Hey everybody, it's Truffles! With all the mysteries that Mommy reads I have often wondered what it would be like to live with a mystery writer. I had the opportunity to ask Fala, who lives with mystery author Nancy Lynn Jarvis, and her answers were eye-opening!
Welcome Fala! Thank you so much for joining me today. Could you tell me how you came to live with your mom Nancy?
It took me three years to escape my original people and move in with my writer and that was only accomplished on threat of my imminent death! I know you’re reading this and thinking, “Whoa, that cat has as active an imagination as her mystery writer,” but it’s all true. I was owned — people do delude themselves into thinking they can own a cat, don’t they — by a family, but I wasn’t happy with them. Every time my new people visited, I would try to hide in the darkest recesses of their car, hoping that my black fur would make be less noticeable and I could escape, but it never worked. Finally the head of my captors’ household, who had already relegated me to living outdoors in a land filled with horrible beasts like coyotes, told my writer he was going to give my neck a good twist to spare me the coming winter. You can imagine her horror. I was deposited in my new home within minutes. It turns out he wasn’t really planning to do what he said he was, but I still hiss at him for good measure if he comes to my house.
Does your unusual name have any special meaning?
My full name is Fala-la-la--lala-la. I was presented to a five-year-old boy and a three-year-old girl at Christmastime. They were overly stimulated by the holiday and thought it would be amusing to name me after a carol. I was just a kitten then and didn’t realize what they were doing.
What is a typical day like for you?
I’m an early riser. I like to get my people up so they can enjoy the sunrise, but I find the effort involved in running and jumping on them while they sleep is exhausting. Once I get them up, I usually require a long nap. After that I like to sit on the white sofa. It would look more elegant if it were black so I keep leaving fur color samples hoping one day my writer will figure out my clues. After that, I generally like to climb on the kitchen counter to supervise dinner preparation and make sure I’m getting people tuna and milk for supper.
What's it like living with a mystery writer? Has she ever come across any dead bodies in real life???
Living with a mystery writer is in a word, intense. She has never come across any real dead bodies, but don’t tell her that. She acts out her stories as she writes them and can get quite worked up in the dead body department. I have to be fast on my feet to keep from being stepped on! Living with her can be frustrating, too. I’m a brilliant story teller, but a terrible speller. When I try to type my ideas on her computer in the midst of her text, she invariably deletes them. Her books get pretty good reviews, but I’m sure if she let me be an active contributor, all her reviews would be five-stars.
Cat to cat, do you have favorite nap spots, toys, and treats?
My favorite nap spot is in a fountain. Of course that means my people can’t have water in it, but that’s a small price for them to pay for all my cuteness. Here’s a photo of me in my fountain so you can see what I mean. I don’t play with toys, unless you count juncos and mice as toys. As for treats, I absolutely love broccoli with a touch of butter on it.
Sadly, black cats receive a bad rap. Have you ever had any bad experiences with prejudiced people?
I haven’t had bad experiences with people, but other cats, as I suspect you know, can be quite biased against those of us who are black. I assume they are jealous of our lustrous fur. What do you think?
What are you helping your mom work on right now?
My person is trying to do too many things at once. I’m trying to keep her focused on book six in her Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries series because she hasn’t yet written about the cats her heroine lives with, but she keeps rambling on about doing an historical fiction book and starting a new series called Geezers With Tools about two older handymen who solve mysteries. I think she likes the geezers idea because she had so much fun with her novel, “Mags and the AARP Gang,” about a group of renegade octogenarian bank robbers that she wants to do more humorous writing.
Any final thoughts for your adoring public?
I’m available for petting any time. I live at… See what I mean? She’s deleted my typing again!
Check out Fala's Youtube video:
After earning a BA in behavioral science from San Jose State University, she worked in the advertising department of the San Jose Mercury News. A move to Santa Cruz meant a new job as a librarian and later a stint as the business manager of Shakespeare/Santa Cruz. Nancy's work history reflects her philosophy: people should try something radically different every few years. Writing is her newest adventure.
She put Regan, Tom , and Dave from the Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries Series on hiatus to write Mags and the AARP Gang, a comedy/adventure about a group of octogenarian would-be bank robbers, but she missed her characters, so they're back to solve another murder in recently released "The Murder House."
Nancy squeezed in editing "Cozy Food," a compilation cookbook in which 128 cozy mystery writers contributed recipes from their books and their lives. What she will work on next is unclear. She has ideas for a sixth Regan McHenry Real Estate Mysteries book, a complete departure book of historical fiction, and an idea for a new cozy series called Geezers With Tools about two old guys who encounter murder while working as handymen and pursuing widows.
Giveaway: Nancy is generously offering two lucky winners the ebook of their choice. Fala suggests "The Death Contingency" with her caviat that, "I think my mystery writer started our a bit weak in this book, although it got better as soon as she introduced Harry, the cat who really was the star of the book regardless of what others may think." Simply leave a comment (don't forget your email address!) by noon eastern on Wednesday, October 8th.