Of Cats and Dragons

Carol E. Leever Camilla Ochlan

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The Unthinkable

Published: Aug 30, 2018 03:18:11 pm
Camilla Ochlan
Carol and Camilla

"My best friend Carol and I have roamed the OF CATS AND DRAGONS world for over three decades, creating our stories in the telling — from our high school Dungeons & Dragons games to a private collection of over three hundred stories and story fragments. But now we are getting ready to share what we’ve conjured up."

That's what I wrote a year ago as Carol and I were getting ready to release NIGHT'S GIFT.

I didn’t know what lurked just above the horizon.

Carol's cancer diagnosis came the day our first OF CATS AND DRAGONS book was released, so we never had even a moment to celebrate that wasn't under the shadow of this horrible cancer.

Since then, there have been many ups and downs (more downs than ups, if I am totally honest). It's been a difficult year. Until a few months ago, I couldn't even talk about what was going on. But secrets have a way of clawing you up from the inside.

When I was ready, I had the chance to share our story with Jo Bozarth for the Her Process podcast. I knew I had to open up because I've learned that cancer is a bitch, and we are not the only ones in her sights.

I hope you give this interview a listen. And I hope the territory is more foreign to you than Mars. But it's probably not.

What do you do when the unthinkable happens? It happened to us, and this is what we did.

From Jo:

"Today’s show wraps up my series on collaboration. It’s a tribute to art and to friendship. It’s about what happens when you’re on a roll, when you’re making strides, realizing your dream…and the unthinkable happens. What do you do? How do you go on? Do you go on?

If you’re just joining Her Process for the first time, today’s guest, Camilla Ochlan, has been on the show before with her Werewolf Whisperer series writing partner, Bonita Gutierrez. 

But Camilla, being the creative soul that she is, and I’m guessing also a master at organization, has another writing partner with whom she’s been creating the world that houses another series, called Of Cats and Dragons. In fact, she and her dear friend, Carol Leever, her Of Cats and Dragons illustrator and co-writer, have been creating this world for over three decades now. But they didn't realize it right away.

When Camilla and Carol did finally decide to share their creation with the world, life, as it does, stepped in with a twist that neither friend could ever have imagined or prepared for. You always hear people say that they meant to do x, y, z, but "life got in the way." Well, these ladies didn't let "life" thwart their plans. They've bobbed and weaved, and have persevered. This is their story." 

Click here to listen:

HER PROCESS PODCAST

Thank you to Jo Bozath for being an exquisite listener and a gentle interviewer. Jo has a gift for putting her subject at ease, and her empathy is backed up by a strong work ethic that drives her to genuinely understand the breadth of her guest's creative endeavors.

I want everyone to know that Carol has been strong and determined. She is the warrior I've always known her to be, but the enemy she is battling is fierce and powerful. We are hopeful. But this is real and terrifying. We don't know what is going to happen.

We also want everyone to know that this is not the end OF CATS AND DRAGONS. After HOLLOW SEASON, Carol and I have another completed book that is now being edited and a handful of partially completed manuscripts. We also have over 250 story fragments, short stories, outlines, dialogues, and scenes. We have a timeline that reaches over generations in our story world. And we've started the outlines of three new books. We have been working on the world OF CATS AND DRAGONS for over thirty years. There's a lot there. We have a plan.

I am deeply committed to sharing our stories because that is what I can do to honor our friendship. We love these characters so much, and since we made the decision to share them — that is what will happen. There will be more Tormy. There will be more Omen. And Kyr. And Tyrin. There will be more. . .

Mistral Dawn's Musings

Published: Aug 16, 2018 03:47:39 pm
Camilla Ochlan

I had a chance to chat OF CATS AND DRAGONS on Mistral Dawn's blog

If you want a peek at my mad process...

click here.

Audiobook Reviewer

Published: May 09, 2018 03:10:14 pm
Camilla Ochlan

Hurrah! The NIGHT'S GIFT audiobook has been nominated by the Audiobook Reviewer for this year's Listener's Choice Awards! Congratulations to P.J. - our most excellent narrator and the inspired voice of Tormy.

Audio Book reviewer medal

Read the NIGHT'S GIFT audiobook review here:

"There is literally no break in the action, one adventure leading to the next. It is fantasy fun as the two friends discover more about themselves and their growing trust in each other. The youthful protagonists and the nature of the adventures makes this a great choice for young adults. There is a lighthearted tone to the story that softens the violence enough to not keep kids up at night. You know the friends will prevail in the end, just not how.

The story is performed by P. J. Ochlan, who is just brilliant. His voice is smooth as silk and infinitely malleable to the many characters. The lighthearted tone of the story comes through just right for the young adult listener, but enjoyable for adults as well. The character voices are all easily differentiated and appropriate for each. Certainly any listener’s favorite will be the cute, deadly kitten with a Scottish accent. How fun is that?

This is a fun and exciting fantasy novel for young adults and adults alike who enjoy their fantasy lighthearted. Though part of a series of unknown length, it wraps up completely, leaving only enough mystery to entice the listener for future adventures. Recommended."

read more...

Happy Holidays!

Published: Dec 05, 2017 12:29:06 pm
Camilla Ochlan
Christmas card

Wishing you all a very happy holiday season and a wonderful 2018.

2017 Voice Arts® Awards

Published: Nov 13, 2017 12:27:27 pm
Camilla Ochlan
Nights gift banner

Early this November, part of the OF CATS AND DRAGONS team ventured to New York City because our own P.J. Ochlan scored two Voice Arts® nominations for NIGHT'S GIFT - one in the Teen and one in the Fantasy category.

SOVA nomination

The Society of Voice Arts & Sciences can sure pick venues. Last year's festivities were held on the Warner Bros. studio lot in L.A., and for this year's move to New York, they secured Jazz at Lincoln Center's Fredrick P. Rose Hall located right off Columbus Circle. There was universal jaw dropping as we all entered the theater. Behind the stage is a wall of glass that looks straight down Central Park South. (The location also happened to be right next to the finish line for the NYC Marathon that afternoon -- so the arrivals made for a funny mix of dudded-up voiceover stars wading through throngs of exhausted runners wrapped in metallic thermal blankets.) As the evening progressed, we could see the full moon arc from left to right over a cityscape that looked increasingly like Gotham, with 59th Street eventually being reopened to the glowing flow of red and white lights. Our traveling felines may have seen some interesting sights in their fuzzy little lives, but even Tyrin would have called this fantastic hall "Awesomenessness!"

Jazz at Lincoln Center SOVA stage

From the delightful crooning of the Broadway Boys, to an emotional Ken Burns tribute (Ken Burns accepted the Muhammad Ali Voice of Humanity Honor), to the incomparable Lily Tomlin, to Nancy Cartwright who spent at least half of the time as her alter ego Bart Simpson, to all the wonderful new friends and our dedicated family members who trotted out to the city to share the moment, we had a singularly special evening. And while we didn't win the trophy this time, we are truly grateful to have been nominated for our first tale OF CATS AND DRAGONS.

PJ and Camilla at SOVAs

P.J. and Camilla at the SOVAS

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