Native Oregonian Mollie Hunt has always had an affinity for cats, so it was a short step for her to become a cat writer. Cat Summer is the first book in her fanciful Cat Seasons sci-fantasy tetralogy.

What are common traps for aspiring writers?

Not taking their writing self seriously. If you love to write, and you do write, and you want to be a writer, then you are a writer. Come on, say it: I am a writer!

Do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

I write in the same genres that I read: Sci-fantasy and cozy cat mysteries. I strive to do something original, something singular to me, within those genres. Hopefully it will also be what the readers want as well.

Do you think someone could be a writer if they don’t feel emotions strongly?

Yes, of course. Anyone can be a writer. All it takes is love of the craft, commitment to hard work, not caring what others think, and having a story to tell. But even though the author may not feel strong emotions themselves, they must be able to trigger emotions in their readers. Otherwise the stories are very dry.

What other authors are you friends with, and how do they help you become a better writer?

I have many author contacts within my writers’ groups. The Cat Writers’ Association has been especially helpful. Members such as Clea SimonDebbie De LouisePatricia Fry, and Ramona Marek have become good friends as well as mentors. Same for Sisters in Crime sister Heather Ames. And though I’ve never met her, Shirley Rousseau Murphy has been an inspiration for my cat writing. Advice from fellow Trekkie David Gerrold has been especially helpful with my sci-fantasy work.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Do stuff when you’re young; write stuff when you’re older.

What does literary success look like to you?

My titles in the airport travel market. But that’s a fantasy. In reality, every time someone says, “I liked your book,” it’s a literary success for me. If they add, “I learned something...” or “I was inspired...” it’s a cherry on top.

Do you want each book to stand on its own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

I like reading series and enjoy writing them as well, but I endeavor to make each book stand on its own. I don’t write soap opera.