Cat Blount Studios
[This is the transcribed version of the live show with Sass Bloom and Cat Michaels already in progress.]
Sass: Hello, Cat Michaels! Thank you so much for joining us.
Cat: Hey, Sass. Excited about guesting in Blountville to chat with you and your readers -:D!
Sass: Well, we are so very happy to have you here! Today I would like to focus primarily on your new and soon to be released title, but would you mind telling us a little about your earlier stories first?
In Book 1, “Sweet T and the North Wind,” Sweet T finds magic to help her face the illness of a beloved grandparent.
Sass, you know how kids get attached to their favorite stuffed toy animal? And the catastrophe when that lovey is lost?
Sass: Oh boy do I… LOL
Cat: Well, that inspired me to pen my second book, “Finding Fuzzy: a You-Decide Tale of a Lost Friend.” My characters from book 1 travel to North Carolina’s shore for a family vacation. Little sister Jenna faces a tough decision after losing Fuzzy, her beloved blue stuffy rabbit. Young readers step in to finish the story by writing or drawing the ending. I am over the moon to see the awesome ways junior authors and artists end my story!
Sass: Even though this is a duo series, I love how you bring the same characters into the new story, but also allow for readers to enjoy a completely different adventure. Tell me about your third title.
Cat: My last book, “The Magical Aquarium,” was penned as a birthday gift for my niece, so it has a different set of characters. Never expected to publish it. (Hah! NEVER say, “never!”) When I discovered juicy software apps to create e-books, I couldn’t wait to publish this standalone e-fantasy.
Sass: You can just about find apps for everything now, and The Magical Aquarium’s name alone sounds exciting, which brings me to my next topic and question about your new title… I love that your books carry your imagination to creative scenes and adventures, would you say your current title is similar to your previous books, or is there a distinct difference with Sweet T and the Turtle Team?
Cat: Aw, thanks! My stories mix mischief and imagination for early and reluctant readers, and what one reader called “family-centered vibes.”
“Turtle Team” returns to the Carolina coast and introduces boys to the plot at the request of readers in the Boys’ Book Club.
Sass: I like that you take suggestions from your readers! That’s great.
Cat: And yes, also at my readers’ request, Fuzzy returns and gets lost AGAIN. Sweet T is challenged with making new friends, dealing with name-calling, and protecting sea turtle nests while summering on Gull Island.
Like “The Magical Aquarium,” you’ll find strong messages about protecting the ocean and marine life.
One difference — “Turtle Team” highlights my characters’ tech savvy. Mama shares photos of sea turtle hatches on her blog. Middle sister Kristen, staying at home for computer camp, exchanges parent-approved text messages with T each night. Kristen even supplies a texting glossary to help older family members learn texting shortcuts.
Sass: Ok, so you are going to be able to relate to many of your young readers, for sure, with this new title. Now let’s talk a bit about the images for your works. How would you describe the similarities and/or differences in the style of the illustrations for each of your books?
Cat: Irene A. Jahns’ dreamy watercolors add just enough context for my series for my early and reluctant readers, typically in grades K-4. Grown-ups tell me they appreciate Irene’s stunning art, and junior artists are inspired by her drawings.
My UK-based artist pal, Corrina Holyoake, created “The Magical Aquarium’s” vibrant centerpiece illustration is guaranteed to make kids smile because it shows … (Oops! Spoilers! Cannot tell you WHAT it shows because that reveals the aquarium secret!)
Sass: HA! Love it! Yes, let’s not give away the secrets, LOL! And the remainder of the illustrations?
Cat: I purchased cartoony stock art for other images that are perfect for this whimsical e-tale.
Sass: Do you know ahead of time what you are looking for in terms of the images in your stories, and, when working with an illustrator, how easy, or difficult, is it to convey the images you see in your mind to the illustrator?
Cat: I’ve been lucky to work with Irene and Corrina, two brilliant artists! I provide them with a draft of my tale, and we discuss which scene conjures up the best image for each chapter. Sometimes, their concepts totally delight and surprise me. Other times, I offer photos representing strong visuals in my mind’s eye (like a skimboard of the Gull Island beach house with red rocking chairs).
They send their sketches and usually nail the illustration on their first attempt.
Sass, my BIG challenge as a solo Indie authorpreneur is converting their beautiful drawings into perfect digital images, at the correct resolution and page positioning, for publication across print and e-book platforms.
