Sunday, 28 August 2011

Welcome! Author Bob Stewart, (aka Thomas A Katt.)

Today, I honoured to have author Bob Stewart, visiting my blog. Bob and I got chatting over a topic of great mutual interest - cats! As it happens, Bob's latest book, "Alias Thomas A Katt" is right up my alley (so to speak) so read on to learn how a story is born!
Grace x


We had snakes in the house. Somehow, they found their way into our South Texas home, and we had to get rid of them.
 What’s a natural born snake killer, you ask? 
Everyone knows it’s a cat. 
That’s how I found myself at the animal shelter, walking along rows and rows of furry convicts, until I came to one particular character. Black and white, long silky hair, and a hangdog look.
 “Okay, Buster,” Schyler meowed. “I’ll give you one chance.”    I held my arms out to receive him, opened the cage door, and Schyler pranced out into my wife’s arms, and into our hearts. We didn’t have a chance.
Schyler -

            About a hundred dollars later, plus the price of wiggle toy on a string, we brought him home. He took one look around, shrugged as if this new place was better than nothing, and made himself right at home.
 He didn’t have to be taught how to play favorites. My wife’s lap became his evening nest where he was stroked and loved.  
 Me, I became the body servant. It’s my job to make sure the water bowl stays full as well as the food dish and the litter box cleaned. 
 Occasionally he’d walk by my computer, stop, and meow. If I didn’t respond immediately by reaching down to pet him, that was it for the day. Sometimes he’d favor me with a long stay by walking a couple feet away flooping onto the carpet, then expecting me to stand on my head to reach him.
The cat who inspired a book! Schyler.

            I came to understand why Schyler was standoffish: Royalty doesn’t hob-knob with the common folk – especially the male body servant. I had my place and my function.
   To everyone else he’s a loving kind kitty who beats us to the front door when the doorbell rings, then sits and invites the visitor into the house with happy meows. The whole time they visit, he lies on their feet, a happy, contented, and sweet animal.   So it was one night while watching a film noir classic, The Maltese Falcon, with Schyler and Martha that I wondered what would happen if Schyler switched bodies with Humphrey Bogart.  Would Schyler develop the “film noir” tough guy persona of a Sam Spade or a Mike Hammer as he masqueraded in human form?                          
Is it true? Can Schyler type?

            Better yet, what if his name was Thomas and he was owned by a lovely librarian named Mallory. Then, one miraculous day at the blessing of the pets he switched bodies with her current boyfriend, a jerk named Tom A. Katt, only to discover that Current Jerk is a killer. Now, he must figure how to be a human, use opposable thumbs – the devil’s own invention as far as he’s concerned – and protect Mallory in a scenario right out of  “feline noir.”

            In Alias Thomas A, Katt, he’s destined to find out just how tough he is as he takes the reader on a first person journey.
        Oh, and one last thing. We’ve had no snakes since he came to live with us. Come to think of it, he’s pretty good with elephants, too.

Author, Bob Stewart, and Schyler

Advance review:

Bob Stewart has created his own niche – feline noir –in this kitty caper aptly named Alias Thomas A. Katt. When Tom Katt, a police officer and romantic interest of the lovely Mallory, switches bodies with Mallory’s real cat, Thomas, the tables are turned on the bad guys. Even though he’s forced to work within the boundaries of an inferior human body, Thomas still has his feline smarts. Bad kitty! takes on new meaning in this fun romp that all cat lovers will find purr-fect.

- Carolyn Haines is the author of Bones of a Feather, the 11th in the Sarah Booth Delaney Delta Mystery series.

Bob has been kind enough to share an excerpt from "Alias Thomas A Katt."

Chapter One

I hate water, holy or not.

So much that sleep last night was a series of fitful catnaps interrupted by nightmares of a barbaric yearly ritual performed in the name of all that’s holy.

Mustering all the pathos I could, I looked up into Mallory’s deep-set emerald eyes as we shuffled along the queue for the Blessing of the Pets. The line stretched outside The Mortuary Chapel and across the street into the cemetery.

 She stroked my fur, and then gave me a big grin.

“What are you thinking?” She bent over to hug me closer, whispering in my ear. The scent of magnolia blossoms drifted from her hair as I raised my face to be nuzzled. “Sometimes I think you understand more than people realize.”

I do understand. I just wished she understood that I did.

“You pay more attention to that damn cat than you do me.”

The jerk she calls her current boyfriend has a way of ruining the finest moments. His voice was proof that even in near tropical New Orleans a chill can penetrate the normally temperate October air.

“Don’t be silly, Tom. I’m just loving my cat.”

“Next thing I know you’ll put one of those medals around my neck. Maybe you should, then I’ll get to sleep with you, too.”

Mallory’s hand secretly sought out the Saint Expedite medal on my collar. She bought it for me the first time we came here, put it around my neck, and it never came off. She wears a matching one that drops below the neckline. She used to wear it over her blouse, until she met Current Jerk.

