Now, y’all I really don’t know how to explain this. Cat Connor is a nice lady and very talented writer. When I invited her to sit for a while in my kitchen with a nice cup of the Irish, I had NO idea that she would bring her imaginary friend Ella Conway with her. Needless to say my cup of the Irish was a bit stronger after that introduction.
This might explain it better. Ellie Conway is the star in all Cats’ books in The Byte Series. Now, you and I know that Miss Ellie is just a personality that Cat writes about, but I do think it is time her publisher should explain that to her.
First about Cat, she lives in Wellington region of New Zealand with her husband whom she calls Action Man, their youngest children, aptly named, The Boy Wonder, Squealer, and Breezy. They all share the house with a fat gray cat named Missy and Romeo the rescued Greyhound.
Her current series is published with Rebel e Publishing is “The Byte Series” featuring Supervisory Special Agent Ellie Conway. When she is not playing around with Ellie all over Northern Virginia she divides her time with sewing, tie dying, reading and just hanging out with her family and of course the admins. Admins, you ask, yep admins, Admin One, Admin Bubbles, with all those people and animals around her you would think she just might want to be alone. Instead of bringing Ellie Conway with her everywhere, she goes. Yes, after another cup of the Irish I agreed to get Ellie’s bio and interview her.
Well, Miss Ellie it is a pleasure to meet you, tell us a little about yourself. I am a Supervising Special Agent with the FBI. I have a teenage daughter – who keeps me on my toes. You think I am fictitious although Cat does not think so. So, the least said about that the better. I am the protagonist in The Byte Series written by Cat Connor and published by Rebel ePublishers. (killerbyte, terrorbyte. exacerbyte and flashbyte…)
I hope you enjoy the interview with Cat and Miss Ellie. I am getting another cup of the Irish.
1. Earliest memory of your Mothers or Grandmothers kitchen.
Cat Connor: Sitting in my highchair wearing my good white coat while eating vegemite on toast. Mum wasn’t there, I don’t know where she was but dad obviously couldn’t find my dressing gown and thought my good white coat was just the thing for a toddler to wear while eating vegemite on toast.
My next earliest memory of the kitchen would be me sitting at the breakfast bar watching mum bake. It would’ve been a Sunday. That was baking day because my parents worked. I was maybe 11. Mum would pass the beaters to me to lick when she finished mixing cake batter.
Probably why my kids line up for the beaters and the mixing bowl when I’m baking!
SSA Ellie Conway: Hiding in the pantry and hoping the crazy woman wouldn’t look in there.
2. Do you like to cook?
Cat Connor: Sometimes, I like to cook when everyone appreciates the effort gone to. I dislike cooking when there is a moaning whiny complainer at the table. Luckily the whiner has grown a bit older and is more willing to try things (plus her brother will NOT tolerate any complaining about anything prepared for family meals!). So I mostly enjoy cooking. I have to be in the mood to bake though.
SSA Ellie Conway: Don’t really get a lot of opportunity to cook. I tend to work some long hours. So in our house we do breakfast. It’s the meal I am most often there for and I do enjoy making breakfast for my daughter.
3. If not why not? NA
4. What recipe of your mother or grandmother do you make that sends you back in time watching (whichever one) in the kitchen?
Cat Connor: Mum makes this dish called hotdog casserole. I love it! My kids love it. Every time I make it it reminds me of winters when I was a kid and the smell of our kitchen. I still don’t know why it’s called hotdog casserole… it’s made with beef sausages not hotdogs!
SSA Ellie Conway: I try not to make anything that reminds me of my mother. Making scrambled eggs reminds me of mornings at home and the Spanish Inquisition all at once. Luckily, Carla rarely asks for scrambled eggs.
5. What is your favourite herb, spice, or both?
Cat Connor: I love sage. Sage is so delicious. Just the other day I made sage and cheese scones to go with roasted pumpkin and kumara soup… so delicious! Best of all the kids (all of them) loved the scones and the soup. As far as spices go, I really like nutmeg. Especially on pumpkin pie!
SSA Ellie Conway: Cinnamon and cayenne pepper. Cinnamon tastes great with apples – and apple pie is my favourite pie. Cayenne pepper doubles as a good weapon. Toss that in someone’s eyes and they are not going far.
6. If you could be a ghost in that kitchen and watch yourself as a small child, what would you tell that child today?
Cat Connor: Watch carefully. Ask questions. One day you’ll want to make all those dishes and teach your girls to make them.
SSA Ellie Conway: Run before the crazy starts.
7. Outside of your own country/county, which country’s cuisine do you like or prefer.
Cat Connor: I like most things. I don’t like Asian food. Never have but that could just be a self-protection mechanism, soy being used freely in Asian cooking and me being allergic to it!
SSA Ellie Conway: Like Cat I have no favourite but unlike Cat there isn’t a cuisine I don’t enjoy.
8. What is your families’ favourite dish?
Cat Connor: We have several family favourites. Almost everyone love smoked fish pie. I think almost everyone loves lasagne. None of them will ever turn down roast beef or roast chicken!
SSA Ellie Conway: I have a teenage daughter, as far as I know she’ll eat anything put in front of her. Her favourite meal is roast beef. I don’t make it. My father does. Dad does most of our evening meals as I work long unpredictable hours.
9. What is your favourite kitchen gadgets old and new.(one old one new)
Cat Connor: A really sharp paring knife. I love a good paring knife.
SSA Ellie Conway: My husband’s favourite store was Bed Bath and Beyond, I think we had every gadget known to man in the kitchen when he was alive. Dad rescued a few gadgets from our home after an explosion recently. Looks like I’ll have to replace most of my kitchen equipment. What I do have is Mac’s meat mallet and his hand whisk.
10. I have an old fashion pantry, larder to you Brits, (yes i will change that to kiwi) do you have one and Do you recommend people start one and what would be the most important thing in that larder?
Cat Connor: Us kiwis have pantries. I don’t know exactly what you mean by start one though – shouldn’t everyone have a pantry full of dry goods, jars of jam etc, and canned food? It’s not something I ever think about. It’s just where I store the food. I have no idea what the most important thing in my pantry is. It’s full of everything required to bake and make meals (obviously not vege or meat – that’s what the fridge and freezer are for!).
SSA Ellie Conway: Pantry – that would be the thing Dad stocks for me. I go into it and pull out whatever I want; when things get low or run out, they are magically replaced. I love my pantry. I have pantry elves. Carla has a thing about earthquakes at the moment, so probably the most important things in the pantry are canned food!
Cat is a member of Kiwiwriters.org, Backspace.org, The New Zealand Society of Authors, and International Thriller Writers,Inc.
You can find her on MySpace, Google +, Twitter @catconnor, Good reads and Face book.