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How the Kiwi Series came about

The heroine of the series is based on a little black, very fluffy, cute, intelligent and sometimes cheeky cat I used to have, called Kiwi.

I wrote Kiwi in Cat City in April 2002. I had been thinking about writing a book about cats in their own cat world, doing their own thing for a while, but I wasn’t sure how it would fit together, but I kept thinking up different characters, and then some human ones too.

Then one day, I was made redundant from my job and I suddenly had a lot of free time on my hands. So I began writing this book, adding more and more characters as I went along, not sure where the story would go. But it all began with a bit of prose that I’d written about Kiwi, which I turned into the poem that begins each book in the series. The end result was Kiwi in Cat City.

Soon after finishing the book, I typed it up, and sent a synopsis and a couple of chapters off to a big publisher, who wrote back that they were not accepting any new books for children due to a massive influx of them following the success of Harry Potter. So, I put the book away in a drawer and everywhere I moved, it came with me, to sit in another drawer.

In February 2011, I friend told me about Amazon Kindle Publishing. I tried to find the old floppy disc with Kiwi in Cat City on it, but it was nowhere to be found, so, with a big sigh, I typed it up again. Then I edited it and self-published it on Amazon and Smashwords in March 2011. It was a great feeling to get the story out of the drawer and out there, for people to find and read – with a bit of luck!

In June, I published a follow-up book, Kiwi and the Missing Magic.

In October, I published book three, Kiwi and the Living Nightmare. Around that time, InknBeans Press, a small-press publisher in the US, offered me a contract. So, now the Kiwi series is being republished with some colourful pictures by the talented Nikki McBroom.

Happy reading!

About me

Hi, I’m Vickie. I live in London, UK, and I’ve got a thing about fluffy cats, or rather fluffies in general. My day job has been working as a sub-editor on magazines, doing layout and editing. My favourite things include reading, writing, films, Frasier, The Walking Dead, The Closer, Supernatural, the sea, taking photos, art, rock music, animals, nature, dancing like an eejit, travelling, birdsong, custard tarts, sleeping (if it was an Olympic sport, I’d be a contender) and tea.

On to books, I love them and always had a nose in one when I was a kid. Back then my faves were Enid Blyton (I thought I’d find that big Faraway Tree one day, go on lots of adventures and live in a round house – ah, it didn’t happen), Hans Christian Anderson (The Little Mermaid, especially), the Brothers Grimm (amazing), Fantastic Mr Fox (I wanted to marry him – I just didn’t understand there would be a problem, what with him being an animal and all) and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (yep, I wondered why my wardrobe didn’t work like that – did I have the wrong coats?). I’ve always enjoyed writing stories and poems since I was a kid. Kiwi in Cat City is the first that I published.

This year, I also wrote my first horror story, which turned into a comedy somehow, for The Gage Project, which is a book to raise money for children’s charities. My story is called Day of the Living Pizza and it’s about people turning into pizza zombies!

Book links

Where to buy my books on Amazon – http://tinyurl.com/7ecq8cj

I’m also on Twitter – @vickiejohnstone

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