Piggles is a three-legged
Vietnamese pot-bellied house-pig who lives with Nina on her almond farm in southern Spain. Her favorite things are eating potato fries, snuggling under the duvet, and having her tummy rubbed. All three at once is usually best.
Meankitty is a now-elderly grey and white tabby who was once famous on the internet before social media was a thing. She lives with an author human and tries to tell her what to write, but since you probably haven’t heard of the author human, obviously the human isn’t listening to Meankitty’s great wisdom. Her loss, am I right?
1) MK: Why did you decide to be a
writer instead of a cat sanctuary owner?
NC: Who says I’m not a cat sanctuary owner? I officially have two cats at the moment – but I’m feeding at least five. News has obviously gotten out that there’s food to be had!
I’m a writer second, when I’m not feeding the cats (and other things).
Piggles: So is Meankitty an only
cat? Or does she live in your cat sanctuary?
MK: I used to be one of just two feline overlords in my center of the cosmos, but then a very disturbing thing happened in 2015. After six months when my typist was gone all the time,suddenly everything went topsy-turvy. Big D and I were put into small boxes, driven somewhere in a car, and tossed cruelly into a different house. Shortly after that, four other cats showed up, as well as another human, an elderly female whom I have to admit is very good at remembering to feed us on schedule.
While I like the new house, I hate the new cats. They’re harshing my kitty groove. I’m currently making plans to rid myself of all but the big black one who has a nice butthole.
2) MK: I confess that I don’t know much about pigs. I’m a cat, what can I say? Compare pigs and cats and dogs, and tell me how cats are probably the best.
NC: Being a cat is no excuse for ignorance of things porcine.
I’m struggling really hard here to come up with something where cats are the best, because it’s not easy. Pigs are obviously superior to both cats and dogs in matters of appearance and intelligence. Dogs are friendliest. Cats…? Nope, sorry.
Piggles: Are cats good to eat? And how do they compare to bacon? (Sorry, but Piggles is a little food orientated – it’s a pig thing)
MK: I see you need some help. Cats are better than pigs at: cuddling, being silky, jumping, running, meowing, knocking things off tables, scaring birds, catching mice, bossing humans around, ruining art projects set carefully on tables to dry, ejecting hairballs, not getting fat, and clawing up furniture. As for what cats TASTE like, I’d have to say cat hair. And why in the heck are you eating BACON, you weirdo???
(Note from Nina: I’ve given up bacon, but wave a bacon sandwich in Piggles’s direction and she froths at the mouth!)
3) MK: How does Piggles inspire you to write? How does Piggles interfere with your writing?
NC: If I ever make it really big, I’ve promised Piggles a bionic leg. So that inspires me to keep trying. But I think it’s true to say that she interferes more than she inspires. She can be very demanding if it’s meal time or if her duvet is not tucked in just right.
Piggles: I know cats can be really annoying to writers (to quote Nina: Get off my f****** keyboard.) What’s the most annoying thing Meankitty does?
MK: I like to poop in the floor instead of the cat box. Oh, and I like to scratch things with one paw while staring at a human.
The good thing about having 5 other cats in the house is the entire burden of annoying your human on a daily basis doesn’t fall on me anymore. For example, Sam, the black cat with the nice butt, is right at this very minute sprawled on the couch with that same nice butt touching my human’s bare arm. He really likes to share himself, you know? And the humans find this annoying, when it’s a gesture of friendship. Then there’s RayJay, who gets out his noisy bird toy in the middle of the night until he
wakes everyone up and then hides it so the humans can’t destroy it. That’s pretty clever. Oh, and Merri, whom I hate second-most, is the high jumper. She even knocks things off the top of the kitchen cabinets.
4) MK: Tell me about the felines in your fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play in your narratives? I suppose you could talk about pigs in your books, too.
NC: Actually, there have been quite a few felines in my fiction (and so far, no pigs—I must rectify that.) Most recently, I wrote a novella, Bittersweet Freedom, in my Order series, where the heroine, Shera was a cat shifter (among other things.) The hero was a werewolf, so she didn’t spend too much time as a cat.
Al the heroine of Deadly Pursuit, Dark Desires book 2 had a cat called Mogg. And the hero of Dark
Desires 4, Temporal Shift, was a human/jaguar hybrid. Does that count?
Piggles: Tell me about the pigs in your stories (and they’d better not all be on the table.)
MK: In PRODIGAL, which takes place on Earth after the aliens start wrecking the joint, the humans have to live in walled compounds that oversee and protect the outlying farms. When the monsters start invading Camp Chanute’s territory, they have to bring in all the farmers and livestock, including pigs. So there are definitely pigs – one on a leash — and comments about pig poop. No named pig characters, though. Perhaps in the future!
4b) MK: On the off-chance you have yet to incorporate cats into your fiction, when or how do you plan to rectify this egregious error and demonstration of poor writing skills?
NC: Clearly, I have nothing to rectify as I think I have a better than average inclusion of cats in my
stories. But there are actually no cats (or pigs) in UNTHINKABLE, my latest release. It’s book 1 in new series, Beyond Human and is about an ex-covert operations group of powerful telepaths. They are learning that they can do other things than read minds, and one of them can actually “talk” to animals. So maybe in book 2 we can find her a cat to talk to (though honestly, if she
wants an intelligent conversation she’d be better off with a pig.)
Piggles: Do all your books have cats in? And are they all mean cats?
MK: No, my human often fails to add cats to books. This is why she’s so imperfect, and her sales of those cat-less books are… Well, I guess this interview is supposed to promote my author’s skills, isn’t it? I have to say, she did include a cat in PRODIGAL who manages to almost get a human child killed. Hardcore, am I right? That’s what you get for naming the cat Rainbow Sparkles, kid.
PS, to CLAIRE (heroine in PRODIGAL), if you fix the broken vent cover I’ve been using, I’ll still find ways to get into your room, so don’t bother.
5) MK: What are your favorite works of fiction or cinema involving cats or favorite fictional cats?
NC: Cat people – I love that movie. Alien. Mister
out of the Dresden Files.
Piggles: What are your favorite pigs from anywhere? Has Meankitty ever met a pig?
MK: One of the human’s friends has two pigs and the videos are a good time. Never met one outside a petting zoo, though. Curious to now!
Join us for Part 2 of the interview on September 7th! Plus, don’t forget to click here to enter to win one of our Creature Feature Packages! Are you #TeamPiggles or #TeamMeankitty?