Friday 30 August 2013

Interview with the Crooked Cat


And no, I haven’t lost the plot, because this is no ordinary cat. This is a Crooked Cat... in the nicest possible way. It’s one that has kept a low profile while its two owners (actually does a cat ever have an owner?) acted as a “front”, until it was ready to hit the world publishing stage.


Cat, I’d like to say what a pleasure it is to be talking to you tonight, even though I am rather apprehensive about talking to what is in effect an iconic, if a somewhat nebulous and anthropomorphic personification. How do you feel about being interviewed at long last?

You may call me Crooked. I feel indifferent about the situation and, since I have heard that you are somewhat of a troublemaker, Mr Hardie, I shall take my time. You may continue.

Er, thank you, Cat, I mean Crooked, I'll try not to cause too much trouble. Few publishing houses have been run by an animal, except of course Penguin, so tell me how you started Crooked Cat Publishing?

Penguin? Pah. A bird in Cat’s clothing. There are few things in life more important to a Cat than to see its owner happy. That, my dear friend, and a rather large, dead fish in front of one, naturally. My owner, tired of the way that normal publishers value celebrities ahead of a good read, thought it would be a spiffing idea to start something up - a place where the story is the most important thing. And so it began...

I have to ask you.... why Crooked? Cats have a reputation for cleverness, being devious and often cruel. But Crooked?

How dare you suggest that I have a reputation for cleverness! Your readers may be familiar (though I’m quite certain that you possess not the slightest clue about it - I’m sure that you are an X Factor fan)......

I am definitely not!

.......with an old English rhyme:

There was a crooked man, and he walked a crooked mile.
He found a crooked sixpence against a crooked stile.
He bought a crooked cat, which caught a crooked mouse,
And they all lived together in a little crooked house.

I shall leave you to make up your own mind about it. CAN YOU READ?

Word has it that you would have loved to have published Of Mice And Men, The Birds and Under Milk Wood.

You can’t read, can you?

Yes, I can. Now tell me though, who is your favourite non-Crooked Cat author?

Are you trying to be humorous, Mr Hardie? Don’t. I am particularly partial to a piece of Jean Cocteau, Neil Gaiman and Jack Kerouac. I also like J...  BIRD. BIRD. BIRRRRRRD.....
Who is your favourite, Mr Hardie?

(Blimey! I interviewed Bernard Cornwell and now I'm talking to a cat!!! Chin up, Richard!) There are so many publishers out there.......

Oh, are you ignoring me, Mr Hardie? an independent how do you promote your brilliant authors?

You ARE ignoring me. Big mistake. do the big Cats do it? The cream (hmm, cream) rises to the top eventually. I love telling the world how brilliant our authors are, and they’re very good at it as well. The internet is beautifully lovely for this sort of thing - facebook and twitter to name but a few - but my poor paws don’t really suit the keyboard these days.

What do you look for in a book before accepting it, and how important is the author?

I don’t accept - I tolerate. Someone has to write good and use, punctuation properly, and sepll well. But what’s most important of all is when they......BIRD BIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRDDD.....

(Nurse, the screens!) On average, Crooked, what percentage of authors that submit to you do you take on?

About 15%. Even the ones who ignore me......


.........That’s very nearly half

How do you see Crooked Cat Publishing evolving over the next two to three years?

I see a big castle, a lot of mice (preferably just-dead) and lots of warm fires. I don’t think there’s anything else to say, really.

Cat, it’s been lovely taking to you......

No it hasn’t. Don’t lie.

 .....and many thanks for giving us an insight into Crooked Cat Publishing.

I am Cat. Call me Crooked. I have tolerated you. Farewell.

(Phew! It's a good job I didn't mention that next week I'm interviewing a dog!)

Crooked Cat’s fascinating and beguiling webpage is at  where you can find out a lot more about Crooked Cat Publishing and its authors.

You can also find out more about Crooked Cat Publishing on YouTube at


  1. Replies
    1. Many thanks, Marit.
      The fur flew on occasions, but claws remained sheathed!

  2. Ha ha ha that has to be the most bizarre interview I've ever read!

    Well done both Richard and Crooked Cat for making it to the end :)

    1. Thanks, Tina.
      Not the greatest of conversationalists and with a tendency to wash halfway through a sentence!

  3. hahahaha. Bart and Holly enjoyed this interview very much.

    1. Thanks Carol,
      Felines of great taste, obviously!

  4. hope you're not in the doghouse after that miaowling.... ooohhh sorry .. fab interview Richard

    1. Hi Tom,
      No I escaped relatively unharmed, even though I do tend to smell of fish now.
      Snoopy should be a doddle after this!

  5. Bizarre, Richard - but great fun to read!

  6. Hahaha, hilarious. My greyhound Jinty says she'd love to have taken part too, but in the circumstances it's just as well she didn't. She loves cats but not in a way Crooked would admire. Thanks Crooked and Richard for cheering up a rather hectic day!

  7. Hi Teresa,
    Many thanks! My cocker spaniel, Benji, was a bit envious too!

  8. It was very good of THE CAT - the great one - to deign to be interviewed - what a huge honour. May a great many birds and mice pay homage to the cat.... bows out backwards......

    1. Thanks Sarah.
      Last time I interview a feline metamorphotic entity.... iconic, or not!

  9. That was brilliant. Fantastic concept and really well done. Titch wants to know when he can have an interview about living with two writers! Don't do it ... once you get him started he never shuts up!

    1. Hi Ailsa,
      Crooked and I are thinking of forming a double act Quarrel and Hardie. Any offers?

  10. What a funny interview!

    Sam T

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  12. Takes the cat's whisker to new heights. Seems like you both had a ball - well, a fur ball, maybe. Nice one, Richard. Nik

  13. That was fun in a slightly mad sort of way.