Interview with Elaine Faber
(Boots was unable or unwilling to answer questions; it had something to do with legal counsel).
IGM: If you had to give a quick, one-sentence description of your novel series to a Hollywood mogul, what would you say?
EF: My stories are reminiscent of the 60’s movies that combine love, mystery, fantasy, thrills and chills, without explicit sex, violence or profanity. With the aid of his ancestor’s memories, Thumper’s wisdom and charm add feline qualities that will assure MGM of another box office hit! Oops, that was two sentences.(Never mind. I pushed the stop button on the elevator. I shared the whole story plot and the mogul is blown away.)
IGM: What inspired you to write it (personal experience, books you love, real people and events, etc.)?
EF: The story started as a short story where Kimberlee and her child return to her home town where she gets mixed up in solving a crime. Not too far into the tale, Thumper took over and became the character and plot that pulled the story together. What can you do when the ‘story characters’ take over and you’re just along for the ride?
IGM: What gives you the most joy as a writer?
EF: My greatest joy is when readers tells me how much they enjoyed Black Cat’s Legacy, or Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer and their second sentence is, “When is the sequel coming out?” I wish I could share that experience with more readers.
IGM: What is the hardest thing about writing?
EF: Nothing is hard about writing (the process). It’s as natural to me as breathing. The hard part; knowing I have a great book and people are too overwhelmed by the gazillions of other books to choose mine. (No brag… just fact! Somebody important said that but I can’t remember who.) One day, the world will discover my books and I’ll be famous. Probably posthumously.
IGM: How did you come up with the titles?
EF: A title should be ‘catchy’ and give a clue as to what the story is about. In Black Cat’s Legacy, generations of Fern Lake Black cats waited for Kimberlee to return to solve her father’s murder. As the memories of the murder passed to each generation, it was the cats’ legacy to help her solve the crime. We claim that cats all have their ancestors ‘memories.’ In Black Cat and the Lethal Lawyer, I like the alliteration of the LL. When the family and Thumper visit grandmother’s Texas horse ranch, they find her lawyer has embezzled much of her money through a fake children’s charity. Can murder be far behind when she plans to change her will and leave her money to her granddaughter? (The next in the series, due out this spring, is Black Cat and the Accidental Angel.)
IGM: Tell a little about your process. Did you know how it should end before you started?
EF: When I started Black Cat’s Legacy, I had a vague concept of the story line. What if a child buried something that 25 years later became the catalyst that solved a crime? From that bare idea, I started writing and the story began to tell itself. No one was more surprised than I, when the cat took over as one of the main characters. I had no idea how it would end until much later in the process.
IGM; Pretend you are fielding a baseball team with your favorite writers. List them by position. (If you dislike baseball, I just don't know).
IEF: Im sorry. I’m not really into sports. I was on the high school drill team eons ago, but went to the games to look at the boys, not to follow the game. I love the classic mystery writers, Ellery Queen, Agatha Christie, and of course, John Steinbeck. I read a lot of modern-day cozy mysteries by various authors, but can’t imagine any of them on a baseball team.
IGM: Pretend your book is being made into a movie. What actors would play the lead characters? (Note: if your book is being optioned for a movie, you may wish to send several thousand dollars to the International Guy of Mystery Foundation as a tax write-off).
EF: Okay. After careful thought and intensive interviews with these actors, we will ‘contract’ Jennifer Anniston as Kimberlee; David Boreanaz (Bones) as Brett and Hillary Duff as Dorian. My characters are not teenagers and I think these experienced actors could bring them to life.
My cats Boots and Amber insist on playing Thumper and Noe-Noe. What can I do? I just work for them.