Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Avery Aames & Max

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Avery Aames. I'm an author and I write A Cheese Shop Mystery series. The first in the series, The Long Quiche Goodbye, is available from Berkley Prime Crime. Max is the star of the photos below. He's a thirteen-year-old Labrador mix, mostly Lab.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Max is always hounding in on my coffee time. About mid-morning, we always take a break from writing and check out blogs and such. I get my coffee; he gets his treat.

What's brewing?

I like Peet's Major Dickenson's coffee. We're lucky enough to have a super-duper coffee machine that makes a regular cup of coffee come out steaming hot and yummy.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

Well, I have to admit that I really like a piece of wheat-free toast with a slice of cheese and jam. Today's cheese is Taleggio (a creamy, nutty cow's cheese) and raspberry jam.

Any treat for Max on this occasion?

He likes an assortment. Milkbones, chicken strips (which are like jerky), or a hollow bone swabbed with a tablespoon of peanut butter.

How were you and Max united?

We found Max at the shelter. It was right after our darling Golden Retriever Barney died. We had another dog, Angel (a stray that we found at the park—she's been gone a year and a half; lived to the ripe old age of 17). Angel, without Barney, was heartbroken, so we went in search of another pal for her. We brought Max home, and Angel was NOT happy. It took about two weeks and a lot of loving from Max on Angel's ears for her to give in. They were best friends until she went to Heaven.

How did he get his name?

Max was actually the name on the shelter cage and it fit. He was all boy dog. Black, frisky. At times, we call him Maximillian Schell, after the actor. That fits too. Max can be quite dramatic.

Has Max influenced your writing in any way?

I always try to put an animal into my writing. Max has made his way into a number of books (or at least his personality has). He's a love. As a pup he was very feisty and into everything. Sort of a Marley and Me kind of dog at first, but as he aged, he really grew gentle. He loves his walks!

What's an ordinary day like for Max?

We rise and go for a walk. Around noon, we take another walk, sticking to the shade as much as we can. Around six another walk. He gets belly rubs at night. And if I go swimming, he loves to run back and forth and bark at me to make sure I know I'm underwater. Very funny.

Who is Max's best pet-pal?

We just moved to a new neighborhood, so he hasn't made friends yet. He likes Yuki (but Yuki would level Max with one leaping hug). He was good friends with Jasper in our old neighborhood. He truly misses his sweet Angel.

What's Max's best quality?

Loyalty. He's true blue.

What is Max's proudest moment so far? His most embarrassing?

Proudest is probably when he won over Angel with kisses. And he learned not to run away from home. His most embarrassing is when he cowers at the sound of lightening. That can really unnerve him. Luckily we're back in Los Angeles and there's not a lot of rain, let alone lightening, here.

Avery Aames, author of A Cheese Shop Mystery series for Berkley Prime Crime, likes to read, cook, garden, and do amateur photography. Visit
her website.

She also blogs at
Mystery Lovers Kitchen, a blog for foodies who love mysteries, as well as at Killer Characters, a blog overtaken by cozy authors’ characters.

The first book in the A Cheese Shop Mystery series,
The Long Quiche Goodbye debuted July 6. It is available at Avery Aames’s bookseller page.

--Marshal Zeringue