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Based on a true story . . . Kate Wilson, of Oamarama, with a copy of her book George the house cat who wanted to be a farm dog. PHOTO: EMMA WILDING

Just like George the house cat, Kate Wilson often wishes she was out among the hills of Omarama.

The now Christchurch-based artist’s debut book, George The House Cat Who Wants To Be A Farm Dog, goes on sale this week.

Like a lot of Miss Wilson’s work, the book is a reflection of her childhood growing up on a farm in the Waitaki Valley.

“Definitely my inspiration comes from the high country. It always has in all my artworks,” Miss Wilson said.

“I don’t really mean to, but it definitely comes out – the hills and tussocks are always a feature of my work.

“It’s still home for me.”

The book has taken Miss Wilson about eight months to complete, fitting it all in around her job in marketing and design.

“I wrote the story in probably about 20 minutes, then I have been working on the illustrations,” she said.

“It’s a spare time project that has taken up a lot of spare time.”

Miss Wilson has self published the book, and said pre-sales had been going “ballistic”. The distribution centre is a spare room of her house.

“It is a catch-22, because it’s buy the book’ and then have to post all these’.”

The story revolves around George, a cat from her family home in Omarama, who – as the title of the book suggests – wants to be a farm dog.

“The cat is very much a real character. He is one of those cats who thinks he owns the house,” she said.

“It’s quite funny. I think I’ve tapped into a real cat-person market.

“People who are into cats are really into cats.”

Miss Wilson had intended to give the first copy of the book to her young cousins.

But when she bumped into Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern at an airport, she could not pass up the opportunity to give it to her instead.

“Just by random luck I bumped into her at the Koru Lounge.

“She said it was cool and she would read it to Neve.”

Miss Wilson’s cousins were understanding that they had been scooped by the Prime Minister’s daughter, she said.

Ideas for two more books were in the pipeline.

To buy a copy of the book, go to katesnake.com.