People who don’t write are often curious about people who do. They’re interested in how authors work, live, entertain themselves—what they read, if they have creative outlets, and so forth. The question I get most often is, “How do you come up with so many story ideas?”
Now that’s a legitimate question for someone who has trouble putting a grocery list together or who has never written anything beyond a thank you note or letter. But my response generally doesn’t satisfy people. They still can’t wrap their head around the concept of someone pounding out six books per year—over 300,000 words every twelve months. Plus another 80,000 words for a blog. Not to mention all of the promotion material an author produces…So we’re probably talking more like 500,000 words per year or more than ten million words over the five years I’ve been writing the Klepto Cat Mysteries. Yeah, that’s pretty much a foreign concept for most.
So what do I say to people who ask how I come up with so many different stories and scenarios for books featuring cats? It’s a puzzle to me. Just like the posts for this blog, which now has 500 posts, the ideas just come to me. I sit down to write a post or a story having no clue as to what I’ll write, and soon I’m deeply involved in a theme or a story or a mystery.
Lately, I’ve had the same question from people who have not read my Klepto Cat Mysteries. And I discovered they were asking this from a totally different perspective. These folks thought my books were cat-driven—that the cats talked and thought and that they propelled the story. No wonder they were confused. How would you write an entire novel for adults—let alone 21 novels—completely based on a cast of cats?
Actually, my stories are not cat-driven, they are human-driven. There are a variety of interesting human characters in the Klepto Cat Mysteries—the mainstay characters (a married couple of veterinarians, a sometimes cantankerous aunt, interesting friends and family, and, of course, a no-nonsense, softie of a detective—among other characters who pop in and out now and then).