Monday, July 28, 2014

Interview with Lisa Brunette-Cat in the Flock

Please welcome to the blog Lisa Brunette who just published her debut novel Cat in the Flock.
Enjoy our chat, buy the novel and support a great cause!

Here's a note from Lisa:  A portion of the sales of Cat in the Flock supports Jubilee Women's Center, which provides safe and affordable community housing and support services to help women transition out of homelessness and into independent living.

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  • File Size: 534 KB
  • Print Length: 221 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Sky Harbor LLC; 1 edition (July 27, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English

A sexy murder-mystery with a spiritual edge. For most people, dreams are a way to escape reality. But for Cat McCormick they're a way to get closer to the truth. Cat can 'slip' into other people's dreams.

After graduating college with a degree in criminal justice but little in the way of real-life experience, Cat moves from the Midwest to Seattle to apprentice with her Granny Grace, who shares the ability. Granny uses dreamslipping as a private investigator, and Cat plans to follow in her footsteps.

But forced to take work as a security guard, Cat discovers a mother and daughter on the run. Following the clues, she goes undercover in a Midwestern megachurch, where she finds redemption and goodwill amidst repression, hypocrisy, and murder.

Lisa hi! Welcome to The Reading Frenzy. I love the description of your new novel on your website – a sexy murder-mystery with a spiritual edge!
Tell my readers a bit about Cat in the Flock and why its so described.
It's a murder-mystery involving a mother and daughter on the run from a high-profile Christian leader willing to go to extremes to cover up the truth. And Cat in the Flock is sexy because there's a hot connection between the protagonist and her childhood sweetheart Lee Stone, who's an Army Ranger. And the spiritual edge comes from Cat's searching - she was raised Catholic but goes to live with her grandmother, who follows more of a New Age spiritual path. Cat must reconcile these divergent influences.

Your website also says this is the first in a three-part series.
How will the novels be connected?
The trilogy centers on a family of "dreamslippers," people who have the ability to slip into other people's dreams. Cat and her grandmother use the ability in their work as PIs. In book two, you get to meet Granny Grace's brother Mick, who's funneled the ability into his artwork.

Lisa your protagonist Cat is a Seattle from St. Louis transplant just like you.
Did you set your novel in both St. Louis and Seattle because they
re familiar to you?
Great question. I love both cities. I had not initially planned on setting the bulk of the novel in St. Louis, but I must have had unfinished business there, as the writing took me back to it, much like St. Louis calls Cat back home for her unfinished business in Cat in the Flock. Writing is kind of magical that way!

Lisa this is your first work of fiction but not in writing.
Tell us a little of your personal road to becoming an author.
While this is my first novel, it's actually not my first work of fiction - I've published short stories widely, in both online and print literary journals. I've won numerous awards for my fiction as well, and I have an MFA in creative writing from University of Miami. I've worked very, very hard to make a living as a writer and succeeded as a journalist and editor first, and then more recently as a writer in the video-game industry, which is fiction of another type. Every day, I'm working on story lines, plots, characters, dialogue - all the elements of fiction, but within video-games.

What most surprised you about the entire writing a novel process?
The most surprising thing to me is that I wrote this novel entirely in my living room. Having a "room of one's own," as Virginia Woolf describes, a place to write, was really important to me - or so I thought. I gladly gave it up when my fiancee moved in with me - his son was part of the deal and needed his own room. I find it really ironic that it wasn't until I lost my writing room, literally selling my beloved desk (a substantial wooden behemoth) that I was finally able to finish writing a novel. I believe that having both my partner's and my stepson's support meant more than the desk!

Lisa I notice youre going to publish this through Amazons Kindle Direct Program.
Was self publishing a conscience choice?
Absolutely. Given the realities of today's publishing world, it's the best route for me.

It says in your day job youre involved in the video gaming industry.
What exactly do you do?
I've built from the ground up a team of writers who specialize in how to tell a story in service to a game. We give feedback on story treatments on paper, judging first the story on its own and then how it integrates with the game design. Then we give more feedback once the game is built, as well as write voice-over scripts, in-game text, and help guides.

It also says that the games you work on are story-driven, non-violent and most often rely on a mystery or supernatural theme.
The video gaming industry is huge but many of the games out there are violent.
Is it important to you to only work on non-violent games?
This is a pretty big question, and there's a lot to say here. First, it would be challenging (but not impossible) for me to work on a first-person shooter because those aren't the games I normally play, unless I'm bonding with my stepson, who's fond of Xbox games like Black Ops. I tend to be a very sensitive person, both when I'm playing games and when I'm watching TV or a movie or reading a book. While I'm a tough cookie in all other aspects, I'm not a fan of simulated killing, and I'm squeamish about bodily violence. This isn't about being "offended" but rather my personal comfort level. That said, I love shooting inanimate objects in an arcade style, so go figure.
Second, I think the landscape of what constitutes a game has already radically shifted. Most players aren't playing violent games these days, unless you consider crushing candy to be violent!
Third, according to the research, the problem of violence in games is actually way overblown. Studies consistently show little to no correlation between violence in games and violence in real life. On the contrary, gamers have better eye-hand coordination, problem-solving skills, and cooperative team-building skills from their play. Because of this, the field of education has been using games as a teaching tool for some time, and that continues to grow.
But the games I work on have as their core mechanic the search for hidden objects in an "I-spy" scene, or mini-games that are really just puzzles of varying kinds. They are more like the old Choose-Your-Own-Adventure books than they are like Xbox games. They are very story-driven, with heroes and villains and usually some mystery to solve. The work has been a good accompaniment to my writing.

Lisa thanks for taking the time to answer these questions. Good luck with the novel.
I hope you come back when number two is released to tell us about that one too!
Thanks so much, Debbie, for your blog hospitality. I really appreciate your thoughtful questions.

Cat in the Flock will be available through Amazon on July 28, 2014. You can purchase it at the $2.99 introductory price for the first three months and download it to your Kindle. It will be free through the Lending Library to those with Prime during that time as well. A print version will be available in the fall.

CONNECT WITH LISA - Website - Facebook 

In some form or another, Lisa Brunette has been earning a living as a storyteller for more than twenty years. 
She's the writer behind hundreds of bestselling computer games published by Big Fish, such as the Final Cut, Mystery Case Files, Mystery Trackers, Dark Tales, Myths of the World, and Off the Record series. Brunette has also written scripts for games that you can play on the Nintendo Wii and DS, Xbox Kinect, and Sony PlayStation.


  1. The whole concept of dreamslippers is so fascinating! I love that this will be a trilogy and you get to meet different family members along the way.

    1. Hi Kindlemom, Happy Monday. Thanks for the comment :)

    2. Thanks, Kindlemom! You just made my day. I look forward to hearing what you think of the book.

  2. That's really awesome she's donating a portion of the sales. So nice to see authors doing things like that.

  3. Wonderful about the donation and what a fantastic cause. I love the idea of slipping into someone's dream. This mystery sounds good :)