Friday, August 9, 2013

Sharon Fiffer & Fergus

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Sharon Fiffer and I write books (and teach and edit) when I’m not on the porch with my dog. I am the author of several books, most recently the Jane Wheel mysteries published by St. Martin's / Minotaur and most, most recently, Lucky Stuff.

Fergus is terrier mix—a little Scottie, a little Cairn, a whole lot of bark. He’s a year and a half old, a rescue that we’ve had now for two months. The vet warned us to ignore his actual age and consider him an 8-week old puppy.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

My daughter and son-in-law live about six blocks away and are on a grand Amtrak journey out west, so Fergus and I decided this morning to walk over, raid their garden and sit on their comfortable porch.

What's brewing?

Even on the hottest days of summer, I have to start the morning with hot coffee or tea. I was a serious and heavy coffee drinker for years. Two years ago, cold turkey, I stopped. Just to say I could, I guess. Switched to black tea in the morning and became quite the tea connoisseur. Two months ago, read an article on coffee staving off dementia and without missing a beat, I brewed a French press and drank it all. I’m back to strong black coffee in the morning. My favorite is Peet’s Major Dickason’s Blend, but I’ll drink anything fresh and dark...

Any treats for you or Fergus on this occasion?

I picked three apples from the tree in the kids’ backyard, but ended up saving them for later.

How were you and Fergus united?

Lost our beloved Luna two years ago and, like a girl in a pop song, I vowed I would never fall in love again. My husband began lobbying for another dog and I stalled, until I saw Fergus pictured on the rescue site.

How did Fergus get his name? Any aliases?

Fergus was already named. Despite my best attempts to keep it formal, both my husband and I can be heard uttering a “Fergie” now and then.

Antiques picker and private investigator Jane Wheel, star of your mystery series, has a dog named Rita. Does Rita share any of Fergus's character traits?

Loyalty, protectiveness and love. And, he thinks he is as big as a Rita, a German Shepherd.

Does Fergus do more to help or to hinder your writing?

I spend valuable morning time walking him, but I think more during that walk, so that might be a help. And as you might notice from the photo [at right] taken as I am writing this back in my office, he allows me to work once I sit at my desk. I can’t blame him when I don’t get the work done. 

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Bark, barkier, barkiest.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

If it’s labeled tough and/or indestructible, he can destroy it in five minutes. So I prefer sticks as a budget option. He prefers toys that I stuff with peanut butter.

Does Fergus have a favorite place to go for outings?

Any place with a tree is a home away from home for Fergus.

Who is Fergus's best pet-pal?

I had to put him in doggy daycare one day last week and when I picked him up, they told me he played the whole time with a dog named “Jamie Oliver.” Leave it to Fergus to find a dog chef.

What is Fergus's best quality?

He’s a good listener.

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

I would be made of kibble with regenerating limbs.

If Fergus could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

Fiction or non-fiction?

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Fergus could speak, who should voice him?

Ewen McGregor? Billy Connolly? Craig Ferguson? I could listen to Scottish actors’ audition tapes all day long!

Learn more about the Jane Wheel mysteries and the author at Sharon Fiffer's website.

The Page 69 Test: Scary Stuff.

Writers Read: Sharon Fiffer (January 2011).

Writers Read: Sharon Fiffer (September 2012).

My Book, The Movie: Lucky Stuff.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Fergus sounds like a cool guy who , I'm sure, makes every day better. Lady Caroline

    1. though I don't own a dog right now, I've had several and they make your life better.

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