As heralded last week, our international kitten of mystery (the kitten formerly know as Kai) is conducting a series of feline interviews to prove the old adage - 'Behind every successful author there's a cat - and there's another one over there and one's got the manuscript and one's on the keyboard and Noooo!'
Today, Kai welcomes Flop, Pod and Flit who's pet human, Jim Hines, has a book coming out today. The book is called Goblin War and makes an ideal gift for pet humans of all ages.
Kai: (balancing precariously on arm of chair while trying to read autocue) How do you most help your human with his writing? Do you warm his keyboard? Help him with the typing? Or do you translate his text into Polish with some clever paw strokes?
Flop: Some humans need more help than others. Jim requires a three-cat team. Flit over there helps keep him on schedule, making sure he doesn't sleep in too late. Pod provides financial incentive for Jim's work by shredding the occasional curtain. As for me, I keep the other two in line.
Pod: What's that supposed to mean? You think just because I'm missing a leg, you can--
Pod: Hey, I was just asking.
Flit: Huh? What was the question?
Kai: (falls off chair, almost lands on feet, swishes tail and blames last week's earthquake in Market Rasen) Are there any magical kittens in his book?
Flop: No magical kittens, but there are tunnel-cats, the fiercest beasts in the whole trilogy. Jig the goblin might be able to fight humans and wizards and even a dragon, but he never messes with the tunnel-cats.
Pod: What about that short story where the tunnel-cat gets--
Flop: I don't want to talk about that. I'm pretty sure the dogs wrote that scene when we weren't looking. They'll pay for that one of these days.
Flit: Wait, what's going on? Who are we talking to now?
Kai: (sharpening claws on chair legs) With your human writing all these books about goblins, when's he going to produce a cookery book? There must be some good goblin recipes - maybe with a little tuna...
Flit: Tuna! (bounds away)
Flop: You had to say the T-word, didn't you.
Pod: Most goblin recipes sound pretty good to me, actually. But humans don't seem to appreciate them. Don't ask me why. The barbequed elf with rock serpent gravy is especially tempting.
Kai: (mouth open, head back, glazed look while doing a passing imitation of Snowball imitating Homer Simpson) Rock serpent gravy...
(gurgle, wretch - unexpected hairball) How would you suggest a cat sells this book to their monkey? What would your pitch be?
Flit: He lied. There wasn't any tuna. Go sneeze on him, Pod!
Flop: Jig the goblin takes a very feline approach to adventures and quests: he wants nothing to do with them. He'd rather curl up and nap, or at least hide somewhere that the warrior goblins don't pick on him. Instead, he gets dragged off on some silly human adventure, and has to survive with his wits and his fangs. Also with his pet spider who sets things on fire a lot.
Pod: I had a pet spider, but I eated him.
Flop: Anyway, it's an entertaining book, particularly for anyone who's familiar with the tropes of the genre. Jig's a very loveable character, for a biped.
Flit: What's a trope?
Kai: (acting knowledgeable)It's French for mole. Not as nice as mouse but better than spider. Do you think any of the characters in your human's books are based upon you?
Flop: Well, the elves who appear in the first and third books are highly graceful, like myself.
Pod: Didn't you fall off the DVD player again last night?
Flop: *thwap* Some of the goblins are a little dense in the head. I'll leave it to you to decide which of us inspired them.
Flit: Wait, maybe there's tuna now! (Bounds off again)
Kai (bounding in pursuit) Tuna? Wait for me!
And there - a little sooner than planned but we are talking tuna - the interview ended.
Here's Flop, Pod and Flit in the Green Room interviewing the tuna.
And here's Kai resting after a heavy meal.