Daniel Potter - Talking Cats, Magical Inquisitors, and Werewolves
Daniel Potter is a former mad (okay, more annoyed than mad) scientist who dumped stuck up reality and now writes about creatures that reality would never have in the house. It's not a Daniel Potter book unless a cat is interrupting you or a dragon composed of living metal is ripping apart your airship. He’s the author of nine books in two series thus far, The Freelance Familiars and The Rise of the Horned Serpent. As our Author of the Day, Potter tells us all about his book, Off Leash.
Please give us a short introduction to what Off Leash is about.
Off Leash is an urban fantasy that looks at the hidden magical world from the viewpoint of the talking animals who serve as servants and sometimes partners to wizards and witches. It stars Thomas, a newly transformed mountain lion as he desperately attempts to hold on to his old (human) life. The only trouble is big cat familiars are the ultimate status symbol in the magic world and many will stop at nothing to get a collar around his neck. The only characters who are sympathetic to his plight is a squirrel who’s been hired to burn down his house and a down-on-her-luck magic cop with a murder on her hands.
What inspired you to write about a talking mountain lion?
I knew I wanted to write a story about a familiar and I picked cougars because they never seem to get enough love. They’re the biggest cat in North America and yet we know very little about them compared to lions and tigers. Also, they’re absolute badasses, able to leap a four-lane highway with a running start and have a very high successful hunt ratio compared to some of their bigger cousins. I hope Thomas inspires more people to go out and learn about this amazing cat that is literally in our backyards. Maybe with more of a preservation mindset than a hunting mindset.
Tell us more about Thomas. What makes him tick?
As a human Thomas was always a kind and stubborn individual but it didn’t get him far in life. He doesn’t like change and to suddenly have his life up ended by being turned into the Mountain Lion and told he’s about to be sold like a pet? He’s got one reaction, Nope, Nada and Not Gonna happen.
How did you go from being a scientist to writing about weird creatures?
I’ve always been both! I love science but I’ve always had a very strong creative streak. As time went on my desire to write stories continued to grow and its been my main focus for the last five years. This year I’ve been fortunate enough to start creating full time through a combination of my awesome readership and my very supportive spouse.
Besides writing, what other secret skills do you have?
I can take a mouse apart and put him back together again.
Do any of your characters ever go off on their own tangent, refusing to do what you had planned for them?
All the time! I don’t generally outline much anymore because it doesn’t take long for a character to take one look at an outline and say nah! Lets do this instead.
This is your first book. What has the experience been like so far?
Off Leash was written in 2015 Its spawned and did really well! Now its five book series. The latest installment comes on November 17th! Pride Fall. Its an extremely fun series. Nobody else can say they’ve got a giant magical robot piloted by a squirrel.
Why did you title this "Off Leash"?
Thomas’s main goal is to avoid being some one’s familiar. He wants to stay Off Leash. It made sense. I really love it when I can get a pun to fit the story.
Did you plan from the start to make this into a series? How do the other books in the series tie in with this one?
Not initially. Off Leash was supposed to be a one off while I took a break from the space Opera I was writing. But my tune changed on that once folks started reading it and enjoying it. All five books are continuation of Thomas’s story as he climbs higher and higher into magical society.
Readers say they had a hard time putting this book down - how did you manage to make it fast-paced throughout?
I don’t write long stretches of time well so my characters are generally always in motion. Most of my books happen in the span of a few days where nobody has the chance to do more take a few quick catnaps.
Do you have any interesting writing habits? What is an average writing day like for you?
I wake up at 6 and I’m hopefully writing by 7, I write until 11:30 then I make lunch for myself and my spouse then I’m back at if I’m under word count or I’ll do marketing/admin stuff. I’m writing about 2,000 words a day now but I’m trying to increase it.
What are you working on right now?
Wrapping up edits on the fifth Freelance Familiars book, Pride Fall.
Where can our readers discover more of your work or interact with you?
Check out my website at danielpotterauthor.com and sign up for my newsletter.
I’m also @fallenkittenpro on twitter.