I didn’t invent the fippokat, a small, green, intensely cute creature that plays an important role in Semiosis. As it says in the acknowledgements, my sister-in-law lent me her childhood imaginary animal to use in the novel.
Kathy conceived of the fippokat in grade school, when she also named it. She no longer recalls why — the reason is one of those things lost to childhood. I first learned about it one Christmas when she made a cookie in the shape of a fippokat, sprinkled with green sugar. At my request, she graciously gave me permission to use and abuse the animal in my writing. (She’s a very gracious person.)
She said, “Please remember that according to their crayon biography, they hop and glide and have curly tails and little pink noses.” She asked if they would be eaten.
Yes, they have been eaten and worse. Sorry. When I start writing, bad things tend to happen. In addition, the fipp family has grown. Now there are fippolions, tree fippokats, and in Interference, the sequel to Semiosis, carnivorous fippokats. Watch out!
Kathy has remained gracious throughout it all. Thank you.