Sass: Yes, that, I am sure, is probably one of the largest challenges of many indies when converting digital images. I would like to say, before moving over to another topic, that you made excellent choices in illustrators! Their work is fantastic, and aligned with your words perfectly! Now, over to another topic, if I may. Your books are all chapter books. Does it just happen that way or do they naturally flow out of you as longer-version titles?
Cat: Having taught kids who struggle to read and penned tales for young nieces and nephews, that style comes easy: short chapters sprinkled with one or two illustrations, peppered with simple sentences, and topped with occasional challenge words.
I don’t want young readers discouraged by too much on a page. OR turn off older kids with a ‘baby’ story. I want to hold kids’ attention with relatable characters, bouncy plots, and kid-sized challenges they enjoy.
Sass: And that you do! Now, let’s talk specifically about Sweet T and the Turtle Team! We have adventure, a mysterious secret, an approaching storm, and baby turtles that may be in peril!!!!!!!! You can’t make this stuff up, but you did, LOL. Tell us how this story, with its multifaceted scenarios, came about.
Cat: tee-hee! Love your description of my plot, Sass! You must be a writer -:D.
Sass: I am not a writer, but I am very close to one ;-)! Thanks for the compliment, though! Now please tell us; we can’t wait to hear!
Cat: During my author visits, I tell children to write about what they know and love. And that’s just what I did for “Sweet T and the Turtle Team.” Growing up on the New England coast and now visiting the shore near my North Carolina home, I have salt water in my veins. I’m no stranger to hurricanes, either,having lived through scores of them.
Sea turtles fascinate me, but I did not know a lot about them. I researched their habits and interviewed my neighbor, Lauren Schaale, a research scientist who worked on Bald Head Island, NC, protecting marine life there. Lauren shared her real-life hatch photos (featured in Mama’s blog) and helped me find kid-magnet marine facts for my tale.
I mix everything together and stirred in enough kid-sized challenges for my characters to tackle to keep kids engaged, having fun and learning.
Sass: Oh I love hearing stories behind the stories. They can be so fascinating, and actually entice readers to want to experience the story that was birthed from the author’s own experiences. Oh how very wonderful, Cat! Tell us, what is the best part of the story for you, and which image is your favorite?
Cat: Hmmmm. <thinking hard here>
My fave moment is when T discovers Billy’s secret. She finds out quite by accident from another island child. I hope readers will be surprised, too, although I add a few clues before it’s revealed.
As for the image…..
T’s not sure what to do to help Billy with his secret, and she asks her Great-Aunt Mae for advice.
Irene’s illustration of this moment is pure emotion. Characters are silhouetted in muted grays against the warm colors of Gull Cottage. Gives me goosebumps every time I flip to that illustration. What do you think?!?
Sass: Cat, I am excited about this entire interview with you, and I can’t wait to share the transcript of it, but I have to tell you, sincerely, this is one of my favorite moments. I work closely with Cat Blount, as you know, and she is MEGA into illustrating purely from within, from emotion, from the spirit of the illustrator. I can see her tearing up when she reads this part, and when she sees this image. And yes, this was perfectly illustrated by Irene. Perfectly. Bravo!
Wow, what an interview thus far, right audience!?!
Audience: YES! *cheers and whistles*
Sass: Great stuff! Cat, I understand there is a secret to be revealed in this story? Without giving it away, of course, any hints?
Cat: NO spoilers, Sass, but ….
Billy’s secret is one many children encounter (teachers and parents, too!). If you know a little bit about my training in education and the writerly focus of my tales (to early and ‘reluctant’ readers), you’ll guess his secret.
Sass: The intrigue, Cat, I am loving the intrigue! *smile* It will be so much fun for readers to try to figure out the secret before it is revealed! Tell us please, will this be the last volume for your Sweet T collection, and I hope not, or do you think there are more tales waiting within you to come out?
Cat: I love my characters and Coastal setting. I’m already dreaming about my fourth Sweet T Tale, probably a return to Gull Island and more adventures to be had and secrets to unravel, but I’ll let my readers (including the Blountville gang, I hope!) help me decide.
Sass: Do it! Audience?
Audience: DO IT!
Sass: LOL, ok, switching back to all of your works, what are people saying about your books? Are you pleased with the consensus of your reviews thus far?
