Thursday, May 28, 2009

Meet Mr. Boots, Gloria Oliver's Cat

Please say a big hello to Mr. Boots, Gloria Oliver's feline companion...

Bio: Yo! I’m Mr. Boots. All muscle and all fun all the time. Black and sleek with white boots and white tummy. Mighty feline of the jungles am I! I will fearlessly protect my chosen housemates from evil lint, waving papers, and rays of sunlight till the end of time! Booyah!

Thanks for the cheery intro, Mr. Boots. Go ahead and give us the lowdown on Gloria. What type of books does she write?

Fannnnntasy. Young Adult Fantasy, even. Don’t even know why. I mean, you can just stare at a wall, unfocus your eyes a little and fantasize all you want while lazing about on the floor. Me, I fantasize about shinny objects I can swat around with my claw, or maybe catching Nightshade with his guard down and doing a preemptive strike. Yeah…Sweet… But if you actually want to see what she writes about, hohum, she’s got samples at Mine are more fun. Believe you me.

I often fantasize about stake and spicy sausage. Good stuff! Anyway, what do you do to annoy Gloria while she writes and ignores you?

Well…if you must know…I meow loudly from the other room. Once or twice is normally all I need, long pitiful meows, to get her to look over at me. Then she will make ‘come over’ gestures to me and scratch me behind the ear. Mmmm. At other times, I will set my sights on the high backed chair and pick up speed from back in the kitchen and leap at the thing! My claws will clamp onto it, like it’s a feral animal I must protect her from. If my angle is real good, the chair will roll away with both of us on it. It’s not good to do it if she’s not in it though. Tried that once. Me and the chair took a dive. Not fun… no, sir…

Nice work, Mr. Boots! Does Gloria plot like a madwoman or just write ‘down the bones’?

She’s a weird one, that one. She does it all kinds of ways. Kind of depends on what she’s working on. She’s had full written out plots, worked on a book just from one scene, faked things as she went along. Kind of like a cat, and quite sensible as far as I am concerned, she follows her instincts.

Hmm. Sounds a bit like my mom. Quite erratic, that one. Does your mom like to snack while she writes? My mom can't stop snacking then she says I can't have a snack because I'm fat. Do you think there’s a connection between writing and obesity?

Ooo, snacks. I like snacks. But no, she doesn’t snack much. Though her male will sometimes buy containers of Whoppers and leave them on her desk. She can’t seem to resist those. But honestly, who cares if she snacks? I’m the one who should be getting served a snack! Sometimes I have to sit there and stare at her when it’s getting late so she can get a clue and give us our late night yummies. Sheesh.

I know what you mean! I wish I had free access to my own stakes! Does Gloria let you sit on her lap while she writes?

Yeah, but it’s no fun.

Why not?

There’s not enough room. I’m a big boned boy and there’s just not enough room between her lap and the keyboard drawer for me to fit under there. Now Keiko, Queen Bee around the place, (and total grouch – but you didn’t hear it from me), she’s petite and super tiny. She crawls up under there with no problem and takes naps. I have to wait for Gloria to go watch TV to get lap time, and that’s if Queen Bee has decided to be elsewhere. You know, you swat her once for play and she holds a grudge forever! Like, what’s wrong with sharing? Shouldn’t we all get equal lap time? You wouldn’t think something that tiny could be so, uhm, feral. Not that she scares me or anything. Don’t you dare think that. Nuh uh. (Oh, she’s coming. Gotta go!)

I can sympathize! I'm the only dog here for the moment, but my mom has been talking about getting me a little brother... as if I needed one!! Scary stuff!!!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Interview with Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Connie Gotsch's dog

About Dame Kiri: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa was born in 1994 on the Navajo Nation. She was a stray farm dog that wandered into town where Laura found her and took her home., because no one wanted her. Laura gave her to Connie when Connie fell in love with her. You can find out more about Connie at

Welcome to my blog, Dame
Kiri! Are you ready to start spilling the beans on Connie? Then tell us, are you the boss of her?

Sometimes I’m the boss, especially when I want to go out. I can then stand half in and half out of the house and make her stand there. Or I can bark to come in when she is in the bathroom, or with her hands full of something in the kitchen. If I carry on loud enough, she’ll put down what she’s doing and rescue me. I am also the boss of the bed.

Nice to hear that! Always remember to keep her in her place. So, tell us, what type of books does your human mom write?

She is something called a broadcaster. Once she left this thing on that she calls a radio. Her voice came out of it when she was standing behind me. How do you explain that. Once she turned it on when I was a puppy. It made a sound that fascinaged me. All of a sudden a whole bunch of people started singing kiri aaaaaaaaaayyyyyy. I got confused. Were they calling me? Mom laughed herself silly.

