Monday, July 22, 2013

Jacqueline West & Brom Bones

Who is in the photo at right?

The two-legged person is Jacqueline West—that’s me. I’m a writer. The latest book in my middle-grade fantasy series, The Books of Elsewhere, Volume Four: The Strangers, will be released this month. The four-legged person is Brom Bones, our springer-spaniel-border-collie-beagle boy.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Brom and I have coffee—or I have coffee, and he has his meat cereal—every morning. Mornings this summer have been especially busy, with the publication of The Books of Elsewhere: The Strangers and with deadlines for the fifth (and final) volume looming…but coffee and Brom help me to deal with everything in their own very different ways.

What's brewing?

A mix of City Kids French Roast and Decaf with a slug of skim milk. There’s often a tablespoon of Café du Monde’s chicory coffee in the mix, but we’ve run out of the stash we brought back from our last trip to New Orleans. Oh well. It’s a good excuse to go there again.

Any treats for you or Brom on this occasion?

For me: Toasted sourdough bread from Hanisch’s Bakery here in Red Wing, MN. (I think I gave the very same answer to this question two years ago! The jam may change, but the toast remains the same.) For Brom: Chilled watermelon is his favorite summertime treat. He comes running to the kitchen the moment he hears us taking it out of the fridge.

You've been busy since we were in touch in 2011--congratulations on the new book. So what's new with Brom?

Thank you! These have been two very busy years for me; between tours and book releases, I’ve finished three books and embarked on several others.

Brom, meanwhile, has turned four years old without gaining a single day’s worth of maturity. (At least, we think he’s four; we got him from a shelter when he was full grown, so no one is sure exactly how old he is.) He now shakes paws and rolls over—halfway, just enough for a belly rub—on command.

Who are Brom's best pet-pals these days?

Friends of ours have a young Viszla named Rocky who comes over for occasional visits. We call the resulting condition a dognado. Rocky and Brom [photo left] slam around the house, knocking into furniture and skidding across the hardwood. It’s nearly impossible to take a picture of the two of them that isn’t a brownish blur.

Squeaky-toy, ball, stick...?

If there is a ball within Brom’s field of vision, nothing else exists. He also loves his tough fabric throwing rings and his heavy plastic Busy Buddy bone, which has ends that can be filled with kibble. This buys us a few moments of peace.

If Brom could change one thing about Minnesotans, what would it be?

Brom would like it if we all grew a coat of nice, thick fur. This way we could play outside in the wintertime without the furless ones starting to shiver and whine and pull the furry ones back indoors.

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Brom could speak, which actor should do his voice?

I imagine him sounding like Richard White, the actor who did the voice of Gaston in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. Howard Keel would also do …if he were still alive, that is.

If Brom could answer only one question in English, what would you ask him?

There are so many things I’d like to ask him (Where are your baby pictures? Do you want your dewclaws removed? How long after we left did you wait before you jumped up on the kitchen counter and ate that entire loaf of cinnamon bread? Is there any way to get you to stop making that smell?), but if I could ask just one, I’d probably go with Are you happy? I hope the answer would be yes.

Visit Jacqueline West's website and the The Books of Elsewhere website.

Read--Coffee with a Canine: Jacqueline West and Brom Bones (July 2011).

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Hi, Jacqueline!
    Brom seems to know who runs the household! He does,eh?! Aren't they wonderful. My dog's name is Addie and she is the princess of the family. When I am writing, she is my cheerleader! I do believe life would be dull, dull dull without them. :)

    Enjoyed the Blog today! Keep writing!

    Sara Stinson
    Finger Bones

  2. I got stuck at the coffee. :) Typically you can find Cafe DuMonde coffee at Asian markets. Community Coffee is just as good and can be ordered online. I, um, grew up south of New Orleans, so I understand needing a fix.

  3. Thanks for the coffee-sourcing advice! We've stopped at a Community Coffee on our last few trips to New Orleans, and it's good to know I can get my fix long-distance...although of course I'd prefer buying it in person (ideally, with some pastries from Croissant d'Or on the side).