Guest Blogger: Kristine Kathryn Rusch

[Today's post is a guest post by award-winning author and editor, Kristine Kathryn Rusch. You can find out more about her at her website or read about some of our favorite books here]

Kris and the boysFor the past thirty-plus years, I’ve made my living writing. For the past thirty-plus years, I’ve also shared my home with cats. I do not think this a coincidence.

Cats have inspired everything from the nonfiction I wrote back in the day (articles for Cat Fancy and business publications under a pen name I no longer use) to short stories that I write now. I wouldn’t have written two of my most popular short stories, The Secret Lives of Cats, and What Fluffy Knew, if cats didn’t run my life.

The Secret Lives of Cats came about because I stumbled on a German blog called Mr. Lee. Mr. Lee, a lovely cat, wears a camera everywhere goes. His photos (the ones he’s taken) have appeared in museums, and he has even produced a short film.

I have a mystery writer’s brain, so I wondered…what if my cat photographed a dead body?…and wrote from there. The story ended up becoming one of my most popular e-books as well as receiving an Anthony nomination and winning Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine’s Readers Choice Award.

Usually, though, my cat stories come from a more personal place. In 1998, my cat Ashley died. Her mother was a purebred red point Siamese who managed to hook up with the wrong guy. So the breeder gave the cats away, including Ash, who looked perfect to me. She was talkative and delightful and a true princess. When she finally passed on, I was devastated. So I wrote the opening to a story:

“Fluffy knew she was a princess. Her person told her so. And Fluffy herself could see it, in her white, white fur, her long elegant whiskers, and her dainty paws…”

The story went from there, with Fluffy, who never left her home, saving the world. This story’s been reprinted all over the world (most recently in Danish), and it comforts me to know that Ash lives on. Fluffy would not exist without her.

KRISMolly writingI have no idea how many cat stories I’ve written or how many stories the cats have influenced. Some of my aliens got their start from something one of my cats did. Some characters’ strange names come about because a cat walked on my keyboard (you know who you are, Molly).

I can’t imagine life without cats. I can’t imagine writing without cats.

They inform everything I do.

Both stories are available alone (linked above) or in the collection, Five Feline Fancies

About Kris

Currently, I live with five indoor cats—Molly (pictured with her paws on the mouse), Galahad (above me as I read), Walter (beside me as I read), Ella (named for Ella Fitzgerald because she sings), and Monet (the beautiful cat who runs the house)—and one outdoors. His name is Little Tough Guy. He’s feral, but after three years, he finally lets me touch him. (I think our relationship got off to a rocky start when I threw him in a carrier and took him to the vet to lose a body part.)

I’ve written hundreds of short stories and novels under the names Kristine Kathryn Rusch, Kris Nelscott, Kristine Grayson, and a few I don’t admit to. You can find out more about my work at www.KristineKathrynRusch.com.


Talk Back

  1. Wonderful guest post, Chey! I know how excited you are to have the privilege of featuring Kristine on your blog! Glogirly isn’t familiar with her work but is really looking forward to checking it out now!
    : ) Katie

  2. Fluffy and Katie could have some things in common… Really…

  3. Chey,
    With all that Kristine has written…where would you recommend I start?
    thx,
    Katie’s Girl

  4. What a fun guest post! We are looking forward to the answer to Glogirly’s question above to have an idea what to check out first!

  5. We really liked What Fluffy Knew and think that the cat bloggers will like that. With the other things–what sorts do you like to read? For light reading, the Kristine Grayson Charming series is great.

    For mystery, if you like science fiction (and we are not hard core SF people although we do like it) the Retrieval Artist series is EXCELLENT. We’d start with the first one, the Disappeared.

    Maybe I should have Ichiro talk about this a little more on Monday?!

  6. A terrific guest post today Chey. We thank you for introducing us to Kristine Kathryn Rusch. We enjoyed the article immensely.

    *hello Miss Gemini*
    ~Ping

  7. These cat book mysteries sound like interesting reading. Jan used to love the Cat Who books.

  8. Chey,
    thank you for the suggestions!
    I think it’s a great idea to have Ichiro talk about her different books!

    xo

  9. What a great guest post, Chey. Mostly because Miss Karen obviously loves cats so much. The mom is going to look for those books she mentioned…and anything else you might recommend. :)

  10. Of course we kitties make awesome muses! I’m glad that Ms. Rusch has come by to share her insights about that with us!

  11. Loved the guest post, Chey! What beautiful cats she has that let her share their home with them.

  12. I think she writes the kinds of books my person would like to read while I sit upon her lap. I like lap sitting. Therefore I like these books. Thank you for the story. Purrs…

  13. We absolutely LOVED “What Fluffy Knew.” Loved, loved, LOVED it. We’ve been KKR fans for years and are thrilled you got to have a guest post by her! SQUEE!!

  14. Dang, that was fun. I may have to go find out exactly what Fluffy knew!

  15. Okay, I’ve been reading The Business Rusch forever now…and why isn’t Ms Rusch a member of CWA? Huh? Huh? *s* This was a great post.

  16. We mentioned the CWA when we talked about guest blogging, Amy! :). I know she mentioned being swamped this week with a class (I *think* this is the anthology class, which I was really considering taking), but perhaps a personal invitation, in case she doesn’t have time to read the comments? She’d be a fantastic speaker — I actually heard her speak at a Fantasy/SF con before I started reading her.

  17. This author sounds really interesting and I cannot wait to check out her books.
    Thanks for introducing us to her,and her cays :)
    Nancy and the Kitties

  18. Loved this guest post and have enjoyed discovering her blog. Re: Amy’s question. I’ve already asked her and yes, she’d be a fab speaker at our next CWA conf.

  19. That was a great interview Chey. Mum says she wants to read What Fluffy Knew.
    The Secret Lives of Cats is interesting that it was inspired by Mr Lee and his camera. As you know, Eric and I used to wear our cat camera when we went out in the fields. The only photo of a body that we got though was when Eric caught a mouse and it’s body was caught dangling from his mouth in front of the camera.

  20. Hi, everyone. Thanks for the great comments! I think Chey’s recommendations on where to start are good ones. As for CWA, I’d love to be part of it. If someone contacts me or sends me a link on 3/3 when I’m finally free and have a brain, I’d love to join! Thanks, everyone!

  21. Excellent interview with Kristine, Chey! Thank you! Our mom has heard KKR speak many times at OryCon in Portland and reads the Business Rusch when she remembers to (we tend to keep her busy with brushies, treats, and photo time). We’ll insist she read us K’s cat stories right away! Purrs…

  22. Thank you for introducing us to Kristine – We always enjoy learning about cat authors we are not familiar with and it appears Kristine writes with a lot of heart, soul, and imagination!

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