I’d like to welcome Valerie Howard to the blog today! Valerie is the author of Catastrophic, a short story I found to be quite entertaining. With three furbabies of my own at home, I noticed myself smiling and nodding as I read about the crazy antics of Pumpkin, a cat who would soon enough find herself blasting off into outer space. Now let’s turn our attention over to Valerie and learn more about this fabulous feline!
My pleasure. The short description is: When NASA scientist Stanley Miller’s new experiment goes missing along with his wife’s pet cat, hilarity and chaos ensue.” This story is a twist on the classic “science experiment gone wrong” type of plot– like where Peter Parker gets bitten by a radioactive spider and instantly develops super powers. What if that happened to a stray cat instead of a high school boy? I thought it would be even more interesting if the cat was hardly in any of the scenes at all, yet remained the main character without saying– or purring– a single word.
So tell us, what inspired you to write this story?
I became aware of a fun contest to write a “cats in space” story for a new book called Space Kitties: Feline Forays Through The Galaxies by E. Kaiser Writes (Link: http://amzn.com/B00S5D1TRM). I thought it was quite a reach out of my normal genre of Women’s Christian Fiction, but I wanted to try it and see if I could get into the anthology. Happily, “Catastrophic” was one of the winners. It’s a funny situation, because I’m actually horribly allergic to cats. (During an allergy test in my college years, the doctor said I was the most allergic to cats that she’d ever seen in her career.) I own two dogs, though, and they can get in about as much trouble as Pumpkin in this story gets into.
Congratulations! Who’s your favorite famous cat?
I’ve always loved Garfield. I relate to his sarcasm, his distaste for Mondays, and his love for lasagna.
Oh, I agree. I enjoyed reading Garfield comic books when I was growing up. Now I have to ask, is this your first short story?
It’s my third. My first is called “Cabin Fever,” and my second is called “Think.” One is a suspense/kidnapping story, and the other answers the question, “What if you woke up one morning and everyone could hear your every thought?” I’ve also published two novels, a novella, two non-fiction books, and several children’s activity books.
Valerie Howard is a native New Englander, the wife of a reverend, the mother of a toddler, the owner of two crazy beagles, and a raving chocoholic. When she’s not writing, she’s designing covers for other indie authors and wearing flip flops as much as possible.
“Books. Cats. Life is good.” ~ Edward Gorey