Friday, August 7, 2009

Elizabeth Spann Craig & Chloe

Who is in the photo at right?

This is Chloe, a four year old Pembroke Welsh corgi. I’m Elizabeth Spann Craig, a mystery writer for Midnight Ink and Berkley Prime Crime.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Chloe and I were celebrating the August 1 release of my cozy mystery, "Pretty is as Pretty Dies." She’s been sooo excited about my book.

What's brewing?

Dilworth Coffee shop’s vanilla chai tea latte. It’s divine. Chloe thought so, too (she drank the last few drops of it.)

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

I’d just polished off a large bowl of buttered cheese grits, so I decided against any additional goodies for myself.

Any treat for your dog on this occasion?

Chloe had “Buddy Biscuits.” And some latte.

How did your dog come to be united with you?

Chloe was born at a nearby horse farm. Her mother and father and aunts and uncles still live at the farm.

How did she get her name?

We consulted a baby-name book. We shared some of the ideas with her and she seemed to like Chloe best. Our children (the non-furry ones) helped us with the decision.

Where do you usually take Chloe out for fresh air?

She loves to chase the tennis ball in the back yard and is also fond of the trails at Colonel Beatty Park. Walks around the subdivision with my husband and me are also a real treat for her. A neighbor’s dog is named Oscar, and whenever Chloe goes on a walk, she flaunts her good fortune by running up and down beside the fenced-in Oscar.

Is Chloe's bark worse than her bite?

Chloe sounds like a holy terror and turns into a lamb who wants her tummy-rubbed as soon as you approach.

Tennis ball, Frisbee, stick, ...?

Tennis ball! Chloe is the tennis ball chasing queen.

Would Chloe rather chase a squirrel, a cat, a car, her tail, the mailman, ...?

Chloe is a typical herding dog, so loves to keep squirrels from our birdfeeders and rabbits out of our vegetable garden. Oh—she likes to herd our cats, too, much to their dismay.

Is Chloe a good girl?

Most of the time, she’s a wonderfully-behaved girl. But she has a real mischievous streak that she has trouble controlling. This is how she ended up dumping out the contents of the kitchen garbage can one night while we all slept. She just couldn’t help herself—corgis are basically stomachs with legs.

Visit Elizabeth Spann Craig's website and her Mystery Writing is Murder blog.

From the "Publishers Weekly" review of "Pretty is as Pretty Dies": "The amusing first in a new cozy series from Craig... Myrtle's wacky personality is a delight." "Mystery Scene" magazine added: "Craig’s skill at evoking a small town and its idiosyncratic inhabitants renders this mystery a pleasure to read. I’m looking forward to the further exploits of Myrtle Clover.”

--Marshal Zeringue