By Liz, super excited that Purrder She Wrote releases tomorrow, with its twin Death Over Easy by Maddie Day!
Release weeks are always so exciting. This is my eighth published novel, and some days that’s still hard to wrap my head around.
I’m having a ton of fun writing the Cat Cafe series. My only regret for this launch is that the real JJ isn’t around to revel in the release of his second book. For those of you who missed it, Junkyard Johnny, who’s the real life inspiration for the cat of the same name in the books, passed away unexpectedly in January. My publisher, St. Martin’s Press, is doing an amazing job keeping his memory alive on the cover of this book – doesn’t it look like him??
I know he’d want to be here right now to pose with his books, hold some contests, and announce Cate’s new website that just launched. He would’ve been especially intent on growing his fan base (he was always a little jealous that Tuffy had his own page) but on the other hand, JJ was confident enough to know that he was pretty special and loved by a lot of people.
For those of you who weren’t well acquainted with JJ, here’s a little about him.
He was rescued from a junkyard in New Hampshire by a friend of a friend in 2003, and the vet estimated him to be about three years old. He ended up at the shelter I volunteered at back then, and I fell in love with that face from the minute I saw him. And his squeak. For a big, strong alley cat who’d survived in a junkyard, he didn’t meow – he squeaked. And it was hilarious. (He knew when you were laughing at his squeak, though, and he hated it.) You’ll see the same characteristic in the book version of JJ.
A year later, he had a serious medical condition and needed emergency surgery and a week-long hospitalization. Luckily, he survived and lived to wreak different levels of havoc for a long time.
He could be a bully. He had something against fluffy cats and always beat up his longer-haired siblings. Honestly, at one point his behavior was so challenging he ended up on Prozac. (I know, right?)
He loved catnip, and catnip toys. His favorite was the stick of catnip “dynamite.” Even as he got older, he loved to chase that thing around and fling it in the air. And he also loved to get high off it.
He was also a really good snuggler. I always wondered how he lived in the junkyard when he so clearly preferred soft beds and humans to snuggle with. Brothers and sisters, not so much most days…but nobody’s perfect.
Happy launch day, JJ – your memory will live on in the series, and I’ll visit a cat cafe in your honor.
Meanwhile, copies of the book have already been sighted! Here’s one from Sarasota, Florida.
Readers, leave a quick ode below to a pet who still lives on in your memory…or tell us if you’re going to the bookstore for any new releases this week!