A Very Catty Writer
A Very Catty Writer
Writer. Photographer. Cat lady.
Crazy? Perhaps. But A. Katie Rose is all of them and more. Her writing and her horses are her passions. Rescuing cats is her calling. An independent author and publisher of epic fantasy novels, Rose’s given name is Katie Anderson. She selected the pen name A. Katie Rose when her first novel, “In a Wolf’s Eyes” went under contract for publication.
The author, A. Katie Rose
Anderson, 55, rescues homeless cats and kittens in addition to writing fantasy novels. She also traps, neuters and returns feral cats to their home colonies. “My first pet right out of college was a black cat I named Sid. I’ve always loved cats, and dogs, and horses. But cats always seemed drawn to me.”
Rose credits her family for giving her the love of both animals and writing. The second youngest of five children, Chester and Gerry Anderson moved their family from Minneapolis to a Denver suburb in 1964. At an early age, her father put her in charge of the family German Shepherd, Agarn. “I fed him and I took him for his walks. He wasn’t just a protector or pet. He was a member of the family.”
“I moved to the San Antonio area from Colorado ten years ago,” Anderson explained. “I had no idea how many homeless animals there are down here. I started by rescuing a small kitten from the street, and adopted him.”
“It’s important to do something to help the problem,” said Kay Keane, a volunteer with the San Antonio Feral Cat Coalition. “It’s very sad to see the number of people who say, ‘I didn’t know what to do’.”
The Feral Cat Coalition (FCC) is an organization devoted to educating the public about the homeless and feral cats in the greater San Antonio area. They offer free classes on trapping, neutering and returning cats to the colonies they were trapped in, and will loan traps to those who have taken the class in order to trap cats in their locations.
“Once neutered, males will no longer spray to mark their territory and fighting over females stops, eliminating the problems of smell and noise. The colony size gradually diminishes with no kittens being born. Cats in a managed colony can live healthy, happy lives without causing problems for neighbors,” says the San Antonio Humane Society website. “Started as a grassroots effort in the U.S., Trap-Neuter-Return (TNR) is now becoming accepted all across the country. TNR is the only proven humane method that solves the overpopulation problem while allowing the cats to live out healthy lives.”
“I’m not sure how many cats I’ve trapped, gotten fixed and returned to their homes,” said Anderson. “I lost count.”
Low cost spay and neuter agencies like The Animal Defense League, Spay Neuter Assistance Program (SNAP), The Humane Society, and SpaySA offer discounts to people in certain zip codes, those with low income and the FCC class attendees.
Anderson has assisted North Park Subaru on San Pedro with its feral cat colony. “Over the years, I’ve rescued over thirty cats and kittens from the dealership,” Anderson said. “I’ve trapped mothers by using their kittens as bait, and found homes for them.”
One of Anderson and Subaru’s success stories, these are the before and after photos of the yellow and white tomcat.
“Katie volunteers her own time to come into our place of business to spay and neuter the cats. It’s so important to prevent overpopulation and it helps everybody. Its helps us, it helps the cats and through her work she’s getting the population under control,” said Mark Castello, Used Car Director for North Park Subaru. “We have a yellow and white tomcat that was always fighting, always scratched up. The customers were complaining. Now he’s happy and fed and not a mess anymore.”
“My favorite is a long-haired Siamese with blue eyes,” Castello said. “I wish I could put her in my backyard, but Katie told me that’s not a good idea. This is her home and she’s happy here.”
Pickles was found in a truck engine at the barn where Anderson stables her horses. “We know he was abandoned because he smelled like perfume. I can’t take all the credit here, but Pickles found a forever home with a loving family and dogs to bully.” Anderson said. “One of the boarders adopted him instantly.”
The author and Pickles
“Texas has been good to me. I love it here. The people are terrific, and I want to give something back to the community. I think this is a way that I can, by helping keep the feral cat population down. Plus, I love helping the cats. The females are so much happier when they aren’t constantly having kittens, and the former tomcats turn into non-fighting lazy sots. It’s gratifying to see them happy,” Anderson said.
Whenever possible, Anderson feeds the cats at the dealership. “I love it when I call and they come running. Since they’re feral, they may not be exactly happy to see me so much as happy that I’m there to feed them, but I still love it. I love caring for them. I guess it’s the caregiver in me.”
In addition to caring for them and eliminating unwanted pregnancies, Anderson also plans to help financially. With every ‘Unforgiven’ book she sells, she will donate $.50 to the Feral Cat Coalition. From there, the funds will be distributed to agencies that not only spay and neuter the feral cats, but also educate the public on the woes of an exploding cat population. “If one person in San Antonio took one feral cat in for sterilization, I suspect the cat numbers would drop so much we’d need to import cats to keep the snakes and rodents away,” Anderson said. “Just my opinion, though.”
