Thursday, June 30, 2011

Happy 4th Weekend and a Hint of Things to Come


Can you believe it's Fourth of July weekend already? the human can't believe how quickly the year is going. Her plans for this weekend include working on the sequel to the novel her agent is currently doing edits on! so she will be out of my hair - er, ah, I mean fur - for much of the holiday!

What does Rocco have planned? Well, watching birdies, maybe catching a few flies, eating up a storm, wrestling with my brother Maxx (and biting him on the neck - although the human goes nuts when I do that) hey, it's all in kittie fun! And, of course, playing with my ballie. And wishing for a Browncoat.

As June draws to a close, I thought I'd recap the memorble events of the month and give you a taste of what we've got planned for July:

June: saw great interviews: Ashlyn Chase, Janet Evanovich, just to name a few! With more to come in July. And the human signed with the fabulous Josh Getzler of HSG Literary, so that put her in a good mood (although her back trouble might have cancelled that out). The Blog Tour for Raven's Kiss kicked off June 9, and so far is a rousing success - her sales are up 400 books from last month! (jungle gym, oh, jungle gym, could you possibly be in my future? MEOW)

July looks to be an explosive month, in more ways than one:

So far, I have an interview lined up with the human's agent, Josh Getzler, for July 14! I asked Josh some really, really tough questions and he responded with book-length answers :) So, rest assured that will be a post that shoudl be of interest to lots of aspiring writers!

I have also lined up an interview with ex-NAL now freelance editor and human's mentor Kristen Weber! that should be a primo one as well ! Look for that around the end of July.

We also have on board (albeit with no firm dates as yet) Jill Myles, Jeaniene Frost, Kriana from Sci Fi Saturday Night, and don't forget Part 2 of my interview with the fabulous Ashlyn Chase August 1!

Plus we will be catching up with the latest news on Kids Need To Read (new fundraiser coming in September), Dark Shadows, and Nathan Fillion/Browncoat/Serenity!

So - dont' change that channel!

Have a Safe and Happy Fourth


Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Today I’m going to turn the blog over to a guest post from LUCIENNE DIVER.
Lucienne is a literary agent, and she’s also an author of numerous short stories and a YA novel, VAMPED. Her newest, BAD BLOOD, is available TODAY from Samhain Publishing.
And now…here’s Lucienne!

Thanks Rocco!

My Can’t Write a Blog Blog - Lucienne Diver

There’s an adorable little girl here who insists that I noogie her instead of write my blog. No, really, she insists. I’ve tried to convince her to play her DS, but she stuck it into my shoe instead. I then tried to convince her that she wouldn’t want it back because of the eternal stench and thus it was mine now, but apparently, I have to work on my sensory details to up my verisimilitude. In other words, she wasn’t buying it.

I’m sitting here at my son’s Boy Scout meeting in a room reserved for parents and siblings who didn’t want to drive all the way home between dropping off and picking up. Clearly this isn’t the blog I sat down to write. I switched over in the hope that if I wrote about said noogie girl (hey, Madison), she might let me keep going. (Yeah, that didn’t work either.) But as I switched gears, I realized that I could actually turn this into something, a blog about change, distractions and going with the flow.

First of all, I’m not good with change, which is funny, because I’m also a travel junkie, and I’d almost always rather visit someplace new than retread old ground. But outside of that, I really, really prefer knowing where everything stands, with life traveling along at a nice, even keel. Great for the blood pressure. Not so much for writing. Do I get my ideas when I’m going about my daily routine? No, I get them when I people-watch or take trips or experience something new that shifts my thinking. I’ve written since I was eleven years old, but was I headed for publication before perhaps the biggest change in my life—the birth of my son? No, I was not. I didn’t write for almost two years after he was born, too taken with this beautiful boy I held in my arms to look away. When I did restart my writing, it was a conversation between two baristas in my local Starbucks that started the ideas flowing again. It led to my first published novel (Playing Nice by “Kit Daniels”). The point is, his birth changed me. My earlier attempts at writing were all so horribly self-conscious. I don’t know if the sleep deprivation broke down my sense of self, letting me get out of my own way, or whether it was the fact that I woke before the sun (and thus my inner critique), but something was different when I sat down again to write.

