I’m a rather fat Buddhist who likes playing bridge with little old ladies and writing silly stories about cats.
I wrote my first cat book when I was eight. It was called ‘Jessie the Cat’ and even my mum liked it. There followed ‘Toad’s Dilemma’ (a sequel to my all time fave kid’s book, ‘The Wind in the Willows’) and a whole host of similarly derivative anthropomorphic masterpieces. Only after a short affair with journalism in my 20’s did I write anything with a human being in it (well, the Financial Times insisted upon it), and only after I went to India, aged 30, did I stop writing about cats (I only saw one in India).
My first published book (1986) was a travelogue on India, 'Kevin and I in India’, re-released here on Grinning Bandits. I wrote it to avoid having to return to a mind-numbing job in Social Services. There followed a slew of Asian travel guides – India, Thailand, Burma, Indonesia etc – but none of them paid very much and the last one gave me a ten-year writing block: I simply couldn’t decide which Delhi hotel had the best bathroom, the Taj Intercontinental or the Oberoi.
I returned to writing after breaking my leg in 2005 – my wife Madge nagged me into it. And the first thing we penned together was...another cat book. Thus came into being ‘Ginger the Gangster Cat’, the story of one fat cat’s devotion to Spanish cuisine. For anyone interested, Sparky – our 3-year old perennial kitten and Ginger’s shy and nervous sidekick – is real. He really is the cutest cat in the universe. Ginger himself is a composite of every stray tom-cat we’ve had in the past, absolute terrors all of them!
I hope you enjoy my work. I’ll cry if you don’t.
PS a sequel to Ginger – ‘Ginger the Buddha Cat’ – is now available.
The Making of Millionaires - on Jane Bwye's blog (12 Nov 2013)