Cat: I’m over the moon when I hear from readers and receive feedback about my stories, Sass! No reviews yet on Turtle Team, as it debuts 21 July, but hoping for early feedback on it soon.
Can I share two reviews with your readers that apply to all my books?
“A playful story, full of fun, adventure, friendships and loving sibling relationships. Powerful lesson to care for our environment and all creatures that live in the sea. Beautifully told and certainly a joy to read.”
– Emily-Jane Hills Oxford for Readers’ Favorite: “The Magical Aquarium”
“Irene A. Jahns provided the beautiful watercolor illustrations to accompany the text. Jahns does an amazing job of creating a ‘vacation’ mood for the setting through the depiction of sweeping oceanside landscapes and snapshots of images that will leave you longing for summertime adventures to begin.”
– Renee, Mother Daughter Book Reviews: “Finding Fuzzy”
Sass: Such beautiful, sincere reviews! I can see why you are so pleased. Now I must ask, are there plans to offer both paperbacks and ebooks for all of your titles?
Cat: Yep, ebooks for sure. Now that I learned how to use iBooks Author and Vellum software, I want to offer all my books in digital format. No plans for a print version of “The Magical Aquarium” at this time.
Sass: Yes, very wise to offer your titles in as many formats as possible. Now, let’s talk a bit about marketing for a moment. What would you say has been your best marketing technique for getting the word out about your titles?
Cat: It takes time but is totally worth it to build a street team to help with marketing. It’s made up of writing buddies, bloggers, and readers who are excited about reading my tales, writing reviews, and recommending my stories to others. It is THE best. My fourth book is easier to launch than the first, thanks to my tribe of readers and writerly friends I find on the writing road.
Hey, your readers might like to know that Cat Blount and I met on social media after a comment about our Catly likeness. Friendship on social media often starts with simple and authentic steps just like that -:D!
Sass: Yes, she did tell me how you met. She was thrilled to find out that I chose you to be one of the first authors that I interview! Your marketing strategy doesn’t seem like a strategy at all. It’s authentic, like you say, and that is why it works! And that is why your fans and friends adore you so! Now, on the other side, has there been anything that you tried that you now deem as “a total waste of time” in terms of marketing? Indie authors, listen up!
Cat: I wish I had given away fewer books on Goodreads over shorter periods of time. Instead of many books in a single 30-day period, fewer books over two weeks, repeated at one or two intervals, would be more effective.
GR is great for discoverability, but it has not driven sales or reviews for me. I use it more as a reader because, well, b/c I love to read and find out what other readers enjoy.
Sass: I hope authors take note! I know that what works or don’t work for one, may work or not work for another, but it is so helpful to hear experiences like the ones you shared to assist in others making better choices. That was valuable information, Cat, thank you. And staying along the same theme, now I have a question from Cat Blount. If you could change anything about your journey as an author, what would it be?
Cat: Mercy, where to begin?!?
I knew authoring would be tough, but I had no idea how difficult it would be. The learning curve is humongous!
My biggest ah-ha was understanding that ‘writing’ is just a small part of the process. There are tons to know about social media as a business. And marketing! I worked in marketing communications for a global firm, but constantly coming up with new ways to market MY books can keep me up at night.
Sass: Isn’t that the funniest thing! Cat Blount has a marketing degree, and she also says that the marketing of her work is the worst part of it all! LOL! You actually have something else in common with Cat Blount; she also began writing stories at a very young age. The difference, however, with her is, she could never finish her stories, and she stopped writing for a very long time. What advice do you have for others who dream of becoming an author and don’t continue writing or even start to write?
Cat: Another Catly connection….love it!
I don’t want to discourage Cat, but I’m keeping it 100. Ready?
Sass: Uh oh, LOL. We are more than ready, let us have it!
Cat: Writing starts with a dream. However, getting books into readers’ hands requires the time, focus and diligence of a pragmatic “business” mindset. It entails skills beyond writing, like knowing social media and marketing and being tech-savvy.
A writing journey begins when would-be authors embrace this paradigm.
But they start with baby steps and never go it alone. They engage with other like-minded folk to support and motivate each other long before the first book is ever published….while they are still dreaming! So, Cat Blount is on the right path -:D.
