Outside Of The Ordinary

Eileen O’Finlan Author Interview

All the Furs and Feathers is about animals such as cats and rodents that take on human characteristics who learn to live together. I think this original idea is intriguing. How did you come up with this idea and develop it into a story?

I usually write historical fiction so this was a step outside of the ordinary for me. It started after watching my two cats (Smokey and Autumn Amelia) interact when a mouse got into the house. It was funny to see how Autumn, an indoor cat from birth, was chasing the mouse and Smokey, a superb hunter, was watching her in a way that looked like she was mentally critiquing her technique or lack thereof. (I rescued the mouse and put it outside, by the way.) It got me thinking about what Smokey would have said about Autumn’s performance if she could talk. 

At the time this occurred, I was recovering from major surgery. As an amusement for myself, I started writing about my cats in a very anthropomorphized way. It wasn’t meant to be a book at first. I was just passing the time while I recovered. But the more I wrote, the more ideas kept flowing and, eventually, it turned into what has become All the Furs and Feathers. I had so many ideas left over after I finished it that I knew it would need to be a series.

This book was really fun to write. It works by using anthropomorphized animals in a way that wouldn’t have worked had I used humans as characters.

I loved the personality and the morals that you gave to Smokey. What were some driving ideals behind your character’s development?

The characters of both Smokey and Autumn Amelia are based loosely on the personalities of both of my cats by the same names. Their appearances are described in the book just as they look in real life. In reality Smokey was a bit more high-strung than Autumn. She was older and tried to be a bit bossy. (Sadly, Smokey has since passed to the Rainbow Bridge.) Autumn Amelia, on the other paw, is an easy-going, laid back cat who never let anything Smokey did bother her – something that often annoyed Smokey no end!

As far as their morals go, I think that just flowed out of their real personalities. As I wrote, their characters naturally came to life as I thought about how the real cats might respond to given situations if they could.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The idea of the “oneness” was very important to me. I do believe that we (humans, creatures, and all of creation) are interrelated. We are all kin because we all originate from the same Creator. This is a spiritual understanding. I am far from an expert on science, but I believe that some branches of science indicate that we are all connected on some level as well. It seems inconceivable that we should do other than treat one another, all creatures, and all creation with anything but respect, dignity, and compassion. Yet we do. I think that has something to do with a lack of conscious awareness of the oneness on an everyday basis.

Other themes that were important for me to explore in this book were those of forgiveness, acceptance of one’s self and others, and overcoming obstacles.

Can you tell us a little about where the story goes in book two and when the novel will be available?

In Book 2 Smokey and Autumn will get a huge surprise when they find out there is more to their family than they thought. There will be a wedding (not saying whose yet). 

I’m very excited to announce that the book will have an interactive component. Autumn Amelia will start a blog called “Musings from Mama Cat’s Kitchen.” When she writes a blog post, digital readers will be able to click on the post and go straight to a blog that will be connected to my author website and read what she wrote. Reader’s of the physical copy will see the url and can put it into their browser to find the post.

I can’t give a release date yet because I don’t have one. The book has yet to be written. I’m currently finishing up my newest historical novel, The Folklorist, which I expect to be published in October 2023. Once I’ve completed everything I have to do for that, I’ll be diving right into the next book in the Cat Tales series.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website

Smokey, an architect employed by Fluffington ArCATecture, lands the account of her dreams — designing the first ever cat park in Faunaburg. Her boss, Abigail Fluffington, says that if Smokey is successful, she’ll become a partner and inherit the business.

A dream come true? There’s one problem. The proposed park is adjacent to Rodent Way. Activist Jerome J. Ratley, quickly forms R.A.T. (Rodent Action Taskforce) and stages a protest.

Meanwhile, Smokey’s lovable but quirky sister and cooking savant, Autumn Amelia, is busy dishing up meals too delicious for any fur or feather to resist. And wandering uninvited into the kitchens of local restaurants to improve their recipes.

Together with their furred and feathered friends, Smokey and Autumn Amelia must find a way to make the proposed park a reality. But how to abolish the long-standing animosity between felines and rodents?

About Literary Titan

The Literary Titan is an organization of professional editors, writers, and professors that have a passion for the written word. We review fiction and non-fiction books in many different genres, as well as conduct author interviews, and recognize talented authors with our Literary Book Award. We are privileged to work with so many creative authors around the globe.

Posted on April 23, 2023, in Interviews and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.


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