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Monday, February 10, 2014

Interview & Review 'Sleight of Paw' by Patricia Fry

Patricia Fry announces another NEW addition to her Klepto Cat Mystery series.
First there was Catnapped, which is now in Kindle and print. 
Then came Cat-Eye Witness, still available on Kindle
Now we have created Sleight of Paw, a new Kindle book.

Enter Drawing to win the complete Klepto Cat Mystery Series. Three books in Kindle version.  Leave a comment at the end of the post with email or contact details.

About Sleight of Paw
In this story, Michael Ivey, the local veterinarian (Savannah’s new husband) is attacked by an enraged client and then later accused of this man’s murder. The evidence quickly stacks up against Michael, until Rags, Savannah’s kleptomaniac cat, starts digging up clues implicating the unlikely suspect.
Coinciding with the details of this challenge is the discovery that the old house, which the couple purchased from Savannah’s aunt, is cursed. Is this why the couple has not been blessed with a child?
Savannah’s sister Brianna comes for a visit. She teams up with the Iveys’ vet tech, Bud, to discover how to break the gypsy spell and they fall hard for each other. Will their courtship be strengthened or weakened by a frightening carjacking incident?
Detective Craig Sledge is prominent in this story as the lead investigator in the murder case. As usual, he engages in some creative tactics to get the information and the confessions he’s after. He has also become embedded in Savannah’s friend, Iris’s family. He’s dating Iris and helping with her son, Damon’s rehabilitation in prison.

If you like light mysteries and appreciate stories involving animals, you will enjoy this series. You can read any of these books as stand-alone books. But, if you’ve read Catnapped and/or Cat-Eye Witness, you sure don’t want to miss Sleight of Paw
Sleight of Paw, a new Kindle book.

Welcome to my blog Patricia.  Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions about yourself, your book, and your business. 
Q. Tell us about your latest worktitle, genre, etc. and why you wrote it?
A.   I just published the third in my Klepto Cat Mystery series; Sleight of Paw. Some refer to my fiction as “revved up cozy mysteries.” After 40 years of writing nonfiction, and years of editing fiction for clients, I decided to finally follow one of my dreams—to write fiction. It was a birthday gift to myself—to break away from the rigid world of fact and dabble in a more creative vein.

Q.  What draws you to your genre(s)? Why is this type of story compelling to you?
A.  Writing has been my life—my way of earning my living—for nearly 40 years. When I finish an 8 or 12-hour day in my office, if I choose to read, I want it to be something relaxing. I typically select a light or cozy mystery. If it involves animals, all the better. And when I decided to write a novel, this was the style I wanted to pursue. I’m particularly fond of cats and wanted them to be a big part of my novels; hence I created Rags the kleptomaniac cat who always has a paw in solving the mystery.

Q.  What is your writing process like? Do you map the whole thing out or do you just let it unfold?
A.   I’ve been surprised at my process as it shifts a little with each story. Generally, I have a theme in mind and I just start writing. Of course, I later spend hours and hours fleshing out the story and logging times, dates, activities, etc. to make sure the flow is logical. With the first in the series, “Catnapped,” I spent a lot of time working kinks out involving the characters. I’ve edited numbers of books where the author hasn’t defined his characters enough for the reader—perhaps two characters use the same type of language and phrases, for example. So I will even log common phrases used by each of my characters to make sure I don’t do too much crossing over of personalities.

Q.   What kind of research was involved in writing your book?
A.   Some of my stories so far are loosely based on actual occurrences. One of my daughters, for example, saw someone snatch her cat and run off with it. She stopped him and got her cat back. Later, another one of her cats went missing. So the story I tell in Catnapped is based on something that was going on in her small town. However, I am a real stickler for research. I tell my family, if my computer is ever confiscated for any reason, and I can’t speak for myself, be sure to tell the authorities I was a writer. Some of the strange and frightening things I research could cause serious suspicion—what can you use in place of chloroform, for example, does a dead body bleed?…things like that.

