From The L.A. Times Weekly Magazine

Lonely Hearts Book Club

by Karen Mack and Jennifer Kaufman

When The Fur Flies

“Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.”

—Groucho Marx (1890–1977)

When I first met my boyfriend, he had a sweet rescue pup named Sam, who was supposed to sleep in the kitchen. A few weeks later, the dog drifted upstairs and began sleeping outside our door. Then after a particularly loud thunderstorm, Sam was temporarily allowed in our bedroom but restricted to the overstuffed chair in the corner. That was six months ago. Now that big black dog is nestled like a lover next to my boyfriend, his head sharing our pillows. I never grew up with dogs, and I find myself actually jealous. It feels as if Sam’s comfort and happiness come above all else. Any books that could shed some light on this usurper?

—Toni, Pasadena

Dear Toni,

We hate to break it to you, but when a man is forced to choose between his girlfriend and his dog, the girlfriend usually goes. It’s just a fact of life. Classic dog stories might give you some insight, as they herald the myth of the dog as the ideal companion. Modern dog books tend to give a more balanced picture, but the conclusion is still the same: Dog is man’s best friend. And that spot on the pillow? It’s for life…

The Call of the Wild, by Jack London

This treasured novel is classified as children’s literature, though there are enough grisly club and fang scenes and raw violence to rival Cujo, Stephen King’s gruesome opus to the canine. Nevertheless, the bond between John Thornton and his alpha-dog, Buck, may help you better understand your boyfriend’s obsession.

The Art of Racing in the Rain, by Garth Stein

This tale of a fractured family’s struggles is hilariously told by Enzo, who just happens to be a dog: “Sure, I’m stuffed into a dog’s body, but…it’s what’s inside that’s important. The soul. And my soul is very human.” After reading this, it’s impossible to look at a dog and not wonder what he’s thinking.

To Fetch a Thief: A Chet and Bernie Mystery, by Spencer Quinn

The third book in a detective series—and every bit as good as the first two—narrated by, you guessed it, a mischievous dog. Chet, a mangy fellow who flunked out of K-9 police academy, is as appealing a sleuth as his master. If you like Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich, hop on this train.

The New Yorkers, by Cathleen Schine

A deft and charming comedy of manners, with canines acting as Cupid for a group of lonely people living in the shadow of Central Park over the course of a year. Consider this the next time your partner goes out to walk the dog…alone.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle, by David Wroblewski

Based on Hamlet, this 500-plus-page saga, set on an isolated Wisconsin farm, concerns the Sawtelles, who breed dogs. Seen through the eyes of mute son Edgar and his faithful companion, Almondine, the story dissects the spiritual connection between a canine and her owner. She’ll have you at bowwow.

My Dog Tulip, by J.R. Ackerley

Before Marley, there was Tulip! Now an animated feature, this book deals with the strange and wonderful relationship between the writer and his neurotic, ill-mannered German shepherd. Ackerley was a literary associate of W.H. Auden, E.M. Forster and Christopher Isherwood, who described the book as a masterpiece of animal literature. A bone-a-fied classic.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon

If, in the end, you find you’re still fantasizing about your boyfriend getting rid of the dog, read this, and see what happens when a dog ends up dead in the backyard.

Have a question? You can reach Mack and Kaufman at

From Spence: Maybe at Decatur I said that Thereby Hangs a Tail had my favorite cover of the 3, but I certainly meant To Fetch A Thief. I don’t doubt that Kirby T. heard correctly; but the brain-talk connection let me down.



This entry was posted on Monday, September 6th, 2010 at 8:47 am and is filed under Chet The Dog. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

223 Responses to “From The L.A. Times Weekly Magazine”

  1. Melanie
    4:02 am on September 6th, 2010

    MANGY !!!!!

    Harumph . . .

  2. Mollypop
    4:21 am on September 6th, 2010

    Oh joy, oh rapture! What a happy day this is!

  3. Kirby T. Penworthy
    4:30 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: I wrote that last night from memory, but when I saw Spence's post this morning I went back and checked my notes — I knew you wanted details, so using my reporter training I took copious notes for both appearances — quotes and everything. (In fact for all the author appearances I went to.) It does say the favorite cover was "THAT," so either I wrote down the wrong initials or Spence did say the wrong name. (But if my memory and my notes both say that, I'm inclined to think that's what he said.)

  4. Barb & Maggie
    4:30 am on September 6th, 2010

    Yeah, Melanie, we agree about "mangy". Would never describe Chet that way.

  5. Kirby T. Penworthy
    4:37 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: I don't want to bore everyone with one loooong post, so I'll just dribble various tidbits in as the day goes on. Yesterday someone wondered about the Admin conundrum. Spence mentioned the blog and that it had various characters, including Chet (of course), Spence and Admin. "Some people think they're all aspects of one overworked personality, but I'm not going to go into that," Spencer said.

    He also said he had planned to wrap up the Astrid case by the time TFAT is released on Sept. 28, but with the early release at the festival, he's not sure what that'll do to his plan.

  6. Barb & Maggie
    4:41 am on September 6th, 2010

    We wennt back and read the late posts from last night. Can't believe we missed Kirby's arrival by 5 minutes! We will look forward to your posts today, and you will not be boring anyone! That is so cool that your mom got to talk with him and meet Mrs. A. and Seth. Also cool that he talked about us and the quilt.

  7. Sam
    4:44 am on September 6th, 2010

    To Kirby's Mom: please keep the tidbits coming. Dribble away. We are hanging on every word.

  8. Riö - The Evil
    4:58 am on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby!…Start at the beginning when you first approached our Author…snort!…What exactly did he say, and tell us about his wife and son please, we never get to hear about those guys…grunt!…Details! Details! Not Dribbles!…grump!

  9. Kirby T. Penworthy
    5:02 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: OK, I'll start with the things that were repeats in both presentations. He started both times by showing his two badges and saying, "We share the same body and parts of the same mind."

    Then he told about how he doesn't like to quote reviews in his presentation — bad form — but he does like to mention one. He was speaking to some elementary school students, and he was asked if he would be willing to add one more group — third-graders from the gifted program. Afterward one of the kids — the red-haired one with the glasses — said, "I read your book — it was pretty good." "That's the only review I quote," he said, "because it was from a certified gifted human being."

  10. BStover
    5:13 am on September 6th, 2010

    I do NOT like the word "mangy" being used to describe Chet. The L.A. Times Weekly Magazine is on this Plunderer's SOL list.

    Welcome back Kirby!!! I read your posts from last night. Yes, do give us all of the details. I love how PA stood up and shook your hand and SQ sat next to you before his speech. What else?

  11. Kirby T. Penworthy
    5:14 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Rio: I suspect that what you really want is to hear what PA said about you, so I'll skip to that part just so you'll be happy. While he was signing my Echo Falls books I told him you had sent a question: What does he think of pugs?

    "I think pugs are awesome," he said. "They're fun just to look at, aren't they?"

  12. Riö - The Evil
    5:21 am on September 6th, 2010

    Har!….We are on page 2 of To Fetch A Thief and already I am laughing my curly tail off…snort!…Chet describing their stakeout technique is pure Chet. … heh!heh!

    Kirby!…You are wrong about what I want to hear so just get on with the whole detailed story please….sniff!…No need to skip around in circles…grunt!

  13. Kirby T. Penworthy
    5:22 am on September 6th, 2010

    I was so excited when Mom got home! I came running when I heard the door open, then when she sat on the couch I jumped on her lap and just stared at her for about five minutes. She seemed to think that was pretty funny. Then today I've just been following her around wherever she goes. I want to hear everything she has to say about the book festival!

  14. Kirby T. Penworthy
    5:27 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: OK, onto PA's presentation about the Echo Falls books. When he wrote The Tutor (which I haven't read yet) it included scenes between a 10-year-old girl and the bad guy. That prompted a children's book editor to call and ask PA if he'd be interested in doing a children's book. He met with her, and then on the way home stopped at a McDonald's. While he was sitting there he came up with Ingrid's name. He also decided on the name of the town, and then he knew that the falls would somehow have to factor into the climax of the book.

