Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Michele Young-Stone & Emma

Please introduce yourself and your dog.

My name is Michele Young-Stone. I’m a novelist. My debut novel The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors came out last month. My sweet dog’s name is Emma Peel after Emma on the British TV show The Avengers. Mrs. Peel has dark lashes reminiscent of the character played by Diana Riggs. Like the character, Emma the dog was also once, many years ago, svelte. (A girl loses her figure after too many lattes with her mom.)

Emma is a mixed breed, about 25 lbs.

How did Emma come to join your family?

My husband and I found her in the streets. She was about to get hit by a car and ran over to us. At the time, we were unmarried, but after adopting Emma, who’d been abused—poor thing—we bought a house (so Emma could have a yard) and got married so no one would call her a “bastard.” She’s already got “bitch” to contend with.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

No special occasion for coffee with a canine. Just another beautiful spring day, and Emma Peel likes sitting outside our local coffee shop, Stir Crazy, smelling the coffees and pastries.

What's brewing? Any goodies for you and Emma on this coffee-date?

Today, she’s eating carrots, and drooling at the sandwiches and cookies. I’m having an iced coffee with skim milk--my favorite spring/summer drink (minus wine, but it’s too early in the day for that…).

Who is Emma's best pet-pal?

Emma’s best friend is Rut(d)y—who’s a Chesapeake Bay Retriever. Emma’s not one for yippee dogs. Her best friend in the whole world was a dog named Winston, aka Stoney Bologna, a Bouvier Briard mix, but he passed away. To this day, she pulls toward his house. She was very depressed after he died.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

Emma likes to go to the park and chase squirrels.

What is Emma's most endearing quality?

Emma’s most endearing quality is that she intuitively knows not to jump up on children or the elderly. She is gentle and affectionate, playful and smart. We love her so much.

Does Emma have any influence on your writing? On your life?

She definitely had an impact on my novel. Whenever I write about animals, I think about her and how much I love her, how much the whole family loves her. Wow! Without Emma I might not even be married, let alone have a child and a house. Here’s to Emma. Dog biscuits for everyone!!!!

Among the early praise for The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors:
"Vibrant, funny, complicated, magical, heartbreaking, electric. Michele Young-Stone’s debut novel The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors is all of this and more. I loved it! I’ve been waiting to read a book like this for years."
—Sheri Reynolds, bestselling author of A Gracious Plenty and The Sweet In-Between

"If you have anything else to do in your life, don’t open the cover of Michele Young-Stone’s The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors. You won’t be thinking about anything except Becca Burke’s amazing life for a very long time..."
—Jacquelyn Mitchard,
New York Times bestselling author of The Deep End of the Ocean
Read an excerpt from The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, and learn more about the book and author at Michele Young-Stone's website and blog.

The Page 69 Test: The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors.

--Marshal Zeringue