Q.   How much of YOU makes it into your characters?
A.   I’m not sure that you’ll find me in my characters (my family may beg to differ). But I sure do enjoy plugging some of my experiences, my values, my perspective, my observances into my stories in various ways. As you have noticed, cats are a big part of my mysteries. While the cats don’t talk—I represent them as cats—some of them have some interesting and entertaining habits and personalities. I’ve known and cared for numbers of cats over the years and I certainly write many of them into my stories. But I also use these stories to educate people about cats—hopefully subtly, but successfully.

Q.   How do you balance the need to have time to write with the needs of family, society, etc.?
A.   I’ve tossed balance out the window. I admit it, I’m a workaholic. Or you might say a write-a-holic. I don’t have trouble finding time to write. I have a problem stopping the writing. I also run a networking organization for authors—Small Publishers, Artists and Writers Network ( I have 41 published books—some of them I’m still actively promoting. I work with other authors on their projects. And I travel to speak to authors at writers’ conferences. Last year I visited four groups throughout California, one in Arizona and I traveled to Dallas for the Cat Writer’s Association conference. As you can see, my life is deeply embedded in writing. My outlets are photography, helping out my 92-year-old mother and enjoying outings with my daughters and their families. Another great pleasure, of course, are my own cats.

Q.   Is there a story you want to tell behind or about your work(s)?
A.   I’m truly amazed at how quickly these stories come together and how real some of the characters (including the cat characters) are to me. One thing I tell authors is to keep your reader in mind as you write—whether it is fiction or nonfiction. When you do that, you are more apt to write with appropriate continuity—your reader can follow along—the story flows and the characters are believable.

Q.  What other projects are you currently working on or about to start?
A.  I am putting the finishing touches on the fourth in the Klepto Cat Mystery series—Undercover Cat. And I have the bare bones of book number five documented. Book four deals with cat hoarders and Internet scams run in the name of cats (and to their detriment, I should add.) Book five focuses on cat colonies. Two important themes. Both books are entertaining and there’s a lot to be learned.

Q.  Could you share some of your marketing strategies?  Which ones are the most effective in your opinion?
A.  Marketing is the biggest part of publishing. And the marketing strategies that work for books in one genre or theme, might not be effective for another. I’m promoting books for authors as well as cozy mystery novels and my marketing techniques vary quite a bit between the two. I chose the Kindle Direct Publishing program for my novels and I’m very pleased with the effort Amazon puts into promoting my books. I have been doing my part, too—contacting reviewers for this particular genre, locating bloggers who focus on mysteries and/or cats, blogging about this series at my publishing blog as well as my cat-related blog, posting often at twitter and my Klepto Cat Mystery facebook page. I established a newsletter that goes out to over 1,500 people. While the newsletter is jam-packed with information for authors, I use this platform to promote my novels, as well. I also use my email list to notify people. I find promoting novels way more fun and then promoting books for authors. And there are more opportunities. You’re more apt to run into novel-readers and cat lovers in line at the grocery store, at the doctor’s office, while shopping at the mall, in restaurants, while socializing, etc. so I always have a supply of bookmarks promoting the novels to hand out wherever I go. I’m gearing up now for the big Los Angeles Times Festival of Books in April. This will be a great opportunity to meet my readers and potential readers.

Q.  What would be the top five, (or 3 or 1 or however many) things you would tell aspiring authors?
A.  1: Study the publishing industry before getting involved—before writing the book.
2: Build promotion into your book—hooks you can use to promote the book. (In my case, I’ve written a cozy mystery that involves cats—my audience consists of both mystery readers and people who enjoy cats. I also have a delightful character with Downs, and I’ve included horses in some of the books…)
3: Start planning your marketing strategy before you finish that book.
4: Hire a good book editor—not a retired professor or a friend who is good with words.
5: Do not go with the first pay-to-publish company that compliments your book. Do your homework. Never be so eager to publish that you sabotage your success.

Q.  Do you have a favorite line or scene from the book?
A.   I rather enjoyed the scene in Sleight of Paw where Detective Craig Sledge takes liberties with a possible suspect in the murder while searching his person for evidence that he had, indeed, come in contact with Rags, the Klepto cat on at least one occasion.

