Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Raining Cats & Dogs Tour: David M. Brown - Man vs Cat

It's day two of the Raining Cats & Dogs blog tour here on Gathering Leaves, and today's special guest is Mr. David M. Brown. 

David was kind enough to share his latest book, Man vs Cat, with me. I will have a review for that in the near future (Yes, my reviews-to-write list is getting a bit out of control!), but today we have a little Q&A for you all. 

Author Interview
David M. Brown
Man vs Cat

GL: Welcome, David! Please tell everyone a little about yourself.

David: First of all, thank you for hosting me today, Cassie. It’s a pleasure to be here.

I was born in a mining town in South Yorkshire, England, and always loved books as I was growing up. However, it wasn’t until college that I began writing, inspired both by an RPG series, Final Fantasy, and Norse mythology. I started writing fantasy fiction and spent ten years building the world of Elenchera, which led to 1000 pages of history and notes and 500+ maps. It still gives me nightmares thinking about it.

Late in 2008 I met my wife, Donna, and she gave me the confidence to write my first book after I’d spent a long time procrastinating. Since then I have published four books.

I now live with Donna and our six cats in West Yorkshire, England.

GL: Now tell us about your book, Man vs. Cat.

DB: Man vs Cat is both a fictional and non-fictional account of living with six cats. The first part of the book is a series of observations of the cats’ behavior with each story being true, I’m sorry to say! The stories include the ruining of a jigsaw and measures taken to keep them out of the kitchen bin! The underlying theme of the book is my conviction that the cats are trying to kill me. This is revealed through extracts from several pieces of evidence, including minutes from meetings, interviews and dictatorial speeches.

GL: What made you decide to write this book and how did you decide on the “journal” format?

DB: I had never owned cats prior to meeting Donna and one day she decided we were adopting two cats. It was a tough learning curve for me and it led to monthly blog posts about first two cats, then three, then four and then six. These blog posts became an online journal of sorts, my way of coping, a painstaking record of the physical and emotional turmoil the cats were putting me through. The other feature I blogged about was 36 Lives, which was the name given to a series of meetings between four of the cats in which they discussed current affairs. After more than a year of blog posts I decided to combine them into one book and add some additional material as well. With that, Man vs Cat was born.

GL: Do you have a favorite cat (we promise we won’t tell)?

DB: That is an evil question and I can only hope my wife doesn’t read this because she’ll file for divorce within a nanosecond if she catches sight of this. Each of the six cats has their pros and cons but probably the least harmful of the bunch is Buggles. He’s just naughty when it comes to pilfering food but I’ll admit to having a soft spot for him when I think of his background. He was found on the streets when he was just five weeks old and when he was rescued he had an eye infection which proved too severe to be treated. As a result, Buggles only has one eye today but it has done nothing to impede his ill-discipline!

GL: Man vs. Cat is a super funny, entertaining read. What is the quirkiest experience you’ve had with your feline companions?

DB: Thank you. It’s ironic really that the quirkiest moment is one that isn’t in the book as it’s only recently happened. A couple of months ago my wife treated herself to an iPad, which she loves dearly, even more than me, but not the cats. Recently, she downloaded some games, not for humans, but for cats. I wasn’t aware games for cats existed. Each of our cats have since had a go at a game that involves tapping a moving mouse on the screen and whenever a paw makes contact with the iPad it produces a splash of paint so not only are the cats entertained, they paint you a nice picture at the same time. I’m not talking Picasso or anything but it’s still impressive. One of the cats—Mr Kain—now looks forward to a daily game of hit the mouse. It’s most bizarre!

GL: Have you won (or lost) the battle with the cats over the kitchen counters? (I really want to know because we’re fighting the same battle with our Zeke!)

