“Text From Mittens” Author Interview & Giveaway!

Texts From Mittens: A Cat Who Has an Unlimited Data Plan…and Isn’t Afraid to Use It,” by author and humorist Angie Bailey comes on the heels of her first cat  book (and now calendar), “whiskerslist: the kitty classifieds.

Thanks to the cat blogging coupled with the fact Angie she lives near Minneapolis with her family of 3 furbabies and 2 furless, close to where I spent my formative years, we bonded immediately.

Text With MIttens, a book by Angie BaileyYou can’t help but be happy around her. Her genuine smile, positive attitude and enthusiasm are infectious –as you’ll can see I can’t help but smiling and acting goofy in her presence (even in the absence of make-up!)

We thought it would be fun to do a little Q&A with her to learn a bit more about the book and get some inside scoop! Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to read to the end to enter our giveaway!

One of the original set of "Texts With Mittens" published on Catster

One of the original set of “Texts With Mittens” published on Catster

IHC: What gave you the idea for a texting cat?

ANGIE: I love the idea of cats acting like humans, and the idea came on the heels of “whiskerslist,”  which was about cats using a feline form of craigslist. Plus, I laughed at the thought of the things my cats would text me. It’s ridiculously silly — just like I like it!

IHC: Can we divulge the original Mittens?

ANGIE: Sure! …when I originally started Mittens, I used my husband’s iPhone as “Mitten’s” phone and would texts back and forth with both phones in front of me. In order to do this, I had to change my husband’s name to “Mittens” in my contacts. It’s been a couple of years, but I can’t bear to change his name back to John. Plus, there’s a certain thrill that comes from seeing a call of texts from Mittens come through on my phone!

You were warned!

You were warned!

IHC: Did the concept begin as a one-off or did you know Mittens had a future?

Angie: It started as a one-off on Catster [Tamar here, as an aside, it received 73 comments!], and then the readers wanted more so the editors OK’d it as a bi-weekly column (which it still is — every other Wednesday). Readers still wanted more, so I created textsfrommittens.com, where I post a daily text conversation. That became popular quickly, so I pitched the book and it was picked up.

IHC: What’s been the most gratifying part of this project?

ANGIE: It’s been really fun all along to see readership grow and watch people become increasingly attached to “Mittens” and the gang… I’ve received emails and messages from people with chronic or terminal illnesses who’ve expressed their gratitude for the much-needed laughs. One reader told me she forwards the posts to her husband who’s deployed in Afghanistan and he shares them with his friends. I love thinking about “Mitty” entertaining the troops! All of this is better than any kind of success measured by numbers.

A few of the first text between Mittens and Angie published on Catster.

A few of the first text between Mittens and Angie published on Catster.

IHC: What percent of the texts in the book are original, or are they mostly a collection of your past work?

ANGIE: About 90% is new material.

IHC: Who inspired the character of the neighbor “Drunk Patty”?

ANGIE: No, but her character has been really fun to develop. I like to think of her as a less classy version of Karen from Will and Grace or Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous. She’s not drunk all the time, but she likes to have a PBR and go to the casino. She’s always happy, works at a tanning salon, and loves to cuddle Mittens and kiss him with her Jack Daniels and Cool Ranch Dorito breath. She’s the kind of girl that still slathers herself with baby oil and “lays out” in the backyard. She’s got a huge heart and is actually quite an endearing character.

Angie with Cosmo (is that the real Mittens?!)

Angie with Cosmo (is that the real Mittens?!)

IHC: Was the character of Mittens based on any one specific cat?

ANGIE: No, not originally, but I recently realized he’s a lot like my Tuxie, Cosmo.

IHC: Can you describe to us, in a sentence, each of your REAL cats?

ANGIE: Cosmo is a total Mama’s boy who thinks he’s a tough guy; Saffy is a fluffy old lady with three teeth and a gravelly meow, Phoebe is the 6.5 lb. alpha with a huge, bossy mouth.

Left to right: Cosmo, Saffy and Phoebe (photos from CatLadyLand.com)

Left to right: Cosmo, Saffy and Phoebe (photos from CatLadyLand.com)

IHC: Do you think your real life cats are jealous of Mittens and all the attention he gets?

ANGIE: They don’t care, as long as it earns the treat money. [Tamar: Spoken like a true cat parent – no delusions here!]

TO ENTER THE “TEXT FROM MITTENS” GIVEAWAY:

  • You must leave a comment to this post.
  • For extra chances to win use the widget to Tweet, post to Facebook etc.
  • Must have a mailing address within the continental United States.
  • Giveaway entries will only be accepted through Wednesday April 29th at 12am EST.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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  • I’d love to win! My cat, Dots, would like his own book deal, so he wants to borrow the book from me for inspiration.

  • Connie KittyBlog

    there.. a little tweet love.. even if it did take me a few extra steps 🙂

    • Connie KittyBlog

      I was sure I had entered this, but when I showed up again it said I hadn’t, so I entered again.. if you see two entries from me, can you delete one?

  • I’m sorry I can’t enter this giveaway. I would love to win the book. I must confess I love reading fun cats books – right now I’m reading “I could pee on this and other poems by cats” and it’s hilarious.

  • Milene Mittelhauser

    I pretty much love all books about cats. Would love to read this one.

  • AngieBailey

    Thank you for the nice review and interview! I miss you! xoxo Ang

    • mwah! not sure if that was for me but i’ll take it! LOL!

  • Cleopawtra

    I love this conception of a cat that texts it’s human. T could see my own tuxedo kitty texting me. Tried to log on to facebook from the link and it wouldn’t let me.

  • Jackie Younce

    I picked up this book at Barnes and Noble to flip through, and immediately started laughing at Mittens! So funny! Would love to win a copy and read it to completion!

  • jmuhj

    Angie, how did you get in our house? You obvy did, because these texts are actually from my Rani 😉

  • Maggi Shelbourn

    Reading the Texts from Mittens makes me
    Smile. Having three cats of my own, I can totally hear the conversations, LOL!

  • We love Angie and Mittens here! And the book is awesome – we already have a copy!

  • Helen Tyack

    Angie was the very first kitty blogger l started following! Aww!
    Always, always made me laugh. Haha!
    OMC!! Tamar, you and Angie together would be an absolute riot!

  • Stephanie Jones

    totally want a copy of this book. it looks hilarious!

  • Holly Carr

    We LOVE Texts From Mittens! I’d LOVE to win a copy of the book for my best friend, who’s also a huge fan! 🙂

  • Brooke

    Big fan of Mittens and Angie! Also a big fan of Judge Judy! Never miss an episode! 😛

  • Joan Ryan

    We would love to win a copy of Texts from Mittens. We have a lot of cat books. Mommy just finished Rescued. We love all things “cat”. This book looks pawsome.

  • Raine Dawson

    I can’t wait to read this, we loved the Whiskerlist! Really fun q&a, thank you!

  • We are so happy that Texts from Mittens is such a huge success. We love Mittens and Angie!

  • Bonnie C

    The texts from Mittens are so real! They are conversations I have had with other cat lovers and we laugh and laugh. I love Mitty.

  • Gillian Paulus

    I love Texts from Mittens! They are hilarious. I hope I win the book 😀

  • Taboo

    Love the Mittens drama.

  • DeAnne Norton

    I love Mitty. Oh, Angie’s cool too 🙂