My process continued to evolve. Later, as a young mother taking my son to exciting places like the ball pit at McDonald’s, I discovered that I could either continue to stare unblinkingly at my son for hours on end, or I could stay sane. (Not that sanity is necessarily a prerequisite for writing.) Now, as many of you know or can guess, McDonald’s isn’t the quietest place in the world. It’s about as far from distraction-free as their food is healthy. But I learned to write amidst the noise and the stolen glances every three or four seconds to be sure my son was where I expected him to be and that no other toddler was trying to bounce the balls off his head. I learned to tune out the exterior noise and target in on the voices in my head. Because, as E.L. Doctorow says with great accuracy, writing truly is “a socially acceptable form of schizophrenia.”

All that focus was also really good practice for weeding through the noise of potential plot paths. In writing, as in life, every choice you make leads to multiple branches that will take your storyline in divergent directions. It’s important to be able to decide which branches to take and which to prune. Think of your novel like a bonsai tree. You do have to give it constant care, nurture and shape it, but you also have to let the tree grow organically, and look at what’s natural for its development. Because of this necessarily organic growth, you don’t know exactly how it will develop just looking at the seed. The same goes for your fiction. No matter how serious a plotter you are, chances are things will diverge from your initial outline, because characters will surprise you or something struck you as you wrote, and you have to be able to go with the flow (and, of course, let your agent and/or editor know if the changes are significant).

So, this isn’t the blog I set out to write, but it’s the one that seemed to want to be written.

See how sleep deprivation can work for you!
Bad Blood, first novel of the Latter-Day Olympians
Available digitally June 28, 2011, print in 2012
Facebook fan page:!/lucienne.diver

Buy Bad Blood today at:

meow! Thanks, Lucienne! and my human totally agrees: characters do have a way of "taking over" an outline!

Thursday: I announce my schedule for July! Stay tuned!


Monday, June 27, 2011


Merry Monday! Can you believe this month is almost over, and this weekend is Fourth of July! the days are just flying by!

And with them, the human continues to write her books and take care of her back....I do try to help as much as I can - dust with my tail, catch flies, etc. It's a tough job, but someone has to do it. And, oh yeah...I write this blog.

Tomorrow, however, I am turning over the reins to a special guest. Author/Agent Lucienne Diver will guest post tomorrow, meow! Giving me a much needed chance to rest and regroup, and line up what's in store for everyone in July!

So don't forget to tune in tomorrow, kitties, when Lucienne takes over....and then Thursday, in the immortal words of Arnold....I'LL BE BACK!!!!!!



Friday, June 24, 2011

Time for the Weekend....Whyno TAKE YOUR CAT TO WORK DAY?

ah, so a few of my favorite dancers got axed last night on sytycd! But there are plenty good ones left, meow! and can you believe next Friday is...July! and the big Holiday weekend!

Next week we will have a guest post from author Lucienne Diver! and coming July 14, an interview with my human's agent, Josh Getzler! Coming up in the future - interviews with authors Jill Myles and Jeaniene Frost! So I've got a big second half of the year planned, meow!

And now a is TAKE YOUR DOG TO WORK DAY? Excuse me, Meow! what happened to TAKE YOUR CAT TO WORK DAY? Did we forget about this? Ins't this discrimination? Moi would be PURR-fect at a place of business - especially with my typing skills! And if they have some mice they need eradicated - so much the better!

So I think I shall campaign to have a TAKE YOUR CAT TO WORK DAY! Whom do I have to write to? I shall make this happen for all my feline friends - and fans!

Just another word...if you are thinking about adopting a pet, please,please...consider adopting a shelter cat! We make great companions and you are doing a humane thing!

and lest we forget, the Human's blog tour continues today at : Good Choice Reading!

Happy Weekend!


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Summer's Here...So You Think You Can Dance????

Summer began officially Tuesday afternoon, the time of year my sibs and I like best - there are plenty of squirrels and birdies to watch and salivate over!

It's a good time for TV, too...even though DANCING WITH THE STARS has come to an end, my second favorite dance program is on...SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE???

