Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mitzi spills the beans on J. Anderson Coats

Excellent, you’re all here. My name is Mitzi, I’ve been kindly invited by Amigo to tell you a little about the girl monkey who feeds me and sometimes writes books when she’s not making a warm lap for me. Her fancy writer name is J. Anderson Coats, and she has a website with entirely too few pictures of me on it.

Here are five things you should know about J and her work:

* J doesn’t write stories that matter. That is, they are not about cats. They all take place hundreds of years ago, and they are all about those half-grown monkeys who hide in their rooms and play their little screeny-games too loud. The fancy writer term is “young-adult historical fiction,” but it’s really just half-grown monkeys behaving badly in the middle ages.

* There were cats in Wales in 1293. This is important because the book J just wrote takes place in north Wales ten years into English rule. It’s about two girl monkeys who don’t get along. One girl is English and wants to leave the town of Caernarvon and go back home. The other girl is Welsh and wishes all the English would leave. Neither of them will get her wish, and things are getting violent. The good news is that no cats are hurt. I can’t say the same for the monkeys.

* J’s book is called Without the Walls, and it is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the fall of 2012. I like the fall because of all the crackling leaves that stick to the monkeys’ shoes when they come inside. And there are a lot of crows. I really like crows.

* J doesn’t know the first thing about beauty rest. Every day at 4:30 in the morning, there’s this awful noise and – you’re not going to believe this - she gets out of bed while she’s still tired, sets up her laptop and writes. At least she remembers to put the wet food down for me before she starts.

* Sometimes J posts pictures of me on her blog. She is kind enough to preserve my anonymity by referring to me as Thumbkitty. While I find the term “kitty” slightly demeaning, I appreciate the fact that she highlights my thumbs. My thumbs are instrumental in my future plans to learn the fine art of the can opener. Oh, and sometimes she talks about writing too. You can read it here if you’re so inclined.

So. As you can see, I’m strongly supportive of anything my monkeys do that might improve the quality of the food around here. I’ve even learned something about books beyond their obvious value of rump-warming.

Thanks again to Amigo for having me here today. The heat vent just came on, and there’s a box in front of it with my name on it.


Bio: Mitzi is a tortoiseshell cat “of a certain age.” The rumors that she’s shaped like a gumdrop are vicious and scurrilous. She has no comment on their accuracy.

The monkey’s bio: J. Anderson Coats has dug for crystals, held Lewis and Clark’s original hand-written journal and been a mile underground. She writes historical fiction set in the middle ages that routinely includes too much violence, name-calling and petty vandalism perpetrated by badly-behaved young people. Her work is represented by Ammi-Joan Paquette of the Erin Murphy Literary Agency. Without the Walls, J's debut novel, is forthcoming from Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in fall 2012.



  1. Fabulous interview, Mitzi! (And, I happen to love historical fiction!)

    Michelle V

  2. LOL! FANTASTIC! I love this post :-) Mitzi you are a darling!


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