Q.  Tell us about the inspiration for ...  What part of the book came to you first?
A.   The premise of Catnapped and Sleight of Paw are based loosely on true stories. I just took the idea and ran with it. As with all of my Klepto Cat stories, there’s a romance running alongside the mystery and sometimes a secondary story. In the case of Sleight of Paw, Michael, Savannah’s husband and local veterinarian, is attacked by an angry client. When the client turns up dead, Michael is a suspect. At the same time, Michael and Savannah discover that their house may have been cursed by gypsies many years earlier. Horse lovers will enjoy meeting Peaches, Savannah’s new ride.

Q.  Please open your book at a random page and tell us the first paragraph… 
A.   To Gonzalez’s surprise, Craig reached over and began rubbing the fabric of Ramirez’s lapel between his thumb and fingers.
 “What do you want?” Gus said, slapping at the detective’s hand and taking a step back.
            “Just settle down, Gus,” Sledge said. “I want to check you out.” He looked the man up and down with a wide smile on his face and said, “Yep, you look mighty fine tonight. Just the way I hoped to find you.” He thought for a moment and then said, “Let’s go in the restroom, shall we?”
            “What? Are you some sort of pervert? No, I’m not going in any john with you guys.” He looked from one to the other and began backing away.
Craig reached out, grabbed the man, and bent one arm behind him. Pushing him along in front of him, he asked, “Where’s the bathroom in this place?”
            “In the back,” Gonzalez said, himself somewhat perplexed by his partner’s actions.
            “Is there a back entrance?”
            “Good, let’s go around back.”
            “Sledge, what are you doing?” Gonzalez asked in a hushed tone.
            “You’ll see, Gonzalez. Just stay with me here. In just a minute, you’ll see this guy’s true colors.”
Again, thanks Patricia for taking the time to share your knowledge with us. We appreciate you and your work.
Good luck with your current and future publications.

Book Readers Review

The book Sleight of Paw is the third in the Klepto Cat Mystery Series written by Patricia Fry.  If you have read the first two in the series, Catnapped and Cat-Eye Witness  you will be familiar with the characters. Rags the kleptomaniac cat is once again active in his favourite pastime, stealing little things and hiding them.  But Rags has the uncanny ability to unearth clues to crimes committed.  The lovable veterinarians Savannah and Michael are now married and desperately trying to get pregnant.  A curse put on the old house many years ago that the couple recently bought, worries Savannah.  Michael Ivey is accused of murder.  Detective Craig Sledge is dating Iris and helping with her wayward son, Damons rehabilitation.  New to the cast are Bud, the Iveys veterinarian technician and Brianna, Savannahs sister.  They form a relationship and try to find a way to break the spell on the Iveys house.  Unfortunately, Bud and Brianna fall victims of a crime on their journey home from a night away together.
The author, Patricia Fry, asked me to review Sleight of Paw for a blog tour.  I thank Patricia for letting me read yet another of her wonderful books in the series.  This is the second I have reviewed, the first was Cat-Eye Witness.  Fry’s writing style captures the reader’s attention at once with an excellent balance of detail, action, romance, and mystery.  Patricia has achieved a good blend of succinct and all-embracing description of the events and people throughout the book.  And you cannot help but fall in love the Ivey’s, their animals, and friends.  The Klepto Cat Mystery Series is definitely recommended for any age.  As a retired English teacher I do not hesitate to suggest the series be added to the classroom reading list.  I look forward to the next Cat Mystery book.    

About Author
Patricia began writing for publication in 1973, when her three daughters were teenagers. While raising her girls, supporting them through their graduations, helping them plan their weddings and welcoming her grandchildren, she wrote only part-time. And she continued writing at every opportunity even after accepting a full-time job. In 1990, however, Patricia quit her job and began devoting all of her time to her writing career.  Read More at

For more information: 
Klepto Cat Mysteries (“Catnapped,” “Cat-Eye Witness” and “Sleight of Paw”)                         
Purchase:    on Kindle  Catnapped:
                                         Cat-Eye Witness: 
                                        Sleight of Paw:
Blog/Website: (my books) (about me and my work)
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