  15. Kirby T. Penworthy
    5:36 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Didn't Spence tell Admin after one of his speeches that he had told his "preschool story"? I have a vague memory of something like that.

    Anyway, when he was in preschool they would go on walks, but one day it was raining so they couldn't go out. Instead the teacher took them on an imaginary walk in the classroom. They'd take a few steps and she'd say, "Oh, look at that dog," or whatever. At one point she said, "Oh, there's a puddle, we have to walk around it." All the kids dutifully walked around it. All except PA, that is. He walked right through the "puddle." When the teacher asked him why, he replied, "I've got boots on!"

    Later, when his teacher recounted that story to his mother — a writer herself — she knew he was going to follow in her footsteps, because a writer is someone who needs a lot of attention, is difficult and has trouble following directions.

  16. bluecat
    5:42 am on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby's Mom – thanks for being our eyes and ears.

    Rio – SQ's autograph to you is a Huge Tribute to your Royal Pugness. Who's Shelley? (snicker, to quote Melanie)

    Do y'all realize in 100 years archivists will find books inscribed to some variation of Plunder and they'll think what the…

    The LA Times person can't have read the book(s). No way is Chet mangy, nor do I get the reference to Sue and Janet. I'm with Bee.

  17. B. Stover
    5:46 am on September 6th, 2010

    One of my favorite parts of The Tudor is when Ruby is first introduced…light shining through a prism…beautiful! How wonderful to be asked by a publisher to write a children's book.

  18. Kirby T. Penworthy
    5:51 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: I spotted something interesting during PA's talk. We actually have a lot in common. He wears glasses — as I do — but takes them off when he reads — which I also do. He's also left-handed, just like me!

    [img ] Abrahams3.jpg[/img]

  19. Barb & Maggie
    5:51 am on September 6th, 2010

    We agree with Stover and Bluecat. That was an uninformed reviewer. We had to LOL over Bee's comment about her SOL list.

    Did anyone else read Edgar Sawtelle and not love it? Barb was definitely not crazy about it.

  20. B. Stover
    5:54 am on September 6th, 2010

    What does everyone think of that definition of a writer?

    I'm wondering why the advance copies of TFAT being given out at the festival has anything to do with the wrap up of the Astrid case….

    I'm also wondering what PA's mother wrote and under what name.

  21. Melanie
    5:54 am on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby's Mom, Welcome BACK!!!

    I'm now put at ease that Riö won't have another connip fix.

    Awesome so far . . . very jealous here. The Pack wanted to know if Audrey was there?

    They can understand that Chet would have work to do, but Audrey?

    One of our pup's mom evacuated Luna to higher ground off the Cape during the non-event of Earl. She missed Luna but figured better safe than sorry.

  22. Barb & Maggie
    5:55 am on September 6th, 2010

    Barb is left handed, too. Me, I used both front paws equally.

    Kirby's Mom, Thanks for the picture, keep 'um coming.

  23. Kirby T. Penworthy
    5:56 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: PA actually talked about his mother several times. He said everything he knows about writing came from her. She taught him to cut a lot of the extraneous bits from his writing. "The power of a sentence comes from the noun and verb working together," she told him. She also taught him to mine everything from his writing. To illustrate this, he read the sink hole scene from Down the Rabbit Hole. Then he mentioned how that same sink hole played an important role in Into the Dark. (I won't say what so I won't spoil it for anyone who hasn't read both books.)

    [img ] Abrahams4.jpg[/img]

  24. Melanie
    5:56 am on September 6th, 2010

    I'm just amazed that he's thought of an ending for Astrid.

    HEY! Where's his sweater?

  25. Barb & Maggie
    6:00 am on September 6th, 2010

    Wow, PA's mother was a writer, then PA, and now Rosie seems to be showing talent in that direction. 3 generations! Is Rosie majoring in journalism, does anyone know?

    Loved the preschool story! He was showing a lively imagination at an early age.

  26. Melanie
    6:00 am on September 6th, 2010

    This is going to be a fun day. Will be checking back and forth. Trying to figure out when to get in to see Dan.

  27. Kirby T. Penworthy
    6:03 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Sorry, I blew it on the mother thing! Afterwards I wondered the same thing. Did his mom write just for her own pleasure, or was she a published writer? He never said and I didn't think to ask until it was too late!

  28. Staff
    6:05 am on September 6th, 2010

    Well I got a good nights rest and now am reading Kirby T's posts happily. I am glad you got a TFAT Kirby. I was hoping that is what Spence meant yesterday.

    Now I am going to breakfast (in my kitchen)(downstairs).

    Abbie is a lefty too.

    Alice Johnson and I are righty's


  29. Kirby T. Penworthy
    6:08 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: PA said when he heard that kids were being assigned Down the Rabbit Hole to read, and then had to write book reports about it, he felt guilty about them having to do work because of him. Then one day he got an email from a kid who had to do a DTRH book report. "Please tell me the story in your own words," the kid requested. "After that I didn't feel guilty anymore," PA said.

  30. bluecat
    6:08 am on September 6th, 2010

    Too freaking weird. How many of us are left handed, me being one also. And how many of us are/were English majors?

  31. dawson
    6:12 am on September 6th, 2010

    Welcome back Kirby T. Penworthy: I'll go back and read yesterday's post and then just listen today. 🙂

    Mangy! We all know Bernie takes good care of his dog and Chet even goes to the groomer on a regular basis.

  32. Kirby T. Penworthy
    6:25 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Bluecat: I noticed a lot of the authors were left-handed — I think more than you'd find in the general population. I think it has to do with the left-handed, right-brained thing — where the right brain controls the more creative aspects of personality. And although I didn't major in English, I did major in journalism, which is pretty much a practical English mode!

  33. Barb & Maggie
    6:30 am on September 6th, 2010

    As I said above, Barb is a left. She started out as an English major, but later switched to business (which is probably more left brain).

  34. Barb & Maggie
    6:31 am on September 6th, 2010

    That was supposed to be a lefty.

  35. bluecat
    6:33 am on September 6th, 2010

    Barb – Edgar Sawtelle – didn't love it but it was well written.

    Does anyone read Jane Haddam? Louise Penny?

  36. bluecat
    6:36 am on September 6th, 2010

    Dad thinks Mom is all right-brained, makes for interesting communication 🙂

  37. B. Stover
    6:36 am on September 6th, 2010

    I'm right-handed and everyone already knows that I'm an English major.

    B&M: I have the Edgar Sawtelle novel but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. Why didn't you like it? The first I had heard anything about it's being a "Hamlet" story was in the review in today's post.

    Dawson: Why will you only listen today?

    Where is FK and the Librarian?

  38. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    6:40 am on September 6th, 2010

    Mangy? Wow. Let me tell you a thing or two about mange. When my boy Cody was being Bad this summer, he ended up with scabies, which is a form of mange. He had a rash all over and sores and it itched like crazy. Trust me, if Chet would have had mange, we would have heard all about it. Anybody with mange has a long list of complaints. And Chet never said a word about mange. Which in my mind is proof positive!!

  39. B. Stover
    6:41 am on September 6th, 2010

    Bluecat: I have not read either Jane Haddam or Louise Penny. What do you recommend? Why didn't you like the Sawtelle novel?

  40. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    6:43 am on September 6th, 2010

    To KTP's mom: You are an excellant reporter! I am hanging on to every word! And I can't believe that he gave us regulars a tip of the hat, so to speak!

    I am blurring with happiness!!!

  41. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    6:47 am on September 6th, 2010

    Madera South: 42 (or some big number), Yosemite High Badgers: 7.

    After the game, the football players went out for pizza and spent the night at a team-members house. Cody has been AWOL since. Mom is very sad.

  42. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    6:53 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Wolfie's mom:

    I didn't like Edgar Sawtelle either. Hate is too strong a word, but not by much. The story is dark, those wonderful dogs were abused, and it was sad. It bothered me so much that I sort of skipped through the book to the ending. As I recall, there was no redemption and it left me feeling empty.

    The Art of Racing in the Rain was sad, too, in a way, but I loved Enzo, and Denny's family, and the ending brought me great satisifaction.

    I don't usually agree with Oprah's choice in books, by the way.

