|My mother said I was born with a Coca Cola in one hand and a
steering wheel in the other. The Coke habit—considering the
calories—was abandoned long ago. But my steering wheel is still
shiny and well used. I probably cover more miles every year than the
postman and the UPS driver combined. I do my best plotting on the
road. Witness the time I came up behind a big transport carrying a
load of shrink-wrapped Corvettes. You know what that led to.
I've mucked out stalls in North Dakota at 33 below and had tea with
Lady Astor at her mega-cottage in Sandwich, Kent. In between have
been adventures, misadventures, forays, reality and regret just as
varied and as interesting, all of which became fodder for my pen.
And pen it is at first. Word processors and computers are vicious
beasts to be wrestled to the floor and stomped on. A fountain pen
never talks back. Sometimes I’ve triumphed and sometimes not.
However, considering I date from the era of two-digit telephone
numbers, I’ve not done too badly in the Electronic Age. It’s like driving
a car. You don’t need to know the inner workings of a gasoline
engine to motor from Missouri to Maine. And Maine, of course, is
where these stories began. With a visit to Thunderpaws.
Donna Chase, of the real Siberia Farm and Thunderpaws Cattery,
was both inspiration and ‘technical advisor’. (sycamores don’t grow in
Maine, crows fly south for the winter and snow can visit anytime) A
writer has to get these things right. This is known as verisimilitude, a
two-bit word that means the real flavor of a place. (Nobody likes to
make a mistake in writing--or get caught at it anyway. Like the author
who referred to his calico cat character as ‘he’.)
However, it sometimes penetrated his contrary little brain that I have
feet and he doesn't and the Nolichucky River is a mere 50 feet down
the hill. And if nothing else, he could be used for an anchor.
And now an editor has come on board: Helen Cripe, who is also an
author who has written a book of her own: Thomas Jefferson And
Music. She's a half-way Yankee but we mesh well and I am grateful
for all her help. Need I add that she's also a cat person?
No amount of kudos can suffice for my computer graphics whiz who
has designed all the book covers: Ann Mary Bishop of Windermere,
Cumbria in the UK. She has her own internet design firm whose email
address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Without the cats, though, nothing would have ever seen print. Cats
are like that. They are at once mysterious, seductive, forever
stubborn, funny, exuberant and as magical as any muse that ever
invaded a writer’s mind and whispered: “what if—-?”
All input from readers is welcome!
|Holly Reilly of BoundingMaines Cattery,
my computer maven,
provided the expertise, weaponry
and did the mopping up in my computer wars
that finally saw the books to fruition.
Without her, they would have languished
in the innards of Dunceworth,
my PC, a goat-headed creature at best.
|Movie time at
CumbriaCoons with Angel and
|All the books
are available at
in soft bound