So she’s a broadcaster -- whatever that is, and I think she writes for something called a newspaper once in a while, and she writes novels for adults. She has two published, “A Mouth Full of Shell” and “Snap Me a Future.” They’re on Amazon -- whatever that is -- and something called her web site She gets very annoyed when people ask her if she’s self-published, and assures them that her publisher, DLSIJ Press made her go through an editorial process. Oh yes you can get her books from, too. Her other book is for 8-12 year olds, and it’s called ‘Belle’s Star.” It’s written from a dog’s point of view.

I just checked your mom's books on Amazon and they look pretty cool! I especially like the cover of Belle's Star. Of all her books, which one is your favorite? Why?

Belle’s Star, of course. I was one of the models for it. So was Ben, Connie’s other dog. He went to the Great Meadow two warm seasons ago. He was a Setterdor. Belle is my favorite book because he’s in it and because I’m in it.

I thought so! You're lucky your mom put you in a book. Wo are you in the book?

I’m Belle. Ben is Buster.

Did Connie show your real character or did she exaggerate it for the book's purpose?

She pretty much showed my character. I was abandoned as a puppy and she told all about that. I was more trusting of humans than she made Belle because her friend Gwynne said there needed to be a book for abused and abandoned children that talked about abuse but didn’t do it with people. Gwynne is an art therapist and she says that some kids aren’t ready to read about an abused person but could identify with a hurt anmal. Connie’s other friend, Margaret is a school counselor and she wrote a study guide for Belle’s Star. The book will be available from Artemesia Publishers at in August.

The book is designed to teach kids that they can’t help what happened to them, but they can choose how to respond to that. And guess what? She wrote it so any kid with a problem can read and enjoy it. This really neat artist illustrated it, too. His name is John Cogan.

That is so cool, Dame Kiri! That sounds like a book that can help kids! Are you happy with her portrayal of you?

Pretty much. John came and took pictues of me. I don’t like cameras, so I hid when I could. But I look pretty good in the book. I’m part Red Heeler and maye part Terrier. And one of my grandparents may have been a fox! I was born on the Navajo Naion in New Mexico. As I said I was friendlier than portrayed at the opening of the book, but in the book I learn to be friendly. So if that helps kids deal with their problems, I’m happy.

I don't mean to sound rude (well, maybe I do), but what's with your name?

I’m named for an opera singer, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. She’s sort of a mutt too, half Mauari and half English. I heard her sing once on the radio. Her voice is beautiful.

Did Connie choose it?

Yes, because she said I was sweet and gentle like Ms. Te Kanawa. She talked to Ms. Te Kanawa once for the radio and M. Te Kanawa, who could sing in any opera house in the world upon request said “I hope the Albuqueque audience likes me.” That stopped Connie for a moment, and she’s interviewed lots of people. By the way most people call me Kiri or Kirs. Mom calls me Kirzoletta or Kir-Kir sometimes. And if she ever says “Dame Kiri Te Kanawa” to me, I know I’m in trouble.
My name says about her that she loves opera.

That's a sweet story, but what has that done to your self esteem and what does that say about her?

Well I’ve enjoyed being named after such an elegant person and have tried to be elegant in everything I do. I think it worked because my mom never says I’m a mutt. She says I’m a Chien Mixte. Chien means dog in French and Mixte means mixed. She says it to me especially when I am sitting looking sweet at dinner time.

What do you do for amusement while Connie pounds at the computer all day and ignores you?

Sometimes I sleep. Sometimes I come nuzzle her or climb into her lap. Sometimes I play let me out, let me in, let me out, let me in, so she has to stop.

Tell me the truth… is Connie as disciplined as she said she was in her last interview?

She’s always writing something. Not always a novel but an article, a sketch for a book, an outline, a radio documentary, so she’s pretty disciplined.

What is it about authors and their delusions of greatness?

I think most authors just enjoy writing. My mom speaks 2 languages, German and English, and she can get by in French. People are so silly. They have all these languages, but we all speak dog all around the world.

Does Connie plot like a madwoman or just write 'down the bones'?

I think she does.

What does your mom do besides writing? Is she a hermit or does she actually set her foot outdoors? My mom has to be dragged outside.

Oh, she goes out. She’s also a natural light photographer.

Give us the lowdown. What happens when Connie Gotsch gets a bad review? I know it's impossible to restrain her, since you're a dog but what do you to comfort her?

