Foodie Bibliophile: Hi Alison! Thanks so much for stopping by! All of your books revolve around dogs in some way. As a dog-lover myself, I certainly appreciate this aspect of your novels, but what is your motivation for including dogs in all of your stories?
Alison Pace: Hi Beth! I love dogs, and greatly enjoy writing about them. Ever since my first novel, in which schnauzers played a big role, whenever I conceive of a story, I think of a dog character in it; at this point it's just part of my writing process.
FB: This is your second book dealing with pugs. What is your own personal affinity for these snorting, sniffling canines?
AP: Well, I am a fan of all types of dogs, but I do find pugs so charming. They're just so terrific at expressing their emotions, at being playful, and they, as a dog breed, are very caring of their people. I'm very enamored of them.
AP: Pug Hill is a place in Central Park, where pugs used to meet every Saturday and Sunday. I think that once the NYC leash laws were in effect the pugs didn't come there anymore but it was a really fantastic sight to behold when they did. Upwards a forty pugs gathering in a clearing, running loose. Truly adorable and heart-warming.
FB: How did you get the idea to continue Hope’s story as a mystery?
AP: From Hope! Hope as a character is such a searcher, always looking for something. After she found so much of what she was looking for at the end of Pug Hill, I found myself wondering again and again what Hope would look for next. From that the idea of Hope as detective came to me.
FB: Besides your own, what’s your favorite pug book and/or dog book?
AP: So many. I loved Merrill Markoe's Walking in Circles Before Lying Down and recently, Julie Klam's You Had Me at Woof. I love The Bark magazine's collections of dog essays, Dog Is My Co-Pilot and Howl: A Collection of the Best Contemporary Dog Wit (and not just because I have an essay in the latter). I cried and cried at Marley & Me and was a huge fan of that book along with everyone else. And old school: Flush, and Travels with Charley.
FB: Do you foresee anymore Hope and Max capers in the future? (Or at the very least another mystery? I think you really have a knack for this genre!)
AP: Thank you! I think about both a lot. I'd love to explore what happens with the last thing that happens to Hope in A Pug's Tale. It's in the early "thinking" stages now.
FB: From reading your books, I can tell you have more than a passing knowledge of art. What is your art background?
AP: I worked in the art world for about ten years, I worked at the auction house Sotheby's and at two different art galleries.
FB: Daphne Markham is the delightfully eccentric elderly socialite in A Pug’s Tale, and besides Max, she was one of my favorite characters in the book. Did you base her off a real person or was she completely imagined?
AP: I love Daphne very much, too, so I'm very glad you did, too. Daphne is imagined.
FB: Hope’s place of refuge in NYC is Pug Hill. What is your personal NYC refuge?
AP: All of Central Park. I take my dog their every morning and it's a lovely, peaceful way to start the day in the midst of hectic NYC life.
FB: I’ve only visited NYC once and that was to do all the traditional touristy things like visit the Empire State Building, walk across the Brooklyn Bridge, go to Times Square, see a Broadway musical, etc. I definitely plan to visit NYC again someday and when I do, I want to do some of the things New Yorkers do. So where should I go if I want to feel like a true New Yorker?
AP: Oh so many things, even though it's touristy, you'd have to go to the Met, have a drink up on the roof after, and then walk all around Central Park. Dinner at a restaurant I love in the East Village called Lavagna. A walk through the West Village. A bike ride on the West Side Highway. A stroll on Madison Avenue, a walk around Gramercy Park. So many things...let me know when you get here! Many thanks for the great questions Beth!
FB: And thank you so much Alison for the wonderful responses and for writing such heartwarming stories! And I will definitely be checking out Lavagna the next time I visit NYC!
If you would like to win a copy of A Pug's Tale by Alison Pace, just leave a comment answering the following question: what is your favorite dog book/story of all time? (Don't forget to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win!) If you haven't read Pug Hill, no worries. Even though this book is a sequel, it also works as a stand-alone.
- Must be 13 years or older to enter
- Open to countries where The Book Depository ships
- You are not required to be a follower to enter but it is greatly appreciated
- Starts May 30th, ends June 7th at 11:59 PM EST
- Winner chosen at random using Random.org