From the moment I wrote my first story in my high school journalism class, I have dreamed of becoming a writer. Life required me to work and my dreams were put on hold, but now that I’m retired, I find myself drifting towards creative writing again. My wish is that I write something worthy for publication before I die! I have two living sisters who are both extremely talented artists, but my talent is in writing. I don’t have an established “style”, I just write from the heart.
What inspired you to start writing this book?
I LOVE cats! From the time I was born, I have had cats in my life. So many have touched my heart and each has uniquely stamped his/her imprint on my soul. I’m active with a volunteer rescue group. I started my own cat-sitting business where I take care of clients’ cats in their home where the cats are safe and secure in their own surroundings. I helped one of my clients when she had to put her baby to sleep, staying with him until he crossed over the rainbow bridge because she could not bear to be in the room. Nearly all my cats have been strays who found and adopted me, and I convinced myself a long time ago that I had an invisible magnet inside that only cats could see and feel. That belief got me to thinking about writing a story where all my cherished cats would come back to earth and help other abandoned cats “find” their own loving human mom.
Tell us the story of your book’s current title. Was it easy to find, or did it take forever?
The book title comes from the cat’s “seminar” they are holding to teach other cats how to find their “forever” home. It just came naturally from the story.
Describe your dream book cover.
I have an old photo where I’m in a chair with an afghan over me and three of my cats are all in my lap sleeping. I’d like something like that. The little poem I have at the very beginning is actually something I envision being on the inside cover of the book, maybe with cats all around a little old lady putting food in the pantry.
If your book had a soundtrack, what are some songs that would be on it?
Only song that comes to mind is “Memories” from the Broadway show, Cats. It would be fun to hear suggestions of silly, upbeat songs to play “between” the cat speakers at the seminar, lunch break, etc.
What books are you reading (for research or comfort) as you continue the writing process?
I recently submitted a story to Chicken Soup for the Soul/Pet Lovers Edition about my one true “soul-mate” cat named Nibbler. He is featured in this little book as the “keynote” speaker. I’ve enjoyed reading the stories in Chicken Soup, and I constantly read stories I see on Facebook about animals.
What other professions have you worked in? What’s something about you that your readers wouldn’t know?
I spent my entire career in the customer service arena. I was with one large corporation for 22 years, held various positions including a trainer and a supervisor. Another position awarded several departmental awards for customer service where I was a “Resolution Expeditor”, resolving customer complaints. I guess you would say that besides always being a “cat person”, I was a “people person” as well.
Who/what made you want to write? Was there a particular person, or particular writers/works/art forms that influenced you?
When I transferred to the Catholic High School in my hometown, I loved my Journalism class. I had a wonderful nun as a teacher. She actually submitted my name, along with a few others, for the National Quill & Scroll Society, in which I was accepted. I went on to college and convinced my counselor to let me take advanced journalism classes. After school, I took a couple of creative writing classes at night while I continued to earn credits towards my degree.
Where is your favorite place to write?
At home, in my office, usually after midnight! I’m a night owl and stay up until the wee hours of the morning.
Do you have any writing rituals?
No rituals. If I get inspired about something, I’ll jot it down and pick it back up much, much later.
What is one thing you hope readers take away from reading your book? How do you envision your perfect reader?
I want my readers to feel good about any cats they’ve owned and lost. I want them to know that all their love to their pet really did mean something and that their fur-babies are being loved and cared for in the after-life.
Are you a writer, too? Submit your manuscript to Atmosphere Press.