What is Mutual Admiration from the Asylum Department? Good question. Jaki and Lynne met in a writers critique group and discovered a mutual taste for homicidal humor. We're happy to share our MAADness in the form of newsletters to anyone who sends their snail mail address to firstname.lastname@example.org.
ISSUE #7 - FALL 1998
All The Silliness That's Fit to Xerox
By Lynne Murray
This newsletter does not pretend to be very sensible. If you look a little further down the page, you'll find fictional cats from both of our mystery series interviewing our real life cats.
I first met Jaqueline Girdner in a writer's critique group in 1988. We both discovered that we had the same bizarre sense of humor and weakness for fictionally killing people.
It doesn't happen every day that those two kinds of craziness coincide but when it does, it's like a couple of kids who suddenly discover they have someone to play with. Jaki's series is set in the cloud-cuckoo-land of Marin County and her heroine is Kate Jasper,
a vegetarian, gag gift business owner who keeps stumbling across dead bodies.
My Josephine Fuller series is about a woman of size who doesn't apologize, who works as a troubleshooter for a philanthropist. Even though Jaki is not a BBW (big beautiful woman), she's definitely a BBW-wannabe. Whereas I don't live in marvelous, madcap Marin County, but... well, you get the picture.
DEPARTMENT OF CONTRACT LENSES
Jaki has a new two-book contract with Penguin Putnam's Berkley Prime Crime imprint for two more Kate Jasper adventures, so rest easy. All of us Jasper-dependent people will be able to enjoy books eleven and twelve.
Lynne has signed a paperback contract with St. Martin's Press' Dead Letter imprint for a mass market paperback edition of Larger Than Death, to be published in Spring 1999.
FICTIONAL FELINES GET THE REAL LITTERBOX SCOOP FROM THE AUTHORS' REAL CATS
Translated from the Feline by Jaqueline Girdner and Lynne Murray
We received this interview scratched on a bag of Gourmet Kitty Treats (the contents of said bag having mysteriously disappeared). The interview appears to have resulted when the fictional
cats C.C. from Jaki Girdner's Kate Jasper series interviewed Jaki and Greg's real cat, Emmy Mew.
Meanwhile on the other side of the Gourmet Kitty Treats bag, Raoul from Lynne Murray's Josephine Fuller series appears to have lured Lynne's actual feline brood over to the now open bag of kitty treats to find out the real lowdown.
Lynne now has a group of five cats -- old timers Greeneyes and Rin-Tin-Tin, the younger crowd Sly and El Nino and the kitten Merlin. Here they are questioned by the fictional torncat Raoul
from Larger than Death.
Raoul: Do you help your human write?
With the impudence of a year-old big bruiser of a cat, El Nino steps up to answer this question:
El Nino: I don't just help her. I write whole chapters by walking on the keyboard. Great stuff like: "kyuihn eyyqwlq qqhyeq.t qtyhe kyqsjbh q,f .clyq4uyqm qyjqy qyqy4jlyq4 z[;yrjshjpqw.'fas
yrn wkiqtt" She just erases my best work.
The new kitten Merlin speaks up.
Merlin: I've been trying to get her into writing vampire fiction. It pays money, you know, not like mysteries. I
constantly jump on her shoulder and suck her neck. But does she get it? No.
Raoul: This question is for Rin-Tin-Tin, the senior male spokescat -- You are famous for your sexy meow. Do you think that might be the inspiration for my own lovely vocalizing in Larger Than Death?
Rin-tin-tin: Don't bet on it. I'm better than any fictional cat.
Raoul (preening a bit): Are you just jealous that I can say my own name?
Rin-Tin-Tin: Who cares about your name? We get real food. Has she ever fed you anything but fictional food?
Raoul (coughing up a fictional hairball before continuing): This whole food issue leads to a question about size
acceptance. Do you reap the benefit of your owner's attitude toward size acceptance?
All cats at once: Hell no! Never enough of the right food. Just the ordinary stuff. Never anything good!
Sly (a little shyly): I'd like more ice cream.
Raoul: This question is for El Nino. You, young cat, you're something of the Houdini of the apartment escapes, aren't you? I heard you sneaked out and were gone for four days. What was that all about?
El Nino: (Yawning) Huh? Sorry, what was the question? Oh, I was simply trying to give her the actual experience of suspense. Did she translate that to paper? No.
Raoul: Sly, I've heard that you're the psychic cat, who helped locate El Nino following his four-day sabbatical. Has this brought you any reward?
Sly: Um -- El Nino has stopped biting my tail.
Raoul: Ms. Greeneyes, you're the senior feline here, how do you really feel about your human?
Greeneyes (looking around): We kind of like her. Okay, we love her. But don't tell her.
Raoul: So, you're actually fond of your human. Would you endorse her books?
All the cats in unison: How much cat food are you offering?
Meanwhile, on the Marin County side of the Bay...
C.C. (also known as Cool Cat), the resident cat in the Kate Jasper series, steps forward to interview Emmy Mew, Jaki and Greg's real-life feline owner.
C.C.: I understand, Emmy Mew, that your human is interested in New Age groups and ideas. What do you think about that?
Emmy Mew: Actually, C.C., I'm trying to get her interested in Egyptian Cat Worship. It's the only idea that
really makes sense, don't you think?
C.C.: Absolutely, I'm with you on that one. Ahem, has your human ever tried any of that vegetarian stuff on you?
Emmy Mew: Ha! (Slashing the air with claws) Just try it!
C.C.: Both your real life owner and her fictional character are experienced in tai chi. What about you? Have
you ever practiced tai chi?
Emmy Mew: I was born a tai chi master. You notice how she can run but she can never catch me?
C.C.: Why is your human so fascinated by murder?
Emmy Mew: Why not? Aren't you? Look, there's a mouse!
C.C.: (Looking around madly): Where? Where? Let me at it!
Emmy Mew: Ha, ha! Faked you out.
C.C.: (Striking a few catly poses to get her dignity back): Do your human's royalties go into better cat food for
Emmy Mew: Hell no! And my picture was on her cover. It probably sold a few million copies. Did I see one bite of commission?
C.C.: Can you give us the answer to the question fans of Kate and Wayne are asking? (I'm asking it too -- I'm still an illegitimate kitten, you know.) Will your human marry off those two lovebirds, Kate and Wayne?
Emmy Mew: Yes. I can tell you, she's planning a secret marriage for the year 2000. I only hope she'll go through with it. For your sake, I hope they have some fishy sandwiches at the banquet.
C.C.: I notice that Lynne has lots of cats while Jaki and Greg only have you. Why are you an only cat?
Emmy Mew: Because that's the way I want it, that's why! I put my paw down.
C.C.: Do you help your human write?
Emmy Mew: Of course. I know where my Fancy Feast comes from. I even have my own editorial chair. And because I'm in Marin, I just channel it over to her -- not that I get any credit.
C.C.: Do you enjoy your human's books?
Emmy Mew: Well, they're good head scratchers, especially if you get right under them and wiggle a lot.
C.C.: Do you have anything to add?
Emmy Mew: Yeah! Next lifetime, my human's sweetie, Greg, will be mine, all mine! No more rolling in his sweaty t-shirts, I want his whole body. I want... I want...
C.C. (breaking in): Um, excuse me, I mean anything about your human's career?
Emmy Mew: Sigh. Oh, right. Yes. I like to jump from high places at my human with my claws extended. Keep her in suspense at all times, that's my motto.
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