Friday, November 07, 2014

Here's Harry

In my book The Red Queen Dies, a Maine Coon cat appears in one scene. Only one scene, but I spent a lot of time doing research on Maine Coon cats because I became fascinated with the breed. A couple of weeks ago, I adopted a Maine Coon mix. His name was Tyson. I changed it to Harry.

Harry zonked out.
Harry comes into my life as I am about to begin that nerve-racking process that we have all talked about here. The galleys of What the Fly Saw, the next book in my near-future police procedural series, were mailed out to me today. Now, I need to begin working with my publisher and my publicist to make sure people who might review the book receive copies.

This book is my seventh mystery (five in my Lizzie Stuart series, two -- now -- in this new series featuring Detective Hannah McCabe). I still don't enjoy marketing, but I am getting better at making a plan and following it. Except this time Harry intervened.

I hadn't planned on adopting a cat from a local shelter right before Bouchercon. But he was there on the website and I went to see him. I came home the next day with a cat. . .a cat who I quickly realized had an upset stomach and wasn't eating. I found a vet clinic specializing in cats and took him in the next day. He was back there again a couple of days later, still not eating. I got him back again last Saturday. I've spent the past few days adjusting to a curious 19.5 lb cat prowling around my small house. This is quite an adjustment for a dog person. But Harry is a dog-like cat.

Since he can't read this and defend himself, I am going to blame Harry for the fact that I didn't get around to ordering the postcards that I planned to take along to Bouchercon. The postcards with the cover that I really love.

I did leave ordering the postcards rather later. But I really planned to get it done last week. And that brings me to my point. A good marketing plan requires not only a list of tasks one intends to do. It also requires a calendar -- ideally a calendar with extra time built in to allow for life's events such as getting a cat. I am now going to sit down with my list and assign completion dates that will carry me up to March 5 and the book's official publication date. That includes registering for Left Coast Crime and Sleuthfest.

As for Harry, the Maine Coon cat who appeared briefly in The Red Queen Dies is mentioned in What the Fly Saw. I think Harry may just become my official mascot. After the vet bill for his stressed out tummy, the least he can do is pose for a few photographs. And I'd better put a date for taking those photos into my calendar or they could go the way of the postcards that still have to be ordered.

I am going to be more efficient. I am going to make a calendar and follow it. So help me, Harry.


Sybil Johnson said...

Harry's very handsome!

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

Thank you -- he seems to think so as well :)

Eileen Goudge said...

Love the cover! Very stylish. As for the cat, he's a cutie. Reminds me of when I had a male calico cat in one of my novels. Must have heard from every cat lover in the universe correcting the mistake. Seems there's no such thing, only female calicos.

Frankie Y. Bailey said...

Thanks, Eileen!

Obviously cats are much different from dogs. I don't think -- could be wrong -- there's a canine equivalent of a female-only calico cat.