Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Jane Tesh & Winkie

Who is in the photo at right?

My name is Jane Tesh. I write mystery novels, and when I’m not writing, I enjoy playing the piano and conducting the orchestra for musicals at the Andy Griffith Playhouse in my little town of Mt. Airy, NC. Yes, folks, I live in Mayberry. My dog is a four-pound, seven-year old female Chihuahua named Winkie.

How were you and Winkie united?

A friend of mine raised Chihuahuas and thought I’d be the right person for Winkie. Winkie’s mother was not a good mother. We think she bit her puppies, so Winkie’s eye became infected and had to be removed when she was very young. But this hasn’t slowed her down! The first time I saw her, I knew she was the dog for me. My sister and brother and I had many dogs growing up on the farm, beagles, collies, mutts – but Winkie is the first dog that is all mine. And she is just like me! We both have trouble with our teeth and our knees, and we have strange folds of unwanted neck skin that just suddenly appeared one day.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

When I travel, Winkie gets to stay at grandmother’s house on the family farm in Summerfield, NC.

Here we are [photo left] on the back porch enjoying some coffee.

What's brewing?

Maxwell House with loads of cream and sugar.

Any treats for you or Winkie on this occasion?

We are always up for treats. I enjoy anything chocolate, and Winkie is wild for cheese.

How did Winkie get her name? Any aliases?

My friend had named her Mindy, but this little dog had too much spunk for that name.

My mother suggested Winkie since with one eye, it looked as if the puppy was winking at you. As a name, Winkie also has literary ties, from The Wizard of Oz to Harry Potter.

As for aliases, she is occasionally called Winklet, and my niece calls her Winkus Maximus because like most small dogs, Winkie thinks she is huge.

Does Winkie have a favorite place to go for an outing?

Winkie’s too small to walk on a leash, so I found a stroller at a yard sale, and she loves to ride around the neighborhood.

Does Winkie make any contribution to your writing?

Winkie’s a great listener whenever I need to read a chapter to see if it makes sense.

Squirrel, postman, cat...?

Any other dog. And she actually tried to chase a truck one day.

Squeaky toy, ball, stick...?

She has a toy frog she used to shake viciously.

What is Winkie's best quality?

Her loyalty. Winkie’s a one-woman dog.

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

My lap would have to be available 24/7.

What is Winkie's proudest moment?

Winkie won Smallest Dog in a local dog show. The prize, a bone, was bigger than she was.

If Winkie could speak in the movie about your life, who should do her voice?

Ksenia Solo, Kenzie on Lost Girl, tiny, feisty, and glamorous in a punk way.

Visit at Jane Tesh's website. Tesh's latest novel, Mixed Signals, is the second installment of the Grace Street Mysteries.

The Page 69 Test: Mixed Signals.

Writers Read: Jane Tesh

--Marshal Zeringue

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