Nothing happens. She laughs. The worst review she ever got was when the reviewer read three chapters of her book, didn’t like it, and reviewed on that much. She thought that person was a jerk, but she reviews for and has given a few bad reviews herself, so she laughs them off. She’s actually more guarded when she’s developing a book and takes it for critique. She’s careful to make sure the criticism helps her go in the direction she wants to go, and not someplace else. Some critics like to replot and recharacter, and she doesn’t let that happen.

Does Connie snack continually as she writes?

No, she isn’t a snacker. And that’s horrible because I can’t sneak anything. Once Ben hit a glass with his tail and drowned her computer keyboard. So now she won’t drink anything near her computer.

Does your human mom let you sit on her lap while working at the computer?

Yup, all the time.

Is your mom crazy about book promotion? What does she do to promote her books? Does she ask your advice at times?

She finds what works for her and uses it. She hand sells her books a lot, which means she goes away, but maybe when she sells Belle’s Star I’ll get to go along.

What advice would you give to those pets that have to live with irrational, insufferable, egotistical authors?

Leave. Find a nice one. Most of them are nice. Connie’s author friends are. They help her and she helps them.

What is the best part of having an author as a mom?

She’s happy when she writes. What more could a pet want?

The worse part?

She ignores me.

Will you be boasting to your other pet friends about this interview?

I don’t know if I’ll boast. I’m tickled that you’re asking me.

Well, thanks for stopping by, Kiri!

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Doggy News: Sadie to be character in Donna Shepherd's book

Lots of things have happened since Sadie accepted to appear on my blog last month. For one thing, I inspired his mom, Donna Shepherd, to write a book about Sadie and her other doggies, so she set to write and... voila! The children's picture book, titled "Poodle & Doodle" will be released by Guardian Angel Publishing in the near future!

Don't miss my upcoming interview with Sadie, by the way. He'll be my guest soon to spill the beans about Donna.

Below is a sample illustration from "Poodle & Doodle"... cute, isn't it? The artwork is the creation of talented children's book illustrator Jack Foster. Visit Sadie's blog, Oodles of Fun, to learn more about the book and to download "Poodle & Doodle" coloring pages.

I'm off to lunch! By the way, you see the photo of me in the park? I'm just admiring nature, NOT terrorizing the ducks!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Interview with Amber, Shari Lyle-Soffe's cat

Shari Lyle-Soffe is a children’s writer with four books published. She has a picture/storybook series about raccoon brothers, “The Misadventures of Rooter and Snuffle”, “On the Go With Rooter and Snuffle” and “Trouble Finds Rooter and Snuffle”. She also has a picture book titled “Nothing Stops Noah”. Amber is her black and orange tortoise-shell cat. Visit her blog at

Read an interview with Shari and my mom on Suite101.

Amigo: Welcome to Pets and Their Authors, Amber! Nice photo! Tell us, is your mom as stable as she looks in her website photo?

Amber: Not really. *Purr… I rescued her after my first owners dumped me in the woods in the middle of the night. I knew she needed me and I needed a comfy place to sleep and food to eat. I was still pretty much a baby. My dad tried to make me go away but I knew they both had an emptiness in their hearts since their dog, Toby, died. I made up my mind to fill the void.

Amigo: Does Shari let you sit on her lap while she works at the computer?

Amber: Absolutely not! I have a throne nearby where I keep an eye on the birds outside the window. Sometimes I nap. Mostly I keep watch to make sure no one bothers her.

Amigo: Has your mom immortalized you in any of her books? Did she

show your real character or did she exaggerate it for the book’s purpose? Are you happy with her portrayal of you?

Amber: (Amber stretches) She just signed a contract for a book with a character much like me.

Well…she did refer to the character as scroungey and that definitely is not me, but I understand literary license. I forgive her since she didn’t use my name.

Amigo: I’m guessing your human mom chose your name…tsk, tsk, tsk. What has that done to your self esteem?

Amber: (Rolls over on back and slides off chair head first.) You should have heard the names they tried out before this one. They tried “Ginger” like I would ever get on a boat with Gilligan. Then, showing their twisted sense of humor, they called me “Kaboodle”. Get it? “Kitten Kaboodle.” I almost coughed up a hairball on that one. The name Amber kept coming back to my mom. She named me after a book, “Forever Amber”. I think it suits me.

Amigo: Is your mom crazy about book promotion? What does she do to promote her books? Does she ask your advice at times?

Amber: Mostly I think book promotion makes her crazy! She has done school visits, book store signings, networking online and in person. She is trying to find what works best for her. Well…purr…she does use me as a sounding board, or just someone to listen to her complaints. I don’t mind, sometimes I even talk back.

Thanks for stopping by, Amber!