• Alison O'Leary

Some Questions Answered

Since the publication of Street Cat Blues, I've been asked a number of questions by readers. Such as -

Did you have the plot entirely figured out when you started writing the book or did it take an unexpected turn as the characters grew on the page?

The truth is that while I did have an outline in my mind the characters kind of took over. Also, some I hadn’t even thought of suddenly appeared, like Moses the little cat who hangs out with Vincent and Aubrey. I think it would also be true to say that the finished book was quite different to the one I started with.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us about a scene in the book that you love or that was particularly difficult to write?

Some of the scenes involving Carlos, particularly those that relate to his mother, were close to my heart. Carlos and his mother, Maria, are outsiders in every sense. I've known people like Carlos and Maria in my own life. I think that probably most of us have, even if we don't realise it at the time.

Due to the popularity of social networking websites, interacting with readers – be it via Twitter, Facebook Instagram etc. – is becoming increasingly important. How do you cope with these new demands on authors and do you think that they somehow disrupt your writing schedule?

When I was offered publication of Street Cat Blues, I thought that was it. Bingo. All I had to do was write the next one. Oh dear. Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Fortunately, or unfortunately, I’m not sure which, I had previously had little to do with social media. It was just something that I’d never really got into. So, I came to it all very much as the new kid on the block. In a way that was a good thing as I had a blank sheet to work with. However, initially I must admit that I was daunted. But as Muhammad Ali said to George Foreman when he was on the ropes in the famous Rumble in the Jungle fight – ‘this ain’t no time to get tired’.

I’ve learnt that it’s important not to get overwhelmed and to schedule time for social media rather than going for a scatter shot approach.

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