  43. Kirby T. Penworthy
    6:55 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Bluecat: Haven't read Louise Penny, but I do read Haddam. I like Gregor Demarkian and all the folks in the 'hood, but I was getting a bit tired of all the books where he was happy to go do some detecting so he could escape the wedding preparations. It seemed like there were about 10 of them, but maybe that's just my mind playing tricks on me. I haven't read the latest yet, but maybe now that the wedding's over, he and Bennis can just get on with their lives!

  44. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    6:58 am on September 6th, 2010

    Mom says that PSQA is very handsome. Personally, looks mean nothing to me. I go by smell. My guess is that PSQA smells very nice.

  45. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    7:01 am on September 6th, 2010

    **Let me qualify that statement. Looks are not important to me but I should mention that I am an extremely handsome dude, even if I do say so myself. My ears match perfectly.

  46. Barb & Maggie
    7:09 am on September 6th, 2010

    Wolfie, Sorry to hear about Cody. That is so hard on your folks.

    We agree with what you said about Edgar – very well put. The book was well written but it was dark and Barb hated (not too strong of a word) the ending.

  47. bluecat
    7:18 am on September 6th, 2010

    Bee – re: Edgar – Wolfie's Mom put it very well. I did watch a clip on B&N in which the author admitted he wrote it as a tragedy. Check out Louise Penny's web or blog for a taste of her writing. I recommend reading the books in sequence.

    Kirby's Mom – Jane has said her favorite book in the series is Someone Else's Music. I haven't read the latest – just really like the people.

    Cody, come home. They love you.

    Dan, prayer with you and your family.

  48. Kirby T. Penworthy
    7:22 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Wolfie: I'm sorry, I didn't notice any smell one way or the other. But I'm only human, I don't have your acute sense of olfaction!

    I'm so sorry about Cody. My son took off when he was in high school. It's a bad feeling — part of you is scared, and part of you is sad, but another part is mad, and you just go back and forth between feelings. I hope Cody comes home soon. I'm thinking of you and your family.

  49. Siberian Husky
    7:32 am on September 6th, 2010

    I am really pissed off about Mangy. Chet is very healthy and handsome.

    I don't like Sue Grafton or Janet Evanorich, but I love PA, SQ, and Chet.

    Cujo is not a dog story. It is a sort of a horror story. It is actually a book where NOTHING happens until the very end.

    Enzo, loveable though he is, disturbed me because he wanted to be human. Chet is 100% dog and has his head on straight and his act together. Chet's soul is canine.

  50. Mollie (a black pood
    7:34 am on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby's Mom: Thanks so much for the wonderful notes you took, and the great pictures.

    Bluecat: I have read all of the Louise Penny books. They are really excellent books.

  51. Sam
    7:39 am on September 6th, 2010

    Cody, you get home this minute! You have the most warm and loving family. They are so very concerned and miss you.

  52. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    7:41 am on September 6th, 2010

    Does anybody remember the name of the book about a man who lost everything and the pitbull he rescued and how they redeemed each other?

  53. Gus and BooBear
    7:45 am on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby's mom is doing such an awesome job of reporting the book fair and SQPA's interviews. We know Mom won't do near as well when he comes to Houston so everyone glean as much info from Kirby's mom as possible. It's kind of a relief to find out most of you are English majors because Mom does feel left out of alot of your postings. She reads them faithfully but often won't comment.

    But she does read ALOT and loves Chet (who is NOT mangy) so keep the info coming!

  54. Siberian Husky
    7:45 am on September 6th, 2010

    Is it One Good Dog?

  55. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    7:52 am on September 6th, 2010

    Back to Astrid, et al…..

    Bee, a while back you asked me why I thought that Foster's motivation was greed and why I thought he is after Albie's money.

    While is was obvious (to me, anyway) that Foster hated Albie and the way he (Foster)was being treated by Albie, why not just quit his job? And if he and Astrid were in love, and wanted to be together, why didn't they just leave Vegas and relocate? I mean, if I had a boss that treated me that way, I would just update my resume and give a two week notice. But murder? Why?

    Why indeed.

    I have a hunch that Foster handled a lot of Albie's business affairs. Foster could have forged a will, swindled him, etc. By getting Albie out of the way, and then Ratko (who could potentially "rat" (hee hee) Foster out, Foster could end up with the money and the girl.

    Just some random thoughts….

  56. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    7:54 am on September 6th, 2010

    Yes! One Good Dog! Thanks, SH.

  57. Siberian Husky
    7:55 am on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby's mom, Thank you for the splendid reporting and the pictures. We are loving every post, and it is so cool to have a real journalist from the blog meet PASQ.

    Mom and I are not English majors. That's obvious, but we blab on anyway.

    Wolfie, I am so sorry about your boy. That is so hard on you and your folks. The kid needs to come home NOW!

  58. Kirby T. Penworthy
    7:56 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Gus and BooBear: Tell your mom she should post whenever she wants to! Please don't feel intimidated by all the English majors! As for my reporting, that's what I did for a living for more than 15 years, until I had a career change and started working at the library instead. But you certainly don't have to be a professional writer to comment here! When you meet PA/SQ in Houston, we'd love to hear about what he does there and what he says to you. And you don't have to take notes — that's just me. You can take the girl out of reporting, but you can't take the reporting out of the girl!!!

  59. Siberian Husky
    8:16 am on September 6th, 2010

    Gus and BooBear, I agree with what Kirby's mom said about posting. We are all very different here, but it works wonderfully.

    Mom says thanks for the reviews of Edgar Sawtell. You made up her mind for her…she is NOT going to read it.

    I am so glad that Spence didn't tell Rio ahead of time that the book was on the way. Macy would have had to send the chupacabras after the marauding goats.

  60. B. Stover
    8:21 am on September 6th, 2010

    Wolfie: Your ideas about the Astrid case are interesting. (And I'm sorry about Cody.)

    Gus and BooBear: Please comment whenever you want to. We enjoy and need more points of view.

    Kirby and Co.: More please.

  61. FattyKitty
    8:26 am on September 6th, 2010

    I am not an English Major. I am a Professional Cat. Being around so many chatty friendly touchy-feely doggie types on this blog is crumbling my stand-offishness to an alarming degree. Sometimes I am quite disturbed when I don't appear to be as pompous as I am used to. Alas for my poor dignity.

    The Librarian, on the other paw, likes it. Finally she got home from her walk and now we can read what we've missed. We both like hearing from Kirby's Mom.

    So sorry about your boy, Wolfie. It's hard to be a happy dog when that happens. Hope he is back soon. And we hope Dan is taking one more little step to being better today. >^..^<

    As for the marauding goats – they've been apprehended:

    [img <a href="http://]” target=”_blank”>][/img]

  62. Barb & Maggie
    8:27 am on September 6th, 2010

    Siber H, You hit that one right on. If Rio had known the book was on it's way, we would have had to endure RIO RANTS for days!

    And those poor sweet goats would have had the rath of Rio on them.

  63. FattyKitty
    8:28 am on September 6th, 2010

    Rats. I was so hungry and the Librarian was cooking pancakes and I forgot to close my tags. Another blow to my dignity.

    L: The pancakes are getting cold.

  64. Kirby T. Penworthy
    8:29 am on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Sorry, guy! I'm going to have to take a break now. I need to do a little shopping, and there's an "early bird" sale that only goes until 2. I've hit most of the highlights for PA's presentation. About the only other thing he said was when someone asked him what his real name was, he said if you could find his birth certificate it would say "Peter Abrahams" on it. Spencer Quinn was born out of a need to differentiate between his other books and the Chet books, since Chet and Bernie are so different from his other adult writing.

    "It wasn't a state secret," he said. "It was just different branding. It's a marketing thing."

    Oh, and he also mentioned the Robyn Hoodly and her Band of Thieves project. I think he's said here that it's set in Brooklyn, and it's a "slight bit paranormal."

    Back in a little bit — then we'll start on SQ!

