscoffed. (Likes: eating, string, sometimes eating string, and catnip. Hates: dogs, being wet, not getting to go outside) The last heir of an ancient pride of dark cats, he holds the secret to recreating the Ravensbreast, a legendary magical recipe of immense deliciousness.

Hissandra Greensfur (Likes: yowling at the moon, hunting mice, taunting indoor cats. Hates: dogs, being wet, having to live inside) is a Guardian of the Yard. Magical law enforcement for the elected feline council—and Catwyn’s former housemate and lover. She is trying to live down her embarrassing past of being a housecat. And then her past comes to the yard, asking for her to move back indoors.

As a youth, Catwyn wanted to be a Guardian of the Yard but was rejected because of his declawed status and allergy to flea medication, necessitating his being kept indoors at all times. In his pride and his anger, he had turned to Willhound, the darkest and most powerful dog mage of their neighborhood. Willhound wants a return to the old ways, where the most powerful dog was ruler absolute—even over cats! And certainly over the best bits of tuna and meat. But Willhound would not be a halfway-decent dog from the fairy tales where dogs and cats got along. He would reign in barking and fleas and eating all the best stuff, but also carrion, which he would roll in and bring home on his fur, and that’s totally gross.

Catwyn discovers that he does have a conscience—and a longing to keep the tuna for himself. It’s rather inconvenient, since he knows that damned hog Willhound is not going to share. He becomes a spy for the cat council that Willhound wants to overthrow, with Guardian of the Yard Hissandra as his contact.

Their secret meetings through the glass back door must be kept secret from the beastly Willound. Hiss and Catwyn form a plan to trap the drooling dog outside his warded back yard that has one of those invisible shock fences...never to return. Then they can get down to the business of catching a raven and delicately poaching it for magical good tastes.

But Willhound is one step ahead of the cats, with Catwyn’s life, his tuna, and the secret recipe of Ravensbreast all in danger.

***

Meankitty & the Human Who Types
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com

Wednesday, February 05, 2014

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 fiancĂ© 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?

****

Sincerely,

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