I read the back of the book and shed a tiny tear, I'm such a softy, and the first chapter made me cry a bit too, because it's about a really cute pug and he's sad...but chin up, reading and dog fans, all will be well keep reading this lovely book to its brilliant ending. It's a book that would also make an excellent gift for a dog lover for Christmas.
So I welcome Fiona to my page, and as tradition dictates there are questions... let us begin with the basics
Fiona, Tell me about yourself and your book(s)?
I’ve been a freelance journalist for the past 15 years and I live in Berkshire right by the River Thames. I’m also a keen runner, and regularly run along the Thames Path which helps me create plot ideas and solve writing problems. A Pug Like Percy is my first novel and is the story of a pug that is abandoned at a rescue centre. Thankfully, Percy soon finds a loving new home but realises his new family are the ones that need help. Can he be the one to rescue them?
Why did you write this book?
Like many authors, all I ever wanted to do as a child was write and naively, refused to consider another career path so I became a journalist. I was convinced I would know when the time was write (sorry!) to put fingers to keyboard and pen my first novel, and thankfully a trip to Battersea to adopt my lovely cat Pico four years ago gave me the inspiration I had spent years searching for. I was so inspired and amazed by what I saw I wondered what it would be like to write about the experience of being abandoned from the perspective of an animal. I will never forget that feeling of knowing, that A Pug Like Percy, was the book I was supposed to write.
Do you have another job or are you a full time author? If you do something else (stunt woman? Archaeologist?) what is it and do you like it?
I am a full-time author but I am also a journalist and that is still very much my day job.
When did you start writing stories?
As I kid I was always scribbling away. Weirdly I was inspired by Roland Rat who was very much a part of TVAM when I was a child and I routinely made up stories about Roland Rat running the country with Mrs Thatcher!
What is the saddest story you've ever read?
The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas, I adored it but my goodness, I couldn’t stop weeping. The poignancy contained in that story is wonderful.
What 3 things are guaranteed to make you smile?
A full glass of red wine
A cuddle with my cats Pico and Lola
The sight of my husband cooking dinner
Do you have any pets?
Yes I have two cats, Pico and Lola and they very much help my writing process. One or the other usually keeps me company as I write, either on my lap or curled up on my desk (it’s a big desk). They have been brilliantly inspirational too at helping me work out just what Percy and his pals, would think, feel or say as they are always so wonderfully expressive with me and each other.
Who is your favourite author? Do they influence your writing or are they a total break from the sort of thing you write?
I love Emily Barr. Her books are so clever, and I love the way she takes you on a journey that’s often in a far flung destination but always has the power to make you think. Emily’s books are extremely different to A Pug Like Percy, but I think that helps when you write as if you read the same sort of thing that you’re trying to create there’s a danger the voices in your own story will get muddled.
Which book(s) are you reading at the moment?
There are so many on my to-be-read pile. I am currently reading Anna Freeman’s The Fair Fight, I love the old-school language she uses, it’s brilliant. After that I’ve promised myself to get started on Elena Ferrante’s Neapolitan novels.
Where do you do most of your writing?
At my desk in my home office or at a little coffee shop around the corner from me. They serve the best cappuccinos, good and strong!
Tell us about the character that you've written that you like the most - no spoilers!
Obviously I have to say Percy. I had the best time writing from his perspective. Not only is he funny, kind, loyal and dependable, but he’s a charmer, enjoys a giggle and isn’t afraid to take a few risks for those he loves.
What is your favourite biscuit?
Homemade sugar-free digestives.
Tea or Coffee?
It very much depends on the time of day!
In the film of your life who would play you?
We look nothing alike but Cameron Diaz because she’s sassy, says what she thinks and has a brilliant sense of humour. Qualities I like to think I possess!!
If you could genetically cross an animal and a vegetable, what would you pick and why? I like the idea of a potato and a sloth...could you get a lazier creature? (my soul mate)
It would have to be a pug and carrot, just because I really like the idea of a ginger pug…brilliant.
A furry festive miracle who’s there for you with a helping paw. Percy definitely isn’t just for Christmas…
Debut novel, perfect for fans of A Street Cat Named Bob and Alfie the Doorstep CatA Pug Like Percy by Fiona Harrison is out now (Hardback £10.99) (And currently only £4 via Amazon Prime! Bargain!)
– and all dog lovers
– and all dog lovers
Thanks to Fiona for taking part in this week's Wordy Wednesday
I have received a copy of the book so I can review it later and so far it's really good - DD has pinched it for a read first though! (A book for all the family)
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