  65. Barb & Maggie
    8:35 am on September 6th, 2010

    We are going to the other room and start reading Behind The Curtain again. This time we bought the paperbacks, and BTC does have the recipes included. Will have to try some of them. BBL

  66. Wookie of Chevy Chas
    8:46 am on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby's Mom. Thank you so much. It's one thing to experience PA/SQ through the written words of his books and, of course, here on the blog, but having a first hand account of him as a person (or as people), especially one with such rich detail, adds an entirely new dimension to the relationship. The photos are just terrific too. Aside from the persona of the day (of in this case, even of the hour) that he presents, his writing has such incredible breadth, in terms of subject matter, audience and insight, that it is an absolute delight to gain further insight into the individual behind it all. Here in Chevy Chase we are now sitting on paws and claws (as opposed to pins and needles, except for my mom the quilter) to hear the SQ side of the Decatur saga.

    Regarding Louise Penny, my mom has started reading her just recently, but really fell in love with her and I think she has now read her entire collection.


  67. FattyKitty
    8:51 am on September 6th, 2010

    I am being moderated, yet I am never immoderate. Too bad. I think the secret agents should know about the goats. Help, Chet!

  68. dawson
    8:52 am on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby: Thanks to your mom for the cool pictures and excellent professional reports.

    Gus and BooBear: Me too! Glad to hear we have so many smart people on the blog. Sometimes when the English majors start talking, I don't have a clue but we have a common interest on this blog that seems to transcend all other considerations – the love of Chet and Bernie.

    Prayers to Melanie's and WWWWW's families.

    Staff and Debbie LM especially and the Rest of Us Too: The quilt is going to go down in history – we are being mentioned at book signings!

    Rio: Our supreme commander is awfully quiet today. Don't get eye strain from reading too much at once.

    B.Stover: I am not getting my painting done.

  69. dawson
    8:55 am on September 6th, 2010

    FattyKitty: I looked to see tags left open but I can't see it. It must be the one that is being moderated.

    Happy Labor Day!

  70. B. Stover
    8:57 am on September 6th, 2010

    Wolfie: In your scenario, does Astrid know what Foster has been up to?

    I've ordered Cruelest Month by Louise Penny.

    FK: What are your tags?

  71. Riö - The Evil
    8:58 am on September 6th, 2010

    Reporting?… Which one of those two ladies in that photo is his wife???….grunt!…Nice back-of-the-head shot of Seth…sniff! …. Hopefully we will get more dope on Spencer than we did on the Charming Mr. Abrahams later… grump!…We have to go out and buy a Thank You card….snort!

  72. Mollypop
    9:02 am on September 6th, 2010

    G&BB – If I can manage to write a post, then you can too. Mom and I are techies and this writing stuff is not our gig. Everything Mom writes is "just the facts, M'am" and very dry. Kind of like her computer stuff.

    Mom is happy with this blog so someone can explain to her what she has read.

    For example, Mom liked the Edgar Sawtelle book. She said it was a wonderful story about a dog named Almondine. The rest was "noise in the channel." (computer talk)

  73. Riö - The Evil
    9:15 am on September 6th, 2010

    Noise!… There’s been a lot of noise here today but not a lot of it about the Author that I come to this blog for… grunt!

    eRIO OUT!

  74. FattyKitty
    9:26 am on September 6th, 2010

    B. Stover, this is a tag: It is the tag that should be at the end of the writing you want to make italic. When I put the same tag but without the slash in front of a word like "ME", it tells the Cats in the computer to italicise. When I forget to put the tag with the slash behind the word "ME" then everything behind the word is also in italics and I have lost my emphasis. Which is called "not closing the tag." Which is what happened in my moderated post that only I can see and it's important to the secret agents. Curses!

  75. FattyKitty
    9:27 am on September 6th, 2010

    Dang it! I forget the tags are invisible (those Cats in the computer are hideously clever). The tag has a all in a row with no words in the middle. Ha ha ha ha ha! I am completely inadequate to explaining this.

  76. FattyKitty
    9:31 am on September 6th, 2010

    Dang me! Why do I try to re-invent the wheel? Just go here (they'll probably moderate me again):

    They can explain it. I cannot. >^–^<

  77. dawson
    9:40 am on September 6th, 2010

    FattyKitty: Dang me. Dang me. Oughta take a rope and… Roger Miller. Thanks for the site.

  78. Mollypop
    9:50 am on September 6th, 2010

    Rio – Hang in! We think Kirby's Mom just took a break and will be back with all the information about Spence next. We all have worn her out, the poor thing.

  79. Siberian Husky
    9:56 am on September 6th, 2010

    We appreciate all the time and trouble Kirby's mom is spending on this for us.

  80. Siberian Husky
    10:05 am on September 6th, 2010

    I found the article and the video on the goats, FK. One wonders how they got there. I don't think those are Rio's goats. They seem to be pretty harmless and not destroyers of mail and packages.

  81. B. Stover
    10:05 am on September 6th, 2010

    Thanks FK!

    It takes a long time to do all of that. I'm baking applesauce bread. Bated breath until Kirby and Co. get back to tell us more about Spence.

  82. B. Stover
    10:07 am on September 6th, 2010

    I haven't read the article or looked at the video yet, but I hope the goats were unharmed.

  83. Riö - The Evil
    10:35 am on September 6th, 2010

    Lefty!…. Is it just me, or does it look like Spencer’s shoes are on the wrong feet in that very first photo? ….snort!

  84. B. Stover
    10:46 am on September 6th, 2010

    Rio: I think it's just you.

  85. Macy the Min-Pin
    11:03 am on September 6th, 2010

    To the goats: Don't jump! Think of all you have to live for.

  86. Riö - The Evil
    11:30 am on September 6th, 2010

    JUMP!…. I think they are suicidal over the fact that they didn’t get my book!…JUMP!JUMP!

  87. Mollypop
    11:53 am on September 6th, 2010

    Rio and Macy – The goats were saved with no injuries. However, no one knows how they got up there.

  88. Riö - The Evil
    11:59 am on September 6th, 2010

    Snicker!… I bet Rockie the Undercover Squirrel knows!….heh!

  89. Siberian Husky
    12:17 pm on September 6th, 2010

    yeah, the goats were probably drinking with Rockie

  90. Riö - The Evil
    12:35 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Goats!…. I’m sure there was some enticement or bribe involved …snort!… The fact he got them to go up that high. …heh!… Rockie has been redeeming himself lately I have to say that! ….grunt!

    Rockies!…They are kicking Chapman's butt!…Hoooo!… 30 million $$$'s down the drain here at Coors Field…snicker!

  91. Riö - The Evil
    12:38 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Chapman!… He is throwing over 100 mile an hour pitches to no avail!….snort!…Rockies have had the bases loaded ever since he came out to pitch…heeee!… Score 8 – 4 Rockies bottom of the 6th… Clap!Clap! – Clap!Clap!Clap!

  92. Kirby T. Penworthy
    12:45 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: So being split personalities, Spencer Quinn and Peter Abrahams ended up talking about each other in their talks. Peter Abrahams said, "Spencer Quinn is a way better speaker than I am." And then during Spence's talk, he said, "Spencer Quinn is way cooler than Peter Abrahams, and he makes friends better than Peter Abrahams."

  93. Riö - The Evil
    12:46 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby!…Thank you finally!….snort!…That is what I suspected, but with no hard cold facts and blurry photos it was hard to deduce…grunt!

  94. Kirby T. Penworthy
    12:56 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: So, I'll save all the blog stuff until the end – the creme de la creme, so to speak! (Do I know how to keep an audience hanging or what???)

    So he started out — again — with the one review story. (I guess that's why Admin always wants to know which stories he tells!) Then he talked about how he began the Chet and Bernie series. Because many of his books seem to have dogs as characters, his wife suggested he do something with dogs. He hadn't done too many P.I. characters, so he decided that he wanted to do some kind of buddy story — the crime solver and his sidekick. But then he quickly added, "I'm not saying Chet is the sidekick!"

  95. Kirby T. Penworthy
    12:57 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: I should add that before starting with the one-review story, he asked how many of us had been to both presentations. Since there were only a few hands, he said he felt safe repeating it for those who hadn't heard it before!

  96. Melanie
    12:58 pm on September 6th, 2010

    How nice to catch up, even if Riö is seeing things. "Shoes on the wrong feet?"

    Enjoyed the goats and those are baby goats; they are not up to stealing post yet.

