Clea Simon is the Boston Globe-bestselling author of 19 traditional/cozy mysteries in the Theda Krakow, Dulcie Schwartz, and Pru Marlowe pet noir series, most recently Code Grey (Severn House) and When Bunnies Go Bad (Poisoned Pen). In March, her 20th mystery, The Ninth Life, (Severn House) launches the new, dystopian Blackie and Care series. A former journalist, Clea lives in Massachusetts, and although her books are getting darker, they still always include a cat. She’s not sure why. www.CleaSimon.com
Thanks for letting us interrogate you! Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?
I always told stories. Took a while before I realized people would pay to read them, though! Honestly, I was a journalist for years before I realized I could just make sh*t up.
Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be? I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?
The perks are people reading my books and talking about these peope I’ve made up as if they were real! Demands are … deadlines! You mean, you want ANOTHER book?
Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?
Traditional!! I love/hate being edited, but I KNOW my books are better for it! Also, who wants to do all that work?
Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?
My husband is so supportive sometimes I think he has more faith in me than I do.
This is for pet lovers. If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?
Are you kidding? Have you read my books? My cat Musetta comes FIRST in this household. Everything waits on her!
This is for plant lovers. If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?
In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?
I disconnect the phone and dinner just keeps getting later and later… and my only other work is freelance, so I just do it in the corners of the day.
What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?
Getting quoted on the front page of the Wall Street Journal in a story about a supposed conflict in the world of cat mysteries – I was the author who “turned tail” and started writing cats who talk. That was really bizarre!
How about the social networks? Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?
Well, I’m on Facebook and Twitter. I don’t know if they help, but they’re fun!
Book sales. Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)? How are you making the sales happen for you?
I just do everything I can and hope for the best.
What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?
People who review books that they were never going to write. I mean, if you don’t like books with pets in them, why would you read a “pet noir” like mine? Also, spoilers – NO SPOILERS!!!
Okay, too much sugar for you today! Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in. Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?
I love that I don’t have to live in the real world too much! You’ll find me in Beauville, talking to Wallis, the crabby tabby… see ya!