Sass: Some more awesome advice for you authors out there. Now I have to ask one more question before I turn the questions over to your younger fans. When you think of yourself and where you are as an author, what is the first word that pops into your mind and why?
Cat: My Awesome Editor/Spouse calls me “Ms. Busy Pants,” because I’m always on the move. LOL!
I’ll go with “DETERMINED” because writing on the Kid Lit road is a long, slow journey. Gotta stay energized, innovative, and optimistic facing challenges that feel like scaling Mt. Everest. Plus, have fun along the way!
Sass: Oh I like that nickname! And with another title buzzing about in your mind, I can see the reason for the name. *smile*
Ok, we are ready to turn the questions over to your very eager, and patient, I might add, fans! First we have Casey, an elementary school student, with a question. Casey?
Casey: Which one of your books did you enjoy writing the most?
Cat: Hey, Casey!
I most enjoy whatever book I am currently creating because it requires most of my love and attention. So right now, I am all about “Sweet T and the Turtle Team.”
Sass: Great answer. Next up we have a middle school student, Michael. Michael, what’s your question for Cat Michaels?
Michael: Would you want to change any of your stories, or add to them?
Cat: Michael (love your name!), I am actually moving in the opposite direction: writing smarter and faster, and being satisfied with fewer changes in order to move on and get more books out to children!
However, as I learn new software, I may make my ebooks even more interactive and fun for you to read.
Sass: Ooooh, more books by Cat Michaels. Exciting! Next question is from Caitlin, and she’s in elementary school. Caitlin?
Caitlin: If you could visit the Magical Aquarium, what type of fish would you want to be?
Cat: Definitely dolphins, Caitlin. They are smart, sleek and social! And boy, can they jump and dive.
Sass: I am loving these questions. You guys are doing great! Next, Bella, elementary school. Go ahead, Bella.
Bella: Do you have any pets?
Cat: Ah, Bella, I have seven grand-dogs and one grand-cat. I also grew up with dogs, turtles, parakeets, lizards, and a duck named Cuddles.
Sass: I think guys I can safely say that Cat Michaels likes animals! *smile* Ok, we have another elementary school student. Benny, what’s your question?
Benny: Do you spend all day writing?
Cat: I don’t, Benny. I take breaks for play and exercise, so I can come back to the keyboard feeling refreshed. I also spend much of my day working on writerly projects: blogging, reading the latest news in children’s books and publishing, talking to librarians and booksellers about stocking my tales, meeting teachers and parents. Whew! Not writing, but definitely writing-related.
You know the best part of any day? Connecting with readers like YOU and folks in Blountville!
Sass: “Whew” is right, my goodness. But it is a business, and what you love, so you have to do what you have to do. And we are all very happy that you love connecting with all of your fans! We thank you very much! Next question. We have Alexa, who is actually a high student. What’s your question for Cat Michaels, Alexa?
Alexa: What inspired you to want to be an author at such a young age?
Cat: I learned how to read before I got to kindergarten and always had a book in hand, Alexa. Maybe that’s why writing comes naturally to me, like smiling or breathing. I enjoyed it from the start and continue to work hard to perfect my craft.
Sass: Cat, we now have Sabrina who is in kindergarten. Sabrina, you can ask Cat Michaels your question now.
Sabrina: Why don’t you write books about pancakes?
Cat: Brilliant idea, Sabrina! There are lovely pancake and french toast books already written, so I might feature pancakes as a special food one of my characters enjoys. Ooooo. Maybe I will include a mystery about missing pancakes on Gull Island -:D!
Sass: Another great question, Sabrina; great job! Beautifully answered as well! Ok, we have one more question, and it’s from Stacy, an elementary-schooler. Stacy, what’s your question?
Stacy: What is your favorite season and why?
Cat: Summer, summer summer, Stacy! Beach and swimming especially! I loved summer as a kid (and a teacher) because of the loooonnnng summer v*a*c*a*t*i*o*n.
Sass: Ha ha! Perfect question to end all questions. Cat, this has been such a treat for us here in Blountville. Thank you sincerely for agreeing to talk with us today.
Cat: Awww, thanks for inviting me, Sass!
Looking forward to hearing more about your blog and Cat’s writerly journey. I hope I bump into you and your readers in cyberspace, too. Don’t be strangers, y’all. Happy tales!
Sass: You’re quite welcome, and thank you, Cat!