And if you thought the last few seasons boasted spectacular dancers, oh my God!!!!! The ones this season make my little kitty heart flutter....I can't imagine who America will vote off, or who the judges will decide to keep.

Yes, kitties, they are all THAT good!

Standouts for me; Melanie (the Emily Deschantal lookalike - she could always have a career on Bones if dancing falls through) Nick (the tapper who can quickstep like no other) Iveta (10 - count em 10 - World dance Championships)and Missy (sizzlin hot!)

Let's see if America agrees with yours truly, meow! this contest is too close to call!

Here's the site if you want to check 'em out!

Meowingly yours,


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Encore...My interview with Janet Evanovich!

In honor of the debut of SMOKIN' SEVENTEEN today, I've decided to run an encore of my interview with Janet Evanovich from May for those of you who might have missed it:

and without any further ado (because none is needed:

R: Hello, Janet, and welcome. thank you for allowing me to interview you, meow. I realize you're very busy and your answers will be short, but your time is muchly appreciated!

J: Thank you for having me, Rocco.

R: Please tell us a little bit about your next Stephanie Plum book! What can we expect?

JE: I can't say much other than a man from Stephanie's past comes to town.

R: Ah, what a teaser :) Ok, now, confess! Are you Team Ranger, Team Moretti, or Team Diesel?

JE: I'm not a team player. :-)

R: From a fan standpoint, there's nothing you can't do. But is there anything in particular that you feel uncomfortable or that you just can't write about?

JE: I can't write from a male point of view. I have no idea what goes inside a man's head.

R: If you were not a writer, what would you be doing now?

JE: I got a degree in art, so I'd perpetually have paint under my fingernails.

R: Do you do anything special to celebrate when you finish a novel?

JE: Take a walk on the beach, eat some birthday cake (even if it's not my birthday) and then get to work on the next book.

R: Now the question I know is on every Janet Evanovich/Stephanie Plum fan's mind:
Can you tell us your thoughts on the forthcoming Stephanie Plum movie, starring Katherine Heigl?

JE: I'm looking forward to it. I understand that Katherine is a fan of the books and she's always wanted to play Stephanie, so it's all good.

R: In closing: Dog or cat person (careful now J - Meow)

JE: We've always had pets -- cats, dogs, a hamster or two and a bird. But sorry, Rocco, though I love you dearly, I'm currently a dog person. Although my son's cat, Gus, is a frequent visitor. He has play dates with my dog Ollie.

R: Thank you so much, Janet, for making time to let me interview you. Meow! It's been a real pleasure!

There you are, kitties! So, RUN not walk, to your nearest bookstore today to get your copy of SMOKIN' SEVENTEEN (or download it on your Nook - or Kindle - if you prefer) And mark your calendars for ONE FOR THE MONEY, in theatres January 27, 2012

Coming soon: Interview with author Jill Myles - Interview with literary agent Josh Getzler - and my salute to Adopt a Shelter Cat Month concludes next week!

Meowingly yours,


Monday, June 20, 2011


Well, kitties, it's Meow Monday again! Time to catch up on all recent happenings....can you believe june is almost over! It's been a great month so far, although my human is still troubled with back issues - hope they get resolved soon. She's just started outlining the sequel to the novel her agent has, so I know what her summer will be, she's got to squeeze in the Wicca/Raven novellas amongst other things!

May saw the end of our first Kids Need to Read fundraiser, and it went so well that we've decided to have another in September - Literacy Month! So watch for news on that!

the Human is busy lining up some more interviews for yours truly - hopefully in the near future we will have authors Jill Myles and Jeaniene Frost! Wow!

and now, a bit about June...and Adopt A Shelter Cat Month.

As you know, there are literally thousands of kittens born every year, and not enough homes to go around. I give a big 'paws up' to the shelters around the country who take care of, nurture and feed these kittens and try to find them homes.

