Friday, June 18, 2010

Lynn Kiele Bonasia & Kiele

Who is in the photo at right?

This is Kiele (pronounced Kee-lee), an 8-year-old mixed breed who we think is part lab (obvious), part border collie (she herds) and part chow (black tongue). And this is her mother, Lynn Kiele Bonasia, author of novels set on Cape Cod, the latest of which, Summer Shift, came out on June 1st from Touchstone/Simon & Schuster.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Today was the inaugural launch of our little boat in the Town Cove and, seeing as it was before 10 AM, naturally there was coffee involved.

What's brewing?

Trader Joe's fair trade Joe's Blend. Not so glamorous, I know. But it's cheap and it tastes good.

Any goodies to go with the coffee? Any treat for Kiele on this occasion?

No goodies or treats. Didn't want either of us to get seasick.

How were you and Kiele united?

Kiele came from an animal shelter in Broward County. We were living in Florida at the time. After our beloved golden retriever died, I swore I'd never want another dog. But then after a year, I found myself looking at pets up for adoption on their website. One day I saw Kiele. I took my son there and we just fell in love with her on the spot. She was very affectionate but also a bit shy.

Does Kiele have any influence on your writing?

Kiele is a great companion. I live alone and she fills the house with doggy goodness which, in turn, makes me happy which, in turn, creates a warm environment for me explore my creativity. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

How did Kiele get her name? Does she have any aliases?

As you see, Kiele is my middle name, which was my maiden name. It was shortened from Lithuanian "Kieslauskis" but probably that's a good thing. "Here, Kieslauskis!! Good Kieslauskis" When we got her from the shelter, her name was "Blanchi." So we believe she's bilingual.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

UPS guy. And the raccoons who've taken up residence in the attic. (Don't ask.)

Tennis ball, Frisbee, squeaky-toy...?

Kiele is like me. If you throw a ball to us, it hits us and falls to the ground. Then we look at it, shrug and walk away. Her favorite toy is a ratty old piece of rope that we play tug of war with.

Where is Kiele's favorite outdoor destination?

Nauset Harbor is at the end of our street. There's a little sandy, dog-friendly beach that Kiele gets to visit just about every day.

Who is Kiele's best pet-pal?

She gets along with most dogs but has no pet she plays with regularly.

If Kiele could change one thing about you, what would it be?

I don't eat red meat, which means she doesn't either. Not until my kid comes home from college.

What is Kiele's best quality?

Unlike my golden, who loved to just take off, Kiele stays with me. When she's off the leash, she runs ahead but always checks back to make sure I'm in sight. And if I sit down on the beach, rather than roam off, she sits by my side. She's also just a friendly, affectionate, smart dog.

What is the most amusing thing Kiele does? The most frustrating?

Love when she tries to shake herself off while she's still in the water. And when she chases her own tail. Love watching her from the back, how her ears flap when I take her on walks. Cracks me up. The most frustrating thing, hands down, is how she sheds. For about 3 months every spring, you can just pull out tufts of hair. No matter how often I brush her, it just keeps coming. And it's white. And I love to wear black. Ugh.

Lynn Kiele Bonasia has been a freelance advertising copywriter for more than twenty years. She has published short fiction in The Seattle Review and The Miami Herald, among others. Her debut novel, Some Assembly Required, was published in 2008 by Touchstone/Simon & Schuster.

Among the early praise for
Summer Shift:
"Warm, intelligent and charming. A moving read with characters that stay with you long after you have turned the last page."
--Santa Montefiore, author of The French Gardener and The Perfect Happiness
Read an excerpt from Summer Shift, and learn more about the book and author at Lynn Kiele Bonasia's website and blog.

--Marshal Zeringue