Lynda Hamblen’s debut novel William and Tibby Forever is a must-read not only for cat lovers but for all those who consider animals as family.
Whenever I think about books written from an animal’s point of view, I think about Robert Repino’s Mort(e), George Orwell’s Animal Farm, A Dog’s Purpose by Bruce Cameron, and Anna Sewell’s classic novel Black Beauty. These books are remarkable because they tell of the unique bond between animals and humans from their perspective. They also impart life lessons such as courage, loyalty, friendship, and tolerance. William and Tibby Forever is another book written from a cat’s perspective. It is written by Lynda Hamblen, a published essayist, poet, and our Featured Author for today.
Hamblen: A Writer and Cat Lover
Lynda Hamblen lives with her husband and her cat Elvira in a small gray house on a hill on a farm in Obion County, Tennessee. Elvira is 17 years old. She is a published poet and essayist. After having spent the last thirty years living with cats, she decided to write a book about a cat’s view of life, God, and eternity. She published William and Tibby Forever in 2018. The book is her first novel.
Writing William and Tibby Forever
Lynda Hamblen never planned to write a book about cats, let alone about a cat in heaven. Before writing William and Tibby, she was on the process of writing two novels. One is about a wizard out to slay the last dragon and the second is about two women who accidentally swap bodies. When Lynda’s cat William was killed, everything changed/ Lynda was so devastated and she thought how hard it was losing. It crossed her mind that it must be a lot harder for kids to lose their pets or loved ones. Lynda decided to write a children’s picture book about William’s death.
Hamblen’s initial plan was to write a visual narrative about Williams adventures in heaven as Lynda and William’s sister Tibby go on about their lives here on earth, waiting for the day they will be reunited. However, when Lynda sat to write the story, she realized that she had already written 10 pages and it hasn’t even gone to the part where she meets William. So, she decided to write a novel and not a children’s book.
William and Tibby Forever is a touching story two cats named William and Tibby. They are siblings nurtured and cared for by a compassionate woman. Their experiences together shaped their characters and forge a deep bond towards each other. William was killed one day, leaving the woman and Tibby here on earth. The book is all about William’s adventures in the afterlife, his view of life on earth and in heaven as well.
William and Tibby is not your typical animal adventure story. Lynda Hamblen weaves a rather odd, but very pleasant story that features death, sorrow, laughter, and joy. It is a personal narrative that I think most readers can relate to.
Recent Book Activities
William and Tibby Forever is among the books to be exhibited in the 2020 Los Angeles Festival of Books. Due to the Corona pandemic, the event is postponed until further notice.