I’m a cat sitter.
I go to clients’ houses and stay with their cat while they are on vacation or away for business. This practice affords me a lot of time to myself, time spent, aside from the cats, in writing.
This week I’m staying with a beautiful brindled tabby diva. I’ve sat with her before, and in fact, appropriately enough, this is where I typed the first words of Ghost Cat on the Midway last summer. It’s fitting I should be here now, with the finished book set to publish in a just few days.
People ask where ideas come from.
Where do I get my stories? God and experience, is the short answer. Since basically I’m a visual person, ideas come to me in pictures as I write. I do my best to describe what I see, then take it as a jumping-off point to decide where the story is going from there. When I sat down with my laptop in that ivory-upholstered chair last summer—the one right over there with a cat on it now—I had nothing more than a picture in my mind. I saw an old fashioned county fair, the kind I went to as a child at the turn of the fifties. I’d already “seen” that my ghost cat hero Soji was destined to save a tiger. That could work with a fair.
Now that Ghost Cat on the Midway is finished, it’s time for me to sit down somewhere, maybe while cat sitting, and envision a new story. I already have the title: Ghost Cat Christmas. I see lots of red and green. A party. A murder. Maybe not in that order. And the question I always ask myself:
What will Soji do next?