Monday, June 20, 2011

Michele Young-Stone & Emma Peel and Chauncey

Michele Young-Stone is a novelist. Her debut novel The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors came out last year to wide acclaim and is now available in paperback. Last year she appeared here to answer a few questions about her sweet dog, Emma Peel (after Emma on the British TV show The Avengers) [photo right].

I asked the author to update us on the canines in her life. Her reply:
Emma Peel, our dog for fifteen years, died on May 29th. We are heartbroken. She was our first daughter. She was the reason my husband and I bought our first house. She was the reason we put up the picket fence; the reason we had a pet-friendly wedding. She was our ring-bearer!

She also went on our honeymoon with us. It is impossible for me to express how much I miss her.

In all of my novels, I try to include dogs. In my third novel, The Saints of Los Vientos, I wrote Emma into the book two days before she passed away.

There are two dogs in The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, both based on real well-loved animals.

I remember that when I was getting my MFA, I told my screenwriting professor, “I can handle a person dying on screen a lot easier than I can handle a dog dying.”

I like to think that Emma is eating all the chocolate she wants in Doggie Heaven!

RIP sweet girl, 1998-2011.

Fortunately, we have another dog, Chauncey (nickname) [photo left]. He was given to us by a wonderful couple who loved him so much that they wanted him to have someone to play with (presumably our six-year old son), but the truth is, we all play ball with Chauncey. His first name (on his American Kennel Club papers) is Sir Thomas Peanut. He’s so funny that the name nearly suits him. He’s a beautiful and sweet Cocker Spaniel who loves to run and chase birds and squirrels. He climbed to the top of Crabtree Falls with us.

So far, he’s not a coffee drinker. He likes water and biscuits. No carrots, but he’d probably like a sandwich from the coffee shop.

Chauncey, whose second name was Naz, added at least six months to Emma Peel’s life. He was sweet to her. The two of them slept back to back when they weren’t arguing over which TV show to watch. Chauncey likes 30 Rock but Emma Peel preferred reruns of Arrested Development.
Read an excerpt from The Handbook for Lightning Strike Survivors, and learn more about the book and author at Michele Young-Stone's website, blog, and Facebook fan page.

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

Coffee with a Canine: Michele Young-Stone & Emma (May 2010).

--Marshal Zeringue