Monday, May 30, 2011

Author Interview + Giveaway: Alison Pace

Alison Pace is the author of the books If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend, City Dog, Pug Hill, and now the much-anticipated, soon-to-be released, A Pug's Tale on June 7th. I have read and reviewed her upcoming release and would like to welcome Alison to A Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust.

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.

FB: Explain the story of Pug Hill. The place, that is, not the book. It seems to be a place steeped in myth and urban lore.

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!

Giveaway time!!!!

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.

Contest rules:
  • 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


  1. the art of racing in the rain enabled me to go on breathing after i had to put down my service companion of 18 years, im stil halucinating i see him out of the corner of my eye speck135les at yahoo

  2. I loved The Art of Racing in the Rain. A must for any dog lover!

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  3. I love dogs, but I actually have not read any dog books! I would love to win this one though because I love pugs.

    the imagine tree at aol dot com

  4. I love Hotel For Dogs movie !


  5. love dogs hate trouble with google not letting me sign in lately. rhonda1111

  6. My favorite is probably Marley and Me. It's a tearjerker, but a good read.

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    hawthornescarlet at gmail dot com

  7. My favorite dog story might not be known to you as it is set in South Africa but it is Jock of the Bushveld by Percy Fitzpathrick. A really marvellous stort and if you havent read it I recommend it highly.

    Thanks for the giveaway and for opening it to worldwide entries.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com