Theda Krakow is in a funk. Her sometime boyfriend's gone for good. The death of her beloved cat opened a bigger void. And the career leap she's made from copy editor to freelance writer has left her finances and her spirit flat. She desperately needs a headline to get her life back on track.
I'm thrilled that my upcoming mystery, "Mew is for Murder," is this week's pre-pub book club choice and I wanted to log on and say to hi to readers! "Mew" is my first mystery, and I hope you'll find it good fun. But it's not my first book, and I've done a ton of reseach into cats, and the special relationship between cats and women, that have fed into the adventures of sleuth Theda Krakow and the mysterious kitten Musetta. If you'd like to ask me any questions about the mystery, or about cats, cat "collecting," or just about anything else, please do! I've posted my email and I'll also be checking in here regularly.
Hi Clea, welcome aboard...I like your writing but have to read a bit more before I decide whether or not I like the book, if that makes sense. I love cats even though we are awash with dogs and just have one cat.
Thanks for saying that you like what you've read -- a writer (especially a first-time novelist) needs to hear that! I completely understand needing to read more, though. I've been known to lean against the bookshelves in my local bookstore and read a chapter or two before someone (usually an employee) clears his or her throat and brings me back into the daylight world, and only then do I decide to buy or not buy. The good thing about this book club is that you will get to read more. I hope you find that "Mew" stays as fresh and fun for you as it has been thus far. I'll be curious to hear what you think as we go on.
By the way, if you are curious about some of my non-"Mew" writing (for example, a newspaper story about cat hoarding), I've got some sample up on my home site, http://www.CleaSimon.com, as well.
Hi Clea- I'm the acid test because I am not a cat lover of any type, on any level and I can't wait to get your book! I like your easy, breezy, yet richly descriptive style. You put the reader where you want them to be without bogging him/her down with choking descriptions. I see the house, the cats, the victim, your apartment, your office, Boston, etc. without feeling that I have just slogged through Ulysses. Good Luck to you! CZ
I talk to cats (and other animals). I figure that they must understand more than we give them credit for. I like the independent streak cats have, and always wanted one, but I developed an allergy to their dander a couple of years ago:(
I am interested in seeing where this is going and what the "cat woman" is like. I also like the style of writing so far:)
Seeing these posts about liking cats but not having them or not being able to have them because of allergies reminded me of a true story. There's a great mystery bookstore near me, here in Cambridge, that's just filled with cat paraphernalia. Black cats, antique ads with cats in them, cat ornaments, toys, you name it.... Kate, the proprietor, collects these things and many authors including yours truly bring her finds (much like our kitties sometimes bring us voles....). At one point I asked her, since she obviously loves cats, how many she has at home. Her answer? None! She loves them, but she's allergic -- so she just reads about them and collects their hypoallergenic images for her store!!
Okay, my thumbs are turning up for this one. I don't like "The Cat Who...." series of mysteries but this doesn't seem to be remotely similar. The writing is much better & I can hardly wait for tomorrow's read to learn more about the cat woman. I love Boston & area too although was only there once.
Thanks Pam! (And thanks everyone else out there who is reading.)
I don't want to put down any other authors out there, but I do pride myself on making my cats real. I've written a lot about cats and think that they are great at communicating in their own ways -- without us putting words in their mouths. So they can contribute to a murder mystery in their own ways. Don't you think so?
Hi Pam - I personally enjoy an occasional "the cat who -" by Brown? - I believe it is - As much as anything enjoy the reading by the name I don't remember - so relaxing that I am prone to fall asleep at times and have to go back and find where I dozed off -
As for this book - looks to be a promising read - enjoying all the descriptive sights and sounds - also feelings and thoughts of the narrator - The only negative side for me in the pre-pub club is by the time it comes out I have probably forgotten it - but do think I remember It's in July - perhaps if I write it down and put it on my eclectic refrigerator under the heading "Books" will not get lost in my memory or on a slip of paper that tends to get misplaced and it would be hard to lose or misplace my fridge, would it not? -
How's that for my "pass it on" gift for the day? -
I remember my Pre-Pub selections by saving the last installment of a good book in my deleted folder in email until it comes out and I can borrow it from my local library. If the library doesn't buy it soon after the release date, it is also a good reminder for me to turn in a Patron Request Form to ask them to purchase it:) My library has an on-line catalog, so I just toggle from my email to the catalog to type in the book name or author. If you are diligent about clearing out your deleted folder, this might work for you too:)
Thanks, Katherine, for a more professional way of "filing" pre-pubs - I'm not too savvy with all the technical stuff with the computer - it's my son's computer after all and he is much more computer literate than I - just had another much simpler thought for me - perhaps will just write down the name of the book and the pub-date on that date on my kitchen wall calendar -which serves as my file for "everything" - may be a better idea than my "fridge-file" -
There is a group of feral cats living on parliament hill in Ottawa (Canada's capital) behind the parliament buildings. An elderly pensioner looks after them. If you put feral cats parliament into your search engine you will find some articles on them.
Thanks, Pam, I'll Google for stories about those cats. There's a woman near me who does trap, neuter, release of ferals. She also shelters some in her basement -- especially the young ones that can sometimes be domesticated. If anyone here is really interested in feral cat work, I'd suggest checking out a group called Alley Cat Allies. They're based in Washington, D.C., but have branches in lots of areas and they're a great source of info!
As far as remembering books goes, well, first Doris - thanks for thinking I'm worth remembering! But if anyone wants to be on my personal mailing list, email me and let me know. I'll email when the book is available for sale. You don't have to buy it, but that might be a good spur to ask your library for it!
(By the way, "The Cat Who..." books are by Lillian Jackson Braun, but Rita Mae Brown also has a fun cat mystery series, "co-authored" by her cat Sneaky Pie.)
Thank you, Ellen! And thanks to all of you who read, posted, emailed me, or just stopped by and checked out the cover!
As the book club info has told you, "Mew is for Murder" will be published next month -- both as a hardcover and as a large-type paperback. If you'd like to be on my personal mailing list (I'll let you know exactly when it is available and keep you up-to-date on readings/signings) then just email me and let me know. And if you simply want to see photos of the real Musetta, who inspired her fictional feline counterpart, please come on by my site, at http://www.CleaSimon.com ! (She's the editing cat.)
It has been an honor to be a PrePub bookclub pick and a great pleasure to meet you all!
I swear to you all that someday I will be one of those "Cat Ladies" you hear about. I love cats with a passion and only my husband's steadying influence keeps me from having more of them. (He limits me to two at a time.)Of course, I will take good care of them and make sure they're in excellent health. My last two lived to the ripe old age of 19 and these two I have now are both about 11- I'd have to check my records to make sure. I love the book by the way. You protray the cats in a very realistic way. I can just see them hovering about worrying about their "Mom". I'll definitely look for this one when it comes out for sale.
Oh - there's that darn carrot dangling in front of us again and then so quickly snatched away - this does look to be a pleasant read and surely Theda is going to end up with the little kitten she first saw and also perhaps the man she just met - looking forward to the complete book -
Very good book! Another "must read" for me. I love mystery books, and especially the cat theme ones. On Monday I looked up your web site to see what other books you have written, and the picture of your black & white cat is adorable.
As for remembering to look for the pre-publication books when they come out, I keep an on-going list in my wallet of books and authors to read. That way I am sure to have it when I get to the library or book store.