Monday, May 3, 2010

Jonathan Segura & Abby

Who is in the photo at right?

This is Abby, a gorgeous six-year-old English Bulldog. The other thing is her papa, Jonathan Segura, a minor writer with a grim future.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

We woke up early to watch the Manchester derby. Hell of a match, and Abby was quite tense throughout. But we got the result we wanted in spectacular fashion.

What's brewing?

We are an Illy house. This morning, double espresso, followed quickly by an Americano (milk, no sugar), then a couple Stellas.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Absolutely not. Eating before noon is for amateurs.

Any treat for Abby on this occasion?

There is always a treat for Abby. Today, it’s her normal breakfast of California Natural low-cal, followed by a bit of clavamox hidden in a smidge of peanut butter. She’s a good sport about meds, Abby.

How did you and Abby come together?

Craigslist, actually. It’s a boring story, but, essentially, craigslist.

Does Abby have any influence on your writing?

Abby exerts considerable influence over most parts of my life. Not that one, though. That’s my own private gallery of horrors.

How did Abby get her name? Does she have any aliases?

I wanted, in my idiotic youth, to name her The Admiral. So: Admiral. Addy. Abby. It’s a logical procession. She’s also the Mayor of DUMBO.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

Abby doesn’t dig clattering hallway noises, but, otherwise, she’s pretty laid back. Unlike our neighbors’ annoying, yappy little fuckstard of a “dog.” But that’s another matter.

Tennis ball, Frisbee, squeaky-toy...?

Definitely squeaky toy. Abby is every squeaky toy’s nightmare. It’s a bloodlusty thing with her. Amazing, really, to watch her eviscerate one.

Who is Abby's best pet-pal?

She’s got a few pals in the building and has a strong affinity for bulldogs. Of these, Murphy is probably her favorite. He’s a good, stout dude & I approve.

What's Abby's best quality?

Her steadfast motherfuckerishness. She really is a mofo. Stubborn as hell and full of ideas about where we need to go on her walks (these invariably involve the dog run, the pet food store, or both). She’s elevated her manipulations to art status, and that is tough not to admire.

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

Hmm... difficult on both accounts. Once, when her favorite Scottish friend stopped by, she got so excited she power-vomited for about 20 minutes. It was amazing and might qualify as both prideful & embarrassing.

Jonathan Segura is deputy reviews editor of Publishers Weekly and the author of Occupational Hazards. He lives in Brooklyn, NY.

Among the praise for Occupational Hazards:
[A] savagely funny first novel… The beauty of the novel is Segura’s ability to walk a line between the comedy and the horror.
—Patrick Anderson, Washington Post

Occupational Hazards boasts a punchy yet world-weary voice, a tight plot, and a seedily realistic depiction of rampant corruption in present-day Omaha—kind of like a shotgun wedding of Elmore Leonard and Chuck Palahniuk.

[A] wildy foul-mouthed…fun little book that pops just often enough to make you think Jonathan Segura will do less deputy editing for Publishers Weekly and more novel writing.
—Max Abelson, New York Observer
Learn more about Segura, Abby, and Occupational Hazards at Jonathan Segura's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: Occupational Hazards.

--Marshal Zeringue