Who is in the photo at the right?
Karen Rose Smith, novelist, who writes mysteries and romances. The dog in the photo with me is Hope, a friend's female, two-year-old English Cream Golden Retriever.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
I often have coffee, talk and lots of laughs when I visit Hope and her brother Riley who's a five-year-old Australian Shepherd. Their parents, my husband and I like specialty coffees.
Baltimore Coffee chocolate raspberry flavor is brewing served with a touch of cream.
Goodies to go with the coffee are cranberry-pecan scones.
Any treats for Hope and Riley on this occasion?
Holistic baked dog treats made with peanut flour, oatmeal, peas, and pumpkin!
How were you and Hope and Riley introduced?
I first met Riley in October 2009 when my friends adopted him from the Carroll County (Maryland) Humane Society.
I met Hope on a visit to our friends' house in February 2012. Her brother-in-law from Tennessee breeds English Cream Golden Retrievers and Hope was part of the most recent litter. She was the best pup as she traveled across the country with her new family.
Do Hope and Riley have nicknames?
Hope's nickname is Hope-a-lope and Riley's nickname is Riles.
Would you tell us about the animals in your new novel?
There are a few animals in my new novel Staged to Death since my sleuth takes in strays. Dylan, a mixed-breed canine, is black and white and fluffy-furred all over. My sleuth had been listening to Bob Dylan when her neighbor brought Dylan to her. He weighs about ten pounds and has a tail that could practically dust Caprice's mosaic-topped coffee table in one sweep.
Sophia is a long-haired, strikingly-colored calico cat who Caprice had found not long after she'd moved into her home. When she'd designed her living room in sixties-chic bright colors, she'd worked a floor-to-ceiling cat tree into the plan having it specially carpeted in turquoise. Sophia loves it.
[photo right: Hope and Riley]
In the course of the book, Caprice also takes in two yellow tigers—Creamsicle and Stripes—who are about ten weeks old. Sophia and Dylan accept them but Caprice finds a good home for them with a single mom and her daughter.
Were the fictional dogs inspired by any real life dogs?
Dylan was vaguely inspired by a dog we adopted when our son was small. Tamara was an Australian terrier with oodles of energy. In book 2 of this mystery series, Deadly Decor, a cocker spaniel is a prominent character! My dad had given my mom Buffer, a cocker spaniel pup [photo left], on their first anniversary. He was a childhood companion.
Where do Hope and Riley like to go for an outing?
Hope is a camping and hiking dog. She's been camping in the Outer Banks and hiking in Dolly Sods in West Virginia.
Riley is more of a stay at home dog but he likes play dates with a poodle named Napoleon!
What is each dog's most endearing quality?
Hope is such a sweetheart, gentle and calm, and just wants to be loved.
Riley has a protective spirit and is loyal.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Hope and Riley could speak, which actors should do their voices?
Uma Thurman would be Hope's voice and Hugh Jackman would be Riley's.
If Hope and Riley could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?
Riley was abandoned at the shelter when he was a year old. I'd like to know where he came from and his story.
I would ask Hope if she misses her brothers and sisters from the farm where she was born.
Visit Karen Rose Smith's website, blog, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.