People - when you want to adopt a pet, be it cat, dog, rabbit or parrot (although we know what the premier choice is, right? RIGHT?) Consider adopting one from your local shelter. These animals are desperately in need of loving homes and honestly, you are doing a humane thing. consider adopting an older cat. kittens are cute (hell, I was adopted when I was 8 weeks old) but don't rule out older cats. In most cases, they're well trained, some are even declawed if that's important to you, and older cats make just as good companions as kittens - even better in some cases b ecasue kittens can be quite lively and a handful (as my human will tell you I was - and still am!)

Here are some great sites to check out:


for local New Jerseyites:


So get out there and check 'em out!

tomorrow: A replay of my interview with JANET EVANOVICH, IN honor of the release of SMOKIN' SEVENTEEN!


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Post 102 - My interview with author JEFF COHEN!

Meow! Today is a special treat - I interview mystery author Jeff Cohen!
Jeff is a freelance writer and the author of the Double Feature Mystery Series, and the Haunted Guesthouse series from Berkeley Prime Crime! He and my master also share an agent - Josh Getzler of HSG Literary!

So, without any further ado: Heeere's Jeff!

R: Meow, and welcome, Jeff! Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your writing, Jeff.
JC: Well, I’m a freelance writer (and have been for a LOOOOOOONG time) and the author of three mystery series: The Aaron Tucker series from Bancroft Press (FOR WHOM THE MINIVAN ROLLS, A FAREWELL TO LEGS, AS DOG IS MY WITNESS), the Double Feature Mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime (SOME LIKE IT HOT-BUTTERED, IT HAPPENED ONE KNIFE, A NIGHT AT THE OPERATION) and lately, under the name E.J. Copperman, the Haunted Guesthouse Mystery series (NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEED and just recently, AN UNINVITED GHOST). Three more books are due in that series, so I’d better get writing.

R: My Master is crazy about your Double Feature mystery series. How did that come to be?
JC: The Double Feature series was sort of a wish-fulfillment project for me. I’d always had this idea of opening a one-screen little movie house and showing only comedies, particularly the classic comedies I love the most. I knew I’d never be able to do that unless I won the lottery, so I let Elliot Freed do it. Problem was, in order to keep stories coming, he had to investigate murders, and that’s not something the average theater owner does on a regular basis. So it was a challenge, but I’m proud of those books. I think they’re a lot of fun.

R: Comedy is hard to write, and you do it so well. What do you attribute your expertise to?
JC: I studied at the feet of the masters: The Marx Brothers, Buster Keaton, Larry Gelbart, Mel Brooks, Carl Reiner, Bill Cosby… I could go on. I don’t know that it’s expertise so much as just a general instinct about what’s funny and what’s not. I know how to craft a joke, and I know when it’s not appropriate, so I don’t try too hard to cram them in when they shouldn’t be there.

R: Who would you consider has had the biggest influence in your writing?
JC: I honestly have absolutely no idea. I don’t recall ever consciously trying to write like anybody else.

R: What’s on the horizon in the future book-wise? Any more Double Feature mysteries or similar series we should look forward to?
JC: Alas, no more Double Feature books are in the planning stages, but like I said above, there will be three more (at least) Haunted Guesthouse books. That series takes place on the Jersey Shore where Alison Kerby has decided to turn a large Victorian into a guesthouse (not a bed and breakfast—no breakfast!), and then finds out that two ghosts are still hanging out in the place and aren’t able to leave. The second book in the series, AN UNINIVTED GHOST, just came out in April, and the third, OLD HAUNTS, is due in February—I’m doing the edits now. Books #4 and #5 are… let’s say I should be working right now.

R: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing now?
JC: Living off my huge investments, no doubt. I’ve never done anything for a living but write, first as a newspaper reporter, then a trade magazine reporter, and for the last more-years-than-I-care-to-discuss, freelancing for anybody who needed a writer. So I’ve never considered another profession. I would definitely not be a doctor. I can’t doct.

R: What do you like best about writing in the mystery genre?
JC: For me, the characters are more important than the machinations of the plot. If I come up with a character I want to spend time with, I’ll find a mystery for him/her to solve. The idea of answering a large question—and that’s what mysteries are about—appeals to me.