    Wöölfie, may Cody come to his senses . . . SOON.

    Riö, YSAS sends his best. We went to visit Dan today. Dan was a tad sedated, but recognized YSAS and was glad to see him.

    PA was great, can't wait for more on SQ. Thanks Kirby's mom!

  97. Melanie
    1:00 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Must remember to refresh page!

  98. Riö - The Evil
    1:04 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Melanie!…Tell that Clarkson I am thrilled to hear from him!…snort!…What a nice young guy…sniff! ….Has he started work on his new play yet??

  99. Riö - The Evil
    1:06 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby!… If I may interrupt your dribbling, just how many people would you estimate were there to see The Charming Mr. Abrahams and then Spencer Quinn??….snort!

  100. FattyKitty
    1:07 pm on September 6th, 2010

    I've been musing on the "bated breath" thing. So if a small dog, say Rio for instance, ate bacon and then walked by an alligator, would he have "baited" breath?

  101. FattyKitty
    1:08 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Or a Cat. It could be a Cat.

  102. Kirby T. Penworthy
    1:09 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: He talked a little about his writing style. "I like to hit the ground running," he said. Some authors who write series like to start out with a chapter of action, then in the next chapter pile on the expository details — all the details about the series, bringing the reader up to date on what has happened in the series so far. Spence said that's a sign of a lazy author. He prefers to work the details into the story a little at a time rather than giving big expository chunks. "I like to think of it as truffles in cream sauce," he said.

    Spence likes his stories to move quickly, but at the same time they have to have depth.

  103. Siberian Husky
    1:12 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Definately FK, but I don't think the small dog would have to eat any bacon to be alligator bait. Or a cat

  104. Kirby T. Penworthy
    1:21 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Rio: I didn't count, and I was sitting near the front, so I don't really have a great idea of how many were behind me. Both were big rooms, and people were kind of scattered about, so I'd probably be doing a disservice if I even tried to guess. I know there were more people at SQ's talk than at PA's. The audiences for the two were pretty different, though. PA's audience included a number of young girls, as you'd expect for a talk about Ingrid and the Echo Falls series, in fact, they had a young girl introduce PA. The SQ audience was mostly adults. Two men sitting in front of me were members of the Atlanta Writers Club, and both seemed very knowledgeable of the series, and both were thrilled that the newest book was available.

  105. B. Stover
    1:22 pm on September 6th, 2010

    FK: Do alligators like bacon?

  106. Riö - The Evil
    1:23 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Fatty!…Am I sniffing a hint of wishful thinking in your alligator baited breath comment?… heh!

    Kirby!….Now That was an interesting insight about writing styles…wooo!!

    Cable!…Top of the Nineth and the SOUND GOES OUT!….Crap!… Our Catcher has been hurt badly and I have no idea what’s going on…COMCAST SUCKS!…derrrrr!

  107. Kirby T. Penworthy
    1:24 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Fatty Kitty: LOL! His breath would definitely be baited in that case, but Rio's so tough I'm sure that even if that alligator took the bait, he'd spit Rio back out in a New York minute!

  108. Riö - The Evil
    1:28 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Well!…Rockies WIN in Silence!… snort! …. Ubaldo finally gets his 18th Win!…Woooo!!!

    [img ][/img]

  109. Siberian Husky
    1:28 pm on September 6th, 2010

    sniff…Olivio has been hurt. I hope he will be okay. We might not know what happened until the Rockies get it up on their website. Call Coors Field, Rio…just joking, I think

  110. Siberian Husky
    1:29 pm on September 6th, 2010

    WOO WOO!!! and a special WOO WOO for Jimenez!!!

  111. Riö - The Evil
    1:30 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Tough!…And Totally Impatient… grunt!… Now the sound comes back…yeesh!

  112. Kirby T. Penworthy
    1:42 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Here's another story he told twice. PA and SQ both noted that PA was nominated three times for the Edgar Award. The first time was for <iLights Out, but PA didn't win. The second was for Down the Rabbit Hole. Everyone told PA he was a shoe-in to win that one, so he prepared an acceptance, fully expecting to hear his name called. It wasn't. The third time he was nominated for Reality Check, and he decided he had no hope of winning, so he didn't prepare any kind of speech. So of course he won. He stumbled up the to front, thankfully didn't drop the Edgar, and "I gave a horrible, butchered speech. So now I need one more Edgar, so I can redeem myself." Of course, both audience applauded that!

  113. Riö - The Evil
    1:44 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby!…Please do continue, we all have been waiting a very long time for this…snort!


  114. Kirby T. Penworthy
    1:44 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Wow, I should have reread that one — totally full of typos! Sorry!

  115. Kirby T. Penworthy
    1:45 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Patience, little Rio!

  116. Riö - The Evil
    1:47 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Wow!… Now we are getting to the good stuff!…snort!…I just know he will be nominated again for the Edgars!…wheeze!

  117. Siberian Husky
    1:51 pm on September 6th, 2010

    I could never do the excellent job of reporting that Kirby's mom is doing. Rio, be glad that it wasn't me that went to the Book Festival.

  118. Riö - The Evil
    1:55 pm on September 6th, 2010

    SiberH!… I am.

  119. Siberian Husky
    2:01 pm on September 6th, 2010


  120. Kirby T. Penworthy
    2:03 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: OK, Rio. I'm getting to the stuff that's specifically about Chet and Bernie. PA's adult books are all so serious, although some have fun touches here and there. But the Chet and Bernie books are very humorous, which he finds very liberating as an author.

    Again he discussed the name change and the reasons for it. When he wrote the first Chet and Bernie book it was so different from anything else he had done, not only because of the humor, but because it's written in the first person, with a dog narrating.

    "So we're all sitting around a table, and they're discussing how they're going to brand it," Spence said. "I looked around to see if the campfire was going, to see if the branding iron was getting hot."

    And the decision was made to use a pen name.

  121. dawson
    2:04 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby: I don't think anyone could do a better job of reporting than you. Thank you.

  122. Kirby T. Penworthy
    2:10 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Thanks Dawson! I'm having fun. I haven't done this in a long time, but it's coming back — like riding a bike! Oh wait, I fell off my bike and skinned my knees so badly I still have scars. Maybe I'd better come up with another analogy….

  123. Kirby T. Penworthy
    2:18 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Spence was asked why he chose the setting for Chet and Bernie. "I love the Southwest," he said. "And I wanted them to be in an area that was big and urban, but would give them the opportunity to be in the wilderness quickly, and you can do that in the desert."

    Spence also noted that the location of the canyon behind their house plays a pivotal role in Chet's life, since it affords him the opportunity to interact with life in the wild. "Dogs are domestic, but with undomestic tendencies."

  124. Melanie
    2:22 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby's mom: I was talking to OTAS what you have been saying and he thinks you are doing some great reporting . . .

    He's now looking to get the audio of THAT for his next book. He listens during his commute.

    I think T-FAT will be on his Christmas list.

    Riö, YSAS can't talk about it yet. But things are looking up.

  125. Riö - The Evil
    2:33 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby!…Since you are being silent again, I will ask a question….snort!… What did Spence say about Bernie’s concern about the Aquifer? … sniff!…Did he mention anything about the latest book and how the title came to be changed?…heh!

  126. Riö - The Evil
    2:35 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Melanie!… Please tell Clarkson he is always in my special pug prayers for success!…snort!

  127. Kirby T. Penworthy
    2:37 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: As for Chet himself, Spence said he absolutely didn't want a talking dog. Or a dog with human mannerisms. It had to be a dog that did dog things. When someone asked him how he was able to get into a dog's head so well, he said, "It could be a DNA mix-up."

    Oh, and someone also asked him if he has a dog himself. He told about Audrey, who is half Burmese and half golden…oops, I only wrote "golden" and I can't remember if he said retriever or labrador. Sorry! Anyway, he says she's five, but acts like a six-month-old.

  128. Kirby T. Penworthy
    2:44 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Rio: I don't remember him specifically saying anything about Bernie's obsession with the aquifer. And I'm getting to the latest book. So pay attention!

    Spence said he got the idea for the newest book because, "I like the idea of a big, living thing going missing. How does that happen?"

