News Flash: Dianne KC is our winner from yesterday. Congratulations, Dianne! Check your Inbox for an email from Alyssa.
Jessie: In NH where the weather is feeling like summer!
Several years ago I met the lovely and gracious Kay Finch where I have met so many fellow mystery writers over the years: Malice Domestic. We were seated at the same table at the Berkley Prime Crime dinner and she was a charming dinner companion. It is with great pleasure that I welcome her to the Wickeds today! Take it away, Kay!
My Split Personality
I recently enjoyed signing my third Bad Luck Cat mystery, The Black Cat Sees His Shadow, at Murder by the Book, Houston’s wonderful mystery bookstore. We had a fabulous turnout, and I signed dozens of books. Great day for a writer, right? I had fun, but I also have to admit that I enjoy being in the audience at a book signing more than I enjoy being in the spotlight. The truth is – a writer needs to have a split personality.
You might think the hardest part of writing a novel is the writing itself. Yes, the writing is a huge and time consuming and seemingly never-ending project. When someone tells me they want to write a book, these thoughts cross my mind: “Don’t start. Writing is like an addiction. You won’t be able to stop. You won’t have any free time. It’s much easier and more fun to spend your time reading.” But as hard as writing the book is, as far as I’m concerned that isn’t the hardest part of being an author.
When my first mystery was about to come out, I wished I could hire someone to stand in for me. A person who enjoys sitting alone in a room and writing a book is not the same person who relishes the marketing aspect of writing. I naturally choose to do things that keep me from being noticed. My natural instinct to remain anonymous began when I was a little girl. In the privacy of my bedroom, I wrote short mystery stories. No one knew about them except me. For fear someone might see the stories one day and read them, I decided to burn the pages. Today, that sounds ridiculous and embarrassing. To little me, it made sense.
I might sound like a semi-recluse, but I’m not. I work full-time as a family law paralegal and deal with many people who have more quirks than I do. I enjoy meeting people at book signings and other events once I get there. My personality is seriously split. I’m not only an author, I’m also speaker, paralegal, wife, grandma, sister, daughter, aunt, and friend. And don’t forget – I’m a little piece of each of my protagonists, too.
Readers: I’m happy to give away a copy of The Black Cat Sees His Shadow. To enter the contest, leave a comment about your favorite childhood pet and I’ll pick a random winner at noon tomorrow. Good luck!
Kay Finch is the National Best-Selling Author of the Bad Luck Cat Mysteries, Black Cat Crossing, The Black Cat Knocks on Wood, and The Black Cat Sees His Shadow. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and the State Bar of Texas Paralegal Division. Kay lives with her husband and their rescue pets in a Houston suburb. Visit the author at kayfinch.com.
My dearest childhood pet was our black standard poodle Beth. She was the best dog!
I’ve never known a poodle personally, but I see several being walked in our neighborhood.
I know what you mean about having to be split, Kay. I also enjoy the schmoozing, but it’s a lot of work to get up for it!
We had few pets. Two kittens once, but one ran away and the other died. And some fish for a few years. The Neon Tetra was my favorite to watch, such beautiful shiny rainbow colors.
I grew up on a farm, so there were always cats and kittens. LOTS of them – I once counted 17. Never had a fish, but the grandkids have them.
I have always had parakeets growing up..had a pet clam once..an iguana ..fish,a turtle, my favorite was a free kitten I picked up in a feed store. I named her kitty. Very sweet cat that died in a house fire.
A pet clam? I didn’t know you could have a pet clam – interesting. I’m sorry about kitty. I always worry about pets and fire.
Hey! i had a pet clam too!
My favorite as a teen was a cocker spaniel/beagle mix named Cass. She was great fun for my younger brothers and I, and our neighbors across the street who also had teenagers. Later, my first pet as a single young adult was a cat named Sloopy after a Rod McKuen song. Cats have really always been my choice. Have enjoyed the Black Cat series so far and can’t wait for more.
Thanks, Jacki. I’m glad you’re enjoying Hitchcock the cat.
My first pet that I remember is the black and white cocker spaniel mix named Taterhead. This was my father’s dog but she loved all of us. Our house was always full of pets from indoor/outdoor cats, Boston terriers, gerbils, tropical fish and even parrots. My mother was one who loved birds. We had the usual parakeets and canaries but then she had the chance to take a yellow headed Amazon parrot named Perry who belonged to her aunt. It was funny because one thing the bird would say was, “Hello George”. This was my great uncles name and also my brother. Needless to say my brother went nuts when it would call out hello George or just simply George. I have lots of stories and memories of the pets who came to our home. I am looking forward to reading the latest book in the Black Cat series.
Perry sounds like lots of fun.
Welcome, Kay! We didn’t have pets as kids except for the odd turtle or goldfish. It was until I was an adult that I found out how seriously you can love a pet. And my beloved Lily, a Westie, provides more joy than I could have imagined.
Thanks, Sherry! Dogs are always so happy to see you, it’s impossible to not love them.
Welcome, Kay. My childhood pet was a dog who followed my dad home from the park when she was a pup. My parents described her as a mutt-with-mutt-with-mutt, unless people were terribly snobbish, in which case they’d tweak them by calling her an Australian Mule Hound. I can’t tell her name. It’s the answer to too many challenge questions on the Web.
Thanks, Barbara! I can understand the need for the top secret pet name.
My favorite childhood pet was my cat Smokey. He put up with alot from us. Letting us putting him a doll carriage and such. He lived till my Junior year of high school and was a part of the family.
