SPECIAL INSIDER INTERVIEW WITH C. LEE MCKENZIE
Author still under siege by FFF. Second Howl-In Threatened.
Interviewer L. Nerd: Today C. Lee McKenzie has gone to the public with a plea for support in the ongoing (Federation of Feline Familiars) FFF v. C. Lee McKenzie case, now in negotiation. She is trying to avoid a lengthy and costly trial, but the FFF continue to hold firm in their demands. They refuse to back down on their insistence for a rewrite of Alligators Overhead in which they replace the current witch familiars, the Ornofree alligators.
The Book at the Center of the Controversary
Interviewer L. Nerd: So, Ms. McKenzie, can you summarize what has happened so far?
C. Lee: The FFF has held one Howl-In to protest what they refer to as a threat to future generations. They say my book opens the door to other species who might want the job as witch familiars. The alligators are firm in opposing the cats. They’re prepared to go to court. I’m very concerned that this dispute might even result in hostilities. After all, these alligators know how to declare war. I’d appreciate your readers’ support: letters to the editor of their local newspapers, letters to the FFF whatever. The FFF is already organizing another of those dreadful Howl-Ins!
Interviewer L. Nerd: When did you first suspect you might be in for trouble?
C. Lee: I was blindsided by the FFF’s attack just before my book came out. I thought they’d find my story was an interesting twist on the traditional “cat needs witch,” “witch needs cat” theme. They have centuries of being familiars on the international scene. Hadleyville is one very small point on the map.
Interviewer L. Nerd: They’re demanding a rewrite or what?
C. Lee: Banning my book! And believe me they have a huge political machine behind them.
Interviewer L. Nerd: This dispute has been going for a few weeks. Has there been no move toward a settlement?
C. Lee: I donated several cases, and the Malamutes, who responded to my request for help, donated some ball toys and finally two scratching posts. Unfortunately, the alligators ate them.
Interviewer L. Nerd: So what are your plans when negotiations resume?
C. Lee: I’ll return to the table with these offers: I’ll dedicate my next book to the FFF and donate 10% of any proceeds the first year the book is out. I’ll sign an agreement to never write another book in which cats lose their traditional roles to another species. I’ll replace the cat toys and the scratching post eaten by the alligators. I have received some information that leads me to believe there’s a small break in the FFF ranks. This might mean things will go in my favor. I’m not sure.
Interviewer L. Nerd: Can you reveal what this break is about?
C. Lee: This is a picture that came into my possession showing that tuna might be the pivotal negotiating point. Obviously, some members are interested in taking this part of my offer.
Then there was a dispute following the last round of talks. Some wanted to take my offer.
Interviewer L. Nerd: So there you have it. The latest news on FFF v. C. Lee McKenzie. She’s stated she will report the results of this dispute on her blog within the next few days.
Awesome book trailer!
"Alligators, witches and a spooky mansion aren't your average neighbors . . . not unless you live at the edge of the Ornofree swamp in the backwater town of Hadleyville. Pete Riley may only be eleven, but he's already up to his eyeballs in big trouble, and this time the town's bad boy, Pete, didn't cause it. This time the trouble arrived when a legendary hundred-year-old mansion materialized next door with someone inside, someone who came to seek him out. Then the Ornofree alligators declare war to try to save their swamp from being bulldozed for a shopping mall, and Pete discovers he's living among a coven of "sadly-out-of practice" witches. When one of their ancient "magick" spells goes wrong and all the witches vanish, including his guardian aunt, Pete's left to face the perils of the Ornofree Swamp War alone. He soon discovers that he just might have inherited the family talent for witchcraft, and, although he doesn't know one thing about the practice of spell casting, he's the only one left in Hadleyville to do it. It's up to him work some dangerous "magick," restore his aunt and bring back all the other witches. He might stand a chance of succeeding if his one friend, Weasel, sticks with him, but even the two of them may not succeed."
I'm in the middle of reading Alligators Overhead right now. I can't wait to see how Pete Riley gets out of the mess he's in! C. Lee McKenzie's books never disappoint. This is a fun, entertaining middle grade read. Parents who read aloud to their kids will enjoy this book, too.