Today my guest is my good friend, Melanie Fletcher, AKA Nicola Cameron, and yes, she, too, has beasts at home who require that she write more so they’ll be fed.
So here I present Melanie and her troop…
1) Let’s start with the obvious: Tell us about your pets.
JJ, the Black Velvet Purrmonster, AKA my bodyguard, AKA A Gentleman of a Certain Age. A black American Shorthair, he’s the old guy – just wants to eat, lick his belly, get ear scritchings and cuddles from me, and snooze in a warm spot. That being said, he will still defend me against all comers, swatting (with claws in, mind you) at anyone new in the house in order to establish his place in the pecking order. My sister calls him Baldy and the Dark Lord. He goes out of his way to smack her when she visits. He understands English just fine.
Jessica, the Grey Lady, AKA Jessie, AKA, Jessicle Vessicle. Solid grey tabby and alpha female of the bunch, adores J.J. to bits, loathes her brother Jeremy with a passion that passeth understanding, has found a minion in our tortie Jemma, and is the unwitting nemesis of Jemma’s sister Jasmine. Jessie loves to sleep at the foot of my bed, and can usually be found wherever I am (unless she’s sleeping). She tends to get cranky at times, and then pees on things to express her displeasure.
Jeremy, the Big Orange Lump, AKA Jeremy You Idiot, AKA The Hoover on Four Legs. Jeremy is an orange tabby, which means he’s…rambunctious. Yeah, let’s go with rambunctious. He will eat anything that’s not pinned down, including lettuce, oatmeal, and the other cats’ food, likes to chase the girls, LOVES his automatic laser toy, mows VERY loudly when he’s bored, and likes to sleep a lot, usually when I want to vacuum the living room. But he’s a sweetie at heart, so I put up with the linebacker activity.
Jemma, the Brown Girl, AKA Sugar in a Plum, AKA Brown Sugar. A gorgeous little tortie who is a friend to all, loves sleeping on my chest so that her fine fur gets right up my nose, and is the apple of her daddy’s eye. She and Jessie now get along fairly well, although every so often Jessie will growl at her and she has to kowtow until Jessie’s satisfied. Is addicted to rolling on my husband’s towels after he takes a shower, can usually be found napping in said shower, and also likes to roll in the litter box. We’re trying to break that little habit.
Jasmine, the Skitty Kitty, AKA Jazz Hands, AKA Jazzy. A classic grey tabby, she lives on our kitchen counter because it’s the only place she feels safe from Jessie, who wouldn’t even notice her if she didn’t immediately crouch and hiss every time Jessie hoves into view. Is addicted to mint and would gladly stick her head in my mouth after I brush my teeth. Spends 50% of her time trying to sit on my lap.
2) How do they help/hinder your writing?
I’m still waiting on the help part. Hinder, that’s super easy. If I’m writing downstairs in the living room I can’t go twenty minutes without at least one of them (usually Jasmine the Needy) jumping up and wanting attention. Jasmine is the most hindering because she wants to sprawl on my lap and have me pet her with two hands. Jessie wants to sit in the crook of my left arm, which at least gives me one hand free for typing, Both Jemma and J.J. just want a bit of attention then are happy to sit on the arm of the chair and snooze. Jeremy keeps trying to rub his cheek glands on the laptop screen and make it his when he’s not camping out on my lap (and he’s impossible to see over).
Working in my office doesn’t cut down on the traffic, either. If I close the door and keep them out they head butt the door until the noise drives me crazy. If I let them in, one of them (usually Jemma) tries to climb on my desk while I’m working. Eventually they get the hint and snooze in the background.
3) Do they appear in any of your works?
I’ve tuckerized our late tuxedo cat Jordan by naming a spaceship after him in one of my books. So far, that’s the only appearance that any of them have made. So far.
4) How does being a pet owner affect your writing (philosophically?)
It helps when describing pets in stories. Apart from that, I can’t really say that being cat staff has an effect on my writing, other than learning how to turf an insistent cat off my lap so that I CAN write.
About Melanie Fletcher:
I write spec fic as Melanie Fletcher and SF, fantasy, and paranormal erotic romance as Nicola Cameron. The nice thing about writing SF/Fantasy/paranormal erotic romance is that it’s spec fic with all the explicit sex I wanted to put in but couldn’t.
Empress of Storms (as Nicola Cameron):
When King Matthias of Ypres has to fulfill a treaty and provide a royal consort for young Queen Danaë of Hellas, the only royal available for marriage is … him. Can he risk letting a blue-haired witch queen into his heart?
From political necessity, Queen Danaë finds herself marrying the man she secretly loves. Now she must win the heart of a king, prove herself as a mage, and defeat the enemies that threaten them both.
You can find Nicola/Melanie at:
Nicola’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicolacameronwrites/