A note about The Cuddlywumps Chronicles

This blog is written and maintained by Miss Cuddlywumps, a fluffy-tailed calico cat who is both classically educated and familiar with mysteries. Comments or complaints should be addressed to Miss C rather than to author Roby Sweet. Ms. Sweet accepts no responsibility for Miss C's opinions.

Monday, December 5, 2016

Miss Cuddlywumps Converses: With Cat Cozy Author Mollie Hunt

Photo of author Mollie Hunt
Mollie Hunt is an author of cat cozy mysteries,
a volunteer with the Oregon Humane Society,
and more.
All photos courtesy of Mollie Hunt.
Welcome to this latest edition of Miss Cuddlywumps Converses. Please join me in welcoming author Mollie Hunt to the blog. Mollie is here to tell us all about her cozy mystery series, which of course features cats (because they all should, right?). Let’s get right into our conversation.

Mollie, we’re so glad you could join us today. Could you start out by telling us a little bit about yourself and how you got into writing cozy mysteries?

Mollie: Hello, Miss C. I’m excited to be here. As you know, I’m the author of the Crazy Cat Lady cozy mystery series. I am a native Oregonian and live in Portland with my husband and a varying number of cats.

Though I read many types of fiction and nonfiction, I’ve always enjoyed cozy mysteries, beginning with Mary Stewart, Agatha Christie, and Dorothy L. Sayers. When I discovered there was such a thing as the sub-genre cat mysteries (Lilian Jackson Braun, Shirley Rousseau Murphy, Miranda James), I was happier than a cat in catnip. I’ve written in several genres, but cozies are my favorite (along with cat science-fantasy, but that’s another story). Everybody needs a happy ending once in a while.

Yes, happy endings are so refreshing, aren’t they? Please introduce us to the Crazy Cat Lady mystery series. Is the cat lady in the series really crazy?

As my hero Lynley Cannon will be the first to tell you, she isn’t crazy, yet. Sixty-something Lynley enjoys a quiet life of retirement. She is a dedicated cat shelter volunteer, a doting grandmother, and an active senior. She never looks for trouble, but it seems to find her anyway. Whether it’s a diamond heist that lands in her lap thanks to a curious cat (Cats’ Eyes), a cat counterfeiting ring that infiltrates her shelter, Friends of Felines (Copy Cats), or a crazy string of murders beginning in the tranquil setting of a famous animal shelter and ending up on her own doorstep (Cat’s Paw), Lynley’s cat-like curiosity gets the best of her every time.

Lynley isn’t in it alone though; family and friends (including a mystery-solving, 80-something mother, a sweet but way-smart granddaughter, a hunky animal cop who knows the ropes, a cat-savvy shelter buddy, and a lesbian lawyer to get her out of fixes) have Lynley’s back.

Covers of Cats' Eyes and Copy Cats books, by Mollie Hunt
The first two books in the Crazy Cat Lady series,
Cats' Eyes and Copy Cats.
Wow, that sounds like quite a cast! The latest title is Cat’s Paw. How does this book continue the series?

Cat’s Paw (launched November 10) carries on where Copy Cats leaves off: After a brush with death at the hands of a serial killer who murders with a lethal cat-like claw (Copy Cats), Lynley is ready to relax. She attends an elite art retreat at the world-famous Cloverleaf Animal Sanctuary in the San Juan Islands, but the tranquility is sundered by a shocking double homicide. Lynley is briefly accused, and once released, she can’t get home to Portland  fast enough, but the murders aren’t over yet. Suspicion falls on a dear friend, and Lynley must fight through fear, assault, and her own anxiety disorder to keep from becoming the next victim.

Can you tell us about the cat or cats in these stories? Are they talking cats or “normal” cats, and what role do they play in the plots?

Though no one loves a talking cat more than I do, the cats in this series are normal cats. That said, I believe cats are truly gifted with a full array of superior senses, and if sometimes those senses help solve a crime, why not?

Cover of Cat's Paw, by Mollie Hunt
Cat's Paw is the newest book in the Crazy Cat Lady series.
In the center right, author Mollie Hunt poses with Tinkerbelle the cat.
Cats are superior in many ways, aren't we? Are any cats in your stories based on real-life felines, or are they all totally fictional?

Several of her cats—and Lynley has many: 8 at the moment!—are or have been my own wonderful kitties; others are cats I’ve fostered for the Oregon Humane Society where I volunteer; and still others are made up though based on someone I’ve known personally.

Are you working on any new writing projects you’d like to tell us about?

Yes! I’ve just finished the initial draft of the next book in the CCL series, Cat Call, where Lynley takes over as cat wrangler for a television show after a friend is injured by a mysterious “hex” that is sabotaging the set. (I’m applying my own experience as an assistant cat handler for the cult classic Zombie Cats from Mars.) The fifth in the series, Cat CafĂ©, which revolves around a mystifying murder in a cat lounge, is in the planning stages right now. I previously mentioned cat science-fantasy: I have been working on a tetralogy involving sentient cats saving the world from various unthinkable fates. Divergent from the cozies, these are works of pure imagination and very close to my heart. I hope to publish them someday.
Author Mollie Hunt with four cats.
Mollie Hunt relaxes with four cats, all of whom show up in
her stories. The cats are (from left to right)
Tinkerbelle, Dirty Harry,  Little, and Big Red.


We hope you do publish them, because we’d love to read them—they sound like such fun, and we think more cats should get involved in science and fantasy. Do you have any other thoughts you’d like to share with us?

Thank you. I would like to note that though my books are full of kitty-fun for the reader, I try to inject a bit of realism as well. Since Lynley is a shelter volunteer, she is in the perfect position to explore such subjects as the plight of homeless pets; the crisis and control of animal abuse and neglect; and other issues relating to animal advocacy. At the beginning of each chapter, I include an interesting cat fact or tip, such as “If you think you smell cat pee, you probably do.”

I’d also like to spotlight my fabulous cover art, done by cat artist Leslie Cobb. Check out her website at Cat Art by Leslie Cobb.

Yes, we will be sure to check out Leslie’s site, and we hope our readers will too. Thank you for being here today, Mollie. We’ve had such fun conversing with you and learning about your books!

Thank you so much, Miss. C, for having me. I’ve enjoyed our conversation immensely.
Adopt – Volunteer – Love!
Mollie Hunt

Connect with Mollie Hunt

You can find Mollie Hunt’s books at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, and if you’re in Portland, at Another Read Through Bookstore.

Visit Mollie online:

3 comments:

  1. Tinkerbelle is a beauty ... off to find the series!

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  2. Great interview. I need to get these books.

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  3. I loved reading this interview! I never knew this series existed. I would definitely love to read the books. :)

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