Hello, Everyone! Today, I am honored to feature author Becky Perrone on my blog. Becky has written a delightful book called, Wolfie, A Cat Beyond Time.
Q: Becky, what inspired you to write Wolfie: A Cat Beyond Time?
Since childhood, I wanted to be a writer, but life kept getting in the way. Then, in the span of a few years, my mother, Armin Giragossian, died, our beloved Maine Coon cat, Wolfie, died and, to top off the trilogy, I had cancer. (Just a few little bumps in the road…) I realized then that it was a now or never situation. To honor them both, I made them the main characters in my book.
Not only was I hooked on the West since childhood, but I was an eighth grade American History teacher. That my book would be a Western was a foregone conclusion, my personal “Manifest Destiny” story.
Q: I can’t imagine how difficult those years must have been. What is the most surprising thing you learned about yourself while writing Wolfie?
I’m surprised that I had the tenacity to keep researching so that the book would be spot-on accurate. I am proud of myself for that, as I am somewhat A.D.D. and generally impatient. I was amazed at how the book just poured out of me, literally writing itself. (Do I have to list it as a co-author?)
Q: What ages would you recommend this book for?
I have taught pre-school through eighth grade. I wrote ”Wolfie” with Middle School students (my absolute favorite group) in mind. They will “get” the nuances and humor. However, I found that children of all ages (including adults) really enjoy the book. That makes me very happy.
Q: What do you hope readers will take away from Wolfie?
I hope they will become interested in how our great country was settled, to see that history is about regular people and their lives. I would also like them to see the way that writing can actually paint pictures that they, themselves, create in their own minds from the words they read. That is why I didn’t illustrate the book. I want the readers to do it.
Q: At the end of the book, Wolfie’s thoughts allude to the fact that there will be another adventure. So, will there be a sequel?
I believe that there will be, but it depends upon when Wolfie decides to come around again, and where and when on earth he wants to go.
Q: I’m sure I know the answer to this, but who is your biggest fan?
If you have chosen my husband, Joe, you are spot on!
Q: Speaking of Joe, I read on his blog that the two of you met and married in a period of just six weeks, and the two of you will be celebrating your 39th anniversary in August. First of all, can I just say, “WOW!” And second, “Was it love at first sight?”
Actually, it was strong dislike at first sight for me. He was in a bad mood and was rude from the very first moment we met at a picnic that Frank, our mutual friend (read “busybody”) invited us both to attend. Frank suddenly disappeared with his new girlfriend, our four children met and took off together to play, and we were stuck with each other. By the end of the day…well, the rest is history. BTW: Bless you, Frank! We are living proof that it is not always wise to make snap judgments…
LOL! It’s funny that Joe conveniently left that part out on his blog.
Q: Were you nervous letting Joe – an accomplished author in his own right – read Wolfie?
Yes, I was. Joe always has my back and is zealous about protecting me. Therefore, if he sees something he feels is awry, it can bring on a less-than-gracious comment from my silver-tongued devil; all in the name of love. Turnabout is fair play, though, since I do the same thing with his work.
List three things that most people don’t know about you.
- I am a first-generation American of Armenian descent.
- I wrote my first story in the first grade.
- I am a sight-singer.
You’ve stumped me with that last one. What is a sight-singer?
A sight singer can look at a piece of music that she does not know, and can sing it correctly because she can hear it in her head. At least, that’s how it works with me, or I should say, worked, as my hearing has diminished somewhat and knowing where my voice should go, doesn’t mean it will get there in key. (LOL!)
Wow, you never cease to amaze me, Becky!
Q: As a new author, do you have any advice for other authors that are just beginning?
- Invest yourself in your work and enjoy it. If it doesn’t flow out of you, don’t push it. It will come when it is ready.
- Write about what you know, but be sure to research everything thoroughly.
- Write in your own voice and style, and enjoy what you do.
- SAVE constantly.
- PROOFREAD the book to death.
- Select your readers carefully, so that their comments – positive or negative – are made with your best interests at heart. If enough people say the same thing — listen! You want the truth – tuck away your ego.
Q: Can you provide us with an excerpt of Wolfie?
Certainly, my pleasure! This is a relatively short chapter that readies the readers for what lies ahead. It looks long but reads fast. I hope you enjoy it.
Chapter 6 from Wolfie, A Cat Beyond Time
Clayton hated thunder and lightning storms. It didn’t matter that both his mother and his teacher had explained about clouds and air masses, or that his grandmother had told him it was just the angels bowling. Those storms were loud and flashy and scary and just plain dangerous, and that was that!
Minna said he was “sensitive.” Well, maybe he was. He didn’t care what anyone said; he hated those storms more than anything on earth, especially like now, when they happened at night.
His room was suddenly transformed into daylight, as though some alien space ship was shining its lights through his windows, expecting to find the meaning of life on earth hidden under his bed. (Huh, wouldn’t they be disappointed when all they found was his underwear, some moldy peas he had hidden in his socks rather than eat, and a bunch of dust.) He tensed and buried his head under his pillow, dreading the deafening clap of thunder he knew would follow. Bowling my foot, he thought. Dad used to take us bowling, and it never sounded like this. C-r-r-r-a-a-a-c-c-c-k! K-a-a-a-b-o-o-o-m-m-m! K-a-a-a-p-o-w! The house actually shook!