R: What are some of your must read books/authors?
JC: Oh, no. You’re not getting me involved in that. I start naming writers like Julia Spencer-Fleming, Chris Grabenstein, Lorraine Bartlett (and the various permutations of her name under which she writes) and Ellery Adams, and I’m bound to leave someone out who’ll get mad at me. So I’m certainly not going to mention any names. Nice try.

R: Very diplomatic of you, Jeff (rolls eyes) And now, just for fun:
Dog or Cat Person? (Careful, now, meow) Yes (Now there’s a cop-out, meow!)

If you were a drink, what would you be: A caffeine-free Diet Coke

Favorite TV Show? Right now, or ever? Right now: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Ever? Either the Dick Van Dyke Show or The Man From U.N.C.L.E. Or The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

Spies or Spooks? No thanks, I had lunch on the way here.

Day or Night person? Late afternoon into evening.

Mountains or Shore? Cities.

R:What would be the one thing your readers would be most surprised to learn about you?
JC: That I’m a power forward for the New York Knicks. Frankly, I’d be pretty surprised to learn that, myself.

R: What’s the craziest thing you’ve ever done?
JC: Besides this interview? Having children. Anyone who does that is really going out on a limb.

R: It’s been a real pleasure to interview you, Jeff, Meow! In closing, what’s the one thing you would hope your readers would take away from your writing?
JC: The desire to read more of it.

Check out Jeff’s newest series, The Haunted Guesthouse Mysteries, at Amazon. (His latest book has a gorgeous cat on the cover – hah, we knew you were a cat person, Jeff!) Here’s the link:

You can find out more about the Haunted Guesthouse series at the EJ Copperman site:

And don’t forget to visit Jeff on Facebook and Twitter, and read him at Hey, There’s A Dead Guy In The Living Room, the most comprehensive blog on mystery writing. Besides Jeff Cohen (Monday’s blogger), you’ll see perspectives from folks like literary agent Josh Getzler and editor Alison Janssen. Check in every day for something new on mysteries, books and publishing!

Jeff,we can’t wait for your next book! Meow!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Post 101...Interview with Raven from Raven's Kiss at BB

Bewitched Bookworms has a character interview with Raven Grace here:

If you leave a comment on what you'd shapeshift into, you can win a free copy of Raven's Kiss!

And the blog tour for Raven continues here:

Master to ROCCO

One Hundredth Post!

Break out the drumroll.......this is my one hundredth post! MEEEEEOW!

Who would ever have thought a handsome tuxedo cat like myself could possibly have that much to say?

but apparently....I do :)

Since January I have tried to make my posts interesting, covering a wide variety of subjects, from writing (Master's forte) to pet news, to interiews, to Dark Shadows, Castle, Firefly and beyond! And I shall continue in the coming months to provide you all with interesting, diversified posts!

I would never want to be accused of being boring :)

So, in celebration of Post 100, here's a glimpse into the future:

Master will be posting more - on writing and such - for all our literary followers.
A rerun of my Janet Evanovich interview to celebrate the debut of SMOKIN' SEVENTEEN, next Tuesday!
Part 2 of my interview with STRANGE NEIGHBORS author Ashlyn Chase on August 1.
An interview with Master's agent, Josh Getzler, in July (yes, kitties...a real live agent! We did this for all you aspiring literary types who follow the blog!)
My salute to Adopt a Cat Shelter month will continue Monday....
And interview with author Jeff Cohen!

Plus...another KNTR fundraiser in September!

Am I smokin' or what???????????

Au revoir

Monday, June 13, 2011

Excellent review of Raven!

Over at Bewitched Bookworms!

Visit that site tomorrow for an interview with Raven herself, plus a giveaway!

Master's Blog Tour continues!

Master is interviewed over at The Bookish Snob for her blog tour. Catch it Here:

Follow this tour, it's great fun! Plus at the end there's a chance to get a character named after you! I may even enter....a cat named Rocco, immortalized in print? What's not to love?

On the distaff side, anyone catch the Tony's last night? More importantly, Hugh Jackman and Neil Harris' song and dance! who thinks these two should co-host something! Oscar! Emmy! Tony! All of the above! Raise your paws!

My interview with author Jeff Cohen will post Wednesday, so stay tuned for that!

