Author, Journalist, Copywriter
Leslie Martini has a M.A. in English Literature and writes non-fiction for magazines, newspapers and websites, is a marketing copywriter for businesses, a literacy tutor for the underserved, and a college essay consultant for high schoolers. Her first book, Matilda, The Algonquin Cat, was published in 2016 by Wyatt-MacKenzie Publishing. The second, Hamlet, The Algonquin Cat, was released in September 2018.
The inspiration for Matilda, The Algonquin Cat, came from Leslie’s mother who took her to the Algonquin Hotel when she was a child. Her mother believed New York City represented the best of everything: culture, music, art, and literature. The Algonquin had it all, and…a famous feline in residence.
Leslie serves on the board of directors for the FRAXA Research Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to fund research to find effective treatments and ultimately a cure for Fragile X syndrome. She is is an active member of the Society of Children Book Writers and Illustrators, 826 Boston, Writer’s Digest, the National Association of Independent Writers and Editors, and the International Women’s Writing Guild.
The Algonquin Hotel
On November 22, 1902, in one of the most fashionable neighborhoods of New York City, an elegant twelve-story hotel with a red-brick, limestone façade opened its doors for guests. Owner Frank Case had been going to name it “The Puritan,” but when he found out that a Native American tribe called the Algonquins had originally lived in the area, he changed his mind. A rich literary history was in the making.
To learn more about the Algonquin Hotel, visit: www.algonquinhotel.com
The Algonquin Cat
1932: Three days after the untimely death of Billy the “hotel cat,” a fixture for fifteen years, Frank Case documents in Do Not Disturb that a stray cat wandered into the lobby of the Algonquin and “took up right where Billy left off.” Case fed him and gave him a permanent home in the hotel, where he swiftly became a much-loved favorite of guests and staff alike. “It was as if he had heard there was an opening and came in and applied for it, only he didn’t apply, he just took the job.” Frank called him “Rusty” for his ginger coat, but it’s believed that renowned actor John Barrymore — who was playing the role of Shakespeare’s Hamlet at the time — told him that Rusty needed a more dignified name. “Hamlet” became his name.
Since then, the Algonquin has always had a resident cat. The male cats are called Hamlet, and the females are called Matilda.
For more information, visit: www.algonquinhotel.com/story/algonquin-cat
Matilda, The Algonquin Cat and Hamlet The Algonquin Cat, are both works of fiction. The staff members featured in Matilda, The Algonquin Cat are fictional, however, the creation of Hadley was intended to pay tribute to Alice De Almeida, Matilda’s real- life devoted caretaker. When Alice responded to a job ad for an executive assistant, she had no idea that “caretaker of the resident feline” was part of the description.
Hamlet is a fan of his very own book!