Lucy A. Snyder’s Purrbuddy, Monte

Fun Fact: Lucy says, “People often assume that because I’m a woman author I write romances, but the only romance story I’ve written so far was for a level of an online game called Fish Wrangler.”

My husband Gary and I have four cats — all of whom try to “assist” my writing at some point during the day — but my main assistant is Monte. We’ve had him since 2002 when we still lived in an apartment. He showed up on our back patio on the first bitterly cold night of the year right around Thanksgiving. Monte was a little kitten, just a few months old, and he was completely feral and afraid of people. He was so small that we were worried he’d freeze out there. He ran from us whenever we went out there, but he kept coming back to the glass patio door because he was curious about my roommate’s cat Simon.

Monte

So, we sort of hid around the corner, opened the patio door a few inches, and used Simon to lure the kitten into the apartment. He came in, and we shut the door … and then spent the next half-hour trying to chase the little guy down so we could get him into a cat carrier. We expected him to fight us furiously, but when we got our hands on him he just went limp, purring.

EldritchDelightsHe’s a pretty old boy at this point and suffers from hyperthyroidism. This means that when his “stomach alarm” goes off, it goes off loudly. It also means that he needs to take a pill twice a day, which we hide in a bit of food that he loves. So he’s become very demanding of his meal/treat times. I’ll be at my desk working, and suddenly he’ll be up on my lap, yelling in my face. If he had a cane, I’m pretty sure he’d bang it on the floor.

But he’s a good boy, and a real sweetheart. He’s a beside-the-lap cat. When we’re watching movies on the couch, he likes to squeeze down between us and lie there purring loudly.

But most of the time, he’s just hanging out in my office, keeping me company while I write.

 

Check out our interview with Lucy A. Snyder here.

 

LucyASnyderLucy A. Snyder is the five-time Bram Stoker Award-winning author of over 100 published short stories. Her most recent books are the collection Garden of Eldritch Delights and the forthcoming novel The Girl With the Star-Stained Soul. She also wrote the novels Spellbent, Shotgun Sorceress, and Switchblade Goddess, and the collections While the Black Stars Burn, Soft Apocalypses, Chimeric Machines, and Installing Linux on a Dead Badger. Her writing has appeared in publications such as Asimov’s Science Fiction, Apex Magazine, Nightmare Magazine, Pseudopod, Strange Horizons, and Best Horror of the Year. She’s faculty in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction MFA program. You can learn more about her at www.lucysnyder.com.

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Stuart R. West’s Beloved Pit-Bull mix, Zak

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Fun Fact: “A decade or so ago, I was in a “country-funk-alternative-comedy-improv” band. We actually achieved a bit of notoriety in Kansas City for our short shelf life. I took the stage in pajamas, ate cereal and kitty litter, wore a variety of hats, sung, and “tried” to play the saxophone.

 

Many authors have a trusted four-legged friend who supports them (or disrupts them) during their writing day. Tell us about your author assistant.

0618171158-00Oh, man, you had to ask this question. Yes, I used to have a four legged assistant. Zak was special. From day one when we adopted him (found rummaging through a trash bin), he stole our hearts and the upholstery on our furniture. As a half pit-bull terrier, he had an uphill struggle, much prejudice wherever we walked. But he never bit anyone. (Well, there was that one cable guy, but he SO deserved it).

I became a full-time writer five years ago, sorta dropping out of society. Zak was my loyal, loving companion, always at my feet through eighteen novels. Yipping at me when he deemed a walk was necessary. I knew him better than anyone and he knew me and my schedule.

Last year was rough. He tore a ligament in a back leg that couldn’t be healed. Six months of operations, constant watch, and keeping him confined didn’t pay off. He lost the leg. For two months after that, he was happy and healthy again. Then it happened to the other leg.

zak with haremStill a healthy dog, we put him through another operation to repair the ligament with bolts and surgery. Again, it got infected.

The saddest day of my life, we had to put him down. For six months, I couldn’t write, not without him at my feet. I still mourn, still cry over my lost writing companion. But he lives on in my heart and I’d like to think somewhere else as well.

I miss you, buddy. Please raise a glass to my faithful friend, Zak. “Tink.”

Check out Stuart’s interviews about Secret Society and Ghosts of Gannaway

_MG_0556 - Version 2Stuart R. West is a lifelong resident of Kansas, which he considers both a curse and a blessing. It’s a curse because…well, it’s Kansas. But it’s great because…well, it’s Kansas. Lots of cool, strange and creepy things happen in the Midwest, and Stuart takes advantage of them in his books. Call it “Kansas Noir.” Stuart writes thrillers, horror and mysteries usually tinged with humor, both for adult and young adult audiences.

If you’re still reading this, you may as well head on over to Stuart’s blog at: http://stuartrwest.blogspot.com/

(Psst…for those easily bored, read this aloud in a Morgan Freeman voice. I promise we’ll get through it easier that way.)

 

How Bella keeps author Lee Murray on her toes when she’s writing

Fun Fact: “A big lover of cheese, I have been lucky enough to have lived for several years in some of the most significant cheese locations of the world, beginning with my home country of New Zealand, then England (home of Red Leicester and Wensleydale), France (my favourite is still the Tome de Savoie) and America’s Dairyland, Wisconsin, famous for its cheese curd and Montforte Blue.”

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My author assistant since April 2018 is Bella. She’s an 8-month-old Jack Russell-Shih Tzu cross with a penchant for adventure and causing trouble. The perfect antidote for depression, Bella’s main job is to encourage me to get up from my desk and stretch my legs at frequent-frequent-frequent intervals, a task she takes very seriously by bringing me balls to throw. She tends to go crazy whenever the postie stops by, no doubt in anticipation of new books to be added to my to-be-read pile, since Bella recognises the importance of reading to a writer’s craft. Occasionally, she’ll hop up on my office chair, squeezing herself into the gap between my back and the chair back. This spot serves the dual purpose of providing me with a lovely warm lumbar support, while also allowing her a sneak peek at my latest plot twist. She barks any time I’m too long on the phone, a gentle reminder that I have a book to write. She also makes short work of any pages that might land on the floor, saving me a trip to the rubbish bin. And recently, she ate through a TV remote in a not-so-subtle reminder that, in her view, the book version is always better than the movie, and for that reason I should keep at it. I’d already completed INTO THE SOUNDS by the time we adopted Bella, but she was my assistant while I wrote INTO THE ASHES, the final instalment in the Taine McKenna adventure trilogy. I hope Bella’s influence shows and, like her, the latest adventure is high-speed and action-packed.

Bella

 

Lee talks about Into The Sounds here, and shares her casting call for the novel here.

Lee-15-Head-BWLee Murray is a ten-time winner of New Zealand’s Sir Julius Vogel Award for science fiction, fantasy and horror. Her books include the military thrillers Into the Mist and Into the Sounds, and supernatural crime-noir titles Hounds of the Underworld and Teeth of the Wolf (co-authored with Dan Rabarts). She is proud to have co-edited nine anthologies, one of which, Baby Teeth, won her an Australian Shadows Award in 2014. She lives with her family in the Land of the Long White Cloud. Find her at leemurray.info