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Where Stories Are Made is a new feature here at Book Chick City. It’s where the author takes us on a tour of their writing place, be it an office, coffee shop or park and tells us about their writing day and rituals. My guest today is the wonderful science fiction romance author, Linnea Sinclair…
My writing office is furry. This seems to be an affliction common with authors as I’m far from the only feline-fueled writer out there: Mary Jo Putney, Gardner Dozois, Susan Grant, and Robin D Owens come to mind as others I know who combine meows with their manuscripts. “Feline Typing Assistants” are also convenient scapegoats (scapecats?) for spelling errors. “I have no idea how that appeared on that page,” I blithely email to my editor at Bantam. “Must have been one of the cats walking over the keyboard…”
Cats are also invaluable critique partners. “So, James,” I query the resplendently pudgy black-and-white Norwegian Forest Cat sprawled next to my laptop. “Does this sound like an order Admiral Guthrie would issue when faced with certain death at the hands of the enemy?” I read aloud the section in question, watching as James’ yellow eyes narrow. Uh-oh. Not a good sigh. “Okay, I’ll rewrite it.”
Hey, at least he didn’t yawn or hack up a hairball which, yes, has happened both on printed manuscript pages and on galley copies which, yes, have to be returned to the copy editing department. Yikes! Here in Florida, cat hack-ups are likely to contain chameleon parts as well as fur. (Note to my editor: that’s what the greenish-yellow stains are.)
Cats are soothing presences when the book is going badly, continuing to love me even when I hate my characters, hate the plot, and am wondering if what’s in the kitty litter pan might not be preferable to what’s on the page. They’re encouraging presences, curling in my lap (that’s usually Chessie’s job though on occasion his one-eyed brother, Brady, will pinch-hit) while I read reviews. And they’re on a never-ending quest to cover my book awards with moist nose prints. My netbook even bears teeth marks on the screen’s upper left corner: a sign of approval from the late and much lauded Daq-cat, original cover cat on my Game of Command.
Communicating with my cats helps me with characterization. They respond to the tone, inflection, and pitch of my voice, my words. They answer me in body language. They interact with each other with dozens of verbal and non-verbal means from low rumbles to high trills to forty-seven different tail-twitches. Is there any better template (and, yes, I write science fiction) for an alien species?
They help me prioritize: nothing gets done until the cats are fed. “Feed cats” starts off every one of my writing days. And nothing keeps one more humble than scooping the litter pan. No doubt if the tour bus doing the houses of the rich and famous ever goes rolling by, it will inevitably be at the moment when I’m kneeling on the tile floor of the laundry room. “And on your left, ladies and gentlemen, you can see that even award-winning authors do scoop poop!”
Thanks for visiting!
~Linnea, Ches and Brady (Maine Coon brothers), James, and Miss Doozy
Rebels and Lovers: out now
Hope’s Folly: out now
Shades of Dark: out now
You can find out more about this feature HERE
If you’re an author who would like to be featured on Where Stories Are Made, please email me: HERE
**Next week on ‘Where Stories Are Made’: J. F. Lewis**
View Shedule Page for full author listing!