I'm happy to be welcoming Debbie Manber Kufar to the blog today for both an interview and a review of her book - P.A.W.S - now let's find out a little about Debbie.
Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in the London. She has lived in Israel, New York and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis, where she works as a writer and a freelance puzzle constructor of word puzzles and logic problems. She lives with her husband, two children and a very opinionated feline. She is the author of the young adult fantasy series, P.A.W.S. which features a secret institute of shapeshifters hidden deep beneath the Jewel Box in Forest Park, St. Louis. In addition she has stories in several anthologies including Fauxpocalypse, Stardust, Always, Winter Wishes, and Sins of The Past. She has also published a book of puzzles, Paws 4 Logic, with her son Joey. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!
Now onto the interview!
What made you want to be a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a writer. I wrote my first story when I was around eight years old. It was about turning into a ladybird. (See even back then I wrote about shapeshifters.) I sent that story to the Puffin Post and was so excited when I got a mention in the magazine. I knew right then that someday I wanted to write a novel.
what kind of books do you read for pleasure?
I read all sorts, but recently find myself being drawn to urban fantasy. My current read is Blood Debt by E.A. Copen. Highly recommended.
What kind of writer are you: plan or not?
I’m mostly a discovery writer. I have a strong idea where my story is leading but only a vague notion of how I’ll get there. But I’m definitely enjoying the journey.
what character of yours is your favourite?
Definitely my wild Welsh warlock (try saying that fast), Gromer the Green. He lives in a rugged, but homely cave in Snowdonia (which he calls his castle) and has a fondness for tea and pea soup. He is also supposed to be the only one who knows the whereabouts of the elusive wizzlewoop.
What attracted you to your chosen genre?
I adore writing fantasy, because anything can happen. But I also prefer fantasy that’s set in our world, rather than a separate magical kingdom as I like to believe that it’s possible, that the magic is out there. It’s just that we non-magical folk can’t see it.
Do you have any hobbies?
Not exactly a hobby, but rather my other hat! When I’m not writing fiction I write puzzles for magazines and my website Paws 4 Puzzles. I also spend rather a lot of time reading and solving puzzles.
Would you ever like to branch out to a different genre?
I already do. In between writing my P.A.W.S. novels I also like to write short stories. P.A.W.S. is young adult fantasy, but in my shorts I’ve written for adults and children and so far experimented in science fiction, horror, and humor, with a little poetry thrown in for good measure.
When Miri receives a silver cat charm from her omama, Celia, on the night before Celia dies she has no idea that the charm holds a secret, a powerful magic that saved her omama’s life and is about to make Miri’s a whole lot more interesting.
Join Miri on a mysterious and supernatural journey with her new friends, members of an underground St. Louis society known as the Partnership for Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters, better known as P.A.W.S.
My Review: 5 stars
This is a wonderful book that starts with tragedy and carries on the story of a new generation. Miri receives a cat charm the night before her Omama dies, the morning of her tenth birthday. Sent to live with her uncle and aunt, neither of whom want her or any child, she's faced with life alone with no friends or family. And sent off to boarding school. There she is tormented and teased by the other students until one day the cat charm allows her to transform, which opens up a whole new world to her. Rescued and re-homed at P.A.W.S, Miri has a new start with people just like her who also have similar abilities. The story is delightful, packed with twists and turns that allow you to travel through Miri's adventures and come out the other side wanting more. I loved it. A nice quick read and one I will be sharing with my niece! Highly recommended.