Tuesday, October 31, 2017

A Special Interview with Boo the Cat—from THE ASTONISHING THING by Sandi Ward

“A unique and poignant tale of a family’s struggle as witnessed by someone who sees everything...a triumphant debut for Sandi Ward.”

— Helen Brown, New York Times bestselling author of Cleo

Today I have a very special interview with Boo, a cat and point of view character in Sandi Ward’s debut novel, THE ASTONISHING THING.

Welcome Boo. Could you tell us a little about yourself?

Hello and meow! I’m the cat who lives with the Sullivan family.

I have long, luxurious fur. Humans love to admire me, and they think I’m very amusing. They have many nicknames for me, like Sweetie, Cutie and Fat Fat.

There’s another creature who lives here who is Not A Cat. I can’t talk to him. He barks and runs around in circles a lot. Boring! I prefer cuddling with my humans.

Can you tell me what your story is about?

It’s about the search for my human mother. She leaves the house one day, and doesn’t come back. It’s the worst thing that ever happens to me in my entire life. I am heartbroken, and don’t know how to survive without her.

What is it like living with the Sullivan family?

Well, life is never boring! There is always something going on that needs straightening out. There are two teenagers, and they’re always busy—making food, bringing friends over, throwing parties and causing trouble.

Then there’s the baby, named Finn. He yowls a lot, but he’s pretty cute. I knew from the time he was born that there was something a little different about him. Turns out I was right! But I won’t tell you what it is. You will have to read my story to find out.

Is it true you aren’t allowed outside?

It is. I’m completely housebound. But you know what? I love our old house. There are plenty of rooms to explore and spaces where I can hide. My favorite spot is in front of the warm fireplace.

One time, I darted out the back door. It was dark and terrifying. I know there are raccoons out there in the woods! And the snow on my paws felt cold and strange. Thank goodness my family found me. I have no desire to go outside ever again.

What’s your favorite food?

Tuna—fresh! We live near the ocean, and I know that’s where tuna comes from. But in a pinch, I’ll accept it out of a can. I can’t prepare my own food, so I have to take whatever I can get.

Thank you so much, Boo. It’s been great chatting with you.


In her inventive, sometimes bittersweet, ultimately uplifting debut, Sandi Ward draws readers into one extraordinary cat’s quest to make sense of her world, illuminating the limits and mysterious depths of love . . .

Pet owners know that a cat’s loyalty is not easily earned. Boo, a resourceful young feline with a keen eye and inquiring mind, has nonetheless grown intensely devoted to her human companion, Carrie. Several days ago, Carrie—or Mother, as Boo calls her—suddenly went away, leaving her family, including Boo, in disarray. Carrie’s husband, Tommy, is distant and distracted even as he does his best to care for Boo’s human siblings, especially baby Finn.
Boo worries about who will fill her food dish, and provide a warm lap to nestle into. More pressing still, she’s trying to uncover the complicated truth about why Carrie left. Though frequently mystified by human behavior, Boo is sure that Carrie once cared passionately for Tommy and adores her children, even the non-feline ones. But she also sees it may not be enough to make things right. Perhaps only a cat—a wise, observant, very determined cat—can do that . . .
Wonderfully tender and insightful, THE ASTONISHING THING explores the intricacies of marriage and family through an unforgettable perspective at the center of it all.



Sandi Ward grew up in Manchester-By-The-Sea, Massachusetts. She attended Tufts University, and received her MA in Creative Writing at New York University, where she studied with E.L. Doctorow. She now lives on the Jersey Shore with her husband, teenagers, dog and a big black cat named Winnie. Sandi is a medical writer at an ad agency in New Jersey, specializing in psychiatry and pain management.
Her first novel for Kensington Books is titled THE ASTONISHING THING. Her second novel is titled SOMETHING WORTH SAVING (November 2018).


                     Learn more at: www.sandiwardbooks.com                                    

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