by Jennifer J. Chow
Details at the end of this post on how to enter to win a copy of Mimi Lee Gets A Clue and links to purchase it.
When I started researching my Sassy Cat mystery series, I knew it’d be loads of fun. Mimi Lee, the main character, is a pet groomer, which meant getting up close to cats and dogs. My only negative experience was the time I got kicked out of a grooming salon—actually, the first place I visited for research. Maybe they didn’t trust that I really was writing a novel tied to pet grooming. Or perhaps it had something to do with the sassy talking cat sidekick in my book.
For the most part, though, I’ve gotten lovely chances to cuddle with some precious fur babies. Right now, I know that times are tough, and who couldn’t use some cuddly joy? My research happened pre-lockdown, when I got to explore the world of pets hands-on. I believe my experiences provided veracity to my stories, and I’d like to invite readers along to virtually relive some of my happy memories:
I wanted to go beyond interacting with one or two cats at a time. To that aim, I visited a feline gathering place. My local cat café offers both time to play with kitties and the opportunity to adopt. It’s also a nice place to grab a few savory snacks and drinks. While there, I played with well over ten cats in the same room. I ended up petting their luscious fur, dangling cat toys before uninterested paws, and observing them stretch across well-intentioned exercise equipment.
Dog Reading?: Mimi Lee grooms a lot of dogs for a living. Besides researching at a grooming salon and watching the fur fly, I also jumped at the chance to meet canines at my local library branch. This companionable activity allowed patrons to partner up with dogs and read together. It was pet therapy at its literary best!
Pet Photo Shoot?: The first book in my mystery series, Mimi Lee Gets A Clue, focuses on the plight of some Chihuahuas. Just for kicks, I decided to do a photo shoot with one of my favorite pups, Wonderous. My friend did an outstanding job in providing a matching outfit and props to color coordinate with my book cover
Pun Discoveries?: Cozy mysteries are known for their puns. If you check out some titles, you’ll soon uncover this factoid. I searched online for a variety of animal-themed jokes. Coincidentally, I found one of my favorite puns already framed in a cat-loving relative’s home: “I’d spend all nine lives with you.”
Wild Animal Interaction?: Along with spending time with mainstream pets like cats and dogs, I also veered off to see exotic pets. I ended up getting close to some interesting animals like hedgehogs and ferrets. (The former weren’t as prickly as I’d imagined.)
I must say that pet-themed research has brought me a lot of joy. It’s definitely a wonderful cuddly bonus that comes along with writing a pet grooming series.
Where do you get your favorite cuddles, and how do you find joy?
To enter to win a copy of Mimi Lee Gets A Clue, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “mimi,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen August 15, 2020. U.S. residents only, and you must be 18 or older to enter. If you are entering via email please include you mailing address in case you win, it will be deleted after the contest. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.
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