    When someone asked him what his biggest challenge was in writing this book, he said that it was "showing what an elephant is like from the viewpoint of a dog — it's not a real common relationship."

    He knew that he would have a climatic scene with Chet and Peanut (the elephant) being alone, and that was a challenge to write. But he worked at it until it was right. "A book has to have flow," he said. "Nobody should be able to look at it and say, 'Oh, Chapter 8 was a rough one for the fellow!'"

  129. Kirby T. Penworthy
    2:44 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Oh, and the title thing. I had completely forgotten about it being changed, and nobody else asked about it.

  130. Riö - The Evil
    2:49 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Gah!…Are you kidding me?…That title change was such a HUGE DEAL in my mind!..gasp!

    Sorry!… Keep going. You are doing a wonderful job!…snuffle!

  131. Kirby T. Penworthy
    2:58 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Spence says he doesn't know how many books will be in the series — in other words, it isn't a trilogy. But he'll just keep at it as long as it's working.

    Dog On It has been optioned as a movie. (I think he said they're looking for a director right now.) But he's not paying a whole lot of attention to that. "When they buy the rights, they 'buy the rights,'" he said.

    Oh, and Melanie, YSAS ought to be able to appreciate this!

    Spence recounted the tale of one of PA's books that was turned into a movie, The Fan. It starred Robert DeNiro and Wesley Snipes. PA has relatives in California, and was visiting them when the movie was being filmed. He was able to go to Anaheim Stadium (Woo hoo! Go Angels!!!) where they were filming the baseball scenes.

    PA was talking with someone about the film, and they mentioned that there were some changes that had been made between the book and the film. For instance, a certain character had been written out. PA said he couldn't imagine the story being told without that character. Why had it been written out? The production person pointed at the stadium jumbotron. PA didn't get it. "That jumbotron is costing us $100,000 a day."

    In other words, they couldn't afford to pay for another actor, so they wrote the character out of the movie.

  132. B. Stover
    3:01 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby: Could you describe Spence's sense of humor please.

  133. Riö - The Evil
    3:11 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Fan!… That whole Hollywood story sucks. I know they will destroy Dog On It too…snort!…I can’t believe it has gotten as far as looking for a Director already… Crap!… They rushed the Script part!… grumble!

  134. Kirby T. Penworthy
    3:18 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Bee: Wow, that's a hard question. Altogether I was only around him for a little over two hours, so that's a little hard to judge. In this instance — with most of it being public speaking — I'd have to say that most of the funny stuff was self-deprecating. He doesn't seem to take himself too seriously, and he's willing to share the less-than-perfect parts of himself to get a laugh. He seems like a really nice guy, someone that you'd be happy to be friends with.

    (And all of this is really strange to write, because I know he'll be reading it.)

  135. Sam
    3:21 pm on September 6th, 2010

    What about when the second movie comes out? My movie, the one where I get the part of Princess.

  136. Barb & Maggie
    3:23 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby's Mom, You are doing an outstanding job. We appreciate you sooo much!

    If you wrote "Golden" it had to be a Retriever, as Labs are called Yellow.

  137. B. Stover
    3:23 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby: Thank you. Yes that is what I thought from the things he says on this blog and FB. (Spence knows we love him so hopefully he will forgive our curiosity.)

  138. Kirby T. Penworthy
    3:23 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Sam: Sorry, Sam, Spence didn't mention anything at all about "The Princess Movie" — because that would be the name of it, right? Maybe they have to get through the first one before they can think too much about the second one!

  139. B. Stover
    3:25 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Sam: You are sooooo funny!!

  140. Wolfie Wigglebutt
    3:26 pm on September 6th, 2010


    Initially, I thought that Foster had murdered Astrid because she spurned his advances after the divorce. With so many dead bodies, that no longer makes any sense.

    Pondering….my guess is no. We know Astrid and her suitcases are missing, but we don't know why or where. For some reason, I don't think she's too far away.

  141. Kirby T. Penworthy
    3:26 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Barb & Maggie: If I had a V-8 I'd be slapping my head right now! Of course it's a yellow lab! I just looked at golden and thought, "Golden what?" So that makes her half Burmese and half golden retriever.

  142. FattyKitty
    3:26 pm on September 6th, 2010

    This is fun to read, Kirby's Mom.

    Everyone likes bacon, right?

  143. Macy the Min-Pin
    3:29 pm on September 6th, 2010
  144. Melanie
    3:30 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby's Mom: yes, YSAS would understand that. LOL. I was up on Cape Ann and passed the island where they filmed "The Crucible." They built the town, the wall fences, roads, fields and then they had to take it all down.

    They paid $50/ day for each sheep. There was a drought and all the crops failed and they paid a farmer for his entire field of corn, transplanted it and then harvested it for him. They ended up having to dig two artesian wells. AND the non-SAG extras did get paid more than the sheep, but not much!

  145. Riö - The Evil
    3:31 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Wolfie!…What time-warp universe is Wolfie on right now?…. geeze!

  146. Melanie
    3:35 pm on September 6th, 2010

    FT: are you finding out if you can make all the dogs "baited breath"?

  147. Melanie
    3:36 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Wöölfie, praying for your family. Off to bed.

    Really enjoying this, Kirby's Mom!

  148. Kirby T. Penworthy
    3:37 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Spence said two amazing things have happened to him as a writer. The first thing happened when he was doing a signing at a bookstore in Illinois. He was sitting at a table when about eight or nine youths walked in. They didn't look like kids who would be hanging out in a bookstore — tough kids, baggy pants and all. As the kids began walking around the store, PA/SQ noticed the store employees getting a little nervous. Then they all started surrounding PA/SQ. All of a sudden there was a priest in the middle of the boys, and he told PA/SQ that he ran a program for disadvantaged youths in Wisconsin. The boys had read his books, and when they found out he would be appearing in Illinois, they asked the priest to take them to meet him. PA/SQ was so amazed and touched by the boys that he is staying in touch with them and supplying the program with books.

  149. Riö - The Evil
    3:41 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Heart!….There is that Really Big Heart again!….sob!sob!sob!

  150. Staff
    3:42 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby it is wonderful to read your report. I know you are giving up reading TFAT to pander to us. We appreciate it.

    I am back from quilting. The quilt sandwich has been quilting and the binding has been stitched on one side. The other side it hand sewn. So now that and the fancy trim pieces (and eyes) will be put on.

    Also I have to put a label on the back. So far I believe I have quilt blocks made by Debbie LM (wookie) Staff (Abbie and Alice Johnson, Rio, Kirby T. Penworthy, and BStover.

    Have I left anyone out?

    Also I need to know if BooBear is the orange cat or the grey one?

    I am going to take a nap now. I will be back later.


  151. Kirby T. Penworthy
    3:50 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: The second amazing thing that has happened to Spence as a writer is … drumroll, please! US!

    He told everyone that in today's market it isn't enough just to write a book, you have to do something extra. And he told them about the blog. About how he started out writing a mystery based around movie "Greed." And about how people started commenting and connecting with each other about sports and health and all sorts of things. About how a community of bloggers has developed!

  152. Siberian Husky
    3:57 pm on September 6th, 2010


    That is a wonderful story about the boys and the books.

  153. Kirby T. Penworthy
    4:08 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: He told everyone he enjoys reading our comments (which answers Rio's question), and that right now we have a big project going on: We're making him a quilt. He started describing about how everyone was making squares with all the dogs and cats and things happening on the blog, and the squares were being put together into a wall hanging. He must have sensed the audience was wondering how he knew all this.

    "Hey, this isn't exactly Wikilinks!" he said.

    "When the quilt comes, it's going up on a prized part of the wall for sure," he continued. "I'll probably try to feign surprise when I get it."

  154. B. Stover
    4:13 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Now how cool is that!

  155. Kirby T. Penworthy
    4:23 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: It gets better, Bee! He told everyone that the blog's motto was "Plunder on!"

    "I think maybe somebody meant to say, 'You just have to blunder on.' But it came out 'Plunder on.'" And I love it, I love that motto!"

    (Sorry this picture isn't real good. I didn't have my good camera with me because it's not digital. The point-and-shoot digital didn't do so well in this lighting!)