And...I guess that's about all. Master had a bit of writer's block over the weekend, but I told her, just try some catnip and see :) BTW, I did get some lovely catnip mice for my birthday - now all i need is that Browncoat :)

Sci Fi Blogging Cat

Friday, June 10, 2011


Whilst surfing the net, I came across this article on the upcoming Dark Shadows movie:

Basically, it says that DS will not be shot in the newly popular medium of 3-D.
I'm not quite sure how i feel about that.

While it's true 3D doesn't lend itself to every movie, i think Dark Shadows might actually benefit from it. I think the 3D effect might "amp up" the "spookosphere" (like that word???) and that's what we need, sitting in a dark theatre, watching Barnabas (johnny) bare his fangs for all the world to see.

Another thing that bothered me was Burton's comment on the tone of the movie: that he wasn't quite sure what it was yet, other than it was a "funny" tone.

OK - does he mean HA HA funny, or strange funny, or wierd funny, or what?

Because most of the charm of Dark Shadows came from the fact that the soap was camp - pure, unadulterated camp- but the actors all played it straight, like they were in a multimillion dollar production of Macbeth. As absurd as it all was, they took it seriously - how could we not?

The thing I'm most afraid of is the soap opera responsible for sparking my "gothic" senses will end up being a laughinstock, a joke at the box office.

and that, dear friends, would be the worst joke of all.

Until Monday,


Thursday, June 9, 2011


Hello, everyone! Toni Here!

I've taken over the reins of the blog from Rocco for a day to tell all of you my blog tour for RAVEN'S KISS starts today, and I'm excited!

Be sure to check it out for free book giveaways, interviews, guest posts and excerpts! At the end of the tour, I'll be giving away the chance to have a character named after one lucky reader in a RAVEN novella, due out late 2011!!!

Here's where it starts!
there are 24 stops before the tour ends HERE on July 5. the next stop will be posted at each blog tour stop!

A big THANK YOU to everyone who's bought one of my books - I do so appreciate your support! Also a big THANK YOU to all who supported our KIDS NEED TO READ FUNDRAISER
we raised over $100 for the charity. Rocco has convinced me to run another one in September - Literacy Month - so watch for news on that!

ROCCO will be back next week, with his interview with author Jeff Cohen, as well as some other stuff - that is, if he can keep his paws away from the birdies under our AC!

Until then, enjoy the blog tour!


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Note: Master's Blog Tour starts tomorrow! looks as if I, Rocco, will have to turn the reins of the blog over to Master, tomorrow: it's the first day of her blog tour for her novel, RAVEN'S KISS!

Come on and join the fun - the tour runs starting tomorrow, June 9 through July 5, ending with a stop here - for some very special prizes!

We will post the details tomorrow! Should be a great time!

and in the meantime, I will prepare my blogs for next week - including my interview with Author Jeff Cohen!

Meowingly yours,



Tuesday, June 7, 2011


June is official "Adopt a Shelter Cat Month" and this is a cause I - and my Master - heartily support! I myself was a foster cat, and my brother Maxx was a stray. My sisters, Gata and Trixie, were both shelter cats!

for those of you considering this, here's a handy checklist to aid you:

1.If you're thinking about adopting a cat, consider taking home two.
2.Find a cat whose personality meches with yours.
3.Pick out a veterinarian ahead of time and schedule a visit within the first few days following the adoption.
4.Make sure everyone in the house is prepared to have a cat before it comes home.
5.Budget for the short- and long-term costs of a cat.
6.Stock up on supplies before the cat arrives.
7.Cat-proof your home.
8.Go slowly when introducing your cat to new friends and family.
9.Be sure to include your new pet in your family’s emergency plan.
10.If you’re considering giving a cat as a gift, make sure the recipient is an active participant in the adoption process.

There are great sites - comes quickly to mind - that can put you in touch with the cat of your dreams (I know, I know, I'm taken...but there are others)

Here's a link to the American Humane Association, which has tons of information on the subject, including a dowloadable version of this checklist, banners, etc:

So, don't wait! If you're thinking of a furry, adorable, independant companion, get out there and adopt a shelter cat today!

