Christa Faust at the Chatty Cat Cafe
Posted by Susanne Saville at Wednesday, November 12, 2008 4:00 AM
Joining us in The Chatty Cat Cafe today is Christa Faust, who describes herself on her Very Cool website as "a cynical, hardboiled bitch with a fetish for noir cinema, tattoos and seamed stockings."
I'm a big fan of noir, as some of you know. When I read Money Shot, I thought itwas one of the best of the Hard Case Crime novels - I never thought I'd actually get to meet the author. I'm so excited!
I see her coming through the cafe's door! Wait ... ummm ...
I think she brought a gun.
Let's offer her a caffeinated drink. And hope she doesn't try to slip me a mickey.
Hi Christa! Come sit down. I've got both coffee and tea, which would you like?
I drink coffee and lots of it, usually Lamill's Black Onyx espresso. I like it very strong with hot milk and turbinado sugar.
Ooo, sounds delicious! I'll brew some of that for me, too. While I'm fixing the coffee, please introduce us to your pets.
I have two Bostons; Butch, who is six and Emma, who is about eleven.
I got Butch after he was returned to a back-yard breeder because his previous owner had allergies. Their loss, my gain. He was my first Boston. He's my trusty sidekick, my furry Prozac. I can't imagine my life without him.
Emma was a rescue from Boston Buddies . When I first got her she was emaciated and terrified, barely able to stand up. She was found as a stray and had obviously given birth to many litters of pups. She's my little 'Nam vet. Afraid of firecrackers and quick hands. It's clear that she'd been badly mistreated in the past but she loves treats and is intensely bonded to Butch. She follows him everywhere and grooms him all the time. They are a very cute couple.
Yes, they are! I didn't know Bostons ever groomed each other. That's cool! My cats Phantom and Gabrielle groom each other all the time, too. They're deeply in love.
So how did you come up with your dogs' names? Is this similar to the way you find names for use in your stories?
Emma has what looks like a letter M on her forehead, plus she has this meek but slightly hysterical, almost Victorian personality. Emma just seemed to fit.
Butch on the other hand is a little man's man. He lives up to his name most of the time, except when I'm about to leave the house. Then he turns into a whimpering Mama's boy.
The naming of characters is very different for me, in that most of them just seem to come into my mind already named. It's a much more intuitive process. Also, as of yet, none of my fictional characters have had an M on their foreheads. Not that I'm ruling out the possibility...
(LOL!) So none of your characters share traits with your dogs?
I write hardboiled crime fiction, so I don't think I would want pets that were like any of my characters.
Ah, true. Okay, one last question: If you had one thing to say to prospective, first-time Boston owners, what would it be?
First and most important: ADOPT! Do NOT buy a puppymill puppy from a pet store or online. This goes for any breed of dog or cat. There are far too many pure-bred companion animals in shelters or waiting in rescue groups like Boston Buddies, hoping for a second chance. So be patient, do your homework, and find a reputable Boston rescue group near you. It's worth it, because there is no better feeling than the love and gratitude you get from a rescued pet. For more info on this important issue, please visit http://stoppuppymills.org/
Very good advice!! Thank you so much for stopping by for a coffee, Christa.
For a taste of Christa's work, try A Hell of a Woman: an anthology of Female Noir (which has an introduction by Val McDermid)
or jump right in with her contribution to Hard Case Crime, Money Shot.
Butch and Emma
Would you like fabulous art portraits like this made of your pets? Lili Chin creates these adorable illustrations as a fundraiser for BostonBuddies. For more info or to contact Lili click here.
For more information on Christa and her many fascinating books:
Christa Faust's Website
Christa Faust's Blog