    [img ] Quinn2.jpg[/img]

  156. Mollypop
    4:27 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Awesomer and awesomer!

  157. Riö - The Evil
    4:31 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Strange!… Why would he try to feign surprise about the Quilt in front of his wife who knows full well it is coming? …snort!….I know this is all part of the book fair act, but really….sniff!… What’s “Wikilinks” anyway? …. grunt!…Does he mean Wikipedia?? … sneeze!

    Stover!… I for one am sure she meant to say "Plunder On" not Blunder On …sniff!…It's something she would say about technology…grunt!…Correct me if I am wrong Ms Stover…sniffle!

  158. B. Stover
    4:39 pm on September 6th, 2010

    There has been a scandal about wikilinks in the news. I haven't been following it so can't explain it further.

    I did not mean blunder (something done accidently or in error) but plunder…take everything you can and do the best you can with it.

  159. Kirby T. Penworthy
    4:40 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Rio: Oops, I typed "Wikilinks" but it should have been "Wikileaks," you know, that site that leaks all the important stuff!

  160. Siberian Husky
    4:46 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Has anyone seen Macy's video? I can't log onto Facebook so I can't watch it.

  161. Riö - The Evil
    4:47 pm on September 6th, 2010

    See!…Stover did mean “Plunder On”, – Not “Blunder On” which our Author thinks she meant from the sound of the story told by our Journalist!..sniff!

    Photos!…. As a journalist she must have had her own private photographer along for the big stories…grump! …Or someone who could focus a damn camera at least….sniff!… As close as that to our author and everything is fuzzy!!! Please have Mercy on my soul! …grump!

  162. Riö - The Evil
    4:50 pm on September 6th, 2010

    SiberH!… Min Pins video is Awesome!…sob!…Very touching about the true friendship between an abandoned guy like us and an Elephant!…sob!sob!sob! ….snort!

  163. Kirby T. Penworthy
    4:50 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Bee: Sorry! Spence and I should both have realized that when it comes to words, you know what you're doing! Anyway, if Spence gets this far in the conversation — I think we're setting a record this go'round! — at least he'll have the story correct for the next book fair!

    Regardless of the circumstances, though, you know Spence loves your slogan! And not only did he use it to sign Rio's book, he signed my book with it, too!!!

    [img ] Quinn1.jpg[/img]

  164. Riö - The Evil
    4:53 pm on September 6th, 2010

    SiberH!… I didn’t mean to infer that I myself was “abandoned”, but just a ‘guy’… snort!

  165. Kirby T. Penworthy
    4:54 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Rio: The chairs weren't that close to the podium — I did a heck of a lot of cropping to make it look that close! Like I said, if I had my good camera with my telephoto lens and my good flash, instead of the point-and-shoot digital, the photos would have been much better. But that would have meant you would have to wait longer until I could get the film developed!!!

  166. Siberian Husky
    4:57 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Thanks Rio. I knew what you meant because I have seen that story about the dog and elephant on tv. It is a touching story.

  167. Riö - The Evil
    5:00 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Wow!…Finally a photo that is in focus!….Yea!…One I can keep, even though it is the TOP OF HIS HEAD!… snort!… What do you mean he signed my book with the 'Plunder On' slogan? grunt!…Could I have missed it????? somehow?

    Geeze, I am finding it hard to believe anything I read from any Journalist even one of our own….grunt! … Keep your facts straight and your tail curled, That’s my Motto…grump!

  168. Mollypop
    5:09 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Siber-H – Macy's video is close to my heart. It's about the elephants at the sanctuary in Tennessee. That place where Mom makes me send some of my allowance every month instead of buying dog toys.

  169. Riö - The Evil
    5:11 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby!…Thank You so very much for all your hard work writing tons of notes and getting all the quotes and stories from our beloved Authors!… Priceless information and truly bad photos, but one can’t have it all I suppose…heh! …

    Kirby!… If I had it to do over I would have waited till tomorrow to read all of your commentary all at once, Then I would not be so damned grumpy!…grump!

    Sigh!…Goodbye all for today!…grunt!….What a Very Long Day it has been. … snort!… My patience has gone down to the bone and I can bear no more….sniff!

  170. B. Stover
    5:12 pm on September 6th, 2010

    SH: The video has been on FB and is about an elephant "retirement home/field"…I can't remember where it is. Most of the elephants pair up but one elephant and a dog (the place is also for dog rescue) became friends. When the dog gets ill and can't move they take the dog inside for care and the elephant stays by the gate. They call to one another. Finally they take the dog to see the elephant and finally, as I recall, the dog gets better and can go back outside. (It's been a while since I saw it so am not telling this well.)

  171. Siberian Husky
    5:18 pm on September 6th, 2010

    I'm glad your mom does that, Molly. Mom sends some of my allowance to Husky Rescue every month. I suppose it is the least you and I can do. I do think we need our own credit cards, though.

    Since mom read that your mom liked Edgar Sawtell, she has gone back to thinking about reading the book.

  172. B. Stover
    5:20 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Thank you Kirby! This has been fun. (I've ordered TFAT with signature and paw print and "One Just Plunders On.") How cool!

  173. Siberian Husky
    5:24 pm on September 6th, 2010

    I saw that too, Stover, but on tv., I can't remember all of it either. I do remember now about the dog being ill. I'm glad they have such a thing as an elephant sanctuary.

  174. Siberian Husky
    5:35 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Thank you, Kirby's mom. We appreciate all your very hard work and the photos are just fine. We have really enjoyed them.

    Kirby, your mom has had a long day and a long weekend. See that she gets some rest.

  175. Alice Johnson
    5:40 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Hey guys,

    We only need 25 more posts to break 200.

    Heh heh heh

  176. Siberian Husky
    5:43 pm on September 6th, 2010

    but Alice, I'm falling asleep and I have to go outside and pee.

  177. Barb & Maggie
    5:53 pm on September 6th, 2010

    AJ, We were wondering how many posts there were today. Just 23 more, guys, we can do it.

  178. Barb & Maggie
    5:54 pm on September 6th, 2010

    KTP Mom, Thank you for all the wonderful reports today. We all loved it! And the photos were fine.

  179. Alice Johnson
    5:54 pm on September 6th, 2010

    The same here Siber-H. We shall have to save that plateau for another day.

    Dear WWW I hope you have your Cody back.

    Dear Melanie, Here are more good little step wishes for Dan.

    Kirby T, wonderful reporting! Thanks so much.

    Goodnight all,


  180. Kirby T. Penworthy
    5:55 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Sorry, Rio! (It seems like all my latest posts have been apologies — but it really has been a long weekend and day! From 3:30 Saturday morning to getting home after 11:30 last night, including nine hours of driving. Then I woke up early this morning and couldn't get back to sleep.) For some reason I thought I remembered something about your book saying, "Plunder on." But in any case, mine really, truly does say that.

  181. Kirby T. Penworthy
    6:00 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Rio: Not sure if I posted this one already or not, but maybe you'll like it better, although it is Mr. Abrahams and not Mr. Quinn!

    [img ] Abrahams 1.jpg[/img]

  182. Barb & Maggie
    6:10 pm on September 6th, 2010

    KTP Mom, Great picture, and you don't need to apologize for anything. You did a great job of reporting.

  183. Barb & Maggie
    6:13 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Did you ever say which one was Mrs. A? We assume it was the woman on the left, since the other one seemed to be wearing a tee shirt and badge.

  184. Riö - The Evil
    6:13 pm on September 6th, 2010

    THIS!…Now THIS is all I truly kept looking for today. During this very long drawn out day. A photo of the Charming Mr. Abrahams Smiling!.. (and in focus!) ….Oh joy, oh rapture!…. Now, I can rest easy tonight and unclench my jaws and sleep tight in my warm soft bed with all my baseball toys in their special place. ….sniff!

    Happy!…Hooray! .I am so glad I got up and refreshed this page one more time….gruff!

  185. AbbietheKitty
    6:14 pm on September 6th, 2010

    What I have taken away from these posts is that Spencer Quinn/Peter Abrahams seems to really enjoy the blog. I hope he doesn't spend too much time (I won't say waste too much time) reading it and not enough writing.

