Tag Archives: kittens

Kitten Cover Theory

silasPeople in the publishing industry work hard to get book covers right. They consider content, style, tone, theme. Twenty theories about what works exist; if you want to see them all, read the Guardian article that detailed them by googling “Scent of a Kitten.”

For it is theory #20 to which we turn our attention today: “Nothing draws a reader to a book like a picture of a fluffy kitten.”

Indeed. Nothing draws customers, either.

kittens 5Meet Clyde Edgerton (that’s him with his nose in the air on the left) Amy Clark (below) and Silas House (getting a cuddle above). We were going to name the girl Anne River Siddons, but a friend is drafting an Appalachian memoir, and what the hey, the kitten looks like her.

We started naming our foster kittens after books because it was cute and funny–and then we found out that people adopted the li’l darlins faster with literary names. Something to do with them being born in a bookstore–the kittens, not the customers.

And that kitten cover theory thing works; these tiny fluffballs cast the glamor over everyone who sees them, including Jack and me. After a hard day of shelving and basement renovation and customer service, we sit upstairs for fifteen minutes while the fur babies climb all over our legs and stare into our faces and make little “mip” sounds that we think will be mews when they’re older.kittens 6

We were away the weekend the kittens turned two (weeks) which is when they began to leave their soft cave of blankets draped over furniture to explore. Kittens handled for the first time will  exhibit stress and fear, so we told our local shopsitter Wes, and Heather our cleaning lady who lives up the street, not to worry, just please feed mommy Tallulah and we’d take care of socializing the kittens when we got home.

IMG_3520Worry, ha! When we went upstairs to greet them on our return, the kids leaped from their cushioned basket (basket? we didn’t leave a basket and we certainly didn’t weave a satin ribbon ’round one) to clamber into our palms. “Start the elevator!” they all but shouted. “Finger ride; finger ride!”

Jack looked at me over the rim of his glasses as Clyde, the adventurer, attempted to climb into his ear. “I guess we know what went on here over the weekend,” he said. Turns out, between Heather and Wes, a steady stream of guests visited the cathouse. Tsk tsk. We’ll be shut down!

But we understand. Nothing soothes the soul quite like three cherubic kittens romping and frolicing. Lowers the blood pressure.

Clyde, Silas, Amy and their mama will be ready to go to their forever homes in about four weeks…..

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, bookstore management, humor, shopsitting, small town USA, Uncategorized

Critic on the run after trashy Review

photo (2)Fur is flying after numerous catty responses to the handling of a recent book. (For the full review from Lucy, pictured at left, please visit yesterday’s blog post.)

“I trusted my instincts and did what came naturally,” insisted Lucy, the literary agent in the doghouse. “Yes, I trashed the book, but that’s part of my job.”

Not so, said well-known publicist ValKyttie (shown here with the book in question). “What would a bitch like that know about good writing? Crap. That’s all she produces, is crap.”valkyttie with her cover

Speculation has arisen that ValKyttie, who is CEO of the book’s subject (a second-hand book store in a small town somewhere in SW VA), may be personally motivated in her criticism. However, several other voices have joined the caterwaul of protest.

Tallulah, a Southern Literature expert, dismissed Lucy’s comments with a sniff. “This is nothing more than a dogged determination to leave her mark. But I tell you one thing, that pup has ruined her career. This review will dog her every step from this day forward. Her boss will shriek protests if she so much as approaches another book this year.”tallulah

Tallulah is currently visiting The Little Bookstore of Big Stone Gap with her children: (from top) Clyde Edgerton, Amy Clark, and Silas House.

clydeAmy Housesilas house

Of the trio, House was most sanguine. “Meh,” he was overheard to say.

When she heard of House’s dismissive remark, Lucy suggested they meet face to face to settle their differences. House has not yet responded.

Perhaps the final words on this dog-eat-dog saga belong to Starbuck, a veteran newshound from Richmond, VA. Those who follow the literary world’s movers and shakers may remember when Starbuck made news herself by becoming the first dog under the age of six months to learn to read. starbuck

The Buckster howled with delight when told the story, then sobered to growl, “Lucy better be careful. Biting off more than one can chew is dangerous. These young pups,” she said, shaking her head and returning to her drink. “You try to train ’em, but…”

Editor’s Note: Louise Malpas, normally all ears regarding reviews of Welch’s book, is vacationing in the Hamptons and could not be reached for comment. Friends suggest she would have bounced with enthusiasm at the publicity.

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Filed under animal rescue, Big Stone Gap, book reviews, folklore and ethnography, humor, publishing, small town USA, Uncategorized, VA