Category Archives: lab

Presenting: Susanne Lakin and Coaltraine

I’d like to introduce a fun author, Susanne Lakin, I met at Mt. Hermon this past spring and I also got to meet her puppy, Coltraine! So let’s get started! Hi, Susanne! Thanks for stopping by with Coltraine! Should I hazard a guess here…what is your favorite kind of a pet? Dog, cat, guinea pig? And why?

SL: It’s a toss-up between dogs and cats. I’m right on the boundary line. They each have their own specialness that endears me. Some days I’m a cat person, other days a dog person.

Le: How many pets do you have today?

SL: I have a new black lab puppy named Coaltrane and three rescued kitties: Skritz, Thelma, and Louise.

Le: LOL! I love those names! I guess I have the answer to the next question: have you ever rescued an animal?

SL: Yes, our kitties and our former dog, Sweetie, were all rescues. I worked with a rescue organization up in the mountains and found it very rewarding to help find homes for abandoned pets.

Le: Do you ever incorporate animals into your novels?

SL: I do. My contemporary novels rarely have animals, but my fantasy series has a plethora of them. In fact, many of my animals speak—some quite well-educated and others a bit rough around the edges. My fat white pig, Winston, in The Map Across Time (releasing spring 2011) was lovingly patterned after the tour guide who took us to Stonehenge and postulated that the stones were set up by aliens. His verbiage was pretty hilarious so I had a great time making him a predominate character in my book. (He’s really not a pig, but I’m not going to tell anything more.)

Le: Funny! What was your favorite character animal?

SL: I like Disney’s Pluto—kinda feel sorry for the chump, and I like Tweety bird and Tasmanian Devil.

Le: All animated. Interesting! Has one of your own pets been the inspiration for a pet/character in a novel?

SL: Ah yes! Aside from some of my animal characters being inspired by humans, my book, The Wolf of Tebron, releasing now in August 2010, was very much inspired by many dogs I have known collectively, but Sweetie did influence me as I wrote the book. The wolf embodies many characteristics of a loving, loyal God, so I felt it would be the best animal to use to portray God’s unfailing love.

Le: How cool. And readers, run out and buy Susanne’s book! So, what is the funniest thing you’ve seen one of your animals do?

SL: Well, they sure do a lot of funny things. I once had a kitten that likes to sleep in a small wooden box. She fit just fine as a six-week-old kitten. But when she was full grown, she was determined to keep sleeping in that tiny box. She’d stuff part of her back into it, with limbs all hanging out—head too, and somehow manage to nap. They must get very confused as to why objects like that tend to shrink over time!

Le: I would imagine. All my pets think my lap has shrunk, when the opposite is probably true, because no matter their size, they climb in my lap constantly. Is there a secret that only our pet knows?

SL: The Bible says all creatures know their maker. Here’s a cute story. Once Lee and I held hands and Lee prayed over dinner. While our eyes were closed, Sweetie placed her paw on our hands and closed her eyes too. I’m sure her prayer was a little different from ours: “Lord, please move their hearts to hand over their plates…that chicken smells divine.” When I asked Sweetie if she knew God, she just looked at me and her eyes said, “Well, duh!” On a sadder note, the hour we got ready to take Tracy, our old Dalmatian, to the vet to have her put down, we were praying and crying and holding hands. Tracy rested her chin on our hands through the prayer and it sure seemed as if she was telling us she understood and it was okay that we had made this tough decision. It’s the only time in her whole life she’d ever done that.

Le: Ahhhh. You’re gonna make me cry. What is your pet’s pet peeve about you?

SL: The cats are mad that I love the dog. The dog is annoyed I show attention to the cats. Thus, the war continues. They all take walks together though with me around the golf course.

Le: I bet that is quite a sight! What is your pet peeve about your pet?

SL: I wish they could take care of themselves for a week so Lee and I could go on vacation.

Le: Wouldn’t that be nice! Or if we lived next door to each other, I’d watch Coltraine and the cats. But you might not want to reciprocate and watch The Hilo Monster. ☺ Thank you so much for taking the time to be with us! Now, I’d love to ask your pet a few questions. Don’t forget to give your sweet pet a treat afterwards. ☺

Le: hey, there Coltraine! You are very well behaved. Maybe you could come teach The Hilo Monster. What would be the title of your autobiography?

C: Actually, I’m the fictionalized character in a novel my human is writing entitled” A Dog after God’s Own Heart.” My character’s name is Fido 57 and he’s in the pound about to be put to death. Sure glad it’s not really me!

Le: Oh, dear! I guess so! If you were to write a novel, would your friend inspire one of the characters?

C: Not sure which friend you mean. I have tons! Even some cats are my friends, but shhh, don’t tell any of my canine pals.

Le: A friendly sort! I like that! What’s your favorite movie?

C: Babe, for sure!

Le: I love that movie! What musical instrument would you like to play?

C: Definitely NOT the saxophone. My owner’s husband plays that thing and it makes my ears hurt. I howl and screech! I think I would like to play the piano, as it’s fairly easy to make some cool music just walking across the keys.

Le: What do you think about cats? Dogs?

C: Well, I love all other dogs. I’m very social and love to play. I love cats too, but for some weird reason, they just don’t seem to want to play. And when I jump on them, they hiss at me, Just what is their problem, anyway?

Le: I don’t know. Our cat is persnickety that way too. Where do you sleep at night?

C: On the floor on a bunch of blankets next to Lee. In the early morning, once I go out to pee, I get to climb in bed and snuggle in all the down comforters. It’s my favorite thing!

Le: Sounds perfect! What do you do when your friend is writing?

C: I bug her so much she doesn’t get anything done. But she tells me I’ll grow up someday and hang out on the deck and leave her alone. Ha! In her dreams!

Le: Maybe you and The Hilo Monster have more in common than I thought! What is your idea of bliss?

C: Endless food.

Le: LOL! What is your friend’s idea of bliss?

C: Same.

Le: Knew I liked Susanne! Thank you so much for being with us today! You take care of your friend now, ya hear?