Interview with C H Hemington

When did you first start writing?
I first started writing informally at around the age of five when I began to keep a daily diary. The diary started as a very small notebook, but as I got older, and especially through my angst-ridden teenage years the entries got longer and longer until I was writing several pages for each day! I kept the diary going until I was in my mid-twenties and still have all the diaries locked away for re-reading when I’m retired! I also liked to write poetry as a child, some of which my Mum still had and admires – well, she is my Mum!
What first inspired you to start writing about cats?
I’ve been fascinated by cats from a very early age. Our family home was never without a cat in it and I always wondered what lay behind the exterior of these enigmatic and independent creatures. Luck played a part in my being able to turn my desire to find out more about them when, having spent most of my life working for large corporations in London, I was made redundant. The redundancy pay afforded me the luxury of some time off to study cat behaviour and to volunteer for various animal welfare charities. I eventually ended up working for a renowned cat behaviourist, initially on a three month contract but stayed for nearly seven years! During this time, to earn a bit of extra money, I set up my own cat sitting business, so cats really did take over almost every aspect of my life! In 2013 I attained my Cat Behaviourist accreditation and set up my own Cat Behaviour Practice – Clare’s Cat Care - helping cat owners nationwide who find themselves experiencing upsetting problems with their cats. I still have a few cat sitting clients and it was from this work as well as from my behaviour role that my book was spawned.
What's the story behind your book?
The Hairy Tails of a Cat Sitter follows the quirky, poignant and sometimes downright embarrassing escapades of cat sitter Katherine. Attempting to fulfil her cat-sitting duties with care and dignity in and around the leafy and affluent suburbs of Kent, she instead lurches from one mishap to the next as she negotiates the strange inclinations of her human clients and the funny little ways of her cat clients; not to mention other, more deadly pets, and the ludicrously nosey neighbours she meets along the way. Although some of stories have foundations of truth (based on my own experiences), I wanted to take the book further, with more elaborate adventures and sparkling characters, both human and non-human! To do this I needed another character, hence my lovely heroin, Kat.
Any plans for a sequel?
I’d love to a series of Hairy Tails books and I’ve got plenty of ideas! It depends how successful this first book is as to whether I have the luxury of devoting time to writing more.
What can we expect from The Hairy Tails?
Quirky little cat characters, demonic budgies, exacting owners and odd-ball neighbours with surprise pasts and even more surprising proposals! It’s not a book that’s just about cats, but about their owners and their companions, whatever species they might be!
Which authors have influenced you?
When I was young I read every Gerald Durrell book I could get my hands on! He was a huge influence. I also love Tom Cox and the poignant but funny way he writes about his own cats.
Who is the book targeting, women only or do you see men reading it?
This is definitely a book I see appealing to men, women, teenagers and anyone who loves cats!
Tell us about your own feline family.
The current cats in my life are Billy and Jimmy, nine-year-old Siamese brothers. It wasn’t until I started working in a cat behaviour practice that I found out that Siamese cats were very well represented amongst cats displaying problem behaviour! However, Billy and Jimmy, although a bit neurotic, are gorgeous and bring me endless joy! They are also quite madly in love with each other and seem to spend most of their time wrapped up so tightly together that I can barely tell where one ends and the other starts!
Published 2015-11-17.
Smashwords Interviews are created by the profiled author, publisher or reader.

Books by This Author

The Hairy Tails of a Cat Sitter
Price: Free! Words: 66,810. Language: English. Published: December 1, 2015. Categories: Fiction » Humor & comedy » General
The Hairy Tails of a Cat Sitter follows the escapades of cat sitter Kat. Attempting to fulfil her duties with care and dignity she instead lurches from one mishap to the next as she negotiates the funny little ways of her cat charges, the odd inclinations of their owners, not to mention other, more deadly pets and the nosey neighbours she meets along the way. A must read for cat lovers everywhere!