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Interview: D.C. Blackbird, Author of Jekyll Says … (Good Deeds Cats Do, That You Should, To!)

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D.C. Blackbird is an American poet, songwriter, and author, along with being a world-renowned adventurer and traveler to places that stamp passports with bark and tree sap. In case you never heard, D.C. is one of the world’s greatest feather & leaf jugglers and has performed this great skill before Royal Courts throughout Europe as well as in diners throughout New Jersey between snacking on corn muffins.

You probably know that D.C. is the best-selling author of titles that include: Jekyll Says … (Good Deeds Cats Do, That You Should, To!), Jekyll Says More! (Lessons & Trends For Felines & Friends), and Dreaming of Kittyland, but there is more to this remarkable human being, so please don’t just judge D.C. by the pretty words.

Blackbird is one of “those vegans” you have probably heard about and maybe you have even seen hanging out at health stores ordering wheat grass juice. But don’t worry! D.C. does not glow in the dark (except after drinking grape juice), but veganism IS contagious. You have been warned.

Oh, yeah, and D.C. is also one of those animal-loving folks that cares for dogs, cats, birds, and runs into traffic with a cardboard box to save turtles in the middle of the road.

If you ask nicely, D.C. Blackbird may be available to come to your home for Roasted Tempeh and Marzipan treats.

Learn more about D.C. at www.WelcomeToKittyland.com.

Please tell us a bit about your book and what you hope readers take away from reading it.

“Jekyll Says …” (Good Deeds Cats Do That You Should, Too!) is a series of amusing and educational poems told from the perspective of a wise and warm-hearted cat named Jekyll.

Each perky poem epitomizes something about Jekyll’s vivacious personality and the lessons he teaches are designed to encourage compassion for all living beings, while promoting and encouraging goodness, civic virtues, high principles and values.

Who/what inspires you the most within your book?

The central motivation to write Jekyll Says … was to immortalize our feline friend named Jekyll. We did not want him to be forgotten. He deserved more than that. He was special, and there are lessons that cats and humans can learn from the fine examples he set in his extraordinary life.

Profits from the sale of this book benefit animal adoption, care, liberation, rescue, and welfare organizations.

Do you have a favorite line or excerpt from your book?

All animals found on a farm.
Just want your love and don’t want harm.
You can eat healthy — starting now.
Eat your veggies and say, “me-wow!”

If your current release were to be turned into a movie, who would you love to see play what characters and why?

Jekyll was a handsome, 12-year-old tuxedo cat, but he would have approved of Colin Firth playing him. He looks good in a tuxedo! Autumn is a beautiful Calico cat, and I am sure Drew Barrymore would love to take on this great character.

What are your favorite aspects of writing?

I enjoy using words that people don’t normally hear or say and that are fun to read. I choose words for sound as much as for meaning. I also like doing the best I can to give the readers as much value for their time (and money) as I can. If I owned a restaurant, all customers would get a salad with lots of veggies in it. Since I am a writer, I like giving readers more than they expected. I want them to leave with a smile so they come back again and refer others.

Your least favorite aspects of writing?

At least one of my seven feline companions who live in my home always like to sit on my computer keyboards when I leave to refill my iced tea.

Also, I can’t seem to find words that rhyme with codswallop or ongepotchket.

Who are some of your favorite authors/books?

My favorite authors include (in order of appearance in my life): Lewis Carroll, Hans Christian Anderson, Brothers Grimm, Roald Dahl, Dr. Seuss, Shel Silverstein, Edgar Allen Poe, Mark Twain, Hillaire Bellow, Spike Mulligan, Dylan Thomas, Lord Tennyson, Langston Hughes, Theodore Roethke, Edward Lear, T.S. Eliott, and Niccolò Machiavelli (mainly because I spelled his name right during a 5th grade Spelling B)

Some of my favorite books include: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, The Hunting of the Snark, A Book of Nonsense (by Edward Lear), The Wizard of Oz, Charlie & The Chocolate Factory, The Secret Garden, Without Feathers, Around the World in 80 Days, My Life in the Wild, The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Iliad, The Odyssey, Benjamin Franklin’s Book of Recipes, and Medieval Gardens by Sir. Frank Crisp.

What are you reading right now?

The Voynich manuscript. But only at night when I have hot chamomile tea. Or grape juice.

If you could have a dinner party and invite five authors — dead or alive — who would they be and what would you serve them?

Lewis Carroll, John Lennon, Ivan Tors, Emily Dickinson, and at least one Bronte sister (any will do, but they are all welcome as long as they share a bean bag to sit on). My dinner guests will enjoy some fresh squeezed carrot and celery juice with just a few bits of beets. But during the meal itself they will have full glasses of Pomegranate-Apple Cider. We’ll start off with some Roasted Pears With Coconut Butterscotch Sauce and Toasted Coconut. We’ll then put out some small dishes for everyone to enjoy. Ms. Dickinson will eagerly dig into the Hummus With Crisp Maitake Mushrooms. There will be big spoons next to the plates so my guests can twirl Sun-Dried-Tomato-and-Pesto Linguine. John Lennon will look forward to tasting the Pumpkin Risotto. Lewis Carroll will be so impressed with the Roasted Tempeh With a Creamy Dijon Sauce that we’ll have some set aside for him to take home with him. Considering the eclectic gathering, we’ll be sure to have a variety of yummy desserts, including: Strawberry-Plum Crisp, Whoopie Pie, Creamy Chocolate Pudding, Key Lime Pie (Yes, the yellow kind. None of that green food coloring stuff in our home!), Apple Bavarian Torte, and some Marzipan treats shaped like pigeons.

I need hardly add that everything served will be made with vegan ingredients. After all, we are animal lovers so we certainly would not want to eat any.

What is a book that you wish you could say that you had written and why?

I wish I could say that I wrote “Jekyll Says …” (Good Deeds Cats Do That You Should, Too!), but I plagiarized it from my feline friend’s journals. There, I said it. I have come clean. But it should still be read.

Besides that, I wish I wrote The Notebooks of Leonardo Da Vinci because I would have trademarked the Mona Lisa and other Da Vinci images and I’d be making a fortune from all of the coffee mugs, calendars, and other cool stuff that is sold in novelty stores.

What is the greatest piece of advice (for writing and/or just living) that you have heard?

Don’t mow your own lawn. Even if you wear a wide-brimmed hat. Those vibrations simply are not good for your spleen.

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