Now, we have something special for all of you listeners today. You heard all of the cool things waiting for you in Sweet T and the Turtle Team, well how would you like to receive a free digital version of that title? Be the first to answer the following question in your comment, and you will be sent a digital copy free! Ready? Here we go…
WHERE did Cat set the story of Sweet T and the Turtle Team and WHY did she select that location?
We have a winner!
Congratulations to Sheri S. Levy!!!
And that is that! This is Sass Bloom, and I thank you for being with us today. A special thank you to the wonderful author Cat Michaels and our unbelievable studio audience.
Sass Bloom signing out!
For more information about Cat Michaels and her wonderful stories, please visit her at http://www.catmichaelswriter.com.
[This is the transcribed version of the live show with Sass Bloom and Cat Blount]
Announcer: We love her, and here she is… Saaaassssssss Bloom!
Sass: Thank you all!!! Yes! I’m excited too! You know who we have here today, don’t you? I know you do! It’s our very own Cat Blount! Come on out here, Cat.
Cat Blount enters the room.
Audience stands and cheers!
Sass: Well hello there!
Cat: Hello, Sass! Hello everyone!
Sass: Ok, this is going to be a very unique interview because I already know all about you.
Cat: Yes, you do, LOL.
Sass: So, what I am going to do is pretend that I don’t know THAT much about you. How’s that?
Cat: I love it!
Sass: Ok, here we go. Are you ready audience?
Sass: They’re so happy to have you here.
Cat: I’m so happy to be here! I love it here in Blountville, and I love all of the dear people who live here. It’s a wonderful place.
Sass: Now, I know that you have a home here. Any plans on moving here permanently?
Cat: I’m not quite sure about that yet, but I will always have a home here in Blountville.
Sass: Ok, let’s get started. Let’s ask the question that I always hear asked.
Cat: Uh, oh.
Sass: Where are the pictures of you? What’s going on with the logos all over the place?
Cat: LOL. I’m laughing because I know you know the answer to that.
Sass: We’re pretending that I don’t.
Cat: Ok, well, I am an extremely private person. Anyone who knows me, or has read through my author website, knows that about me. And it’s not just your “normal private,” it’s a “weird” private thing.
Sass: A “weird” private thing.
Cat: Yes, LOL! I take it to the extreme. And also, as I have stated on my website, I want people to focus on the story and the illustrations, not my face.
Sass: And being “weird private,” as you kind of put it, does that have any type of influence on your career as an author at all?
Cat: Um, I would say with social media, yes. Social media is just what it says. It’s a “social” platform. How is one social? By sharing. How does a private person share? They don’t really, LOL. I have to say though, I feel that I am getting better at sharing more. It’s not very comfortable for me though, and it can sometimes feel a bit inauthentic.
Sass: Can you explain how it can feel inauthentic?
Cat: Well, you are told as an author that social media is key for selling more books. They tell you to interact, not sell, but interact, with your base and/or peers, and that will, after some time, bring about sales.
Sass: Ahhhh… So it feels that if you interact, it is only for the purpose of “some future day” selling more books.
Cat: Exactly, and I don’t want to do that, and I don’t want people to feel that if I do interact, it is for the purpose of them buying a book. I really, truly just want to write the stories that come to me, and publish them. So, when I do post on social media, it is for what I am using it for, to sell my books, and to place them in front of readers. You will see posts for free book days, new releases, what I am working on, and things like that.
Sass: You stated that you want to “write the stories that come to you.” That’s a perfect way to move into talking more about your titles. Now, you have 20 titles, right?
Cat: Yes. The 20th title will be available again, soon.
Sass: Available again?
Cat: Yes. In the beginning of the year 2015, I made the decision to remove all of my titles from the market.
Sass: Whoa, how many at the time?
Cat: Seven, LOL. They were my seven original pieces of work that I loved, but didn’t 100% write them from within.
Sass: Doesn’t every author write from within?
Cat: Well, I’m not sure about “every author,” but I was not producing my work from the inside. When I first started publishing, I would make changes to the original story based on what I felt others would think about the story. I thought things like, “Well, they probably won’t get that,” or “They won’t think that’s funny,” and so on. I wasn’t just pouring out the story, as is, from the inside, like all artists do.
Sass: So I guess we now know the reason for categorizing your stories under “organic.”
