Friday, October 16, 2009

T. Lynn Ocean & Captain Salty and Tiki

Who is in the photo at right?

Captain Salty (the Lab) and Tiki (a Schnoodle). Salty is a trained water safety dog but he's 11 and retired years ago. Tiki is almost 5 months old. At first, Salty wanted nothing to do with the new addition, but they quickly became buds. They're always together now.

And in the photo below, left?

I'm T. Lynn Ocean, author of the novels Fool Me Once, Sweet Home Carolina, Southern Fatality, Southern Poison, and Southern Peril (St. Martin's Press).

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I have a tendency to stay up late in the evenings to write, so in the mornings my brain usually screams for coffee. I've tried a bunch of different "chino's" and flavors but my favorite is still a cup of great, straight brew. I'll often grab a cup of Mickey D's in the drive-thru and then hit the beach with the boys. Salty loves to play in the waves. Tiki is scared of the water but he can dig a mean hole in the sand.

What's brewing?

I go with any restaurant that's nearby and quick. For brewing at home, I only buy 8 O'clock Bean coffee in the red bag. It's best if you buy the whole beans and grind them yourself.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

I know breakfast is supposed to be most important meal of the day, but my stomach never wakes up until brunch time. Both of the pooches always get a bite of banana every morning, though, before we hit the beach. Hey, the fresh fruit goes well the little minnows and crabs that Salty tries to catch.

How did your dogs come to be united with you?

When Myrtle Beach, SC, first got it baseball stadium and a single A affiliate of the Atlanta Braves, they also got a team dog named Dinger. I was originally involved with helping to train Dinger to do tricks such as run the bases between innings. When Dinger was bred, I got the choice of first puppy. I could tell right off the bat that Salty would be a totally cool, laid back dog, even when he was a little fur ball with huge paws. As far as Tiki goes, he was simply a pup who needed a good home. I adopted him to irritate my husband :) Just like Salty, at first, hubby wanted nothing to do with the new puppy. But hubby soon caved. I actually caught Tiki sleeping in his lap the other day when the football game was on.

Have your dogs influenced your writing in any way?

Every book I've written has had animals in it, including a schizophrenic poodle, a lazy lab, and a thieving raccoon. I love animals and think that they remind humans to be kind and appreciative.

What's an ordinary day like for your dogs?

Is that a trick question? Hello? Sleep, eat, play, pee, poop, walk, repeat.

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

My sister has a poodle. The boys love to visit their cousin.

What are your dogs' best qualities?

Salty is just cool; people go out of their way to offer to keep him when I travel out of town. Tiki is outrageously funny, not to mention acrobatic.

What's each dog's most embarrassing moment?

During a July 4th golf cart parade, Salty was dressed in his lifeguard outfit complete with sunglasses, sitting in the front seat. The kids loved it; they were cheering. But after half an hour of riding, he fell asleep and fell out of the cart. And Tiki? While I was housebreaking him (and praising him for pooping in the grass) he got so excited that he fell over into his poop. Can you say, bath time?

T. Lynn Ocean has explored various careers including commercial tread rubber sales and retail management. These days she pretends to be a photographer, enjoys cooking, and will jump at any chance to take a road trip in the name of doing research.

She is the author of the novels
Fool Me Once, Sweet Home Carolina, Southern Fatality, Southern Poison, and Southern Peril.

Learn more about the author and her work at T. Lynn Ocean's website.

--Marshal Zeringue