Perry, welcome back to Homeschooled Authors. What had you been up to since the last time you were here?
Thank you so much for having me, Sarah! It's been a while since my previous interview... let me think... that was back in 2012. Wow. Time flies! Since then we've had two little boys, and I'm now expecting Baby #3! I've released two Kitten Files books, moved a couple times, hosted a "Homeschooled Authors" book table at our local homeschool convention, grown my book design business, and generally lived a lot of normal life!
What first drew you to writing a series where the cat was the hero?
Really, it all began when I jotted the beginning sentences of the first book, The Case of the Tabloid Tattler, on my phone one day when my brain was bored.
It was that silly way he'd been talking to me ever since I'd shown up on his doorstep three weeks ago. He’d been telling me every detail of every case, every hunch he had, not actually expecting me to reply. “He's lucky I'm not a spy,” I told myself, “or from the press!”
The idea of a former lab-cat who'd learned to read and write and enjoyed solving mysteries just bloomed from there and the rest of the draft followed easily.
Did you base the human, Keith on someone?
Not really. His character evolved naturally as a good foil for the cat's snarky personality.
What draws you personally to writing books for children?
A couple things. I remember the struggle to find enough decent reading material as a young bookworm. (I exhausted two local libraries.) With 7 younger siblings and other young friends lined up for the same problem, I decided to try and help improve the selection in whatever small way I could.
Also, I like to write about happy, beautiful, uplifting things. The children's and Middle Grade audience I write for tends to still enjoy these. I have a couple ideas for more serious Young Adult-geared stories, but for now, I'm pretty happy writing happy for those who enjoy it!
Not in the classic sense. My cat did go on the lam for a couple days once, but she returned on her own once she figured out she had no hunting skills, I think.
Why do you think mysteries is such a popular genre for youth readers?
I think mysteries give young readers the opportunity to feel like they are ahead of the curve--sometimes smarter than the detective--and to test their minds against the unknown. They are at a time in life full of discovery. In a way, they are living an unfolding mystery. Perhaps reading mysteries makes them feel more equipped to make heads and tails of their world. Just a wild, esoteric guess.
Other than that, I'd say because mysteries are just plain fun!
Any ideas when the next book in the series is coming out?
Hopefully sometime in 2015! As I type this, I'm surrounded by moving boxes and am nearly halfway through my pregnancy with Baby #3. Needless to say, it's going to be a busy first half of the year, but I would definitely love to continue Mia's series this year. Sorry I can't be more specific; I'm learning to plan life in pencil!
Where can people keep up with you and your writing (social media sites: blog, Facebook, Pinterest, etc.)?
An excellent question, considering my vague answer above!
- My blog is a great place to keep up with me: http://perryelisabeth.blogspot.com.
- I'm also on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Perry-Elisabeth/226325974109812.
- I'm on Pinterest, but not in a hugely "writerly" way. It's mainly cool crafting/decorating ideas I like. Mostly, it just serves to keep me awake when my eyes are crossing while feeding a baby in the middle of the night. If that sounds at all interesting to you, though, here's the link: https://www.pinterest.com/perryelisabeth/
- I'm also on Twitter and Google+ (a bit) and those links can be found in the sidebar of my blog.
- Other than that, there's my book design portfolio if you enjoy looking at book covers: http://perryelisabethdesign.blogspot.com.
And, as I try to remind people... if you're searching me someplace, don't forget the "s" in Elisabeth!
Thank you so much, for having me again, Sarah! If there's anything I didn't cover, I'm more than happy to answer questions in the comments!