Who is in the photo at right?
My name is Lisa Alber, and I’m a novelist. I write a crime fiction series set in Ireland. My second novel, Whispers in the Mist, came out in August. With me is Fawn “The Ears” Alber, my mascot. She’s a four-year-old Chihuahua/wire-haired terrier mix.
What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?
I take Fawn with me everywhere I can, so any outdoor venue where I can sip coffee is great. Most of the time, I’m writing. Most of the time, she’s making new friends.
I’m a soy latte gal.
Any treats for you or Fawn on this occasion?
I was thinking of buying a lemon poppyseed scone. And for Fawn? Crumbs! She’s so social and charming she makes friends everywhere she goes. She’s happy with back scratches as treats.
How were you and Fawn united?
About three months after my previous pup, Luna the One-Eyed Wonder Dog died (cancer), I met Fawn at the Oregon Humane Society. She was such a wee under-nourished thing. You could barely see her in her bed and was non-responsive. But I’m attracted to underdogs. She was so sweet, curling up on my lap straightaway. But, I asked the folks at OHS to check her out again because she didn’t seem well. Pneumonia and giardia and a few other intestinal things. Poor girl. She’d been trucked up from Southern California with OHS’s Second Chance Program.
How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?
The folks at Oregon Humane Society had named her Poppy. I came up with Fawn after I saw her curled up with her head resting over her back leg—she has such a long neck, just like a fawn curled up in a meadow. Plus, she’s fawn-colored. I call her all kinds of silly things: Nugget, Little Nuggety Nougat, Fawnzie, Fawnzarella.
Does Fawn do more to help or hinder your writing?
Good question! Have to admit, the feisty terrier in her can be a tad distracting. So, I’m going to say hinder, but that’s a-OK. So worth it to have her in my life. I’ve learned that she just wants to be near me, so wherever I’m writing in the house, I set her up in a bed next to me (i.e. on desk and table tops — she’s so small, it works OK). She settles down then.
The last time you visited Coffee with a Canine (May 5th, 2014) you had Luna, a Pekingnese mix, who inspired a dog character in a novel you were writing called Grey Man. Is that novel now Whispers in the Mist and is the dog character still in it?
Sweet Luna! Yes, I had called the novel Grey Man at the time. The publisher changed the name to Whispers in the Mist, which is a much better title. The dog character, Bijou, a French Mastiff, is still there and is still one of the heroes! In fact, she has a cameo appearance in my third novel, Path Into Darkness, which is coming out next year.
Has Fawn inspired the creation of any fictional dogs?
No, I can’t say that she has—yet! Sometimes she’s so cat-like that she could inspire a cat character too.
Cat, postman, squirrel…?
She’ll run after squirrels all in good fun, but she’s protective when it comes to raccoons. She’s a little too fearless when it comes to them so I keep an eye on the raccoon situation. She likes cats, dogs, people — a total extrovert!
Ball, squeaky-toy, stick…?
She’ll chase anything, but she especially likes squeaky toys. She doesn’t always bring them back though. Actually, her favorite comfort toy is a ball of my dirty socks. They’re kind of like her Linus blanket.
Who is Fawn's best pet-pal?
That would be Trio my 15-pound old dude of a cat. She adores him even though sometimes she gets pesky enough that Trio bats at him. That pisses off Fawn rather than scares her—and just like the terrier she is, she goes right back at him to bug him some more. Hah! I love watching them chase each other in the backyard. It’s truly hilarious.
What is Fawn's best quality?
Her friendly, sweet charm. She doesn’t bark much and she’s not a spazzy small dog. She’s just this super sweet little dog who loves to meet-and-greet. Oh, and dancing on her hind legs!
If Fawn could change one thing about you, what would it be?
Oh, I know this one. She’d want me to be able to sleep with her under the covers with me. She loves to snuggle, which is great—except when I’m sleeping. She sleeps on the bed, for sure, just not under the covers.
If Fawn could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?
Trio the Cat is twelve years old, doing well, but he won’t be around forever. I’d ask Fawn whether she’d prefer a new companion (cat or dog?) or to be my only mascot.
If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Fawn could speak, who should voice her?
A quirky female comedian—Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
What advice would Fawn give if asked?
Hey, I like everyone and you can too!
Visit Lisa Alber's website, Facebook page, and Twitter perch.
Coffee with a Canine: Lisa Alber & Luna.