A Day in the Life of Harry the Wonder Cat

Here’s a peek inside of day in my life. It starts in a huge victorian house, where all three floors belong to me. The manor house is a huge yellow Victorian with white gingerbread. It has hardwood floors in some rooms that are so slippery that, if I run fast enough and then lean just right, I can slide right into the next room. I love this game because it makes my charge, Nikki, and our roommate, Heather, laugh.

The most important cupboard in the house is the “The Magic Cupboard”. This is where my food and treats are kept.  All I have to do is sit in front of it and stare at Nikki, and she will feed me. Of course, if that doesn’t work I can always use my magical powers (as long as nobody’s around)!

In the afternoon, Heather gets my brush out and calls, “Brush, Harry, brush”.  I know then that she will brush my long, luxurious fur and I will trill and purr.  When she is done I head-butt her hand and rub my cheek against hers.

I can hardly wait until after dinner when I hear Nikki pick up a book, Agatha Christie is my favorite. She calls me to the living room where we share the purple chair that is soft and cuddly. The crackling of the fire in the fireplace is soothing as I listen intently to the sound of Nikki’s voice reading just for me.

Well, that’s an average day in my life at Harrot Reef Manor. I hope that you’ll come to visit us soon.

Next week:  Please join us for an interview with Sir Aslan, Harry’s grandfather.

Don’t forget to get your copies of  The Legend of the Pink Diamond and The Jamaican Mission at Amazon

Harry the Wonder Cat: The Jamaican Mission

Those of you who have heard about Harry’s new book know that it is set in Jamaica. In The Jamaican Mission, which is coming April 21st, Harry goes on vacation with his two roommates and solves a mysterious murder that happened a century ago.

Since he has to leave his gang behind at Harrot Reef, he finds a new gang that is led by a spunky little cat called Luna. Like the gang at home, this beach gang has several members in it, but when Harry calls for volunteers, only Luna and two brothers, Bobby and Sox, step forward.

Later Bobby brings in Savanna, the neighborhood dog. Now those of you who read Harry’s first book, The Legend of the Pink Diamond, know he has no use for dogs. However, Savanna proved herself invaluable and Harry had to rethink his opinion.

Will Harry and the Beach Gang solve the murder that happened so long ago? You’ll have to read the book to see.

Harry was based on my first cat, Monkeyface, but his physical attributes were from my imagination. The other cats and the dog are real and chosen from my Facebook community page, Kitty Tales.

While writing this book, I found myself laughing in some parts and crying in others. I visited Jamaica years ago, and I reminisced as I researched the beautiful island. I hope you enjoy reading The Jamaican Mission as much as I enjoyed writing it.

The Afterglow: What Happens After the Editing Process Is Finished?

Last time I talked about my experiences up to and including the editing of my first book. My best advise is:

1) Don’t be too quick to send your first draft in to your editor. I did and drove my editor nuts.  It ends up being more frustrating and a lot more work than if you went over the first couple of drafts yourself then send it in.

2) Get an editor that you can work with.  It makes for an easier process.

Now, after the editing process…

Woo hoo! You have your edited manuscript in your hands (well maybe not in your hands, but on your computer). What’s the next step? You need a launch team.  A launch team is a team of individuals who read the Advance Readers Copy, or the ARC and give feedback on the story. After that, it’s all the publisher’s baby.  He gets his team to work on the layout, etc.

At the same time, you gear up on marketing.  I went online and asked  blogs to review Harry on their blogs…first, the cat blogs that I already knew from doing a cat blog for years.  Then I hit the fiction and mystery blogs.  We mustn’t forget the podcasts (although I haven’t had much luck with those). You notice that I use the present tense because it is a never ending process.

Sometime during this process, you will get the hardcopies in your hot little hands.  Congratulations!

Then the cold calls come.  I am starting to call bookstores, etc. to do book signings.  Now I’m finding that not all stores are open to them, especially the small, local ones.

Yesterday I put 10 signed copies of Harry up for a giveaway on Goodreads.  In 18 hours I had almost 500 entrants.

