What to Expect When Publishing Your First Novel

I’m Denise, the creator of Harry the Wonder Cat, and the author of The Legend of the Pink Diamond.  For the next couple of weeks I thought I’d just talk about the steps leading up to that all important publication date and what it feels like when you actually hold that first book in your hand.

One thing that not a lot of my readers know is that all of the cats, with the exception of Harry, are based on the real cats that take care of some of the readers of my Facebook page. As soon as I realized that Harry needed a gang, I opened up auditions on Kitty Tales and a slew of cats came running for the curtain call.  I, being the ultimate cat lady, gave the parts to all of the cats that applied.  So each cat will be named or featured in at least one of the books in the series.

Casting taken care of, you need to write the story.  You should write at least two drafts before sending the manuscript to your editor. I sent the first draft and was sorry I did as, by the time we got to the final draft, the book had changed into a totally different story, which drove my publisher crazy.

I believe you need to have a bond, call it chemestry, with your editor because, after all, you are going to be joined at the hip (figuratively speaking of course, otherwise you wouldn’t get much writing done) for the next few months. I was lucky in that my publisher made sure to “fit” me with another cat lady.  Suze loves Harry almost as much as I did, therefore she handled him with kit gloves.  The result was a book that showcased Harry’s purrsonality, quirks and all.

During the editing phase, which involves a lot of time sending the manuscript back and forth for rewrites, etc., my publisher’s design team was working on that all important cover, again a lot of changing until we all agreed that it was purrfect.  You can judge a book by it’s cover, and Harry’s cover is great!

Meanwhile, I looked for a professional photographer for the picture on the back of the book.  I ended up using it on my profiles for my social media.  Get your face out there!!

Next time I’ll be going over what happens after the editing.  No…the process isn’t not over yet.  It’s only just begun!

Meet Sir Aslan

Harry here! I wanted to take this time to introduce you to the most important cat in my life…Sir Aslan, otherwise know as my grandfather. Come on out here grandfather.

Sir Aslan:  How are you, Harry my boy?

Harry:  *bows* Just fine, Sir.

Sir Aslan:  *taps Harry on his head* Get up.  Today I speak to you as your grandfather and not as a knight.

Harry:  *straightens up and clears his throat* Yes Grandfather.  Well, I’m sure that my audience would like to know a little bit about you.

Sir Aslan:  Like?

Harry:  Like how did you receive your knighthood?

Sir Aslan:  *sighs* Well, as you know, I saved the Cat Princess from drowning.  The Cat King was so appreciative that he granted me a knighthood.

Harry:  How long has it been since you became a knight?

Sir Aslan:  *looks to the heavens obviously thinking* Well, it must be about seven…no eight centuries now.

Harry:  Wow! *shakes his heads in amazement*  One final question.  What was your proudest moment?

Sir Aslan:  *beams* That’s easy, Harry.  The moment I that you became a knight, too!

Harry:  *blushes and bows his head in embarrassment* Thank you, Grandfather.

Sir Aslan: *taps Harry’s head* Anytime,  my boy!  Anytime! *turns and marches out of sight*

Harry: *sighs as he watches the Great Sir Aslan retreat in silence*  Well, there you have it, my grandfather, Sir Aslan.  Read about him and the rest of the magnificent cats and their humans in Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond .  Preorder yours now at Amazon.

Harry:  Next week, please join us for a tour of the Cat Kingdom.

Harry at Home

As I promised last week, I am going to give you a peek at my home life in Harrot Reef Manor.  The manor house is a huge yellow Victorian with white gingerbread.  It has hardwood floors in some rooms that are so slippery that, if I run fast enough and then lean just right, I can slide right into the next room.  I love this game because it makes my charge, Nikki, and our roommate, Heather, laugh.

The most important cupboard in the house is the “The Magic Cupboard”.  This is where my food and treats are kept.   All I have to do is sit in front of it and stare at Nikki, and she will feed me.  Of course, if that doesn’t work I can always use my magical powers (as long as nobody’s around)!

In the afternoon, Heather gets my brush out and calls, “Brush, Harry, brush”.  I know then that she will brush my long, luxurious fur and I will trill and purr.  When she is done I head-butt her hand and rub my cheek against hers.

