Monday, May 31, 2010

Paul Tremblay & Rascal

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Paul Tremblay and I'm a writer, editor, and all around naysayer. My two novels The Little Sleep and No Sleep Till Wonderland were both published by Henry Holt and my short fiction collection In the Mean Time (October 15, 2010) is forthcoming from Chizine Publications. Rascal is an eleven year old male who thinks he's five. I know because he's told me. He's a loveable mutt, with our best guess at breed being a Spitz mix.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Rascal and I take winding neighborhood and woodsy walks in the afternoons, and when we're in our fenced yard we both like to chase after and bark at passing cars. Particularly those cars with drivers who are drinking the vile coffee beverage of which you speak.

Word is you loathe coffee; what are you drinking?

It's true. Rascal and I both loathe coffee. We are happier for it. I'm trying to cut down on my soda intake, so I'm working to replace my caffeine free Cokes with iced green tea.

Any goodies to go with the beverage?

Only if they're available. I'm a sucker for a plain old chocolate chip cookie. Rascal approves of my sweet tooth.

Any treat for Rascal on this occasion?

Sure, why not? Today I'll give him a small chunk of leftover chicken breast. Generally, he gets a treat post-dinner, and he gets a treat from my son at 9pm. My son is afraid of the dark and won't go to sleep without Rascal. Rascal dutifully marches upstairs (Rascal is to the point now where he knows, without us telling him, that it's 9pm, and he'll go upstairs before any of us) to my son's room to eat his treat and protect the house from boogeymen. At least until my son is asleep, then Rascal comes back downstairs.

How did you and Rascal come together?

I met Rascal at a local shelter in early 2000. He came to live with us on February 14th. Aw.

Does Rascal have any influence on your writing?

I once wrote a horror short story based on a time when I was shoveling show and Rascal was outside with me. I wasn't paying full attention to him and he chased the big, honkin' plow, and almost got plowed. Makes sense, right?

How did Rascal get his name? Does he have any aliases?

Rascal came named, and his name is perfect for him. Everyone in the household still refers to him as "the puppy."

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

All. And probably in that order. Our yard is fenced. Rascal patrols the yard like a champ, and his running-rut along the fence's perimeter is impressive.

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

He doesn't like toys that squeak. If it squeaks he drops it instantly. He's clearly concerned for the well-being of the squeaking toy. In his younger days he was quite athletic and loved to chase and catch the Frisbee. He's getting older but he still has a lot of energy. Now he's retried from Frisbee chase but is satisfied with a good tennis ball chase instead.

Who is Rascal's best pet-pal?

His best pet-pal used to be my mother's Bernese mountain dog Owen, but Owen died a few years ago. There's no regular play dates in Rascal's schedule, but he never misses an opportunity to say hi to another dog when we're out and about.

What is Rascal's most endearing quality?

He's a sweet, friendly, loveable dog; the kind of dog that dog-phobes would even like. I know, because my mother-in-law is one.

If Rascal could change one thing about you, what would it be?

I'm sure he'd have a list, but let's go with this: Rascal would like me to allow him to sit under my computer/writing desk with my feet and all the plugs and wires.

What’s the most amusing thing Rascal does? The most frustrating?

When Rascal eats, he carries the first bite out into another room, spits it out, then eats it off the floor, before going back to polish off the rest of the meal.

Frustrating? He licks the rug all the time. Usually where he spits out the food.

Paul Tremblay is the author of The Little Sleep and No Sleep till Wonderland. He has won acclaim for his short fiction and received two nominations for the Bram Stoker Award.

an excerpt from No Sleep till Wonderland and watch the video, and visit Paul Tremblay's website.

The Page 69 Test: The Little Sleep.

The Page 69 Test: No Sleep till Wonderland.

--Marshal Zeringue