Saturday, October 15, 2011

Bob Stewart comes a calling

Hi Bob and thank you for visiting with me today.  First, congratulations on your book, Alias Thomas A Katt, through Solstice Publishing!  Give us the lowdown!

The cat in the picture is Schyler, our family pet, and one night while watching the Maltese Falcon I begin to wonder what Schyler would be like if he switched bodies with Humphrey Bogart in the movie, a "noir" classic. So, I decided to write the book.

Chapter One
I hate water, holy or not. So much that sleep last night was a series of fitful catnaps interrupted by nightmares of a barbaric yearly ritual performed in the name of all that‘s holy.

Mustering all the pathos I could, I looked up into Mallory‘s deep-set emerald eyes as we shuffled along the queue for the Blessing of the Pets. The line stretched outside The Mortuary Chapel and across the street into the cemetery.

She stroked my fur, and then gave me a big grin. "What are you thinking?"  She bent over to hug me closer, whispering in my ear. The scent of magnolia blossoms drifted from her hair as I raised my face to be nuzzled. "Sometimes I think you understand more than people realize."

I do understand. I just wished she understood that I did.

"You pay more attention to that damn cat than you do me." The jerk she calls her current boyfriend has a way of ruining the finest moments. His voice was proof that even in near tropical New Orleans a chill can penetrate the normally temperate October air.

"Don‘t be silly, Tom. I‘m just loving my cat."
"Next thing I know you‘ll put one of those medals around my neck. Maybe you should, then I‘ll get to sleep with you, too."

Mallory‘s hand secretly sought out the Saint Expedite medal on my collar. She bought it for me the first time we came here, put it around my neck, and it never came off. She wears a matching one that drops below the neckline. She used to wear it over her blouse, until she met Current Jerk.

Saint Expedite could teach Current Jerk some manners. I visualized ol‘ Expedite, standing tall in his niche just inside the front entrance of the church, a young Roman soldier dressed in an historic battle tunic, brown hair tossed in the wind. Instead of the short sword used by grizzled legions to conquer the ancient world for the likes of Julius Caesar, he grasps a cross raised high above his head, ready to cold-cock modern-day heathens right and left.
Like all great historic warriors, Saint Expedite is swift to take action when petitioned. He is even more of a patron saint of lost causes than that wimpy Saint Jude, or that sissy Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of 8 animals, who is about to cause water to be dumped all over my head. These guys run around in dresses, for heaven‘s sake.

As we neared the entrance, every sinew in my body went taut; I‘ve heard it said that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. I know a third to add to that list.
Only Mallory‘s sweet touch and Saint Expedite‘s courage could get me through this, barely, because Expedite‘s one tough cookie. I‘ll tell you how tough he is. He‘s a saint without portfolio because his arrival in New Orleans was sparked by a quirk of tragedy, according to a tour guide I heard on the Travel Channel.

A special chapel was built to speed the funerals through St. Anthony of Padua during the 1826 Yellow Fever epidemic. That piece of grim history earned it the nickname of The Mortuary Chapel. Grieving relatives would scribble the name of a saint on a casket before leaving it at the door of the chapel. The priests would swiftly perform a funeral mass in the name written on it, and shove the contaminated container out the door to a final resting place in the cemetery across the street.

One smelly casket had the word expedite scrawled across it. The priests glanced at the word, and chanted a funeral mass to Saint Expedite. When they  discovered the error, it was decided to create a Saint Expedite medal in a good-humored effort to acknowledge the mistake. No one took ol‘ Expedite seriously. After all, he‘s just the figment of a priest‘s fertile imagination. But I always took him seriously. Besides being a good yarn, it just seems to prove the old saying that people are only human or to err is human or whatever cliché fits best. Of all the saints, he‘s my favorite, even if he isn‘t real.

But, Mallory is real. So is her love. I snuggled into her arms in smug satisfaction. In spite of the pending water torture, there‘s no way life could get any better.

Boy, was I in for a surprise.

ALIAS THOMAS A KATT can be purchased at

By THOMAS A. KATT ....... 
So, Penny asked Bob Stewart to be a guest author on her excellent website. He eagerly agreed, but after several horrible attempts, I decided it was time for me to take over. After all, I did write a book about my adventures, ALIAS THOMAS A. KATT, and it did get a five-star review on Amazon.
People often ask me: “What’s a nice cat like you doing in a human body?”
That’s a tale mixed up with a fake saint, the mob, a unique serial killer, my own true love and an adventure based on one of literature’s top themes – a stranger in a strange land. And, believe me, there’s nothing stranger than humans. They kill for fun instead of food. They steal for profit, instead of food. Seldom do they love for the pure unadulterated joy of putting another creature first.
As a counter-point, I offer animals and children as illustrations. To my knowledge they are the only creatures that offer unfettered love.
 So, I ended up on the horns of a dilemma the faithful day my fondest dream became a reality and my worst nightmare.
            My fondest dream? To have human interaction with Mallory, not limited to purring and mewing.
            My worst nightmare? To discover that her cop boyfriend – Tom A. Katt – is a mob enforcer/serial killer for money and Mallory is now on his hit list. I may be in the body of a murderer, but I’m no serial killer.
The dilemma: To save her by learning to successfully masquerade as a human. My knowledge of the human world is limited to television, movies and the books Mallory read to me on rainy New Orleans afternoons. And, how do you use those pesky opposable digits, anyway?
            The horns of the dilemma: Mallory is momentarily safe since Tom is in a cage in my cat body at the vet’s office. There’s always a chance we switch back, leaving Mallory in the arms of a killer. In case we don’t, I must rehabilitate Tom’s reputation. I don’t plan to go to prison or be strapped on a gurney for something a human did.
So, you ask, again: How does a nice cat like you come to be in a human’s body?
My adventure starts with the annual Blessing of the Pets when a faux saint named Expedite tumbles from his church pedestal to knock me into another dimension.
Also, Bob Stewart needs to take his share of the blame. After having four nonfiction books published, one a Literary Guild alternate selection, and another book named a True Crime Book of the Month selection, he started writing fiction. He’s a retired journalist who has worked for several major newspapers, reported freelance for Time and Life, and was on staff at People magazine. He covered the Oklahoma City bombing, the fiery Branch Davidian standoff, and three of the school shootings, including Columbine, along with celebrity assignments.
You have to watch him, though.
He claims he wrote this 72,249-word tale, but we know better, don’t we? Check out whose byline is on this piece.
And yes, that’s my picture on the cover.

Bob's latest release is HIDDEN EVIL, a journey into the mind control that makes occults so sinister. There is nothing that goes bump in the night in this novel. There is only the evil that comes when a master manipulator desires the daughter of a deputy sheriff after a teen-ager turns the Battle of Flowers Parade into a blood bath. Deputy Sheriff Nancy Neff turns to minister Luke Oeding for help in a battle against evil as ancient as as the ages, yet  as revelant as today's news report. Easter Sunday finds Luke locked in a bloody crypt in a battle both physical and spiritual. HIDDEN EVIL can be purchased at Novel Concept Publishing.

You can also check out Bob's website at or visit him on facebook at writerbobstewart.

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1 comment:

  1. Hidden Evil sounds intriguing. Things involving the occult always intrest me. I look forward to reading it.

    Congratulations on its release!

    Concilium, July 2012