GOLDEN VALLEY - Brenda Muncey's pets are more than just company; they're the inspiration for a series of children's books.
"I started last year with 'Castaway Kitty,'" Muncey said. "Now that 'Truly Lucky' is out, I've been visiting the bookstores again. I've already sold quite a few copies at a booksigning in Lake Havasu City. I'm putting the finishing touches on 'Fearless Feline,' and I'm almost done with 'All in a Day's Play.'"
The Golden Valley resident said she had no idea of writing a book, much less four, until she was flipping through photos of her pets on her computer one winter afternoon.
"I wondered if I could put the pictures into a book for my granddaughters," she said. "I called the story 'Castaway Kitty' and I gave them the book for Christmas. They loved it and took it to school. The teacher read it to the class and they all loved it. They asked me why I didn't have it published."
And the rest, as they say, is history.
"Castaway Kitty" tells the story of Muncey's rescue of a kitten, Lucky Lucy, the kitten's dreams of finding a family of its own and its adventures with Muncey's household menagerie of pets.
"Truly Lucky" is Lucky Lucy's continuing story of her adventure at the veterinarian's office and her adoption by a new family.
"Fearless Feline" will feature Lucky Lucy and the rest of Muncey's pets. "All in a Day's Play" has the usual cast of colorful characters, with the addition of Buttons, the neighbor's dog.
"Buttons has the nervous habit of chewing his back feet, so he has to wear socks all the time," Muncey said. "In my book, he's the poor little handicapped neighbor dog."
Muncey routinely takes some of the animal stars of her books with her to readings and book signings at libraries, bookstores and schools.
"I've been to signings and readings in California and at the Navajo Nation in Gallup, N.M.," Muncey said.
"The Navajos were so warm and welcoming, so attentive and polite and respectful. When I finished reading the book and did my little speech, I asked if they had any questions and there was dead silence. That had never happened before, and for a minute, I didn't know what to do."
Then, she recalled that the Navajo culture requires an invitation.
"I invited them to pet Noah, my dog, and they lined right up and starting asking me questions and we had a wonderful time," she said.
Those eager for more of Muncey's tales have been calling her.
"I got a call from Gordon McCaw at the elementary school in Henderson (Nev.) about the Reading Across America program, and Black Mountain School called to see if I would come and read to the kids for the Reading is Fundamental program," Muncey said.
Without the encouragement of her late husband, Don, Muncey might not have written her first book, and Truly Lucky is dedicated to him.
"I told myself I'd give the writing a year and see how it goes," Muncey said. "Don died on May 13 last year, so it's only been about nine months that he's been gone. People tell me I'm handling it very well. I tell them I take it one day at a time," she said. "People also tell me how great it is that I rescue animals. The truth is that they rescued me this past year."
For more information, call (702) 561-0544. To buy the books, visit Hastings book store in Kingman.