Friday, May 18, 2018

Melissa Caruso & Freya

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Melissa Caruso, author of The Tethered Mage and The Defiant Heir, the first two books in the Swords & Fire trilogy, novels of intrigue and magic from Orbit Books. Freya is a 9-year-old female Labrador Retriever, and the sweetest lump of butter you could possibly imagine.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Freya and I like to hang out on the deck in together while I write and sip iced tea! Our deck is my fair-weather office, and Freya is my constant writing companion. Today we're working on edits for Book Three of the Swords and Fire trilogy.

What's brewing?

Teavana Jade Citrus Mint tea, iced. I’m actually not a coffee drinker…eep! Is that allowed? (I love the smell of it, though.)

Any treats for you or Freya on this occasion?

I just had a delicious cinnamon roll, and Freya helped finish it.

How were you and Freya united?

Freya was a Christmas present to the whole family. When my eldest (who was five at the time) opened the surprise box we’d carried her into the house in and saw her for the first time, she whispered “It’s real!” in this awed voice, as if she’d seen a magical creature. And in a way she really did—I’m not sure there’s any creature more magical than a puppy!

How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?

Freya is named after a Norse goddess. Her beloved predecessor, Sif, and my husband’s childhood dog, Loki, also have names from Norse mythology. So we have a tradition going!

Does Freya do more to help or hinder your writing?

Mostly she’s a wonderful and patient writing companion. Sometimes she decides it’s Arbitrary Barking Time when I’m trying to concentrate, though. And she kindly makes sure I never get so absorbed in my writing that I forget dinner!

Has Freya inspired the creation of any fictional dogs?

One of my main characters in the Swords & Fire trilogy has a dog, Scoundrel, who isn’t directly based on Freya—but she certainly inspired some of his traits, like his intense devotion to expected leftovers and love of chasing sticks.

Cat, postman, squirrel…?

Freya lives with three cats and both loves and is intensely jealous of all of them! For barking at, though, nothing gets her worked up quite like deer, which we do get in our backyard sometimes.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick…?

That’s a tough one… She’s a retriever, so she loves anything and everything she can carry around in her mouth. She has a special enthusiasm for really big sticks, though. She’ll drag around small logs if she gets the chance.

Where is Freya's favorite outdoor destination?

Any park with a pond! She loves swimming more than anything. We also have taken her on a few trips to hike in the White Mountains in New Hampshire with us, and she really loves those, especially when we hike alongside streams with lots of swimmable pools!

Who is Freya's best pet-pal?

Freya has a very special friendship with one of our cats in particular, a little female tortoiseshell called Star. Star climbs up on Freya’s back and gives her massages, and Freya occasionally brings Star dog toys in the hopes that she’ll play with her.

What is Freya's best quality?

Her boundless capacity for love. She’s one of those dogs who immediately loves everyone she meets and wants nothing more than to play, snuggle, and be petted. Though she does have one special talent—one of our friends who house-sit for us when we go on vacation has epilepsy, and apparently Freya can detect her seizures before they happen and will make her go lie down shortly before a big seizure occurs!

If Freya could change one thing about Massachusettsans, what would it be?

I think she wishes they allowed dogs in more places, especially at beaches and in restaurants…but probably most of all, she wishes she could go with her girls to school.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Freya could speak, who should voice her?

Someone with the right degree of goofy warmth! I’m not really a big movie buff, so I’m clueless about specific casting.

What advice would Freya give if asked?

She might advise us that it would be better for our health to give half of whatever’s on our plates to the dog. Also that petting dogs relieves stress…Especially in this one spot on her chest that really gets her leg going!

Visit Melissa Caruso's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Emily Adrian & Hank

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Emily Adrian. I’m the author of YA novels Like It Never Happened and The Foreseeable Future, which was released on May 8. Hank is a seven-year-old shepherd/Golden Retriever mix (we think).

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Hank and I have coffee most mornings, but today is Saturday so we are extra relaxed.

What's brewing?

Some Dunkin Donuts coffee that we brewed in a cheap coffee maker from Walmart that never gets quite hot enough.

Any treats for you or Hank on this occasion?

I’m having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Hank is eagerly awaiting his human sibling’s breakfast time, at which point human sib will toss a lot of food from the high chair to the kitchen floor.

How were you and Hank united?

My husband and I adopted Hank when he was an eight-week-old puppy in the city of Toronto. Hank, like our son, is Canadian; my husband and I are both American.

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

Hank just seemed like a Hank—however, his full name is Hank Buckles Triumph Musty Bear.

Does Hank do more to help or hinder your writing?

Honestly? I’m never more peeved than when Hank barks at the postman, waking the baby from his nap and effectively ending my writing time. That said, Hank’s overall impact on my life is so positive that I’m quick to forgive his occasional misdeeds.

Has Hank inspired the creation of any fictional dogs?

Oh, absolutely.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

He’s terrified of cats, offended by the postman (see above), and indifferent to squirrels.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Shhh…he’ll hear you.

Where is Hank's favorite outdoor destination?

Any body of water.

Who is Hank's best pet-pal?

A lovely beagle named Louis, our friends’ dog, with whom he grew up.

What is Hank's best quality?

Hank is truly up for anything. In his seven years, he has been on countless road trips, stayed in hotel rooms and Airbnbs, moved with us from Canada to the states, explored cities and forests and small towns. No matter where we go, he’s right by our side.

If Hank could change one thing about Ohioans, what would it be?

We’ve been living in a small town in north Ohio since last August, and Hank’s chief complaint is that most of the dogs here are confined to their houses or backyards. He would like the dogs to go for walks, so that he can meet them.

If Hank could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

Who’s a good boy?

What advice would Hank give if asked?

Remember: you’ve got three legs and a spare.

Visit Emily Adrian's website.

Learn more about The Foreseeable Future.

--Marshal Zeringue