Posts Tagged ‘reader questions’

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November 27th, 2020 Posted 8:47 am

And now back to reader questions. Heather Hannah Knopp writes:

“You’ve probably been asked this before, but what was your inspiration to write from Chet’s perspective? From the first few pages of “Dog On It”, and Chet was getting high from riding in the car with his head out the window, I was hooked on his storytelling and utterly charming POV. How do you “get inside” Chet’s head? (okay, that’s two questions, but I know Chet can handle up to 2 😉 )”
Answer: 1. Inspiration: One evening my wife said, “You should do something with dogs.” Twenty minutes later I’d written what became the first page of Dog On It. Just to see if it worked. We voted 2-0 that it did. (No kids at home at the time – we could have lost 4-2.)

2. Getting inside the head: I have no satisfactory answer to this. It has to do with the imagination, of course, but how to describe the nuts and bolts of the imagination at work? And is it always a good idea to look under the hood?

(And to the Plunderers: I love my calendar! Many, many thanks!)

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November 24th, 2020 Posted 7:45 am

And now back to reader questions. A number of you wrote in about Suzie, Bernie’s girlfriend for a good part of the series, and now (spoiler alert for those who haven’t yet read Of Mutts and Men) married to the Franco-American investor Jacques Smallian, whom Bernie can’t help liking. Let’s put it this way: lots of twists and turns can happen in a longish series and I’m hoping, with your support, that Chet and Bernie will be longish.

 

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November 21st, 2020 Posted 7:42 am

Last Saturday we invited reader questions and so many great ones came in! We’ve been answering at a pace that must seem glacial to you but the plan is to get to at least most of them – some are very similar. Anyway, Andrea Boughton writes:

“Why did you start out clearly describing Arizona but not naming it until several books in?”

Love this question! It has two answers. First, Chet may hear things from time to time without putting them together as we would. But then something might happen and it all clicks. So in the first 5 books (and remember the series can be read in any order!) the name Arizona is not mentioned. Then in The Sound and the Furry, where Chet and Bernie take a case in Louisiana, someone hearing Bernie speak asks where he’s from and Bernie says, “Arizona.”
And now we come to answer number two. There on page 93 of the 6th book I got to write: “Ha! We were from Arizona? I’d wondered about that.” You can’t imagine how much fun I had doing that! So – first, it’s about staying true to Chet’s point of view. And second it’s self-indulgence on my part. Please forgive.

 

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November 19th, 2020 Posted 7:38 am

And now back to reader questions from Saturday. Carole Merrille writes: ‘How, when, & where (if you remember) did you come up with the phrase “The Nation Within”? I absolutely love that phrase & think it should be common, so common that everyone in every language uses it & all know what it means.’

Answer: The nation within the nation is how Bernie (the human detective in the canine-narrated Chet and Bernie series) describes the dog population of our country. The idea first comes up in Dog On It (first in the series, although they can be read in any order) in chapter 12: “That was one of Bernie’s ideas – we were a nation inside of a nation.” The phrase “the nation within” first appears in chapter 5 of book 2, Thereby Hangs A Tail. And now, Carole, for the disappointing part – it just popped into my head as I was typing away. But I suppose the knowledge that the US dog population was between 70 and 80 million was in the background somewhere.

 

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