Bertrice Small at The Chatty Cat Cafe

Posted by Susanne Saville at Wednesday, December 03, 2008 4:00 AM

imagesWe welcome Bertrice Small to The Chatty Cat Cafe today. 

How to introduce her... Well, Linda Lael Miller is quoted on the cover of Small's A Dangerous Love (which I happen to have right here on my desk)as saying: "Bertrice Small is a legend."

She has written 48 romance novels, and that's not counting the novellas. Quoting from her website:  "A New York Times bestselling author, she has also appeared on other best-seller lists including Publishers Weekly, USA Today, and the L.A. Times."  Quoting from Fantastic Fiction, she has "total sales to date of nearly 17 million." Her first book (The Kadin) was sold in 1978 and is still in print.  (Your normal romance novel usually stays in print for about 6 months.) 

In summary, if you think of hot romance (especially hot, historical romance), you think of Bertrice Small.  And it is BeRtrice, not Beatrice. 

Welcome, Bertrice!  Thank you so much for being here in The Chatty Cat Cafe. What would you like to drink?

I like decaf coffee with half&half in the morning.  I like a cup of black tea in mid-afternoon with milk and sugar.  And I sometimes will have green tea with sugar in afternoon.

Since this is the internet, we could be in any time zone, so I'll order everything.  While I collect the caffeine, you introduce us to your pets.
As of November 2008 we share our home with 9 year old Finnegan, a long-haired black cat with a triple coat our vet says is mostly Norweigan Forest Cat.  The tips of Finn's long fur change color with the seasons going from smoky pale grey to red.  Finn isn't a "cat" cat. We have had him since he was about 6 weeks old, and he firmly believes he is a person.  He doesn't like being scolded, and will hiss or "rrrrr" at you when you tell him he's been bad.  In summer we give Finn a lion-cut leaving his ruff and the tip of his tail fluffy like a lion's.  This helps him cope with the heat, and frankly he thinks he's pretty hot stuff with that lion cut. 

Our other feline resident is Sylvester, who turned 5 in June.  Sylvester is a black and white Tuxedo cat.  He had a rather rough beginning in life having been left as a young kitten tied to a local farm stand.  The farmer found him one morning, and took him down to our no-kill shelter where he was adopted at about a year old by a family who returned him because they said he didn't get on with their dog.  Well, duh!  I went cat seeking on my birthday a few years ago because I knew my husband wouldn't turn me down on my birthday.   Frankly I would have taken them all home if I could, but Sylvester stood out from the crowd sitting atop a hot water heater.  When I asked him if he wanted to come home with me he said he did more than anything.  He got on beautifully with our late cat, Pookie, but even 3 years later he and Finn are at loggerheads.  Each, however, has his place in our hearts and our home.  Sylvester has made himself the official "bed" cat and sleeps with us most nights. 

We also have 2 enormous gold fish, Arial and Eric that have been swimming around in a big tank for probably 5 or more years.  And of course there is Nicki, our 21 year old cockatiel.  He was the runt of his clutch half the size of most cockatiels, with no tail, crippled feet and 2 huge big siblings picking on him when we first saw him in a friend's pet store.  Of course we took him right home where he has entertained us with his songs, and antics ever since.  He's still a little bird, but he has a very big heart.

Ahhh, that's sweet.  image  And they all have such distinct personalities!  Would you say any of them are like any of your characters?

None of my pets resemble any of my characters at all.  Sorry to disappoint.

That's okay.  image  How did you come up with your pets' names?

Our son, Tom, named Finnegan.  He thought it was a cute name for a cat.  Sylvester was already named at the shelter, and the name was so perfect for him I didn't change it.  Nicki was named after a wonderful little canary I had as a child.  My grandson, Chandler, named the fish after his favorite Disney movie, "The Little Mermaid".
I thought of The Little Mermaid when I read Arial and Eric!  image  I've never owned been owned by image a bird.  How difficult is it to care for a cockatiel?  If you had one thing to say to prospective, first-time owners, what would it be?
A cockatiel being a small bird is relatively easy to care for, but needs daily attention.  Nicki has a large Animal Environmentals cage with manznia wood perches which are good for his little feet.  He is watered daily.  Gets fresh seed as he needs it, once or twice a week as he has 2 cups, and both are large.  He likes greens, lettuce, broccoli, watercress, endive, sometimes a bit of fresh corn, but he isnt crazy about fruit, even apple which was always a favorite with my canary. But he loves cheese.  I clean his cage weekly, and he is covered at night.  He likes to be told his song is pretty, and he interacts well with people, especially kids.

That is neat that he understands praise!  And cheese!  I thought it was weird that my cats liked cheese.  I can't believe Nicki eats cheese - how interesting!

Thank you very much for visiting us, Bertrice!!  Not only did I enjoy the chat, but I learned about cockatiels and Norweigan Forest Cats.  Very cool.  image

For more information about Bertrice Small and her books, please visit her website:

And if you shop at Barnes & Noble: here's a list of her books there