Guest Amanda Flower

Edith here, writing away north of Boston. I’m delighted to welcome prolific and talented author palLethal Licorice Amanda Flower to the blog today, with a new mystery out in her Amish Candy Shop series – Lethal Licorice! Take it away, Amanda.

A Tale of Two Feline Editors

Cats and cozy mysteries have been walking paw and page since the genre appeared, and that’s no different for any of my books. All of my cozies have had a cat supporting character to bring some humor and comfort to my fictional characters’ lives. I am also lucky enough to have two felines in my real life to help me write my books. I call them the editors, and my readers who follow me on social media know them well. They are Editors Cheeps and Tummy Flower. Now, Cheeps and Tummy are their nicknames. They are both named after Chronicles of Narnia characters, Reepicheep and Mr. Tumnus, respectively.

cheeps and tummyThese two are my constant companions while I write. In fact, they are sitting with me right now as I write this post. What my readers might not know is, just like the cats in my books, Cheeps and Tummy have two very distinctive personalities. Cheeps is my Velcro cat. He wants to be on my lap or arm or leg constantly. While, Tummy much rather sit near me, but he wants his own space. Cheeps is my gray and white tuxedo cat and the older of the two and is much more timid that Tummy. He doesn’t like strangers and takes some time to warm up to people. However when he decides you are his friend, he’s loyal forever.

Tummy, my black and white tuxedo cat, on the other paw, loves everyone from the moment he sees them. He has been known to make up with plumbers, electricians, and other handymen, who might be only in my house for an hour or two to fix something. Finally, Cheeps loves to go outside and walk in my garden. He loves to roll in the grass and smell the flowers. Oddly, Tummy, the more outgoing of the two, is afraid to go outdoors.

Even though they are both tuxedo cats living in the same home, they are very different from each other. Seeing my own cats’ behaviors and personalities is why I love reading and writing about cats in mysteries so much. Just like all the best amateur detectives each cat is unique. I have a cat in every book I write, including Lethal Licorice, the second novel in the Amish Candy Shop Mysteries, releasing at the end of this month.

Follow Editors Cheeps and Tummy on Instagram here: Amanda Flower-50 (2)

Amanda Flower, a national bestselling and Agatha Award winning mystery author. She also writes mysteries as USA Today bestselling author Isabella Alan. In addition to being an author, Amanda is librarian in Northeast Ohio. Follow Amanda on Social Media at: Facebook Twitter Instagram

Readers: Which animal buddies help you in your work? Tell us about animal personalities you know and love.


25 Thoughts

  1. My muse is a brown tabby named Hutch. Although I have five cats, Hutch is the one who listens to my woes, suggests plot twists, and is always available with an opinion or a high four when things are going well. Like you, all of my books have critters.

  2. By “help” do you mean shuffling papers and hiding pens and other small objects? My Sam does that when not sitting on my wrist making it difficult to type.

  3. Welcome, Amanda! So great to hear more about Cheeps and Tummy – who I see pix of regularly on Facebook. My furry pals are Preston and Cristabel –
    but they don’t hang out in my office, so no editor chops for them. Thanks for visiting us on the blog.

  4. Sadly, I’m allergic to the furry friends I so dearly love, so I envy you! For Christmas, though, my sister and brother-in-law gifted me with “Noble,” the cute brown and white dog from Barnes and Noble. He sits on a stool next to my workstation and cheers me on, clouds or sunshine, toasty warm or bone chilling. Best gift ever!! –Kate, writing as c. t. collier

  5. Welcome! Dexter (one of a pair of orange tabbies) is sitting on my lap, purring, as I type right now. He’s the one who sat on my laptop and broke the hinge, but it keeps limping a long (he hasn’t apologized). His sister Lila prefers warm floor grates. And Oliver, a stray who adopted us, does whatever he wants, but he’s not much of a writer.

  6. Hi Amanda,
    I love when authors share things about themselves. I enjoyed reading this very much! Your cats are adorable! Have a great day!

  7. I am the happy assistant to our 13 year old chihuahua furbaby. I say that because he definitely thinks he owns everything and allows up to share it from time to time. That’s ok with us because of all the love and affection he gives us makes up for his slightly selfish “it’s all mine” attitude.

    Snickerdoodle (yes he’s a boy and yes he has a cookie name – hint: my clown name was Cook E. Lady) came into our lives just as he was destined to. He immediately took up with my Dad. Dad liked dogs but I’d never seen him take up with one like he did this one. They were constant companions when I went to help Mom with cleaning and cooking or just to visit. That special bond was made even more so when Dad died just 7 short months after we brought Snickerdoodle home.

    After Dad died, Snickerdoodle went to live with Mom to keep her company and to adjust to being alone. He was her ‘lil man’ and she adorned and spoiled him as he loved on her and gave her a reason to go on.

    Six months later, Mom told us it was time for him to come home with us. I think he looked forward to our very frequent trips to Mom’s as much as she did to see him. She kept duplicate toys and treats at Mamaw’s house so he didn’t have to cart things back and forth.

    Fast forward several years when Mom had to come live with us after a nasty cancer surgery and the onset of Alzheimer which progressed rather fast after her surgery. Snickerdoodle was the one thing that seemed to keep Mom focused and in the here and now. He lavished her with attention and sweet doggie kisses.

    Mom is now gone to her heavenly home and Snickerdoodle is getting much older and has developed the need for insulin twice a day, but he’s still the apple of our eye and gives the best doggies kisses out there. He is our child – our baby. We plan everything we do around him. We are planning a trip to Yellowstone this summer and are making all our plans around his needs and where he can stay. It’s well worth it – HE is well worth it!

  8. Fitz, the four year old Irish wolfhound, demands to go out and in and out and in which seems distracting but the walk downstairs and up again gets my blood moving, is a chance to get another cup of coffee, and to pause and think about what I’m in the middle of, to listen to the characters.

  9. My long hair cream and white cat Simba.. it doesn’t matter if I am reading a good book, sitting at the table trying to write a letter (I love to write) or trying to write my story for the millionth time (I have had a story in my head since I was 14, someday I will finish it) .. Simba lays right on my paper, making it impossible to do anything but snuggle with him. He won’t do it to my kids or my husband.. but he won’t leave me alone. (Maybe he knows my story has my dog in it when I was a kid and he’s jealous cuz he’s not in it 😊😊)
    I am super excited for Lethal Licorice to come out!!!

  10. Cozies and cats are made for each other. I can never resist a book that combines them. We’ve had cats who meet people at the door, ones who no one believes we own because they are never seen by others, and everything in between. They all are an inspiration on how to live life.

  11. I have a black & white tuxedo baby, too. She likes to delete files from my computer when I walk away for a minute.

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