Who is in the photo at right?
I am Lynn Chandler Willis, author of Wink of an Eye, and this is my writing partner, Sam. Sam is an 11 year-old male cocker spaniel.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
Because breakfast is usually rushed and on-the-go during the week, Sam and I enjoy a more leisurely weekend pace. On Saturday mornings, we'll head to a local fast food joint. Sam likes to wedge himself between me and the steering wheel and bark at the giant talking menu when we order. He usually gets a sausage biscuit while I get a large coffee.
We really like Dunkin' Donuts Hazelnut! I don't have one of the new fangled single brew machines because I tend to drink it by the pot rather than the cup, so I prefer the vacuum-packed Dunkin' Donuts I can buy at the local grocery store.
Any treats for you or Sam on this occasion?
Sam will either get a sausage biscuit or ham biscuit while I dive into the icing-topped blueberry biscuits.
How were you and Sam united?
My kids gave him to me as a gift on Mother's Day when he was a six-week old puppy. And I hated him. Puppies are a lot of work. He was constantly underfoot, chewed anything and everything he could, refused house training, and ran in the opposite direction when called. He was horrible! I was at my wits end and ready to find a foster home for him when I called a number associated with a cocker rescue. The lady said if he was that ill-mannered, he'd probably be bounced from home to home because the problems wouldn't be corrected, just covered up until he could be bounced again. I didn't like him but I didn't want that for him. She suggested obedience school for him so we signed up. After two years, three levels of advanced obedience, and even acting class, I wouldn't take a million dollars for him now.
How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?
Honestly, this goes along with the above answer. I didn't like him and the really cool names just weren't connecting. I had to call him something so I just started calling him Sam. Before long, it started growing on me and I can't imagine calling him anything else.
Does Sam do more to help or hinder your writing?
He helps in a backward sort of way. When he's ready for me to get up from the desk and sit on the couch beside him, he'll bark until I give in. Sometimes I'll take the laptop over to the couch and continue to work while he snoozes beside me.
Have any actual dogs inspired fictional dogs in your published work?
Sam was the inspiration for Jasper in Wink of an Eye. He's even mentioned in the acknowledgments.
Who is Sam's best pet-pal?
An orange tabby named Tigger. Unfortunately, Tigger passed a few years ago.
Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?
A very slobbery tennis ball that he'll bring to you but refuses to give it up.
Cat, postman, squirrel...?
All of the above. Plus innate objects. And leaves. He's a big leaf herder.
What is Sam's best quality?
He's incredibly smart and has an insatiable appetite for learning.
If Sam could change one thing about North Carolinians, what would it be?
That we still have puppy mills in our state.
If Sam could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?
Are you happy.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Sam could speak, who should voice him?
What advice would Sam give if asked?
Never give up on someone.
Visit Lynn Chandler Willis's website.
My Book, The Movie: Wink of an Eye.
The Page 69 Test: Wink of an Eye.