This has been a public service message from your local Sci-Fi blogging cat!


Monday, June 6, 2011

MEOW MONDAY! - Master gets an Agent

Wow, hope you all had a great weekend. Master's back is slowly getting better (Thank God - after all, she has to bend to get at our food) so that's a good thing. also, she received good mews over the weekend - she's signed with Josh Getzler of HSG Agency in New York to represent her future books! So, maybe that jungle gym is in our future after all!

I do so appreciate all the lovely comments on my interview with the gracious author Ashlyn Chase! We will be rerunning this interview, and also adding Part Deux when THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR DEBUTS AUGUST 1!

Next week, we have author Jeff Cohen on tap! So be sure to watch for that, as well as a rerun of my interview with JANET EVANOVICH when Smokin' Seventeen debuts June 21!

As for my birthday, it was all I expected andmore....catnip mice, a nice birdies, though. And Master keeps squirting me with the water bottle when I start to paw under the air conditioner. It made me compose a little song:

OOO Little birdie
Would love to get you between my jowls
OOOO Little birdie
Would love to play with you in mypaws

Guess I won't, little Birdie
Master keeps shooing me away
Guess I won't litle birdie
You're safe for another day.

Yeah, I know. Don't give up my day job.
Tomorrow: Rocco salues Adopt a Shelter Cat month!

sci fi blogging cat

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Happy birthday to me - and I am ancitipating a huge cake after Master gets out of the chiro, as well as MANY presents (dying to see what MAXX got me - one of the birdies under the AC, I hope!)

Lots of stuff upcoming in June: an interview with author Jeff Cohen, and June is Adopt a Shelter Cat Month, so we will have lots of stuff on that! (After all, I was a shelter cat - or rather a foster cat - as were my sisters. Maxx was a stray)

And now, as I prepare for my chocolate cake with butercream frosting saying HAPPY BIRTHDAY ROCCO, GREATEST CAT WHO EVER LIVED (WHAT? THAT WON'T ALL FIT - YES IT WIL ON A SHEET CAKE) I leave you with my birthday gift to you: Part 1 of my interview with "Strange Neighbors" author: ASHLYN CHASE


R: Hello, Ashlyn, and welcome!
A: Thank you, Rocco.

R:To begin, why don’t you tell us a little bit about your newest novel ‘THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR?
A: The Vampire Next Door is the 3rd in my light paranormal series Strange Neighbors. *Pardon this excited aside, but I just found out Book 1, aptly titled Strange Neighbors, is a finalist in The National Readers Choice Awards Contest! Thank you for letting me squee.
The Vampire Next Door is the story of Sly (the vampire) and Morgaine (one of the witches) who live in the Boston apartment building, which seems to attract paranormal residents.

I’ll give you part of the back cover blurb:

How does a vigilante vampire hook up with a witch who’s afraid of the dark?

Undead Sly just hasn’t been the same since he lost the love of his life many years ago. He devotes his vampiric powers to maintaining a nice, safe neighborhood, until a chipped fang undermines his confidence—and leads him to a beautiful witch who awakens his long-forgotten desires.

The charming Morgaine has spells to cure everyone’s problems but her own. Her intense phobias keep her in her shell, until she gets to know tall, dark, and brooding Sly. Just when these two unlikely lovers think they might find a cure for both of them, their deepest fears are realized.

R: Wow, that sounds great, Ashlyn! I know my master can’t wait to get her hands on it….Where did you get the idea for an apartment building inhabited by supernaturals. It has a very “Friends” feel.
A: It was inspired by (believe it or not) Tom Brady, quarterback for the Boston Patriots. I’d heard he owned a building of condos in Boston’s Back Bay…my old neighborhood! I thought, “Wouldn’t it be great to live in that building.” Soon after, I was talking to my suburban neighbor about our single years back when we lived in city apartments. It just all sort of converged, and my warped sense of humor thought it would be fun to make most of the characters supernatural and throw into the mix an unsuspecting human or two.

