Melinda Metz, Red Barn Studios, Gary Goldstein discussed on Animal Radio

Animal Radio


Live at the red barn studios, you're listening to animal radio. Here's how and Judy. Every once in a while I'll catch you surfing videos. Online, you were surfing yesterday. You were watching videos of cats that steal stuff. It was adorable. They were taking all kinds of stuff. They were getting in drawers. They were taking pins. They were not gonna stuff off the desk and once they got it in their mouth, they just took off running like they knew. Apparently this is a thing. You know, yeah, if I've heard about a lot of cats that do that, one cat would steal like, I guess, underwear, from neighbors lying and stuff, and they'd have to come around, collecting it, or the people would have to go back and find the owners. It sounds like it would make a great inspiration for a story and that's exactly what Melinda Metz did with the secret life of Mac and we're welcoming author of Melinda Metz to the show right now. Hi, how are you doing? Hi. Great. Thanks for having me. So tell us about your personal cats. Do you have cats? You know, my very first pet was a cat. My dad got her for me when I was two years old, and I had her till I was in my first year of college. Her name was smokey. But since then, I've gotten allergic to cats. I have a dog now. So it's not a matter of being a cat person or a dog person. It's an allergy thing. It's an allergy thing. And when I go to visit friends who have cats, I always still pet them, and then I'm like, oh, I should have taken the old girl before I came. But it's nothing personal about cats. We don't have to shoot Hal if he was allergic to cats. Yeah, he couldn't handle it. He loves his cats. I am a cat guy. You are a kid. And that's why I love the secret life of Mac. This is a story obviously about a klepto kitty, a cat that takes off with stuff. You know, my editor Gary Goldstein actually came to me with the idea because he had been watching a lot of cat videos. And then I started watching them all all the klepto kitty videos. He was actually thinking of doing a nonfiction book about them because there became such a phenomenon, but then his wife said, she thought that he should do a romance with the klepto kitty. And then that's how I got involved. So it's almost a real story. It was inspired by real stuff happening, but it is fiction. It's definitely fiction. Without giving it away, I hate spoilers, but without giving it away, can you kind of give us a hint of what happens in the story? Well, in this story, this is the second book about Mac and in the first book he got his person together with a human and they go off on their honeymoon and her cousin comes to cats that for him. And he can kind of smell that she's unhappy. So he always kind of takes them on himself if he thinks he just kind of thinks people aren't smart enough to really solve their own problem. So he kind of goes, he takes it on somewhat reluctantly, but he just thinks no one else will be able to do it. So he does it mostly by smell. He smells a person that he thinks would be good for her and then he goes to work kind of getting them together. And he also foils a little bit of a crime. Now I had a when I was dating that I would use my cat to pick kind of pick out my boyfriends if I probably. If I brought home a date, my cat didn't like it, the guy was out. Really, they can tell you a good sense of character. And he was right. You must have done some research for this book. I read all kinds of different things about cat behavior, even though I had that one cat for 17 years and I had another cat too. I didn't know about the little gland they have on the roof of their mouth that gives them extra information from what they smell, they kind of flick air in with their tongues and I looked at things about cat body language with their whiskers and their ears and their tails and sense of eyesight and smell. And I just write a bunch of different factual cat information, anything I could find. A lot of watching videos, I assume? I watched a lot of videos too, for inspiration. So is the book is anyone in the book real or based on real people? A couple people, a couple minor characters are based on people that the story said in Hollywood and I lived in Hollywood for a while and my neighbors inspired a couple of the characters. It was great. The names have been changed. I didn't actually change their name. They would mind. Everyone else's name I changed. I mean, and everyone else was just kind of loosely inspired, but Alan Marie de Francesco were my neighbors and I didn't think they'd mind because they were great neighbors. It's just they knew everything about whatever was going on. There's always every neighborhood has one of those. Right, it would be like, oh, I saw you had lean cuisine, are you trying to lose weight? I mean, they would know the contents of my garbage can. Because I shared a garbage can with them. And at that time I had a dog too, and they were, they were really sweet to him, they would give him like leftovers with warmed up gravy. And Marie was the only one who could tell my dog what to do, she'd say, Dodger, go home, we shared, we shared a fenced in area. And he would go home, and he wouldn't go home when I called him. So I just was kind of things like that. They were both in their 80s and they were they were just such characters. I don't think that they'd mind. I did put in the beginning of the first book that I dedicated it to them. And I did make it clear that I made up some stuff. Now, as an author, in a reader, you were fairly resistant as a kindergarten to the whole reading and writing thing. Weren't you your mom tried to get you? Oh, my mom has told me. My mother was an elementary school teacher and she loved reading and she wanted me to learn to read before I started kindergarten but I had no interest at all. So then she just let it go. But I did become quite a reader pretty quickly. I don't know why I had no interest. I just didn't want to learn, I guess. Well, as a late bloomer in that, you certainly have done fine. The secret life of Mac is your second, talk to the paw was the first, but the secret life of Mac, I have ten copies to give

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