QUIBBLES & BITS
Once upon a long time ago, I was waiting tables at Eastside Mario's, a Canadian chain that has franchises in the US. "My" restaurant was on Academy Blvd. in Colorado Springs.
One night I served two nice women who worked for Canine Companions, an organization that trains dogs to help the handicapped. The women had two very well-behaved dogs with them. After I told them that I was a mystery author, they wanted to know why so many mysteries touted cats. Why not dogs?
I told the nice ladies (and nice dogs) that I'd try and write a mystery with a dog it it.
Upon arriving home, I put on my jammies and hummed along with a CD of Candide while my 3 dogs clustered around my feet: Cherokee, a Great Dane-Setter-Lab, and Sydney, an Australian Shepherd, and Pandora, a mostly Norwegian Elkhound. Pandora, not quite a year old, was just learning human-speak.
I said, "I've been thinking about writing a 'dog mystery,' but I want to name the dog 'Hitchcock.' Any takers?"
Sydney didn't mind if I put her in a book, but she preferred that I use her real name, thank you very much.
Pandora thought a book might be fun to chew.
Cherokee said I could use him for Hitchcock, if I promised to donate a portion of my profits to Canine Companions. "Deal!" I said. So I wrote FOOTPRINTS IN THE BUTTER - An Ingrid Beaumont Mystery co-starring Hitchcock the Dog.
Here's a brief description of Hitchcock the Dog: In his own mind, Hitchcock, is the quintessential well trained pooch, even though he only knows eight commands and responds best to gooddog, baddog, and getdownoffthecouchyousonofabitch.
And here's a picture of Hitchcock:
Yes. I'm working on a sequel, tentatively titled THE LOLLIPOP GUILD. In it, Hitchcock has a crush on a long-haired Corgi named Auntie Em. (Hitchcock is neutered, but the desire is still there!)
2. Do you enjoy riddles and puzzles like Ingrid does?
I'm not real good at riddles, but I love crossword puzzles. My husband Gordon and I share the N.Y. Times Sunday crossword puzzle. He does it in red ink and I use blue ink.
3. Where did you learn the elephant jokes?
I have 3 kids :-)
4. Which of your books was the most challenging to write and why?
EYE OF NEWT. I created two mysteries, one in the present and one in 1692 Salem. Then I had to solve them (for some strange reason, readers expect that - go figure!) Eye of Newt has a dog, Chasdick. Also a cat, Annie, and a parrot, Mercy.
5. What do you think is the most difficult part of being an author?
The solitude. I have a saying on my bulletin board: "Writing requires a loner's temperament, a high tolerance for silence, and an unhealthy preference for the company of people who are imaginary or dead."
6. What do you enjoy the most about being an author?
That's easy. I can't wait to get up in the morning, grab a cup of caffeine, give an evil, triumphant smirk to the pantyhose I *don't* wear, and start working at a job I love.
Over and Out (and Woof),