DB: Hello to Zeke, another naughty cat! You have my deepest sympathies here, Cassie. The war over the kitchen counter is still a stalemate, I’m sad to say. All I can do is keep the cats out of the kitchen when food or dirty dishes are around. When I’m downstairs I can supervise them but once I’ve gone to bed there’s little I can do to stop them going on the counter and I know they have been when I next go in the kitchen. There are often telltale signs such as items that have moved and even paw prints on occasion. I just make sure the pots have been done and there’s nothing lying around in packets that they can try and get into. In terms of this particular war I may have to concede that is it Man 0 Cat 1.

GL: Well, shucks… I have a feeling it’s a lost battle here as well.

GL: Do you have any dogs today or are they forbidden? :-)

DB: We don’t have dogs unfortunately but only because we don’t have the room for them at this time. If my wife and I had a bigger house I’m sure a couple of dogs would be made welcome. I find dogs easier than cats. They’re certainly more loyal.

GL: I think they each have their pros and cons. We have one of each. But I think our sugar glider wins the prize. She stays in her cage that has to be cleaned every week or two. We keep her fed and watered. We talk to her and pet her daily, and we’re all set :-).  

GL: Have you written any other books? Do you have plans for more in the future?

DB: Man vs Cat is my fourth book. I have also written a short story collection, Dark is the Day, Dead is the Night (2011), but my main focus is my series of fantasy stories – The Elencheran Chronicles which currently comprises Fezariu’s Epiphany (2011) and A World Apart (2012).

It’s a busy year of writing for me. I am finishing my third Elenchera novel, Ansel’s Remorse and making a start on a fourth – The Stars Beneath the Parapets. In the cat world, my wife and I have joined forces to write Charlie’s Bleaklisted Books, a series of reviews from Charlie of all the great works of literature he considers taboo in his dictatorship. Finally, work has begun on a new blog – The Diary of Mr Kain – which is made up of the daily musings of Mr Kain and general life in our household. You can find out more at http://diaryofmrkain.com Just don’t believe a word he says!

GL: What is the number one item on your bucket list?

DB: I love travelling and have many places I want to see in my lifetime. In 2008 I ticked off two key countries when I saw Australia and New Zealand in one of the amazing months of my life. My priority now is to go to Japan. I love everything about the place: the history, the culture, the scenery and of course the anime. If I could only travel once more in my life I would choose Japan every time.

GL: I am sooo jealous you got to visit New Zealand. I think that’s my number one! :-)

GL: What do you like to do in your free time?

DB: I do enjoy reading and try to read as broad a range of genres as possible. I love watching films and listening to music as well. Those are two areas that often help with inspiration for my writing. I also love being away from cities, out in the countryside where I can wander at my leisure and clear my cluttered mind. I don’t get those moments often but when I do I always treasure them. 

GL: Where can we find out more about you, your feline family, and your work?

The following links are the best places to look for me. I’d warn you not to go seeking out the six cats though. They often make people regret it.

Twitter: @elenchera

Facebook: davidmbrownauthor

About the Author

David Brown could be considered a fantasy fanatic, especially since he has spent the last 10 years developing a 47,000-year history for his fictional world of Elenchera. When converting his obsession into literary form, David commits himself to a rigorous writing and editing process before his work can meet his approval. Combined with the critical eye of his wife and a BA Hons in History and English, David's dedication leads him to his goal of inspiring readers through heartfelt stories and characters.


History has known many famous cats - Garfield, Mr Bigglesworth, Simon's Cat, the Aristocats, the Cheshire cat and the Keyboard Cat on YouTube.

In recent years these feline things have replaced man's best friend as the most popular pet in the U.S. while the Ancient Egyptians once worshipped them as gods. This was a mistake and I'm here to tell you why.

Man vs Cat is the story of one man, one woman and the six cats that changed their lives forever. To the woman they brought love and affection, to the man they brought sleepless nights, fear, paranoia and even ruined his jigsaw. Need I say more?

Man vs Cat on Amazon US: http://amzn.to/11QcZnL

Man vs Cat on Amazon UK: http://amzn.to/SL2oGC

Thanks so much for hanging out with us, David! Please don't be a stranger!! :-)