I  can hardly wait until after dinner when I hear Nikki pick up the latest Agatha Christie mystery that we are reading together. She calls me to the living room where we share the purple chair that is soft and cuddly. The crackling of the fire in the fireplace is soothing as I listen intently to the sound of Nikki’s voice reading just for me.

Well, that’s an average day in my life at Harrot Reef Manor.  I hope that you’ll come to visit us soon.

Next week:  Please join us for an interview with Sir Aslan, Harry’s grandfather.

Don’t forget to order your copy of Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond.

Meet Dewey

Dewey

Hi there! This is Harry coming to you from the top of The Fence.  The final cat character from the first book of the Harry the Wonder Cat series is the fastest cat in town…Dewey!  Come on out here, Dewey.

Dewey:  *skids to a stop in front of Harry*  Hey, Harry!  How’s tricks?

Harry:  *smiles* Just fine, Dewey, and I see your still living in the fast lane.

Dewey:  It’s the only way to live!

Harry:  Speaking of living, thanks again for your help in the last mission.

Dewey:  Sure, anytime Harry, you know that!

Harry:  Just a couple of questions.

Dewey:  Okay…shoot!

Harry:  You being the fastest cat, it was only right that I used you as the runner in the case.  How do you keep in shape?

Dewey:  Well, that’s easy…a lot of calisthenics and walks on the docks.

Harry:  I can see the calisthenics, but what do walks on the docks do for you?

Dewey:  *licks his chops* Why, all the fish I can eat, of course!

Harry:  *lets out a deep laugh*  Of course!       *clears his throats and waits for Dewey to stop laughing at his own joke*       Do you have another mission planned?

Dewey:  *shrugs his shoulders*  Well, right now I have a date with a salmon.  Excuse me.  *dashes towards the docks*

*Harry stares after Dewey*

Well okay then.  There you have it.  My three pals who co-star in Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond, which you can preorder  on Amazon now.

Next week, it’s an exciting day at home with yours truly.

What Makes Harry Tick

We want you to know a bit about Harry the Wonder Cat and what makes him tick.  He is a Maine Coon, so we thought that we would give you a little background on the breed.

Maine Coons,  otherwise known as “Gentle Giants”, is a special breed of cat…or so Harry says (and we all know how special he is).

Let’s start with the outer cat.  Maine Coons are extremely big for a house cat.  The average male Maine Coon typically weighs in at 15 to 25 pounds, but they have been known to be up to 35+ pounds.

They can get to be about 40” in length. (No, that ’s not a typo…40”!)  The world’s record is held by a beautiful Coon, Stewie (pictured below) who measured 48.5”.  (Seems a monster next to Harry’s puny 38”, huh?)

Stewie – Longest Cat
Guinness World Records 2011
Photo Credit: Ryan Schude/Guinness World Records
Location: Reno, Nevada
Also Pictured: Stewie’s Owner Robin Hendrickson

There are some who claim that Maine Coons are the biggest or certainly one of the biggest domesticated cat breeds in the world.

Some other physical traits are:

1. Both their bodies and their heads are rectangular in build, unlike their smaller, sleeker counterparts.

2. A Maine Coon’s medium to long fur has three layers to it to protect them from the cold.

3. Maine Coons have a luxurious mane and square face, making them resemble a small lion.

4. The tail of a Maine Coon is long in length and covered in long fur, making it look bushy.

5. As is true with Harry, a Maine Coon’s eyes have a wisdom of the ages, revealing natural intelligence.

6. Their ears are normally larger than their counterparts and have tufts of fur growing out of them.

7. Their paws are unusually large with tufts of fur between each “toe”.

Male Maine Coons are certainly one of the sweetest breeds.  They are ready to show off their comical antics at a moments notice.  Maine Coons do not normally communicate like other cats.  When they talk to you, which is often, they do it by trilling and singing.

The Maine Coon has a mystery all their own based on many legends. We will share them with you in later posts.

Our thanks go out to:

Guinness World’s Records

boredpanda.com

mainecoon.org

Next week:

Harry interviews Little Bea from his new book, “Harry the Wonder Cat: The Legend of the Pink Diamond”.  Please join us.