Finally, I am booked to go to Washington DC for my first conference. Hopefully, it will be the first of many.

So, now you are up to speed with all that I’ve been through.  It has been a nail-biting, rollercoaster ride that, at times has made me ecstatic and at times has made me want to pull my hair out.  It’s never dull and I love it!

BTW, I’m working on the next book in Harry the Wonder Cat Series. In this one, Harry goes to Jamaica and falls in love with a beautiful beach cat named Luna. Follow along Harry’s trip with Nikki, Heather and the gang.

If you missed the first book, Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond, you can still get it here.

What to Expect When Publishing Your First Novel

I’m Denise, the creator of Harry the Wonder Cat, and the author of The Legend of the Pink Diamond.  For the next couple of weeks I thought I’d just talk about the steps leading up to that all important publication date and what it feels like when you actually hold that first book in your hand.

One thing that not a lot of my readers know is that all of the cats, with the exception of Harry, are based on the real cats that take care of some of the readers of my Facebook page. As soon as I realized that Harry needed a gang, I opened up auditions on Kitty Tales and a slew of cats came running for the curtain call.  I, being the ultimate cat lady, gave the parts to all of the cats that applied.  So each cat will be named or featured in at least one of the books in the series.

Casting taken care of, you need to write the story.  You should write at least two drafts before sending the manuscript to your editor. I sent the first draft and was sorry I did as, by the time we got to the final draft, the book had changed into a totally different story, which drove my publisher crazy.

I believe you need to have a bond, call it chemestry, with your editor because, after all, you are going to be joined at the hip (figuratively speaking of course, otherwise you wouldn’t get much writing done) for the next few months. I was lucky in that my publisher made sure to “fit” me with another cat lady.  Suze loves Harry almost as much as I did, therefore she handled him with kit gloves.  The result was a book that showcased Harry’s purrsonality, quirks and all.

During the editing phase, which involves a lot of time sending the manuscript back and forth for rewrites, etc., my publisher’s design team was working on that all important cover, again a lot of changing until we all agreed that it was purrfect.  You can judge a book by it’s cover, and Harry’s cover is great!

Meanwhile, I looked for a professional photographer for the picture on the back of the book.  I ended up using it on my profiles for my social media.  Get your face out there!!

Next time I’ll be going over what happens after the editing.  No…the process isn’t not over yet.  It’s only just begun!

Meet Sir Aslan

Harry here! I wanted to take this time to introduce you to the most important cat in my life…Sir Aslan, otherwise know as my grandfather. Come on out here grandfather.

Sir Aslan:  How are you, Harry my boy?

Harry:  *bows* Just fine, Sir.

Sir Aslan:  *taps Harry on his head* Get up.  Today I speak to you as your grandfather and not as a knight.

Harry:  *straightens up and clears his throat* Yes Grandfather.  Well, I’m sure that my audience would like to know a little bit about you.

Sir Aslan:  Like?

Harry:  Like how did you receive your knighthood?

Sir Aslan:  *sighs* Well, as you know, I saved the Cat Princess from drowning.  The Cat King was so appreciative that he granted me a knighthood.

Harry:  How long has it been since you became a knight?

Sir Aslan:  *looks to the heavens obviously thinking* Well, it must be about seven…no eight centuries now.

Harry:  Wow! *shakes his heads in amazement*  One final question.  What was your proudest moment?

Sir Aslan:  *beams* That’s easy, Harry.  The moment I that you became a knight, too!

Harry:  *blushes and bows his head in embarrassment* Thank you, Grandfather.

Sir Aslan: *taps Harry’s head* Anytime,  my boy!  Anytime! *turns and marches out of sight*

Harry: *sighs as he watches the Great Sir Aslan retreat in silence*  Well, there you have it, my grandfather, Sir Aslan.  Read about him and the rest of the magnificent cats and their humans in Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond .  Preorder yours now at Amazon.

Harry:  Next week, please join us for a tour of the Cat Kingdom.