Say hello to my guest today: Deuce. This kitty cat lives with multi-genre author Mary Jean Kelso. She's written dozens of titles from children's books to middle grade to adult mysteries. Her picture book horse series, illustrated by Oregonian award-winning artist K.C. Snider, is quite popular. Today Deuce will be spilling the beans on Mary Jean (okay, so she's talented, but she can't be that perfect!)
So I hear you live with children's author Mary Jean Kelsey, huh? What's that like? Is she a good pet owner?
Ummmm. That's Mary Jean Kelso. It sure beats living in the shelter! There, I was in a tiny cage and here I have a big house to patrol and keep safe. What can I say? It's like having a maid to clean up after me, feed me exotic treats, keep my water fountain fresh and only interrupt a snooze to stroke my fur.
What do you do when Mary writes? Does she let you sit on her lap?
When I'm not testing my teeth on the computer equipment cords (I recently bit one of the printer cables a little too tight and caused Mary to spend an entire day tracing the trouble down) I nap or lay on the work table in the sun. Sometimes I jump up onto her cluttered desk and prowl around behind the monitor or slide off the printer top. Once, I even helped key in some words with all four of my paws. That brought her to an immediate halt when the internet company shut the system down for what they thought was SPAM. Guess I sent something to too many email addresses.
Tell us about her books and especially about her horse story series!
Oh, she works a lot on the Andy series. It's about a little boy in a wheelchair and a therapy horse called Spirit. I wish she'd write something about cats. Someday, she promises she will. But I heard the next Andy book was going to be about a dog! You might like that, Amigo. I'd rather chase a bird than read about dogs. Anyway, I digress, this Spirit is some kind of horse! Somehow she makes this little boy feel free and adventurous. Maybe, if I was big enough for someone to ride, I could do that, too.
How does Mary Jean get inspired to write all that? Do you help in that department?
No, I might help her figure things out sometimes. But, she usually gets her ideas when she is away on a book signing or out and about doing whatever she does when she leaves me home alone. (Secretly, I kind of like the quiet so I can get in a nice long nap in without being disturbed
How come she hasn't written a story about you yet? Aren't you mad about that?
Hey! Come to think of it, she hasn't. Well, as long as she keeps bringing my canned tuna home from the store, I can't feel too bad about it. Maybe you'd like to know how I got my name? That way, there'll be something in print about me anyway. I'm a mostly white cat. My tail is black and looks like somebody tried to put a handle on a piece of pottery. You know, how it kinda connects on the bigger part of a pot like a blob? Anyway, I have a black cap and half black ears where the pink doesn't show through the white fur there. On my back are two perfectly round black spots. Guess somebody thought it made me look like one of those wooden game pieces with dots on it. So, the other people I lived with called me Domino. Seemed like my new family thought that was too much of a male name so Mary's friend called me Deuce. I like that much better. I learned it quickly and answer to it without a second thought.
Okay, so give us the gritty details. What's the name of Mary's publisher and where can we get her books?
Oh, I know that one! She's always on the computer with the publisher, illustrator, or one of the people they call Angels. It is Guardian Angel Publishing, Inc. If you go to their website www.guardianangelpublishing.com you can find all of her kids books up there. Seven, so far. There are a whole bunch more in queue. The Adventures of Andy and Spirit comes out later this year for tween readers. RV Mouse and Andy and Spirit Meet the Rodeo Queen just came out and the next one in the series is the one I mentioned before--Andy and Spirit in Search and Rescue. That's the one with the dog. It has a big surprise in it!
Do you get along with K.C. Snider, the illustrator of your books? The truth!
Well, I've only met her once when she was here to go to a signing in Virginia City and Reno. I was pretty shy then. I'm getting braver now. I understand she has a dog that's about the same size I am -- Jack, they say. I don't know if I'd get along with him!
What do you like most about Mary?
She considers me one of the family. Just like family, I know she would never leave me. I have a home for as long as I live. All these poor other animals that people have had to leave behind when they moved because of the economy makes me so sad. I know wherever Mary and the family go, I go, too.
Is there anything annoying about her?
Her schedule! Just when I want to play, she wants to go to sleep. I get up way before her, too. Then I have to tear through the house with someone else, whoever I can get out of bed by chewing on cords or knocking something off the bureau, whatever it takes. When I'm up, I'm up! Finally, by at least 5 o'clock I manage to get her out of bed, too.
Give us some last words of feline wisdom.
Well, Amigo, always look cute and cuddly. Try to hide the holes in the electrical cords so no one knows you've chewed them until you're out of sight. If you eat too much and have to throw up, move off the carpet onto the kitchen tile. But, you probably have learned those things already! Always help your author friend with their work so the treats will keep coming!
Hey, thanks for letting me unload all my neuroses on you! I don't talk this much usually. It felt good! Meow!