Hello readers! Today I’m pleased to share Part IV of guest post series by Alan Camrose, author of Lost In Plain Sight this month. If in case you missed first and second part of this series here is the link – Part I | Part II| Part III
Over to author…
Firstly, thanks to Yesha for agreeing to me guest-posting on the site. Much appreciated, and I hope that you all enjoy my Blog posts which are a sideways look at my writing and my book.
The Gallery on my website (www.alancamrose.com), and my Blog generally, is intended to be a place that shows a bit about me as well as stuff about my work.
I have just published my first novel, “Lost In Plain Sight”, a fantasy-thriller set in Brighton, full of action, magic, humour, where Sam, Pagoda and Meyra are on the case to track a demonic killer and find more than they bargained for. (Since Pagoda is a cat, she’d like to be in the case.) They encounter among other things a goblin fatale, a werewolf with exquisite dentistry and a sat-nav with personality issues. I’d love you to join me by the seaside for some ice cream and mayhem…
Part 4 of 5
Cats as an example of the ties that bind a writer
I holidayed with my family in Myanmar (Burma) in 2012, travelling from Yangon to Bagan, to Lake Inle in central Myanmar, via a couple of bracing air and road trips. The great thing is now we’re able to say that – like Nellie the Elephant – we met one night in the silver light / On the road to Mandalay. No traveling circus to run away from, although we did have our eleven year old twins with us.
In an earlier post, I mentioned the religious dimension of the exquisite reclining Buddhas. Now I’m going to talk about the exquisite Burmese cats there, which delighted and charmed us in equal measure.
Burmese cats in Burma? Who knew? Read on.
We found them at Lake Inle. It’s an almost supernaturally peaceful place of calm water and effortless fishing with nets by wiry boatmen. They work on long skiffs, their practices unchanged over thousands of years, balanced, more like perched, on one leg. Precarious but elegant. Their non-standing leg wraps around a long oar which they use to propel their boats, freeing their hands to manipulate long, thin bamboo poles and silky fishing nets. They look like eerie stick figures in the early morning mist, or complicated semaphore signallers. Magical.
We saw hand-weavers and metalworkers plying their trades in raised bamboo buildings on sturdy poles above the lake. Then we landed at an island jetty revealing the entrance to:
The entrance to a live-action feline wonderland. Do not enter here if you are not a cat-lover, or if you do then be warned (and wear a hat). There are lots of cats. Burmese cats. A silken wave. In fact a heat map of Myanmar would surprise you in terms of hits for Burmese cats, since they died out in Burma in the 1930s. No more Burmese cats in Burma, like no chocolate in a chocolate cake.
They were re-introduced to their native and spiritual home in 2008/9 from Australia and Britain to re-kindle the flame. Make the world right. Put that smooth, delicious chocolate back where it belongs.
The cats at the Cat Café won our hearts – as well as high ground in the picture opposite. Their now familiar to us complete lack of fear (common sense) of strangers had them cavorting around all of us in no time.
It was an easy step to acquiring one when we got back to Britain.
She even now walks on my shoulders – not so much on my head, maybe – in the same no-nonsense way as her predecessors at, a link to the feisty cat familiar in my new book, Lost In Plain Sight.
What felt like an inevitable starting point for my writing journey: that cat as one of the protagonists, allowing mere humans a periodic glimpse of what it means to be a cat.
I was acting on the most consistent advice that I’ve seen, apart from the raucous screaming of the words “SHOW, DON’T TELL!” :”
“Write what you know”.
Maybe something about law at some stage. I was a lawyer for a long time. However, for my first project I chose to write about a magical cat who naturally believes that her “owner” is her familiar while they hunt down a murderous demon. With the greatest possible respect, that was a lot more fun than writing legal opinions.
I hope you read it and agree.
This novel is a contemporary fantasy-thriller set in the UK around Brighton. There’s action, suspense and humour. And useful insights on cats. And magic. And magical cats.
Sam Franklin is a wizard from the real Magic Circle. Pagoda – is his cat familiar (or is it the other way round?). Meyra is a stroppy elf with teenage angst issues even after forty years in her teens. They are drawn into tracking a demonic killer on England’s south coast. The demon is not just at the seaside for the greasy doughnuts: its masters prey on the poor and vulnerable in society with the terrifying prospect of ancient dark magic (or rather Ma gic, the dangerous word with six letters, one invisible and silent) running wild once more.
Sam and Pagoda find themselves dragged into the plight of the local homeless community, Meyra into the vast dangers of drug-fuelled excess, all reach the same place with the clock ticking and cultists chanting, waiting for a terrible conspiracy to come of age.
But all this pales into insignificance before such questions as: can the three oddballs work together to save the day and get home in time for a good grooming? And why does Sam keep having a worrying urge to shred sofas, chase rodents and cough up hairballs? Why is Meyra worried about whether her Moncler Calypsos look good on her during a spot of burglary. And last but absolutely not least, why does Pagoda fret about the handball rule while she curls up in tiny places and tries to get some hard-earned (by cat standards) sleep?
NOTE: IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO READ AND REVIEW THIS BOOK, PLEASE CONTACT AUTHOR FOR REVIEW COPY.
What do you think about the book and post?
Are you going to add it to TBR?
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