Cat: Yes, unadulterated creative expression. 100% pure. Organic.
Sass: I like that.
Cat: Thank you. I really do too. And I have not looked back since!
Sass: That’s wonderful, Cat! I can’t imagine doing something day after day that I don’t completely enjoy doing. So it’s great that you, I assume, now completely enjoy creating your work.
Cat: Yes, I do. 100%.
Sass: So the title that you are working on now is soon to be available again?
Cat: Yes, and I can’t wait! I am so excited about this title being introduced once again to the public, written purely from within. And my illustrations have come a long way; so that’s exciting too! It’s a wonderful story, one to be read for sure. Filled with lessons for everyone.
Sass: I read the story when it originally came out. I simply loved it. I remember not being able to wait to find out what was going on at that lake. Were the rabbits from before being paranoid? Did the mom not get the full story? Was Jessica right? Oh my gosh!
Cat: Oh that’s wonderful to hear!
Sass: Yeah. And then when I found out the truth, it literally gave me goosebumps. I kid you not.
Cat: Oh, Sass, that is music to my ears, thank you.
Sass: No, thank you! It’s a great story, and I can’t wait for others to experience it.
Cat: Well, soon, LOL.
Sass: You have so many stories, and they all are completely different. How do you do it? You mentioned that your stories come to you? What do you mean by that?
Cat: Simple. I know that my stories are placed in my head by God. I 100% know that. Do I feel that He is using me as a vessel to communicate to people through my stories? I’m not sure. All of them do have lessons, but I think that it is as simple as God answering the prayer I prayed to Him as a little girl to become an author. He answered my prayer.
Sass: Oh that’s beautiful. That brought tears to my eyes.
Cat: I am so grateful that He has given me this opportunity, and I can’t thank Him enough.
Sass: How often are your stories placed in your mind? Is it a constant thing?
Cat: Yep. Stories are always popping up in my brain. The full story, from start to finish. It’s pretty awesome. That’s how I know it’s God. I started writing when I was a little girl, but I never was able to finish a story. Nothing came to me. I stopped writing for years. One day, at my parent’s home, I wrote a story for my daughter and nephew about a fast-moving turtle. I wrote that story in literally minutes. The whole thing! I couldn’t believe it. It had a twist and everything. I’ve been writing stories, just like that, ever since. I’m given the story. I grab a pencil and paper. I sit down. I write. If I think about the story, it doesn’t come out right. I do not think, I literally just write. And then I look back and say, “Wow!”
Sass: Wow, indeed. That’s pretty special, and interesting because I know that each author has his or her own story about their writing process. This is definitely an interesting one. Now, I would like to switch gears a bit. I know that not only your fans are out there listening to this interview, but other indie authors as well. There is a very common question that is asked by indie authors to other indies. Do you know what that question is?
Cat: Probably either a marketing question, or perhaps how many books have you sold.
Sass: The first… What would you say is the best marketing effort that has sold most of your titles.
Cat: Well, I do not like marketing my books, at all. I am not the best “tooter” of my own horn, LOL. There is something that seems to be paying off.
Sass: What’s that? All indie authors out there are listening at the edges of their seats.
Cat: LOL. Writing more. Pretend that you walk into a library and then proceed to find the children’s picture book area. When you get there, you see shelves and shelves and shelves of books by one author. Chances are, you will pick up one of those books. I think that this is occurring with my titles now. I could, when I first started off, go for months without seeing any sales at all. Now that is not the case. I am beginning to sell more frequently. Also, when a story is liked by the reader, they look for other works by you. And again, more sales. So, I recommend writing more, and getting your books published as your primary marketing effort.
Sass: You hear that indies. Go out and keep creating! Cat, it has been a pleasure to sit down with you, and talk to you today! Am I right audience?
Cat: Thank you so much! This was really wonderful. You and the audience were great!
Sass: Well, we have one more question for you, and it’s a question that was sent in by your youngest daughter.
Cat: Oh my gosh, that’s so sweet! Oh I love it!
Sass: Cat, Ana wants to know, “Mommy, what was your first story about that you tried to write when you were a little girl? I can’t remember what you told me about it.”
Cat: Well, Ana, my first story was about an ant family that lived deep under the ground. And pretty much, I didn’t write anything further than that, LOL! Yeah, Mommy wasn’t able to get far in her stories back then. Thank you Ana! Hugs and kisses.