    However he seems to be putting out the product fairly fast so maybe this is not a problem.

  186. Siberian Husky
    6:18 pm on September 6th, 2010

    That's a great photograph!

    Maggie, yes, the woman on the left is Mrs. A and the woman in the t-shirt and skirt is a Book Festival volunteer.

  187. Alice Johnson
    6:18 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Note to PSQA.

    Red is a good color for you. Ditch the grey top.

    Alice Johnson.

  188. Alice Johnson
    6:20 pm on September 6th, 2010

    OK Now I am curious again.

    I don't see any pics with anyone other than PA or SQ in them. What picture are you talking about?

  189. Siberian Husky
    6:23 pm on September 6th, 2010

    The photos that Kirby's mom posted this morning at the very beginning of our posts.

  190. Alice Johnson
    6:25 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Well, Now staff is really going to bed and turning off the computer. Drat it all. I hope you guys get to 200.

    Good night all.

    Alice J.

  191. Siberian Husky
    6:26 pm on September 6th, 2010

    If i remember right (it has been so long ago) there are two photos with several people in them. Oh yeah, two of the photos also have PA's son, Seth, in them.

  192. Siberian Husky
    6:35 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Am I all alone here? I am not ever all alone here at night because I AM NOT A NIGHT OWL.

  193. Siberian Husky
    6:36 pm on September 6th, 2010

    I hope Kirby's mom has collasped into bed and is getting a good night's sleep.

  194. Riö - The Evil
    6:38 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Focus!…See! Those photos (except for the important one!) were all so out of focus no one can even remember them…grunt!…Once we got up we saw that The Odd Couple was on and now we are both UP ….drat!… I need my beauty sleep!..sniff!

  195. Kirby T. Penworthy
    6:39 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: Those photos seem to be gone — I can only speculate that Mrs. A, Seth and/or the volunteer didn't want their photo on the blog. If that's the case, I apologize. I was so eager to display all the weekend's events, but I should have gotten permission to post those.

  196. Siberian Husky
    6:39 pm on September 6th, 2010

    I am not alone! Rio is here and we need to get those 200 posts.

  197. Siberian Husky
    6:41 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby's mom is here!

  198. Riö - The Evil
    6:44 pm on September 6th, 2010

    SiberH!…Do you remember The Odd Couple???…. heh!…We here love that movie!…sniff!

  199. Siberian Husky
    6:45 pm on September 6th, 2010

    You're right, the photos are gone. I can see why Staff was puzzled.

  200. Siberian Husky
    6:46 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Yes, I actually remember the movie The Odd Couple. We love it also. It is very funny.

  201. Riö - The Evil
    6:46 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby!…heh!…I copied them all – no matter how bad they were…snort!

  202. Barb & Maggie
    6:46 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Siber H, There was a photo, I think it was the 3rd one (first was PA talking, 2nd was PA reading) and it had PA on the left signing, and 3 people to our right, his left. Now that photo is gone! It had Mrs. A, another woman and Seth in it. What happened to it?

  203. Kirby T. Penworthy
    6:46 pm on September 6th, 2010

    That movie is one of Dad's favorites. When it gets to the sinus scene with Jack Lemon, Dad always laughs so hard that he cries! Something about the honking really sets him off!!!

  204. Kirby T. Penworthy
    6:47 pm on September 6th, 2010

    We did it! We went over 200 posts!!!!!

  205. Riö - The Evil
    6:50 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Gone!… I don’t blame those guys for stripping the photos, they were so Bad!…heh!…Kirby, you did a very good job with all the quotations and stories. Remarkable really. I guess I am still curious about what our Author said to you when he first met you and when he sat beside you before his presentation….snort!

  206. Siberian Husky
    6:51 pm on September 6th, 2010

    I think this will be the 200th post. Oh dog, I'm falling asleep. It has been a grand day. Rio, you and your friend should get your little fannys back to bed.

    Good Night Friends! Prayers for Dan.

  207. Siberian Husky
    6:54 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Maggie, you have probably figured out what happened to the photos by reading our posts. You didn't imagine them. They were there.

  208. Barb & Maggie
    6:56 pm on September 6th, 2010

    KTP Mom, Don't apologize, you did a great job. How were you to know that someone didn't want their photo on there. We would have done the same thing. We are so grateful for all your hard work and great reporting. Good night!

  209. Riö - The Evil
    6:58 pm on September 6th, 2010

    SiberH!…Your counting is off, but you did manage to get the 200th post of the day!…Woooooooo

  210. Riö - The Evil
    7:01 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Kirby!…It's the Sinus Scene!…heh!heh!…Jack Lemmon was one of our favorite actors of all time…sniff!

  211. Kirby T. Penworthy
    7:08 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom to Rio: When it was my turn to have my books autographed, I told PA that I was Kirby T. Penworthy's mom. He jumped right up off his chair and shook my hand and said he was really glad I had come and told his wife and son who I was. Then, while he was signing my books, I asked your question about pugs. That was about it — there were other people behind me, so I couldn't linger too long.

    Then at SQ's appearance, he was there early so he came over to sit with me for a couple minutes before it started. He told me about TFAT being for sale in the lobby, which I already had discovered — in fact I already had my copy. He mentioned that he didn't know they were going to be there, and that he had only gotten two copies himself. When I said you were going to be jealous, he assured me that he had already sent your copy to you. I can only guess that he gave the other one away, too, because he had the plain red-cover ARC with him — that's what he used when he read the first few pages of TFAT. He asked me where I was from and I told him, and he repeated that he was glad that I had come. I said I had worried that the hurricane would keep him from coming, and I had checked the cancellations page several times to make sure he wasn't on it. At that point he said the hurricane was really a non-event where they were, so he had no problems getting away. And then it was time for him to speak.

  212. Siberian Husky
    7:09 pm on September 6th, 2010

    It's a good thing you guys showed up to help with the posts because I was going to start quoting a Robert Service poem just to get the 200 posts. hee hee

    Mom is unplugging me……

  213. Kirby T. Penworthy
    7:15 pm on September 6th, 2010

    SiberH: Maybe you can recite that poem next time Rio sends you on a mission! I'm sure the van load of secret agents would appreciate the entertainment!

  214. dawson
    7:21 pm on September 6th, 2010


    We are amazing!

    Here's hoping Cody returns home and that Dan keeps improving.

    Kirby's Mom: You are really amazing! No apologies needed.

    Goodnight to all the tail waggers.

  215. Riö - The Evil
    7:23 pm on September 6th, 2010

    My Gawd!… Now why couldn’t you have told me these details earlier on??… Why oh why did you think it was better to dribble out information that all of us have wanted to know very badly for a long time? …snort!… Essence of Cruelty. To steal a phrase from Ingrid… grunt!… I have a much better insight into your person now… sniff!

    Good Night Kirby!

  216. Gus and BooBear
    7:25 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Thank you so much, Kirby, for all the excellent reports. What a weekend you had and how special that SQ seems to appreciate the blog. We are a special group.

    Staff, BooBear is yellow and Gus is the dark tabby. We will mention that again in the morning in case you don't check these late posts.

    Nite, all, and thank you for all the kind thoughts and words.

  217. Macy the Min-Pin
    7:46 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Get over yourself River Dog. She drove for nine hours, answered all our question and posted all the pictures, ALL while having a fresh new copy of TFAT right there waiting to be read. So, if you don't like it, go to one yourself and quit whining you <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <q cite=""> ~~hmphh

  218. Kirby T. Penworthy
    7:47 pm on September 6th, 2010

    From Kirby's Mom: I just fell asleep in front of the computer — I think it's time to call it a night! And no, Kirby, you can't stay up and type. I know I hogged the computer all day, but you can get it back tomorrow!

    Good night, y'all!

  219. Macy the Min-Pin
    7:48 pm on September 6th, 2010

    ,~~~ hmmph

  220. Macy the Min-Pin
    7:49 pm on September 6th, 2010

    arrrrgghggggg, i cant even get an insult right.

    >…big baby

  221. Macy the Min-Pin
    7:50 pm on September 6th, 2010

    Macy out <code>(of sorts)

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