Friday, October 21, 2016

Steven Van Patten--one of Hell's Kitties writers

1)   The truth is that my experiences in adopting a cat of my own were very much like my story in Hell’s Kitties. The big difference is of course, the supernatural element, which is separately inspired by unwanted solicitors coming to my front door.
2)   I have a variety of things I’m currently working on. Sequels to both my Brookwater’s Curse vampire series and my serial killer novel, Killer Genius are both in the works. I just completed a follow up to the story I submitted for Hell’s Kitties that will eventually become a part of a much larger universe filled with demons and those that vanquish them. I’ve also got a children’s book loosely and gently based on a chapter from one of my vampire novels in the works.
3)   I had a really bad sinus infection and took a mixture of drugs that made me see an entire demonic world on my bedroom ceiling as if it were projected there, or some portal had opened up. It was everything I could do to calm myself down.
4)   The near future holds growth, learning and writing more epic stuff. I might get a nap in there at some point.
5)   In grade school and high school always exhibited an aptitude for writing. I’m an only child, so my imagination is just crazy. When I graduated from college, I was pursuing various career paths and after a time, working as a television show stage manager became my main source of income. But as any stage manager will tell you, the job is more about logistics, organizational skills and personality juggling. After a few years, I was starving for a creative outlet. So I guess, I just did what came naturally to me as a kid.

Steven Van Patten is the author of the Brookwater's Curse vampire novel series and Killer Genius: She Kills Because She Cares, which was nominated by the African American Literary Award Show in the category of Best Mystery/Suspense Novel for 2016.  He lives in Crown Heights Brooklyn, with his cat, Lola. Steven also stage manages television shows when he’s not writing. 

Sunday, October 16, 2016

One of the writers of Hell's Kitties

Phillip T. Stevens has shared with us some background.

1)      What was your inspiration for your story in Hell’s Kitties?
The story is an extension of the Raising Hell universe. Since my wife Carol and I rescue cats for Austin Siamese Rescue it wasn't a far leap to the idea of riffing on Lucifer making a punishment from a cat rescue.
The Raising Hell universe was inspired by working with several organizations whose mission statements were dedicated to empowering their clientele, but whose management structures undermined the autonomy and self-identity of the employees (and, to some extent subverted their mission statement as well). I had the misfortune to work directly with the CEOs, and my supervisors contributed to the vision of hell as well. 
I remember having to leave my office for a meeting and receiving an email that I must have lied about the meeting because my supervisor saw my car parked on the street and it was pointed in the opposite direction of the way it should have been parked it I were really going to that meeting. She wrote me up in an official report for lying to a supervisor. (In reality I had simply parked in the only opening on the other side of the street.) The reprimand remained on my record until I left. 
This became my vision of hell, a regular job, minutiae wearing you down forever with Lucifer as a petty minded bureaucrat.
2)      What project(s) are you currently working on?
I'm doing a screenwriting workshop with Aaron Sorkin, a class at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and preparing the adult version of my novel Seeing Jesus, which I'll release in 2017.
3)      What is the scariest or funniest thing that has ever happened to you?
I was watching the Republican primaries thinking how funny they were that people were letting Trump upstage the serious candidates, even though none of them seemed especially strong. The debates got funnier and funnier with the three stooges Trump, Cruz and Rubio trading blows like the slapstick serials and suddenly only Trump was left. That was pretty scary. 
4)      What does the near future hold?
I've been housebound with severe osteoarthritis and compressed lower spine for years. But I'm having a second knee replacement before Christmas and treatment for my lower spine. I'm already walking farther than I've been able to walk since 2009, so increased mobility is in my future. I hope to do some appearances for my books.
5)      Why did you become a writer?
I've always been a writer. I started writing in junior high school(which doesn't exist any more)—really bad novels, comics and TV scripts and slowly improved. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Ready for pre-order at Amazon and Smashwords!

Humorous, dark and heart-breaking stories await you in this anthology. Tales of cats, dogs and birds from the pens of brilliant writers.

Cover illustration by Dirk Strangely

Stories included are:

A Feline Familiar—Rayne Hall
Territory—Anya Davis
A Sunset Companion—Mark Cassell
Little Black Protector—Steven Van Patten
Roof Cats—Jonathan Broughton
Hell’s Kitties—Phillip T. Stephens
Seagulls—Rayne Hall
Cats and Dogs On Call—Carole Ann Moleti
Bruised and Battered Nevermore—Amy Grech
Pookie Has Two Daddies—April Grey
Mad About Pigeons—Yurika S. Grant

Purchase at Amazon and Smashwords