Middlemarch Mates with Shelley Munro

From the moment I saw an article in the New Zealand Herald about sightings of a mystery black cat in Canterbury, South Island, I knew it would make a good story. I cut out the article and kept it for about three years while I wrote about other things such as talking dogs, aliens and military men. It wasn’t until I saw a human interest story on our local television about a small South Island town called Middlemarch that I recalled the cat article. Evidently, the town of Middlemarch had a severe shortage of marriageable females and to help the young farmers and other men in the area find partners, the town intended to organize a dance.

The two ideas blended inside my head and a story bloomed about a community of leopard shifters who lived in Middlemarch and suffered from a shortage of women of marriageable age.

The first book in the series, SCARLET WOMAN, was one of the most difficult stories I’ve ever written. It started life as a short story. My editor liked it but thought there was too much story for the length I’d written. She suggested that I lengthen it, which I did, although my characters kicked up a fuss. So did my muse. I’m pleased I persevered because it’s now one of my favorite stories.

Last week I sent the seventh book in my Middlemarch Mates series to my editor. I’m not sure why I enjoy writing about feline shifters so much. Maybe it’s because my husband isn’t a cat fan, and I have to make up for it somehow! My cat of choice is the black leopard, although I have introduced a brother and sister in STRAY CAT STRUT who are lion shifters.

The books in the series to date are:
Scarlet Woman
Peeping Tom
Stray Cat Strut
Cat and Mouse

Cat Burglar is out on 31 December from Ellora's Cave.

To read excerpts from the earlier Middlemarch books, visit my website and to learn about the real town of Middlemarch, where the dance takes place on a yearly basis because the first was so successful check out their website.
All my Middlemarch Mates books are available from Ellora’s Cave.

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Estella said...

This sounds like a great series. I love shifter tales.

Shelley Munro said...

Hey, Estella! How are you? Shifter tales are my favorites. :)