Chip Weinert, a Gold Beach resident and outdoor enthusiast, has published “A Curious Cat in a Dead Dog’s Town,” his first novel.
Weinert, a former copy editor with the Hood River News and managing editor of WindTracks magazine, began the novel 20 years ago when he moved from Hood River to Gold Beach.
He moved here to work for WindTracks, a windsurfing magazine, because the windsurfing was better here than anywhere in the world.
“When the magazine was sold and moved to the East, I stayed here,” he said. “The people here are the best, and the place is gorgeous. The fishing is great.”
Soon after he arrived, a cat adopted him, and he decided to write a silly novel featuring a feline protagonist. That book idea turned into a crime/comedy series beginning with “A Curious Cat in a Dead Dog’s Town.” The plans to write three more novels.
Weinert explained that the next book ,“A Curious Cat Wags a Fishy Tale,” is already half done, and the other three are outlined.
The main character, like Weinert, doesn’t care for traditional work. Weinert’s resume lists “professional windsurfer” as his career for 20 years, and Mathew “Duke” Hazzard, is a cat that disdains work. He just wants to nap and surf.
But in the first book, he is called on to solve the murder of a local dog-treat magnate, and the fun begins. The book is set in the twin towns of CatsCamp and Dogstown, towns closely resembling Wedderburn and Gold Beach. And the action runs up and down the coast and in and out of more than a few taverns. Weinert modeled the taverns after those from his youth in rural Wisconsin.
More than a handful of animal characters work together and against each other in this setting, creating a fast-paced and funny read. Between the chapters, Weinert inserts fictional radio commercials, and the radio-show-voice of the narrator adds to the character of the book.
“KGBR used to run the old radio shows all the time here, and listening to them gave me the perfect voice for my narrator,” Weinert noted.
Add mystery and Duke’s propensity for getting into scrapes, and the excitement pushes the plot. The book is written in the first person and relies heavily on dialogue, similar to old radio shows.
Innuendo and political satire pop in throughout the book, so the reader might learn something from animals of different species who get along, Weinert said.
He added that writing these books is fun.
“I always liked to write. That’s why I majored in journalism. It comes naturally.”
He has spent most of his life making a living doing the things others do for fun. He chose to live, marry and stay here when career called him elsewhere.
“It’s the community,” he said. “Through good times and tough times, that’s why I stayed here.”
“A Curious Cat in a Dead Dog’s Town” can be purchased online through Dorrance Publishing at bookstore.dorrancepublishing.com for $14.
— Reach Boyd C. Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org.