Le: Last spring at the Mt. Hermon writers conference, I met this wonderful author. So please welcome Sarah Sundin and Daisy! Hi, Sarah! Thanks for coming here today! We’re talking about our beloved pets today. So, what is your favorite kind of a pet? Dog, cat, guinea pig? And why?
SS: Cats are my favorite. We had six cats for several years when I was a girl, which I don’t recommend, but I just love them. They’re beautiful and graceful, but I also love it when they lose their balance and put on an “I meant to do that” face.
Le: Oh, I love cats too. How many pets do you have today?
SS: We have a skittish little cat named Janie. And then there’s Daisy, the yellow lab.
Le: Oh, I have a yellow/white lab, who I adore. She is the best dog ever. Have you ever rescued an animal?
SS: My husband and I took in a stray cat when we were newlyweds—more accurately, the cat took us in. He chose us. He was a wonderful little cat.
Le: Ah, don’t you love how they do that? Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?
SS: There’s a cow with a small speaking part in A Distant Melody, a donkey with attitude in A Memory Between Us, and a couple of cats on the sidelines in Blue Skies Tomorrow. A dog character is developing in my mind for the next series I’m working on.
Le: What was your favorite character animal?
SS: Sahara Sue, the donkey in A Memory Between Us. Jack’s bomb group in World War II flies a mission to Tunisia and one of his colleagues barters for a donkey. This was based on a real incident in the real bomb group I chose. I thought it was so funny that I had to adapt it for my novel.
Le: Ah, that’s great! Has one of your own pets been the inspiration for a pet/character in a novel?
SS: Our dog Daisy is giving me ideas for the character in the next series I’m working on. In the meantime, Daisy has been the inspiration for numerous blog articles and Facebook posts. I get the most comments on Facebook when I mention something Daisy ate.
Le: LOL! That’s what happens when I mention something that The Hilo Monster has done. And she’s always doing something. What is the funniest thing you’ve seen one of your animals do?
SS: I’ve enclosed the picture because words alone don’t do it justice. When we brought Janie home from being spayed, she was pretty loopy on drugs. I looked into the living room and found her on the couch like this. What you can’t see is that she was licking the inside of her Elizabethan collar. The kids and I laughed ourselves silly.
Le: It is hilarious! Poor kitty! Cats so want to be dignified, which is what makes that picture so wonderful! Is there a secret that only your pet knows?
SS: My kids know I talk to myself, but our dog Daisy knows the full extent of it. Daisy’s heard me ask my characters probing questions (“Why, why are you doing that?”), grumble about my writing (“You call that a sentence? Yeah, that’s what happens when a pharmacist tries to write books.”), and talk smack to the computer for being a computer.
Le: That’s funny! What is your pet’s pet peeve about you?
SS: Daisy is a two-year-old yellow lab. Her pet peeve about me is that I don’t play with her twenty-four hours a day.
Le: So inconsiderate of you, Sarah! What is your pet peeve about your pet?
SS: That she wants to play twenty-four hours a day. I don’t. I want to write. So she does the negative-attention thing. She runs off with random household items (wooden spoons, eyeglasses, retainers, etc.) so I have to chase her to rescue them. Doesn’t that sound fun? Daisy thinks it’s a blast!
Le: We should get Daisy and The Hilo Monster together. Hilo does the same thing. She’s a master at grabbing eye glasses. Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us! Now, I’d love to ask Daisy a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺
Le: Hi, Daisy! You are so cute! Thanks for coming to play today. Since Sarah is a writer, maybe you have some writing in you. What would be the title of your autobiography?
D: Eat, Play, Belly Rub.
Le: Very clever! If you were to write a novel, would your friend inspire one of the characters?
D: She’d be the evil prison warden who doesn’t let me out of my cell to play in sunshine.
Le: Ah, poor Sarah. What’s your favorite movie?
D: Marley & Me. Marley’s my hero. I aspire to be like him. The scene where he stole the woman’s necklace—pure genius. And I think he’s really hot.
Le: Oh, I love that movie too! I can’t let our labradoodle see it because she might get some more ideas. She already rivals Marley. What musical instrument would you like to play?
D: The clarinet. It’s made of wood and you stick it in your mouth. Wood is very tasty.
Le: Brilliant! What do you think about cats? Dogs?
D: Cats are also very tasty. Not that my kitty will let me catch her. I don’t know why. I just want a little taste, but no! She scratches my lovely pink nose and hisses at me! Can you imagine?
D: Dogs—oh, I can’t get enough of them. I have a BFF named Violet a few blocks down. She’s a boxer and she’s soooo much fun. Mom says when we play it’s the Waltz of the Flowers. Mom thinks she’s so clever. Ha.
Le: LOL! Where do you sleep at night?
D: On my big cozy pillow on Mom’s side of the bed so I can trip her if she gets up in the middle of the night (oodles of fun), and wake her up with a big sloppy kiss. She loves that. She says so every morning. At least that’s what I think “Uggh. Go away, you dumb mutt” means.
Le: I’m sure you’re right about that! Maybe you should lick her again when she says it. I think that’s what she wants. What do you do when your friend is writing?
D: My purpose in life—and I take it seriously—is to keep Mom from that silver box thingy. All she wants to do is sit and tap her fingers on it all day. Boring! So I liberate her pens (very tasty) and make her get up and exercise. A round of chase-the-dog-around-the-house is good for her circulation. Why does she need those glass thingies she puts on her eyes anyway? They’re tasty. They’re meant to be eaten.
Le: Hilo agrees with you. She’s eaten ten pairs of those glass things. It’s so sweet of you to care for Sarah that way by getting her to exercise. What is your idea of bliss?
D: A long round of chase-the-laser-pointer. You don’t know fun until you watch that little red light. Then a swim. Then a long belly rub. And jerky treats. I like jerky treats. They’re tasty.
Le: The laser is fun, isn’t it? What is your friend’s idea of bliss?
D: Sitting in front of that silver box thingy! She’s crazy! And never once has she eaten a wooden spoon. Can you believe that?
Le: She doesn’t know what she’s missing! Thank you so much for being with us today! You take care of your friend now, ya hear?