In the stark silence that followed, Clay heard another sound, one that, although caused by the advent of an electric storm, didn’t have its origins in the storm itself. It was an unearthly sound, a sort of moaning and screeching. It was really the only sound that could induce him to leave the safety of his bed. Maybe it will stop, he thought, but no, there it was again. He’d have to get up and get Minna.
Clutching Teddy, his favorite stuffed animal, Clayton slipped down the hall to Minna’s room. “Min—are you awake? You’ve got to come now! Wolfie’s doing it again!” he whispered.
“Are you sure?” she moaned, suddenly awake.
“Yeah, I’m sure,” Clayton answered, shifting his bedraggled bear from arm to arm.
Minna jumped out of bed and looked at her brother. He was standing at the foot of her bed, his coarse, light brown hair standing straight up from his head, his blue eyes huge, his pajamas rumpled. She had to hand it to the kid. He was scared to death of the storm, but he took care of business.
They didn’t need words; they had an unspoken understanding when it came to their pet: Protect at all costs. That way, Mom would never know some stuff that might make her send Wolfie away.
“Where is he?” she whispered.
“The usual place,” replied Clay, looking around nervously as the thunder boomed its anger at the world. The storm didn’t look any better in Minna’s room. In fact, it looked worse, because at least when he was in his room, he knew what most of the shapes and shadows were. (There were, however, always a few that he wasn’t quite sure about.)
“Blast!” Minna exclaimed. “We’d better hurry.”
The children tip-toed silently past their mother’s room, Minna in her flannel nightgown and favorite pink bunny slippers, and Clayton in his one piece, fuzzy yellow-footed pajamas, their plastic booties slapping the floor with each step. “Would you pull those up?” hissed Minna. “You’ll wake up Mom!”
“It’s not my fault these stupid pajamas are too big,” Clay mumbled. His mother had gotten them on sale, and had been happy they were on the big side so Clay could get a couple of years out of them. The problem with that was that for the first year (this one) Clay looked like he had yards of wrinkled yellow skin on his body and his feet always flopped out of the booties. Next year, he’d look like he was wearing a nubby yellow second skin, and either his toes would be curling up to his chin, or they’d break through the bootie and he’d freeze to death.
Wolfie yowled again. “Never mind, just hurry up!” Minna was really getting nervous. Wolfie had never been quite this bad before.
“Why does he do that?” Clay wondered out loud. “Hey, Min, do you think it was because of the night we got him? It was storming like this.”
“How am I supposed to know? Do I look like a Dr. Metzenberg for cats?”
“Come on, Min, you don’t need to be like that, and besides, what you look like is…”
“Don’t even go there, Clayton Douglas Moore, or you’ll be sorry,” Minna threatened.
By this time, the children had reached Wolfie’s hiding place, which was in the darkest corner of the laundry room, down in the basement. Their mom refused to allow the cat to sleep upstairs at night. She said it was bad enough that he furred everything during the day; she didn’t want to deal with fur on the blankets and bedding, too. In a way she was right, because it was as if Wolfie felt it was his sacred duty to leave his fur on every inch of the Moore family’s clothing and furniture. Anyway, he was huddled in the wicker laundry basket, on top of the clean laundry of course, and he was yowling his head off.
“Wolfie, knock it off!” commanded Minna. Geez, was this why they called it caterwauling? Now that was a word that sounded like what it meant.
Wolfie stuck his head out of the basket, but continued to yowl.
“Min, I’ve never seen him so bad, what’s wrong? What’s he doing now? Is he hurt?” Clayton expected his big sister to have all the answers. Unfortunately, she was as much in the dark as he was.
“I have no idea, Stupid.” Mrs. Moore had a very strict rule about calling each other names, but Minna felt that this time the situation justified the infraction. Sometimes Clayton was a real pain with his dumb questions, but now, seeing the hurt on his face, she wasn’t so sure. “Sorry, Clay, but I got here the same time that you did. Let’s pick him up and see if we can calm him down. I don’t know why he does this.”
The storm should have passed over by now, she thought. It almost seems that the more upset Wolfie gets, the worse the storm becomes. She shook her head. That wasn’t possible. She’d been reading too much Harry Potter. Both children reached into the basket together to pick up their pet.
As they reached for Wolfie, he jumped out of the basket, and began pacing between their legs in frantic cat figure eights. After he did about four of them, he stopped, turned, and looked right into their eyes. Lightning flashed, and world, as the Moore children knew it, disappeared!
If you would like to purchase, Wolfie, A Cat Beyond Time, it is available as an ebook and in paperback on Amazon. An audio book version narrated by the fantastic Mary Henriques is coming in September on audible.com
Becky Perrone is a breast cancer survivor and strong advocate for yearly mammograms. I encourage you to read her story HERE:
My review of Wolfie, A Cat Beyond Time:
Wolfie transports you, along with squabbling siblings Minna and Clay (who live in the techie world of today) back in time to the mid 1800’s. I loved Wolfie, the not-so-ordinary cat, along with Minna and Clay as I rode beside them in a wagon train bound for Kansas.
Becky Perrone offers a unique take on what it must have been like for children traveling towards what their families hoped was a better life by way of a horse-drawn caravan.
This was a fun, fast, enjoyable read that anyone of any age would love. My rating: 5 Stars
Belinda G. Buchanan is an author of Women’s Fiction novels that include After All Is Said And Done: a Novel of Infidelity, Healing, & Forgiveness, Seasons of Darkness, and Mystery novels including, The Monster of Silver Creek, Tragedy at Silver Creek, and Winter’s Malice.