In her household, reading was more popular than the television. When her older brother watched her read her favorite horse books, he suggested she read another book. ‘The Hobbit’ by J.R.R. Tolkien. After that, fantasy was her prime reading choice. Anderson gobbled Anne McCaffrey, Katherine Kurtz, David Eddings books. Though her love of horses never faltered, she also loved the racehorse mysteries by Dick Francis. “I named Sid after one of Francis’s characters. I also adore Stephen King,” Anderson admits. “It’s not his horror so much, it’s his style. No one can make me laugh, cry, giggle, gasp, or astound me like Mr. King. I’d love to meet him someday.”
In junior high school, Anderson began writing stories. In high school, she fell in with other fellow writer wannabees and exchanged stories. In the 1990s, she tried publishing her first novel, ‘The Kinslayer’. It wasn’t accepted, but Anderson didn’t give up. She rewrote ‘The Kinslayer’ with the same characters but a different storyline, and called in ‘In a Wolf’s Eyes’. Thus the first book of her ‘Saga of the Black Wolf’ series came to life. Still working a full time job, Anderson wrote in her spare time. As she sought a publisher, she kept writing and two more books emerged.
A small San Francisco publisher, Untreed Reads, accepted ‘In a Wolf’s Eyes’ for publication as an e-book in December of 2010. “I was stunned. It’s a good thing I couldn’t work the next day due to bad weather, because I’d have been useless. I was floating.” The book was released in April of 2012 to rave reviews. “It was so exciting to see the reviews on Amazon that popped so soon after it was published.”
Though sales didn’t climb as hoped, Anderson persevered. ‘Catch a Wolf’ followed in 2013. “The editor at Untreed Reads accepted it without even reading it first. To me, that was a real OMG moment.”
She published the third book of her series, ‘Prince Wolf’ under her own banner, House Anderson Publishing in 2014. Anderson and Untreed Reads parted company soon after by mutual agreement. During this time, Anderson still worked her day job and wrote ‘The Unforgiven’. “It’s about two men, the protagonist and the antagonist, who have done terrible things. Both seek redemption and, while on opposite sides of good and evil, come to respect and like one another.”
“From the first sentence of The Unforgiven, my mind instantly traveled to a Medieval time and place. Katie's characters--Vanyar, Malik, Princess Iyumi and a score of others including Minotaurs, Griffins, Centaurs and Shifters--portray good and evil and all the nuances of both in such a refreshing and sincere way. Her exquisite and rhythmic writing transported me into a brilliantly crafted story full of intrigue, adventure, danger and beauty. I remained transfixed from the first page to the last, longing to read even more,” said Brenda Blanchard, Editor, Writer, Speaker and the Co-President of Christian Writers Group of Greater San Antonio. “I edited ‘The Unforgiven’ and truly enjoyed my work. Katie has a true gift for writing.”
“I was very lucky to find Brenda and have her edit my book. I learned so much from her,” Anderson said. “A really good editor is gem beyond price.”
‘The Unforgiven’, released last year, claimed an even better review than “In a Wolf’s Eyes”. “I submitted ‘Unforgiven’ to Kirkus Magazine for a review. I’d hoped for a good one, and I got one. The reviewer praised it to the max. But when I saw it received a Kirkus star, I was absolutely floored. I get that true ‘OMG’ moment every time I see the Kirkus star next to my title.” In talking to a Kirkus marketing rep, Anderson discovered another amazing fact. Less than two percent of all Kirkus reviews receive a star. “That means in Kirkus terms, my ‘Unforgiven’ is a book of exceptional merit. Is that cool or what?”
Sales are climbing slowly and steadily. “If they continue to rise, I might finally be able to buy my own horse property and write full time. ‘Unforgiven’ was a tough book to write, but well worth it.”
Her epic fantasy series, ‘Saga of the Black Wolf’, is also gaining attention. Said Joy Hoelscher, store manager of the FM 3009 Corner Store in Schertz. “I am in love with her writing. She’s awesome, and I’m a die-hard fan.”
Her fan base is building and folks are clamoring for the fifth book of the series. “It’s under way. It takes nearly a year to write a novel and I spend a lot of time editing as I go. Plus as I am my own publisher, I have to do my own marketing.”
She also plans a sequel to ‘The Unforgiven’. “It’s mostly in my head now, with a few notes thrown in. But Van and Flynn’s adventures aren’t over yet.”
To learn more about these fantasy novels, go to www.akatierose.com. To find out more about feral cats, go to .