Today we have a guest blogger with us, author Dee Ready. I hope you enjoy getting to know more about her and her latest book A Cat’s Legacy from Wayman Publishing. If you are a cat lover you will love reading words of wisdom from both Dulcy and Dee. And even if you are not, you will still enjoy it!
Do you prefer snow or sun? Snow falling gently or swirling in a white-out blizzard always brings me a sense of well-being as I gaze through the windows of my warm and cozy home.
Agent or no agent? I’d like an agent who would deal with the business of finding a publishing house and editor who will offer a contract. That would leave me free to write.
What are three words that explain how you feel about writing? For me, writing is prayer; it is a connection with the Oneness of All Creation of which the cats and I and all the people who have touched my life or whose lives I have touched are a part; it is a dive into the deep recesses of the collective mind or unconscious.
What book(s) are you reading now? I am reading several books: The Beautiful Mystery by Louise Penny, The Confession by Charles Todd, The Fleet Street Murders by Charles Finch, and Rise to Greatness: Abraham Lincoln and America’s Most Perilous Year by David Von Drehle.
Do you ever experience writer’s block? If so, how do you get yourself out of it? I really have never experienced writer’s block. My problem always seems to be what to work on next. My mind seems to teem with ideas.
Do you have a favorite genre you like to write in? I enjoy two genres: historical novels and cat memoirs.
What inspired you to write your first book? In July 8, 1989, two days after Dulcy, the cat with whom I’d lived for 17 1/2 years, died, I woke and knew I had to go to the computer. I turned it on, placed my fingers on the keyboard, and words began to come. The first words were “At the end, all that matters is love. My love for my human and hers for me. I have planted the memories of our life together in her heart. She will find them there when I am gone, and they will comfort her.”
I looked at the words and realized that Dulcy was speaking through me. Those words became the beginning to my first book–or rather, Dulcy’s first book. For an hour each morning of the next three months, she gave me the story of our relationship. Crown published it in 1992 under the title A Cat’s Life: Dulcy’s Story. I asked the editor and publishing house to use the following words on the cover: as given to Dee Ready. I felt that Dulcy had written the book and given it to me; I’d only edited it.
Do you have any other animals? I now live with three cats: Ellie who is brindle in coloring; Maggie who is a long-haired calico; and Matthew who is a short-haired tiger.
Can you tell us a little about Dulcy? Dulcy was the first cat with whom I ever lived. She saw me through hard days of depression and suicidal tendencies. She claimed me as her human.
If you could pick one habit for humans to follow and one for cats to follow from your latest book, what would they be? All of the twelve habits that Dulcy gives other felines in her book A Cat’s Legacy seem important to me, but perhaps the one that influenced both of our lives the most was to accept the inevitable. For Dulcy, I think the second most important was to share her true self; for me, it was to delight in her.
Do you have a favorite space you like to write in? I am lucky enough to have three bedrooms in my home. One is for the cats and me to sleep in; one is where I watch television; and one is my office. It’s where I’m sitting right now. In the office is this large desk with the laptop as well as several bookcases that hold the books I need to research for the historical novels I like to write.
Do you have any current projects you are working on? Right now, I’m completing the historical novel A Reluctant Spy. It takes place in the first century of the CE in Palestine.
What is one thing you want your readers to know about you? My deepest heart wish for many years has been to have a novel published. This hasn’t happened and maybe it won’t. But I’ve finally realized–and this is what I’d like to share with readers–that the writing is what gives me sustenance. It is the two-layered cake. The getting published is the icing. It would be nice, but the cake is what sustains me.
Is there any advice you would give to those writers who are just beginning their journey towards getting published? Writers who have worked at the craft for many years almost always suggest to those just beginning the journey that they read prolifically, especially in the genre for which they hope to write. I would also suggest that the person beginning this quest set aside some time each day–5 minutes, 15, 60, whatever works in that person’s life. During that time she or he needs to do the following: work on crafting a simple sentence or paragraph. Read the words aloud. Listen for the cadence of them. Study how those words work together to create tension or suspence. Or to create transition. Or to describe character or setting, emotion or weather. Look at writing as a craft. An art-form that demands time and effort and the willingness to be edited and to change words, sentences, whole chapters so that the work becomes accessible to the audience.
Dee’s book A Cat’s Legacy: Dulcy’s Story is available in all formats.
Description: Do you yearn for joy? Do you dream of a welcoming lap and gentle words? Do you wish to know the deep delight of a life filled with tangy tuna and abiding love? Then follow my twelve habits for a life filled with contentment.
You can also read the first book about Dulcy called A Cat’s Life: Dulcy’s Story.