Category Archives: Author/Pet Interview

Joyce Lamb’s kitties are the keepers of her mews, fur sure

Today on Fiction and Fur we have Joyce Lamb, a three-time Rita finalist and author of romantic suspense novels, including True Vision, True Colors and the recently released True Shot. Also the curator of USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog. (www.usatoday.com/blog/happyeverafter/)

Does your pet help or hinder your writing progress?

Joyce: “Me-ah.”

MaddyThat’s the (cranky) sound my kitty Maddy makes when she’s irked to find the laptop occupying her favorite spot. What follows: I try to ruffle her ears, scratch that spot at the base of her tail, rub her belly, all with one hand while also trying to keep typing. This is NEVER enough for her. More “me-ahs,” growing in volume and irritation, assault my ears. And what do I do? Most of the time, I set the laptop aside and give her what she wants: her place on my lap and my undivided attention. She’s not spoiled. Nuh uh. Not at all. And I resent the implication. : )

AllieThe other puddy, Allie, is way more polite. She curls up next to me and purrs – and stares. Strangely, this is just as disruptive as Maddy’s more aggressive approach. I mean, what’s she thinking while staring at me like that? (Other than: “When’s my next meal? Huh? Huh? You’re not going to forget, are you? Because you’d be amazed at how quickly I could waste away.”) She’s also just so darned cute that I can’t resist. Next thing I know, I’ve set the laptop aside and proceeded to love her up exactly the way she wants: a vigorous and thorough belly rub.

So the fiction part of this post goes like this: The kitties are NO help. Their “pay attention to meeeeeee” routines distract me from my work. I could get SO much more done if they’d go sleep in the sun for 18 hours, like most puddies. And isn’t that more acceptable behavior for cats anyway?!?!

But … wait.

Turns out, giving a belly rub to a fluffy, warm, purring kitty who appears to love me above all else (other than food, of course) … well, it relaxes me. And a relaxed me thinks more clearly. And when I’m thinking more clearly, the creativity flows.

So … I guess that means Maddy and Allie are the keepers of my muse. Or, mews. Heh.

Funny kitty story from years ago: I adopted a sweet little kitten from an animal shelter who loved to hang out on my desk with me while I wrote. He was most fascinated by the mouse – funny, right? – and every time I’d scoot that thing across the mouse pad, he’d attack like it was an actual mouse trying to make a break for it. Cracked me up every time. And then one day, the unthinkable happened: Hobbes (aptly named because he pounced on EVERYTHING, just like Hobbes of Calvin and Hobbes fame) plopped his tiny little fur butt on the delete key while I blissfully and ignorantly scratched his ears and tickled under his chin. Next thing I know, two full pages of work have disappeared. UNSAVED work. Ack. Lesson learned: Control S, Joyce, control S!

Tell us a little about your latest release.

Flash HeatJoyce: My most recent release is called Flash Heat, about a newspaper photographer who has in her possession an incriminating photo, except she doesn’t know what the photo is or who’s after her for it. The hero is a grumpalicious reporter who just can’t get enough of giving poor Bailey a hard time (cuz, you know, he likes her!). It was one of the funnest books to write because Bailey and Cole have the most fun banter. Example:

“If you backpedal any faster, you’re going to leave a Cole-shaped hole in the wall.”

He grinned. “Kind of like the Road Runner, huh?”

“If you make that meep-meep sound, I’m going to be creeped out.”

“I try to keep my meep-meeping to a minimum.”

Another example:

“Come on,” Cole said. “You’re not chicken, are you?”

“Don’t even go there.”

“Don’t make me cluck.”

“God, I can’t stand it when grown men cluck.”

If your pet could talk, what secret would it tell us about you?

Joyce: Um, well, let’s see. I suspect both Maddy and Allie would tell you that I watch WAY too much TV. But, then, they benefit from the fact that I spend a good chunk of my Saturdays parked on the sofa with an empty lap.

They would probably also tell you that I snore. Obnoxiously. I’ve awakened in the middle of the night to Maddy stroking my cheek with her paw as if to say, “Hey, lady, could you keep it down? I’m trying to sleep here!”

Of course, if they COULD talk, they wouldn’t waste time or their breath telling you my secrets. They’d immediately launch into a chant: “Treat! Belly rub! Treat! Belly rub!”

So, how do your kitties keep you entertained – or distract you from your work? (One commenter here will win the book of your choice in the format of your choice – print or e-book – from my backlist.)

Thanks for stopping by and letting me share my awesome furry friends with you!

You can find out more about me and my books at joycelamb.blogspot.com.