Sass: Yes, thank you, Ana, and we love you, Cat, and we can’t wait to see what else is placed in your brain for you to bring to life.
Cat: Thank you, Sass!
WOULD YOU LIKE TO EXPERIENCE CAT’S ORGANIC STORIES, PLEASE VISIT HER LIBRARY OF BOOKS!
[This transcribed interview took place before the children of Crimson were driven off to be cured of their inability to fall asleep in the story titled Sleeping Through the Night]
Sass Bloom here again! Hello to my wonderful audience. Today, everyone, in my studio, we have with us Mrs. Engles from Sleeping Through the Night.
Sass Bloom: Mrs. Engles! I can’t tell you how very happy I am that you decided to come sit with me today for a bit. How are feeling?
Mrs. Engles: Hello, Sass. Thank you for having me on. Um, to be honest, I am a little tired.
Sass Bloom: A little tired? Mrs. Engles, we all know of your plight. Exactly how how long has it been now?
Mrs. Engles: Well, very close to a month.
Sass Bloom: A month? Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine. If I don’t go to bed every night before 10, I am a zombie the next day. How are guys able to function over there?
Mrs. Engles: It’s been pretty tough for my husband and me. Not being able to sleep, as you know, can take a toll on one’s mind, body, pretty much everything. We can hardly function. The girls, and every other child in Crimson, on the other hand, feel fine. Even though they are not able to sleep, for whatever reason, it’s not having an effect on them.
Sass Bloom: You see that’s the thing that amazes me the most, other than, of course, that a game caused this phenomena… Why aren’t they at least sleepy?
Mrs. Engles: No one can figure it out.
Sass Bloom: And your mayor has been back and forth to the city to try to get answers, right?
Mrs. Engles: Right. No answers to why this happened to our children, but, a possible solution to bring it all to a close.
Sass Bloom: The sister, brother duo, Sally and Sam.
Mrs. Engles: Yes, Sally and Sam. We met them a few days ago.
Sass Bloom: And they are going to fix it that your children are back to sleeping again?
Mrs. Engles: That is what they tell us, and we feel very optimistic about it.
Sass Bloom: You know, Mrs. Engles, there are some who criticize you, your husband, and the other parents in the town, for your decision to send your children away with Sally and Sam. How do you feel about that?
Mrs. Engles: Well first of all, we are not sending them away. It’s only one night. Also, I am sure these critics have never dealt with staying awake, without proper rest, for a month! We are parents. We take care of our children. We work. We have to be able to continue to do these things. Without sleep, it’s almost impossible!
Sass Bloom: In other words, unless they have walked in your shoes, they shouldn’t have much to say.
Mrs. Engles: Exactly! Listen, we have tried everything. The mayor, and his friends in the city, have tried to figure this all out. We, my husband and I, sat across from Sally and Sam for a good amount of time. They are great people who are trying to help us, and I believe they will.
Sass Bloom: And I hope they will, Mrs. Engles. I truly hope they will. I can tell that you love your children, and that you only want the best for them.
Mrs. Engles: [*Sniff*]
Sass Bloom: If I may continue, only for a bit more…
Mrs. Engles: I’m fine, you may continue, I understand.
Sass Bloom: How do your children feel about this? Are they ok with leaving you and your husband for a night?
Mrs. Engles: My youngest, Maddie, is super excited. She can’t wait to go on this “adventure,” and I have to tell you, it sounds pretty fun.
Sass Bloom: I know. When I heard about what the children will experience, I thought, “Oh wow, they’re going to have a great time.”
Mrs. Engles: I know. Sally and Sam put so much into this. It’s pretty spectacular, really.
Sass Bloom: And Sara?
Mrs. Engles: Welllllll, Sara is a little different.
Sass Bloom: How so?
Mrs. Engles: Sara is the type who always, pretty much, questions everything. [*smiles*] She always thinks that “something is going on,” or “something doesn’t sound right.” I blame it on the spooky shows she watches. Better yet, I blame it on myself for allowing her to watch them. I thought they were innocent enough, but I guess not.
Sass Bloom: So Sara doesn’t want to go?
Mrs. Engles: No. She thinks something is wrong with Sally and Sam, and that they are out to take all of the children away or something. She will be fine, and I will be removing those movies from her list of recordings.