R: What are your favorite types of supernaturals to write about and how does your “lore” differ from the traditional?
A: I’m not sure I could pick a favorite. Shapeshifters are always fun, because they lose their clothes when they shift, but I love witches who can make anything happen with the right words or a wave of their wands. Vampires have that sexy vibe going on…so there are good things about all of them. I have adopted some of the traditional mythology, but added my own fun twists.

R: In your own opinion what do you think makes your novels so different and engaging to readers?
A: I’m guessing it’s my nutty sense of humor and wild imagination. If I can entertain people with my warped mind, I’m happy to do it.

R: What sort of research did you do for your novels?
A: Nothing much for this final book. I used a lot of the vampire lore I had created for another book of mine, Vampire Vintage. The rest is from personal experience. Yes, I can shapeshift, become invisible at will, and use my superhuman senses—especially acute hearing. Don’t talk about me behind my back. I will hear you!

R: Can you do big cats?
A: VERY Big ones. 

R: Okay, then…What’s your preferred genre: paranormal, contemporary or erotic?
A: I love light paranormal romance. H/h, steamy, but not too kinky. Slutty heroines who aren’t afraid of their sexuality and heroes who can keep up with them.

R: Your novels have a rich cast of characters, particularly second string ones. Will we be seeing more of them in your future novels? If so is there anything that you can tell us about what we can expect to see happen to them in the future?
A: Book 3 is the final installment in this series. (As far as I know. My editor hinted that it could go on and on as long as people keep moving in and out. LOL) But I made sure all the residents who stayed throughout all three books get a happily ever after ending.

R: What was the hardest part of writing and/or publishing your book?
A: Length. I’m a short novel and novella girl at heart. But when I write long, I have to write a detailed outline. Problem is, I hate doing that. I usually have a vague idea of where I’m going, but if I write it all out in painful detail, it’s a waste of time. At some point, it’s going to jump the rails and wind up taking a different direction. It’s like using GPS and deciding to do some errands on the way. Recalculate! Recalculate!

R: Hah, that sounds like my master  So, What do you do when you are not writing?
A: Alphabetize my sock drawer, make prank phone calls, think about exercising but eat chocolate until the idea goes away.

R: How did you get your agent?
A: I did it backwards—the way I do most everything. First I received a contract offer for my Strange Neighbors series from a publisher, then I needed an agent to help me read my 15 page contract. It’s so much easier to get one if you can say, “Hey, I’ve got your 15% ready and waiting…”

R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing?
A: Wine, rum, whiskey…you didn’t think I wrote this stuff sober, did you?

R: I like a nice catnip ball myself…Do you have any upcoming projects we can look forward to reading soon?
A: Gee, I hope so. I’ve been working on a proposal that both my editor and agent are interested in. All I have to do is send in an outline, and you know how much I love doing those. Blech.

R: What are some of your must read authors?
.A: Mary Janice Davidson is my fave. I also enjoy Gerry Bartlett, Annette Blair’s witches, Katie MacAlister, Dakota Cassidy…just about everyone who writes what I do.

R: What books are you reading now?
A: I received a few paperbacks by Kristin Higgins as gifts. She writes light contemporaries. I just finished Catch of the Day (loved it!) and proceeded right on to The Next Best Thing. She writes awesome characters that stay with you. The only downside is she makes me cry. I hate being made to cry.

R: If you could be any supernatural creature/being, what would you be and why?
A: Believe it or not, I’ve thought about this. I think shapeshifting might be a little painful and embarrassing. With vampirism I’d miss the sun and I wouldn’t like an all liquid diet. Frankly, the only thing I’d want to be is magical witch or a Goddess. I think I could handle it.

R: Thank you for talking to me, Ashlyn, meow! If you don’t mind, we’ll save the rest of the questions for another interview to celebrate the release of THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR!
A: Sounds great,Rocco! Thanks for having me!

Our pleasure, Ashlyn! We’ll post the rest of the interview when THE VAMPIRE NEXT DOOR is released August 1! In the meantime, you can find Ashlyn at: (My fans e-mail chat loop. We have contests.) (My fan page, please ‘like’ it. We have contests.) (Just the news) (my fellow Sourcebooks authors) (A group of awesome hot romance authors)