Monday, September 6, 2010

Inara Scott & Riley

Who is in the photo at right?

The big yellow sweetie with me is Riley. He's a twelve year-old Labrador Retriever. I'm the one in pink -- Inara Scott. I write books for teens and adults who like to read about creepy boarding schools and kids with supernatural powers.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I do my best writing at my local coffee shop, and this morning I decided to drag Riley along. He needed to get out of the house. Riley is an older Lab and hasn't been feeling well lately, so this was a big outing for him.

What's brewing?

I go for straight up coffee with lots of cream and sugar.

Any goodies to go with the coffee?

If I'm feeling crazy, I pile on a Kettleman's Bagel with butter and salt. I don't like to discriminate against any dire medical condition. I want to bring on diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease all at once.

Any treat for Riley on this occasion?

I treat Riley's heart much better than my own, and keep him away from the people food. He is partial to dog biscuits, and I let him snack on a few when they're offered. He's much too polite to beg.

How were you and Riley united?

My husband and I both had German Shepherd mixes when we met, and while we adored our dogs, they didn't adore each other. One year we spent $6,000 in vet bills from the dogs trying to kill each other! It was very traumatic. We also discovered our dogs weren't very good with babies (a long story there). So both of those dogs went to live with other family members, and we adopted Riley. He was a year old when he came to us, and had been neglected by his previous owner. But he was so gentle and calm with our children, we knew he was perfect for our family. (And we were right!)

How did Riley get his name? Any aliases?

Riley occasionally goes by the name Stinky Butt Dog. I'm sure you can figure out why.

Does Riley have any influence on your writing?

Hmm...I can't say that he does, though when I'm working on a new character I always like to think about what sort of dog they might have. It helps me to understand the person better.

Cat, squirrel, postman...? Tennis ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

At this point in his life, Riley's favorite thing is a nap in his bed. Or in someone's lap, if they'll let him.

Where is Riley's favorite place for an outing?

We have a cabin in the woods that Riley adores. He runs around like a maniac for the first few hours we are there, and then limps around for the next two days. But it's worth it.

Who is Riley's best pet-pal?

Riley is regularly attacked by our cat, Buffy, but I thinks it's one of those sibling things. Deep down, I'm sure they love each other.

What is Riley's best quality?

Riley is the kindest, gentlest dog you would ever hope to meet.

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

Remember the bit about me not letting him eat people food? I'm sure he'd be happy to change that.

Inara Scott's new book is Delcroix Academy: The Candidates.

Inara Scott's website and blog.

the video trailer for Delcroix Academy: The Candidates.

--Marshal Zeringue