Alex: You and Linda have written several books about cats. Tell me about them.
Stuart: Our first cat book was “The Little Book of Calm for Cats” which was beautifully illustrated by the American artist Erica Oller. This book was inspired by “The Little Book of Calm” and gives advice to our feline friends on ways to avoid stress in their hectic lives. Next came “Utterly Adorable Cats” which is a book of cat philosophy - giving the cat perspective on life. It has been extremely successful and has been translated into 20 languages including Romanian, Lithuania, Czechoslovakian and Ukrainian. And now of course we have our best cat book of all “The Secret Diary of Adrian Cat”.
Alex: Why another cat book?
Linda and I have had fifteen books published over the past eight years but we like to return to cats from time to time as they are so much fun to write about. We have always had cats around the house – at one time we had three living with us. They are fascinating animals, each with its own unique personalities. I love their independent and how they come and go as they please. It’s the fact that they disappear for hours or even overnight that is so intriguing. It got us wondering what they get up to when not curled up under the heater. Do they visit generous neighbours who feed them on expensive wild salmon and fresh cream? Do they get up to terrible mischief with cat friends? Perhaps they become involved in all sorts of sophisticated cat politics and have exciting adventures. Yes - they could quite easily be living a secret life that we know nothing about.
Alex: So was it this secret life that you captured in the book?
Exactly, the book is about all the things Adrian could be getting up to; trying to become famous, looking for the love of his life, promoting peace between dogs, cats and mice, getting involved with an evil gang, saving the life of a fox, treasure hunting with a pirate parrot and, of course, looking after his human family.
Alex: Why did you choose the title “The Secret Diary of Adrian Cat”?
I have always been a great fan of Sue Townsend and have read many of her books. “The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole” provided the inspiration to write our book in a diary format. I loved the idea of a cat keeping a secret diary of all his adventures, worries and aspirations. “The Secret Diary of Adrian Cat” started out as a working title for the book but Adrian took on such a powerful character that when the book was complete we could not bear to change his name. We spent hours trying other names, but none were right – Adrian was Adrian and refused to be called anything else.
Alex: Is there any similarity between Adrian Cat and Adrian Mole?
Well both Adrians have more than their fair share of problems to deal with. Both are rather pretentious, very ambitious and think themselves smarter than they actually are. Adrian Cat for instance is always offering his friend, Lucky, advice and always with disastrous consequences. Love features large in each of their lives – Adrian Cat falls for a beautiful white Persian whose ruthless ambition frequently forces Adrian into trouble and danger.
Alex: So what are you working on now?
We are writing a humorous children’s novel entitled “Medusa Island”. It’s about an evil scientist who finds a way to alter the DNA of people and animals to turn them into mythical creatures. It is scheduled to be published by DNA Press early 2008.
Alex: What about Adrian Cat, will be seeing more of him?
We will be keeping followers up to date on his antics on the website, www.TheSecretDiaryOfAdrianCat.com. There are still lots of adventures left to tell, so it is not impossible that there could be a follow up book sometime in the future.