Awww…I gave the name Smokey to the pet of a fictional character.
My favorite pet as a child was Inky, our cocker spaniel. His fur was so black, it looked blue, like ink. He was loving and cuddly. Always cuddled in bed for reading mysteries – I always had a Nancy Drew or Dana Girls book.
Me, too, Beth. Don’t know how many Nancy Drew and Dana Girls books I read in total. That would be an interesting fact to know.
I had a toy poodle growing up. Even though he was from “registered” parents, he was the runt of the litter and they couldn’t sell him, so he was given to me much to my parent’s dismay. We had him for 13 years and I still have so many wonderful memories of him. I even used to use his name as my password!
I forgot to mention Tony, the chicken. Well, he really was a fat parakeet, but stupid as anything. And he never learned to really tweet. It was more of a squawk. My dad, who professed to hate pets, took extremely good care of the poor old bird. Spoiled him rotten. He lived to some ancient age (Tony, not my dad).
I love the name “Tony, the chicken” for a fat parakeet. Sounds like a good fictional bird name.
My favorite childhood pet was my cat Cambrey. I got her when I was 11 and she passed away about a year or so after I got married. She was 12. She was the sweetest cat. I absolutely adored her.
Sounds like Cambrey had a nice long and happy life with you, Ashley.
I’m allergic to cats and dogs, as is my mom, so we didn’t have any pets growing up. However, I had an imaginary cat named Kitten. One day in pre-school, inspired by other kids talking about having recently lost a pet, I told everyone about Kitten dying. My poor mom didn’t know about it, and when she picked me up, one of the teachers said to her, “Mark told us about his cat.” Mom had no clue what I’d said, so she didn’t show the proper sympathy, which shocked the teacher. Mom figured it out pretty quickly and filled the teacher in.
(I already have a copy of the book, so don’t enter me in the drawing.)
Mark, I love the idea of having an imaginary cat. That’s a great story. Also, I’m happy to hear you already have a copy of my book.
I had numerous pets growing up as I lived on a farm.
JO ANN HUNTER – You’re the WINNER!
Like a lot of people, we had both a dog and a cat when I was little. One of my favorite old pics is of what was a common sight–the two of them together in the kitchen, waiting for food. Our Siamese always stood off the side, pretending to be aloof, while the cocker couldn’t help but wiggle, every singe time!!
That sounds so cute. I have two dogs now who couldn’t be trusted around a cat – I’d love it if they could all be pals.
I have had several pets and each was my favorite I a different way. I don’t think I can pick just one.
I understand that, Tracy. It’s hard to choose.
My dear cat “Blackie”. She lived to be 21 yrs old. Our family “rescued ” her from a sad life in a bar room in Boston! ❤️🐾🐾
Hurray for rescues and rescuers!😻
What a great long life for Blackie.
I also had a miniature Poodle, Pierre Remi of Westlake. He was truly my Mother’s dog. My house was broken into after she passed, and he was gone. I will never get over that loss or heartbreak. 🐩
My sister and I had several goldfish growing up…we always named them Finny and Fanny. We also had dogs when we were growing up. My favorite was a Chihuahua named Jose. He loved me but didn’t really like my sister.
I love the names Finny and Fanny.
Thanks for sharing, Kay! I had a myriad of pets growing up (although my mom was a little dismayed by the earthworms in the jar and the tadpoles I brought home from a field trip). They were all my favorite at the moment, lol. Thank you for the giveaway, and for sharing the challenge of being an introvert and trying to get the word out about your books!
One pet I never had was earthworms. Interesting, though.
My favorite childhood pet was Pierre. He was a minature silver poodle and he was a real character, he really liked to lick my Dad’s empty beer bottle for the few drops of beer left in the bottle.
Pierre knew what he liked.
Our first dog was a Pomeranian named Teddy. He was golden color and so cute when he was a pup!
I can picture cute little Teddy.
Alas, toward the end of a busy life, I can only remember the name of my first dog (Frisky), and that he was black with a brown spot over one eye (but can’t remember which eye). I only had him a short time before disappeared (run over by my father as my mother later mentioned, but as she was a paranoid schizophrenic anything she said had to be taken with a spoonful of salt).
Poor Frisky – sorry you didn’t have him longer.
Every pet has meant a lot to me. My favorite childhood pet was a Persian/Silver Tabby cat that we had forever.
I’m just reading Black Cat Crossing and falling in love with Hitchcock.
My favorite childhood pets were a pair of bottle lambs named Pepsi and Cola after the bottles we put the milk in to feed them. They followed me everywhere.
I wasn’t allowed to have a pet till I was well into my teens (mommy dearest was a bitch). One of my classmates in the 6th. grade had an Alaskan Husky who was trained by the army as a patrol dog. My friend’s brother got to bring him home after his tour of duty was up. After being “introduced” to Princess properly I was added to the lunchtime walking rotation.
That dog probably saved my life one day when three older teens started to get nasty and threaten me. Princess started to growl and I held her by the collar. I told them if they didn’t leave I’d let her loose. They laughed and one grabbed for me. Princess jumped at him, knocking him down and held him “gently” by the throat waiting for my command. The others ran away and I called her off the now very “wet” in the crotch teen who ran for his life. Back at the house Princess was given an extra snack for her actions.
My first dog, and most beloved was Misty. She was black miniature poodle. Had her since I was a baby and she passed away when I was 15. Best dog in the world. Stayed by my side every time I was sick. Played when she could with a ball. Gosh I miss her very much.
i think every pet that i have, is my favorite!
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