How long ago did you write Five Cat Magic?
I first wrote Five Cat Magic in 2005. I’d had the idea about 6 years before that, but didn’t have time to write it down. I saw a competition in Waterstones bookshop and decided it was time to write the book and enter the competition (which I didn’t win btw!)
Where did you get the idea for Five Cat Magic?
In about 1998/1999 I had a dream about the character ‘Brain Drainer’ and the five cats. When I woke up, I thought, wow, that would be a great character for a story. Then over the next few years, different parts of the story kept popping into my mind.
How long did it take you to write Five Cat Magic?
Once I had committed to sitting down and actually writing the story, it took me around 10 days to write. The story has been through a number of re-writes since then though.
Why did you decide to self-publish?
I spent quite a bit of time researching self-publishing and decided it would suit me better than a traditional book publishing model. I also wanted to have more control over my book. I was then just waiting until I'd found a suitable illustrator for the book, and was lucky enough to be put in touch with the wonderful Christine Jones. As the book publishing world is very new to me, I decided to get some assistance from Matador who helped make the process more straight forward.
Are you writing any other books?
I have lots of ideas for other stories. A sequel to Five Cat Magic is written in my mind (!), but like the first one, I just need to set aside some time to get it down on paper.
What distinguishes your book from other similar works?
Five Cat Magic provides readers with a soulful, spiritual perspective on the traditional ‘good v bad’ story. It opens a window into other worlds and may give some comfort to those who have lost a loved one. The human and animal characters alike are endearing, and the ‘shadow’ characters are grippingly loathsome. But above all, the story provides readers with a sense of hope that a more positive future is possible. Christine Jones’ evocative illustrations add depth to the story and are a feast for the eyes.
What other authors or books have inspired you?
As a child I absolutely loved the C.S. Lewis Narnia stories. Growing up I also really enjoyed reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit,’ and as a young adult I read the ‘Lord of the Rings’ books. I enjoyed any stories that were fantastical, about other worlds and that required the reader to use their imagination.