Today I’m happy to introduce you to Dane McCaslin. Her new book, Cat’s Meow releases tomorrow. Dane was gracious and took time to answer some questions.
Where is the setting for Cat’s Meow? How did you decide to pick it?
I’ve placed this series in Portland, Oregon. After a visit there a few years ago, it seemed perfect for Gwen Franklin, my protagonist and retired teacher. It’s small enough to feel cozy but still has all the amenities of a larger city. And you can’t beat the proximity to the Columbia and Willamette rivers, as well as the gorgeous Multnomah Falls.
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I entered my first poetry competition when I was nine and won. Of course, it was only our local library, I was most likely the only nine year old that had submitted to a contest meant for adults, and my mom was friends with the librarian. Aside from that one foray into rhyme, I’ve stuck with prose since.
Did you always dream of writing or have you always worked as an author?
I was reared in a home without a television (gasp!) but it had lots of books. We all read, and I loved going to the library. That led me to believe that “I could do that!” and I gave it a whirl. Thankfully, none of those earlier attempts ever saw the light of day. I began writing in earnest one summer break (I taught high school English) and haven’t looked back. Being retired now gives me more time to plot and write more murder and mayhem.
Do you have a favorite character? If you could spend a day with this person, what would you enjoy doing?
That’s a tough call. Most likely I’d choose the indomitable Miss Jane Marple. I absolutely adore the way her mind works! Or there’s Jo March. I’d love to spend a day with that spunky gal and observe how she maneuvered between her life as a writer and as a mid-nineteenth century woman.
Do you have a favorite beach or vacation spot?
Yes! As an Arizonian, I like that Coronado Island is only a short drive. The homes there are incredible – it’s so atmospheric – and the Pacific Ocean is extremely accessible, Of course, I’d probably live at Disneyland if I could, but that’s another story.
(We visited Coronado Island in 2011, and I agree. It’s fabulous.)
Is there a place you’ve always longed to visit?
I would love to visit the Acadian area that straddles the northeast Canadian and United States border. My heritage on my mother’s paternal side is Cajun, people that are descended from the New France settlers of the mid-eighteenth century. Forcibly removed from there, they and their descendants ended up in places such as Louisiana, where my extended family lived and still lives.
How did you decide on a pet valet for your sleuth?
That was easy! I am a dog lover of the highest rank and wanted my protagonist, Gwen, to be able to enjoy animals as well. When her best friend, the much-married and divorced Nora Goldstein, suggests that they begin a pet valet business, Gwen is completely skeptical. Of all things, she is allergic to pet dander and has to find a way to handle her post-retirement adventure without constantly scratching and sneezing. Besides, I wanted an excuse to include animals of all sorts in the series.
Dane, I have terrible allergies which is why we have a West Highland Terrier. They are hypoallergenic. Thanks so much for taking time to visit with us today.
Dane can be found on social media.
And her website is www.danemccaslinbooks.com
If you interested in reading Cat’s Meow, follow this link. https://www.kensingtonbooks.com/9781516110155/cats-meow/