Saint Expedite could teach Current Jerk some manners. I visualized ol’ Expedite, standing tall in his niche just inside the front entrance of the church, a young Roman soldier dressed in an historic battle tunic, brown hair tossed in the wind. Instead of the short sword used by grizzled legions to conquer the ancient world for the likes of Julius Caesar, he grasps a cross raised high above his head, ready to cold-cock modern-day heathens right and left.

Like all great historic warriors, Saint Expedite is swift to take action when petitioned. He is even more of a patron saint of lost causes than that wimpy Saint Jude, or that sissy Saint Francis of Assisi, the patron saint of animals, who is about to cause water to be dumped all over my head. These guys run around in dresses, for heaven’s sake.

As we neared the entrance, every sinew in my body went taut; I’ve heard it said that the only things certain in life are death and taxes. I know a third to add to that list.

Only Mallory’s sweet touch and Saint Expedite’s courage could get me through this, barely, because Expedite’s one tough cookie. I’ll tell you how tough he is. He’s a saint without portfolio because his arrival in New Orleans was sparked by a quirk of tragedy, according to a tour guide I heard on the Travel Channel.

A special chapel was built to speed the funerals through St. Anthony of Padua during the 1826 Yellow Fever epidemic. That piece of grim history earned it the nickname of The Mortuary Chapel. Grieving relatives would scribble the name of a saint on a casket before leaving it at the door of the chapel. The priests would swiftly perform a funeral mass in the name written on it, and shove the contaminated container out the door to a final resting place in the cemetery across the street.

            One smelly casket had the word “expedite” scrawled across it. The priests glanced at the word, and chanted a funeral mass to Saint Expedite. When they discovered the error, it was decided to create a Saint Expedite medal in a good-humored effort to acknowledge the mistake. No one took ol’ Expedite seriously. After all, he’s just the figment of a priest’s fertile imagination.

            But I always took him seriously. Besides being a good yarn, it just seems to prove the old saying that “people are only human” or “to err is human” or whatever cliché fits best. Of all the saints, he’s my favorite, even if he isn’t real.

            But, Mallory is real. So is her love. I snuggled into her arms in smug satisfaction. In spite of the pending water torture, there’s no way life could get any better.

 Boy, was I in for a surprise.

About Bob Stewart.

Bob Stewart is the author of four published books, and has reported news events for popular magazines (People, Time, Life, and Latina). He has authored two plays presented by the Aggie Players at Texas A&M University, and two scripts for series television while pursuing a career in journalism. He served as associate producer for Switched at Birth, a television mini-series based on the Kimberly Mays baby switch in Florida. It was nominated for an Emmy.

He has been managing editor of The Bryan Daily Eagle, The Laredo Times, and the Marshall News-Messenger. For ten years, he wrote a daily television column for the San Antonio Light. Next, he pursued a career as a freelance reporter/writer/author. In 1998, he joined the staff of People Magazine as a correspondent, working out of his San Antonio home.

Mexico on spring break.

Man to Man: When the Woman You Love Has Breast Cancer (St. Martin’s Press and a Literary Guild Alternate Selection) with co-author Andy Murcia, the husband of entertainer Ann Jillian.

Bob Stewart has worked on a number of national stories for People, including the Oklahoma City bombing, the Branch Davidian standoff in Waco, the murder of Tejano singer Selena, the TWA jet crash in New York, the murder of students at schools in Pearl, Miss., Jonesboro, Ark., and Columbine in Denver, Colo., the racially-motivated murder of James Byrd in Jasper, Tx., the ex
His books include:

No Remorse (Pinnacle True Crime and a True Crime Book of the Month club selection) is the true story of Texasserial killer Kenneth McDuff who was convicted of murder, then paroled, when the Supreme Court struck down the death penalty, only to go on a killing spree. McDuff was executed in October, 1998.

Revenge Redeemed (Revell ) is the true story of a Kentuckycouple whose only child was killed by a drunk driver in 1972. They rehabilitated the man who killed their son and today he lives next door to them.

Sacrifice: The Drug Cult Murder of Mark Kilroy (Word Inc.) with co-author Jim Kilroy is the bizarre true story about Mexican drug smugglers who murdered Jim’s son, a University of Texaspre-med student as a human sacrifice while the youth was in execution of Karla Faye Tucker, and the kidnap/murder of Mark Kilroy in Matamoras, Mexico.


  1. After a CATalogue of attempts, I'll try one last time... Best of luck, Bob, I hope you CATch lots of readers as the book deserves a big following.

  2. It's no good, Nik, I've been wracking my brains all day for some more feline-related puns and it's just not happening for me! What a CAT-astrophe!
    Thanks for the comment, Grace x

  3. Hi Grace! I just awarded you the Liebster Award! So congratulations on receiving it twice :) You can pick up your reward on my blog:


Due to the amount of SPAM I have been forced to moderate comments. If you are a spammer - please go away! You comment will not be posted and you are wasting your own time.