Monday, December 28, 2009

Mike Angley & Brynn

Who is in the photo at right?

This is me, Mike Angley, mystery/thriller writer and my two-year-old American Beagle, Lady Brynn Starr, or just Brynn, for short.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Brynn and I have coffee every morning together. Okay, actually, I have the coffee while Brynn “hangs out” with me, typically curled up next to me on a chair as I work on my novels, the Child Finder Trilogy, on my laptop. I guess she’s a laptop dog…alright that was corny.

What's brewing?

Starbucks French Roast! It’s my absolute favorite. I tend to be a bit of a coffee snob (so I’m told) so it has to be Starbucks-Something. If I go out for coffee, I usually will get a cafĂ© mocha since I lack the skills to brew that myself.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Brynn gets her breakfast when I make the coffee, so she typically wolfs that down and finishes it off in time to curl up with me as I sip and type. Me? Just an apple. That’s my daily breakfast.

Any treat for Brynn on this occasion?

Nothing special this time since it really is a daily ritual for us.

How did you come to be united with Brynn?

We used to have an English Cocker, Shanna, who passed on in 2004 while we were stationed in Okinawa, Japan. We had had her for over 16 years, so she had a great life and got to see the world (two times in Japan!). It took us awhile to get our heads into the idea of a new dog, but a couple years back, our daughter Meghan (13 at the time) had been pining for a beagle puppy. I started looking via the Internet but found it very difficult to find beagle puppies in Colorado Springs. I even checked the neighboring states for breeders! We got lucky one day when I read a good old fashioned print newspaper and saw an ad from a breeder in Pueblo. She had a new litter ready for adoption. We made the drive and our kids fell in love with Brynn instantly. The rest is history!

How did Brynn get her name?

We’re an Irish-American family (as is the main character in my thrillers, Air Force Special Agent Patrick Sean O’Donnell), so we’ve always liked Irish names.

Does she have an aliases?

No, but the way she acts up sometimes I think she may be wanted in a few states…okay, getting silly again.

Has Brynn had any influence on your work?

Not really, other than letting her snoot hit the keyboard when I write and causing stray characters my editor and I fight to catch! In my trilogy none of my characters have pets, except for a bit player…some old woman in a trailer park in the first novel, Child Finder, who had a cat that my protagonist was allergic to.

What's an ordinary day like for Brynn?

Coffee with me, curling up next to me on my writing chair, and sometimes putting her face on the keyboard because it’s warm. She spends the rest of the day sleeping or trying to play catch with me, or even tug-of-war with a toy.

Postman, cat, squirrel...?

We have lots of wildlife in our area, and if there’s a squirrel, fox, or coyote in the yard, she will growl and try to chase it. She’s always on a leash so we keep her out of mischief. One night, there was a giant buck in the yard…had to have a 14 point rack, and easily stood six feet to the shoulder. Bryn decided to growl…the buck lowered its antlers, and I calmly and slowly walked backwards until we were safely back inside our house. I got on my knees and had a long chat with Brynn about big animals, but she just licked my face. Not sure she got it.

Tennis ball, Frisbee, stick...?

She loves rubber toys like bones and balls. She enjoys fetch and tug-of-war.

Where is your Brynn's favorite place to go for walk?

Around our neighborhood, except on Mondays because that’s when the trash collectors come around. To her, the trucks must seem like enormous steel monsters…loud and angry with giant forked jaws. It is hard to get her out of the house when she hears them, even if they are blocks away.

Who is Brynn's best pet-pal?

I think it’s everyone in the family. She has no other pet friends, just humans!

What's Brynn's best quality?

Her “clinginess.” She’s not content with simply being in the same room with us; she has to be snuggled up to someone whenever possible. If I take a snooze during the day on the sofa, she’ll squeeze in and “spoon” up with me even if there’s only a few inches of sofa surface available.

What's Brynn's proudest moment so far? Her most embarrassing?

As a hound dog, she is a great “early warning system” for the house. She’s very territorial, so if someone walks near the house she starts to bark or growl. We’re real proud of that (but she can overdo it, like when I come in with groceries and she starts howling at me for a few moments). Embarrassing? Probably when one of those big green steel Waste Management monsters frightened her so much, she ran upstairs and hid under our bed for over an hour.

Mike Angley is the award-winning author of the Child Finder Trilogy. When his debut novel, Child Finder, launched in June 2009 the prestigious Library Journal placed it on its Summer Reads List and called it a “compelling debut novel,” and “a real find.” It won the Silver Medal for fiction from the Military Writers Society of America in 2009. The second novel, Child Finder: Resurrection, released in November 2009, and is available for purchase, as is the first novel. The final story in the trilogy, Child Finder: Revelation, will release circa December 2010. Mike promises this one will “blow your mind!” On his website he says, “Some people think the truth is out there, but it’s not. It’s in here. In the final book, and it’s not anything you can imagine.”

Mike is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and Special Agent with the Office of Special Investigations (OSI – similar to the NCIS). He served on five command tours, and in his last assignment as Commander of OSI Region 8, at Air Force Space Command, he was fond of saying, “If it entered or exited Earth’s atmosphere, I had a dog in the fight!”

Visit Mike Angley at his website. He is also on FaceBook, Twitter, MySpace, and PoliceLink. Links to his social network sites appear on his website.

--Marshal Zeringue