Author Lynne Truss, perhaps better known for her non-fiction work (such as Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation) made an appearance at Barnes and Noble last night to read from her latest piece of fiction, Cat Out of Hell. It was a less dramatic event than the reading put together to appease the cat activists at the Meow Parlour earlier in the month, featured below:
Okay, so that might have been staged to promote the book, but Truss also promoted it during her speech. She didn’t over-bill it’s adorableness, and it also serves as a fine example of her sense of humor. She not only has a great accent, she also has nicely understated comic timing and delivery- probably from her years in radio. Unfortunately for me, she had the audience chuckling so much, I can’t separate the jokes out from each other to get on paper!
She did describe her own chagrin, when she attend author events where the novelist turns roughly halfway through the book then proceeds to describe everything that happened to lead up to that. (“So, Helen married Jim, but he didn’t tell her about his diabetes… and you’re thinking, ‘I don’t care! I know you made all these people up!'”) So I won’t reveal much about the plot of this one.
She was actually commissioned by Hammer, a company better known in the UK for schlocky horror films that has recently been revived into a “classier” brand, as an author who didn’t usually write horror, to bring her own twist to the genre. From hearing her speak, and looking over a few of the reviews, I’m guessing they sought her out for her quickly sense of humor.
As for the depiction of cats in this book, the inspiration came from two rescue cats she fostered. She remembers her relationship with her two previous cats as extremely idyllic. She lliterally walked around skipping with one in a basket, because that cat loved to be swung. The foster cats just never really responded to her, so she imagined all kinds of scheming. Years later, she heard from their forever home. While they might not have been too interested in her at the time, they immediately keyed in when her voice came over the radio.
She now owns a dog.
Ideal Date: Afternoon tea. She was just so delightfully British!