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  • Writer's pictureDash Hoffman

The Viral Meme That Became a Book Series

Sometimes unexpected miracles happen. It's even better when they're the result of something done for fun! At the end of 2016, I saw a post come across one of my social media pages. It wasn't really a meme; it was a screenshot of a post and a reply on Reddit, but it had gone viral to the point that it had essentially become a meme. It was being shared on just about every social media platform because it was funny, and people said how they wished it was a real book series. I considered it momentarily and said, "I could write that", so I did. Like most all my books, it was written in one week, spanning a total of 17 hours.

Mrs. Perivale was named after a tube stop just outside of London. I wanted an appealing British name for our Brit heroine. When I was designing her, I put a public post out asking people what their favorite things about their grandmothers were, and several people chimed in. I borrowed some of those things (with permission), to give Alice Perivale some real-person-ality. She is the amalgamation of many beloved grandmas, some here, some gone but not forgotten, and parts of them will live forever in her. I gave the clowder of cats some serious consideration and came up with a patchwork collection; a snarky, unfiltered, cool black cat who is the quintessence of Wednesday Addams, and who is ever at odds with the spoiled princess feline with long white hair, blue eyes, a diamond collar, and a regular paw-dicure. There's also a fuzzy orange kitten with big green eyes whose curiosity gets him into several scrapes, a rare male Calico (yes, there are really male Callies- go Google it), whose one true love in life is food, a graying old cat who'd rather sleep, a patient, wise Siamese cat who often meditates, and one Abyssinian who is always at Alice's heels, following her around and looking after her. The cats undergo an extraordinary change in the magical land they travel to, which enriches the story greatly and adds an entirely different and fun-filled dimension to it. They are followed by Henderson, who is (rather than the orderly mentioned in the meme), a butler completely devoted to Alice and the cats. He cannot stand adventure, he likes everything neat and orderly, and though he struggles to keep up with them, he would do anything for them, including making sure Mrs. P takes her pills on time.

True to the request, Mrs. P goes with her stab-tastic knitting needles on the wild escapade, and it's a good thing too, because she ends up needing them more than once. The first book in the series became an international bestseller, and has developed a following. Several more books will follow in the series, including Mrs. Perivale and the Dragon Prince, and Mrs. Perivale and the Light of Aviena. They are available in ebook, paperback, hardback, and audiobook formats from Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powell's, and any other bookstores both big box and privately owned. If you'd like an autographed and personally dedicated copy of any of the Mrs. Perivale books, you can pick them up HERE.

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