Like her protagonist Shannon Kendricks, Cathy Parker is an attorney. She volunteered as a zoo keeper's aide for eight years and did have a very special beluga buddy, Mauyak. As to encounters with alien children, she is not saying. She was also a radio and print journalist and once was the 'Jill of all trades' for a small satellite paper in Wyoming. She did everything from taking to the photos to writing the articles and op-ed pieces to helping with layout and hauling the newspapers through blizzards once a week. As a result, she saw lambs being born and went on a cattle drive and ate her first (and last) Rocky Mountain Oyster. She has seen mountain gorillas in the wild in Rwanda and orangutans in Borneo and even rocked an orphaned baby orangutan to sleep on her chest. She has volunteered with a chimpanzee sanctuary for former research subjects. So you can see where her heart lies. Currently she is happy at home with her black brindle mastiff and her black cat. All similarities between her cat and Narcissus are purely and probably coincidental.
A friend of mine interned for a Japanese executive once who told her to "look to the green" when she was stressed. He was alluding, of course, to the green in nature, as in this photo of a huge plant in my front yard which reaches higher than my house. I can most joyfully look to the green here in Costa Rica where I live now. Nature, especially this lush rich green, is a great stress reducer. The protagonist of the Power Rising series, a denizen of California, didn't really have this lush option to de-stress. Now that I think of it, she was often stressed. ???? This plant, incidentally, is not a Bird of Paradise, for which many mistake it. A botanist was at pains to explain to me that, unlike the Bird of Paradise, this plant unfurls first one half a leaf and then, later the other half. The result of this uneven growth is that the base of one half of the leaf is an inch or so further up the stem than the other half of the same leaf. A good reminder: a person can be so confident they knows something--or someone--and be very wrong. A person might never correct this mistake unless they study what they think they already know very carefully.