Liz Mugavero writes the "Pawsitively Organic" mysteries for Kensington. Her alter ego, Cate Conte, writes the new Cat Cafe series, also for Kensington! the first book, CAT ABOUT TOWN, debuts in August!
R: Welcome Cate! Tell us a bit about yourself and how you became interested in writing.
Thanks so much for having me! I’ve been here before as Liz, but not as Cate, so this is a brand new experience. As you know, Cate is my new alter ego, but I/we’ve been writing all our lives. As a kid, I was a crazy reader and I started writing stories as soon as I knew how to write. Combined with my fascination with detective stories (my grandfather was a detective), and my love of mysteries was born.
R: Tell us about your “Cat Café” series for Kensington. Where did that idea come from?
The book started out as a more general idea about a “cat about town,” which ended up being the name of the first book. But after a lot of brainstorming—and a lot of cat cafes in the news—the idea was born. I love it because it’s a bit atypical of where you’d expect to find a cat cafe. They’re typically in urban areas, but the series takes place on a small island off the coast of Massachusetts. So it was challenging and fun for me to figure out how and why a cat cafe would fit there.
R: As Liz Mugavero, you also write another mystery series for Kensington. Can you tell us about those?
Sure! Liz writes the Pawsitively Organic Mysteries, which feature Stan Connor, a former corporate big shot turned small-town girl and organic pet food chef. And, murder investigator extraordinaire, since people seem to be dying at an alarming rate in Frog Ledge, Connecticut! The books also feature a number of furry friends, including a Maine coon cat, a schnoodle, a pit bull, and a myriad of others.
R: What’s a must have for you when you are writing? What aids the creative process?
Coffee…and maybe some chocolate. Or potato chips, depending on my mood. I like to have jazz on in the background too when I’m writing. I love Miles Davis.
R: If you had access to a time machine, which historical moment would you travel to and why?
I would totally go back to 1887 and shadow Nellie Bly during her asylum expose! That is journalistic excellence at its finest.
R: If a movie were to be made of one of your books, which one would you want it to be and who would you pick for the lead roles?
I would love to have Murder Most Finicky, the 4th book in Liz’s Pawsitively Organic series, made into a movie. For Stan, I’ve always pictured her as Blake Lively, so would love to see her in that role. That book has a bunch of wacky reality show chefs in it, so I would totally handpick the real guys from all those cooking shows - they would be hilarious (even though I don’t know all their names!). For Jake, maybe Ryan Gosling? I don’t know, that one has always stumped me…
R: What is one thing your readers would be most surprised to know about you?
I’ve worked in a funeral home and watched embalming and cremations…
R: What is the craziest thing you've ever done?
Oh jeez…we don’t want to get into that here. I’ll take you out for a drink and tell you!
R: What do you hope readers will most take away from your writing?
I want my books to touch people in some way. To make them feel better, to take them out of their life or transport them from a stressful situation. I want them to want to visit, and keep coming back to, the world I created.
R: What are you working on at the moment / next?
I’m working on book two of the Cat Cafe Mysteries, and after that I’ll be starting the seventh book in the Pawsitively Organic series.
R: Are you a plotter or a pantser?
A little bit of both. I was always more of a pantser, but have learned that some plotting is good for my mental health. It gives me a roadmap, however loose, and helps pull me out of the panic of being stuck in the middle.
R: Do you have any advice for beginning writers?
Join writers’ organizations! Sisters in Crime made all the difference for me. Find your tribe. Make friends in the community. They will be your biggest support system and your cheerleaders
R: If you weren’t a writer, what would you be doing?
I have no idea! This is what I do…it’s what I love.
R: What book is on your TBR shelf you can’t wait to get to?
Oh, wow - there are so many! Since We Fell by Dennis Lehane is probably number one.
Just for Fun:
Night or Day? Night
Dog or Cat? (answer carefully) Ha! I have both so that wouldn’t be fair (but dog…)
Beach or Pool? Beach
Favorite Book? Mystic River
Favorite TV Series? Gilmore Girls
Favorite Movie? Shawshank Redemption
Favorite Actor: Morgan Freeman
Favorite Actress: Gillian Anderson
You can find her at:
Liz will give away a copy of “Cat About Town” to one lucky commenter!
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Winner will be chosen at random using random.org. Don’t forget to mention all you’ve done in your comment. Good luck! Contest ends midnight, August 12!