Happy August everybody!
I celebrated a bit of a milestone on Saturday – 1 year to the day since I left my job to write my novel full-time. And I did write a novel, and self-published a travel memoir and started another novel and got an agent, and things are looking good. Up, even. Technically I started writing my novel on 12th September 2009 (the day I relocated to a holiday cottage armed with my Nespresso machine), so if I could get a book deal by 12th September 2010 then that’d be great, because I could say it all happened within a year.
(Are you listening, publishers? I really wanna be able to say that, okay? Pretty, pretty please! I’ve got chocolates, y’know… )
Anyways, I’ve got a lot to do this August, including preparing my Self-Printing FAQ page which promises to be 50% useful and 50% sarcastic. There’ll be some blogging about coffee and some book reviews, but FYI: this is not a book blog. It’s only that I’ve signed up for the Transworld Summer Reading Challenge, I’ve some time to read some books from my To Read list and I’ve nothing else to blog about right this minute. Normal service shall resume shortly.
In the meantime, let’s have a Mousetrapped Monday. You know, for old time’s sake.
Judging by feedback, emails, anecdotal evidence and the terms people are searching for on Google that bring them to my blog, some readers are left with questions after THE END. So – drum roll, please – here at the top five questions I’m asked about Mousetrapped and, crucially, the answers to them.
1. Which hotel is the “Duck and Tuna”?
To avoid the wrath of Disney lawyers – or any other lawyers for that matter – I didn’t refer to the resort I worked in by its real name, but by the nickname the staff gave it. (One of two; the other was the Bird and the Fish.) Anyone who has been to Disney World will easily identify the real hotel by my description of it in the ‘Arrival’ chapter and everyone else should be able to figure it out from any listing of Walt Disney World deluxe resorts. Plus there are photos of it in one of my Mousetrapped photo galleries. And it’s obvious, people!
2. Did you ever get a driver’s license?
Um, no. Not exactly. In the chapter ‘Miles in America’, I describe how I finally got myself a car and learned how to drive it – all on a learner’s permit. The truth is that despite really, really meaning to, I never took the driving test and thus never earned myself a full driving license. Should I have been driving on my own on a permit? No. Did I? Yes. Was I lucky I wasn’t caught, jailed and/or deported? Most definitely!
3. Why is there no romance in the book?
Because there wasn’t any in real life worthy of inclusion.
4. What is your real name? The driver’s license on the cover says ‘Catherine Howard’ but you’re calling yourself ‘Catherine Ryan Howard’. What’s up with that? I’m confused.
My name is Catherine Howard – Catherine Mary Howard, if we’re doing middles. But Catherine Howard was also the name of the fifth wife of Henry VIII and so, if you Google it, you get pages and pages of stuff about her and nothing about little old me. Therefore when it came to writing, I decided to stick in my mother’s maiden name – Ryan – to differentiate. And hey, it sounds better – doesn’t it?
5. What happened next? How did you get on in Central America? And who is the fudge is Treacle?
I went to Central America immediately afterwards and even though I had a good time, I don’t think I’d do it again. I’m just not the backpacking type. You can read the travel blog I kept of that trip here. After about ten weeks of that, I came back to Ireland and wrote Mousetrapped. When it was finished, I got a job pushing paper in the depths of administrative hell. After nine months of that, I quit to save my sanity and work on my novel and that’s what I’ve been doing ever since.
As for Treacle, that’s my friend’s cat. Don’t even ask. (Or ask again, at least.)
Do you have any others? If so, leave them in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.