When did you first start writing?
I first started writing informally at around the age of five when I began to keep a daily diary. The diary started as a very small notebook, but as I got older, and especially through my angst-ridden teenage years the entries got longer and longer until I was writing several pages for each day! I kept the diary going until I was in my mid-twenties and still have all the diaries locked away for re-reading when I’m retired! I also liked to write poetry as a child, some of which my Mum still has and admires – well, she is my Mum!
What first inspired you to start writing about cats?
I was fascinated by cats from a very early age. Our family home was never without a cat in it and I always wondered what lay behind the exterior of these enigmatic and independent creatures. So I decided to leave behind the career I had built up during my time spent working for large corporate organisations in London, to study cat behaviour and become a volunteer in the animal animal welfare sector. I eventually ended up working for a renowned cat behaviourist, initially on a three month contract but stayed for nearly seven years! In 2013 I attained my Cat Behaviourist accreditation and set up my own Cat Behaviour Practice – www.catbehaviour.net. During this time I also ran my own cat sitting business and funny things were always happening to me!
So it was from this work as well as from my behaviour role that my book was spawned.However, whilst some of stories have foundations of truth, I wanted to take the book further, with more elaborate adventures and sparkling characters, both human and non-human! To do this I needed another character, hence my lovely heroin, Kat.
I also do more 'serious' writing which takes the form of articles on cat behaviour for various websites and publications.
Are there any plans for a sequel?
I’d love to a series of Hairy Tails books and I’ve got plenty of ideas! It depends how successful this first book is as to whether I have the luxury of devoting time to writing more.
What can we expect from The Hairy Tails?
Quirky little cat characters, demonic budgies, exacting owners and odd-ball neighbours with surprise pasts and even more surprising proposals! It’s not a book that’s just about cats, but about their owners and their companions, whatever species they might be!
Which authors have influenced you?
When I was young I read every Gerald Durrell book I could get my hands on! He was a huge influence. I also love Tom Cox and the poignant but funny way he writes about his own cats.
Who is the book targeting, women only or do you see men reading it?
This is definitely a book I see appealing to men, women, teenagers and anyone who loves cats!
Tell us about your own feline family
The cat in my life is Billy an eleven-year-old Siamese. It wasn’t until I started working in a cat behaviour practice that I found out that Siamese cats were very well represented amongst cats displaying problem behaviour! However, Billy, although a bit neurotic and currently a bit sad, having recently lost his brother Jimmy, is gorgeous and brings me endless joy...