Monday, October 5, 2015

Waverly Fitzgerald & Pepe

Who is in the photo at right?

That’s me, Waverly Fitzgerald, with Faizel Kahn, the owner of our favorite coffee shop behind the counter, and my co-author, Curt Colbert.

I'm holding Pepe, the Chihuahua who inspired the mystery novels Curt and I write together.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Curt and I meet every Tuesday at Café Argento (where this photo was taken) to work on our novels. We’ve written five of them so far and one short story. Pepe doesn’t usually come along but this time he did so he could have his picture taken.

What's brewing?

Curt always has black coffee. I get a Waverly latte (that is a latte made with half lowfat milk and half half-and-half). The coffee is locally roasted at Café Vita just down the street.

Any treats for you or Pepe on this occasion?

Pepe rarely takes treats from strangers when we’re out, although I think if they offered bacon he would accept. Curt usually has a bagel with cream cheese or butter. I sometimes I have a breakfast bagel with hot sauce.

How did Pepe get his name? Any nicknames?

My daughter [with Pepe, photo left] named him. She’s a singer and she sings a lot of Billie Holiday songs. After she adopted and named Pepe, we found out Billie Holiday had a white Chihuahua that looks just like him called Pepper. Pepe also goes by The Pepster, Peps, Babyface and Little Man. Sometimes I call him Pepperoni or Pepito.

How were you and Pepe united?

Pepe is my daughter’s dog but he lived with me for many years (after she moved back home). When she moved out again, she only moved next door so I get to see him almost every day.

Are there any dogs in your fiction that are inspired by Pepe?

Oh, yes, definitely. The crime-solving, talking Chihuahua, Pepe Sullivan, in our five mystery novels is clearly modeled after Pepe Fitzgerald. Like his namesake character, Pepe hates being dressed up and thinks he is much bigger than he is. Unlike his namesake character, he has a sweet disposition and doesn’t talk much.

Does Pepe do more to help or hinder your writing?

Since he’s the inspiration for the mystery novels, he definitely helps. Readers frequently tell us we’ve really captured the Chihuahua personality.

Who are Pepe's best pet-pals?

He currently lives with a cat named Idzy who he scrupulously avoids. He can get quite sulky if too much attention is paid to the cat.

Where is Pepe's favorite outdoor destination?

He loves to go for walks in the neighborhood and he loves to be the one who chooses the route. Mostly he appears to be checking up on other dogs and what they’ve been marking. He’s really an indoor dog, not an outdoor dog. When it rains, as it does all the time in Seattle, he will get to front door and just stare out, as if to say: You’ve got be kidding. You want me to go out in that?

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

A squeaky toy. His favorite toy is the detachable tail off a stuffed Eeyore. He wants us to throw that so he can show off his prowess in capturing it and worrying it to death.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

If he encounters a cat while on a walk, he will go in a big circle around it, which always confuses the cats. The postman is fine. He loves visitors and he loves getting things in the mail. He doesn’t seem to notice squirrels but chases crows and pigeons.

What is Pepe's best quality?

His adorableness. He can get away with almost anything because he is so cute.

If Pepe could change one thing about Seattleites, what would it be?

Pepe would like to be worshiped by everyone he meets. Also he would appreciate more sunshine. And he would like to be able to go into restaurants and stores, like dogs do in more civilized countries.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Pepe could speak, which actor should do his voice?

I had to ask Curt because I don’t watch enough movies to know. Curt thinks Pepe would sound like Robert Downey Jr. But the fictional Pepe, who speaks Spanglish, would sound like Antonio Banderas.

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

Who is the alpha dog? Me or you?

Visit The Wonderful World of Pepe blog.

--Marshal Zeringue

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