Sass Bloom: Mrs. Engles, it has been great having you here with me. I am humbled by your experience and I pray that your family is back to normal very soon. I sincerely do. Who ever thought that a game could cause all of this hullabaloo???
Mrs. Engles: We didn’t. That’s for sure, and again, thank you for having me. I do hope that now people understand our story a bit better.
Sass Bloom: Please, try to come back after your children’s return. It will be my pleasure to sit with you again.
Mrs. Engles: I will honestly try. Thanks, Sass.
Sass Bloom: Thank you.
And there you have it. My interview with Mrs. Engles. She is truly a sweet mother, and cares deeply for both her children. If you are interested in how it went with Sally and Sam, and the children of Crimson, click on the book cover and own a copy of Sleeping Through the Night.
Sass Bloom signing out.
[This transcribed interview took place before the events in the story titled LISA, of The 3 Screams Trilogy.]
Sass Bloom here! Today, in my studio, we have with us Dan Oldson from The 3 Screams.
Sass: Hello, Dan!
Sass: Dan, thank you so much for agreeing to come in and talk with us.
Dan: Yeah, my mother thought that it would be a good idea.
Sass: Well, be sure to thank her for me because I am so happy to have you here.
Dan: Uh, ok.
Sass: Dan, here, at Cat Blount Studios, we like to get right into the mix of things. I understand that tomorrow your parents will be going out, and you and your sister will be watched over by a babysitter.
Dan: My mother told you that!?! Are you kidding me? What???
Sass: Dan, it’s ok; really it is. Besides, I doubt that your friends are among my listeners. Everything will be fine; you don’t have to worry.
Dan: That’s easy for you to say. I don’t want to do this interview.
Sass: Now, Dan. Having a babysitter is not that big of a deal.
Dan: It is when you’re a 14 year old boy!
Sass: Yes, well, why exactly do you think your parents found a babysitter to watch over you and your sister?
Dan: She’s not going to be there to watch over me. I don’t need anyone watching over me. She can watch over Abby.
Sass: Couldn’t you have watched over your sister, you know, being that you’re 14, and most babysitters start at that age?
Dan: Yes! I could totally watch her like always.
Sass: Oh, you’ve watched her before?
Dan: Yeah. When my parents go out, I’m the one to watch her.
Sass: So why the change?
Dan: I don’t know. It’s silly. My mom thinks that I don’t watch her close enough. I mean she’s 7 years old! How closely do I have to watch her?
Sass: But something must have happened for your mom to think that she needed to call a babysitter, Dan. What was it?
Dan: Not my fault! That’s what it was. I had the guys over like always, and Abby was in her room. When they left, I went to my room, and then out of nowhere, when my parents got home, I heard my mom calling out for Abby, and then she came running into my room.
Sass: Who your mom?
Dan: Yeah. She was like, “Where’s your sister? Were you not watching her!?!” Did she want me to stay in Abby’s room with her?
Sass: So where was Abby?
Dan: For some reason, and with Abby, there doesn’t have to be a reason, she went out back and climbed into my old tree house. She was pretending that she was in a castle or something. So instead of getting mad at her, they got mad at me.
Sass: I see. What time did they get home?
Dan: I don’t know. Around 11 I guess.
Sass: What time did your friends leave?
Dan: I think about 9.
Sass: Do you think you see their point at all?
Dan: No, I mean a little. Hey, listen, they need to stop treating Abby like a baby, and Abby needs to start making better decisions.
Sass: Well, Dan, I thank you very much for sitting with me this afternoon, and I hope it goes well with the babysitter.
Dan: I just want to get it over with.
Sass: Dan, one more thing… Do you spend time with your little sister?
Dan: I guess. We eat together, and I see her in the house. She’s 7 years old. There’s nothing to do with her.
Sass: She doesn’t ask you to play, or anything?
Dan: Yeah, but she wants to play silly games all of the time. We used to play together, but I’m older now.
Sass: I see. Well, thank you again for visiting me here in the studio.
And there you have it. My interview with Dan. If you are interested in how it went at the Oldson’s the night the babysitter came, click on the book cover and own a copy of LISA. I have a feeling that Dan is going to learn something very important; I just hope it won’t be too late. That’s all for this evening. As always, my beautiful listeners, have a wonderful night.
Sass Bloom signing off.