Isolation. You spend a lot of time alone with the characters. Sometimes they wake me up at night demanding attention. There are bad days when it is hard not to put the whole book in the shredder and take a holiday, but somehow you don't give up.
Can you give us a short synopsis of The University Cat?
The University Cat – A Tale for Grown Ups and Graduates is set in Sydney University and follows the adventures of a Siamese cat, Penny, who has come to live with one of the Professors. This story is about one of her nine lives as in her previous life she was a cat in a virtual world in Tails from the Shop. There is no distinction made between fantasy and reality.
Penny settles in Professor Eagle’s office and is spotted by a visiting fashion designer, Erickson Jon. She becomes a guest model for his fashion shoot to the annoyance of the conceited celebrity model, Magnolia Potter. Penny exacts a suitable revenge for Magnolia’s arrogance and bad manners.
When she returns from a few days pampering in Erickson’s luxury apartment, she goes hunting for a juicy mouse and has a frightening time dodging the gargoyles on the Museum roof. Meanwhile, the University is holding the annual Dog Show, and the Dean and various other staff are conspiring to make sure that Professor Poppett and her dog, Poodle do not win the trophy. During the dog show, frightening things are happening inside the Museum and the curator, Dr Parker-Betts becomes an unlikely hero and saves Penny from a horrible fate. It is a humorous look at university life and pets in general.
What inspired you to write this book?
I created the character of Penny, the super intelligent, well-educated Siamese cat in my first book. I want to write a funny book set in the university where I was working. Inspiration came from my friends and wonderful characters all around me. I was also inspired by the gothic architecture of the university buildings. I spend a lot of time getting to know all the gargoyles.
How many hours per day do you spend writing?
As many as I can, but it varies. I try to write something every day. So much time is spend thinking about the plot and characters, which I often do while out walking. Many really good ideas come from just talking to people online and sharing stories with them. The best character names are to be found in the churchyard.
Name your top five favourite books?
Jane Austen – Sense and Sensibility
Evelyn Waugh – Scoop
Elizabeth Smart – By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept
Flaubert – Madame Bouvary
Neal Stephenson – Snow Crash
What are you working on now?
I have just completed a crime fiction novel called Death is Beautiful. It is the story, set in cold wintery Nova Scotia, about the dreadful consequences of an online romance gone wrong.
Title: The University Cat: A Tale for Grown Ups and Graduates
Author: Jessika Jenvieve
Genre: Urban Fiction
Gargoyles are said to frighten off harmful spirits and protect the buildings that they guard. They are evil creations and those approaching the University’s Gothic buildings at night are advised to use caution. If you think that a Gargoyle is simply made of stone, you are terribly mistaken.
Penny, a super intelligent, well-educated Siamese cat moves into Professor Eagle’s office and sinks her claws into the exquisite calfskin binding of his books. The Gargoyles have her firmly fixed in their sights. There are terrifying times to come in the University Museum and a wicked plot to prevent Professor Poppett and Poodle from winning the Dog Show. If you thought it was safe to go to university, you might need to think again.
Jessika Jenvieve writes Urban Fantasy, combining the fantastic with the ridiculous and funny. She is working very hard at establishing a cult-following, and has spent a small fortune on dramatic black outfits. She lives in a small village in England, where her unorthodox dress causes gossip and scandal. She is passionate about sports cars, the blues and the ocean.
Life has taken her on a long and unexpected journey from England to Australia and back again. She is an alumna of Bretton Hall, and also City University in London. After graduating, she followed her heart and tried her luck as an actress and singer. She designed costumes and won some awards, then dabbled in lighting design and finally settled on a career as a stage manager. She landed the best job in the world as a stage manager at the Sydney Opera House, spending ten years backstage with some of the greatest performers and musicians. In 2015, she returned to the England and has completed her first crime fiction novel.
The University Cat: a tale for Grown Ups and Graduates