Monday, December 8, 2014

Nikki Kelly & Alfie and Goose

Who is in the photo at right?

Hey there! I'm Nikki Kelly and I was born and raised only minutes away from the chocolately scent of Cadbury World in Birmingham, England. Lailah is my first novel, and the first book in the Styclar Saga. I live in London with my husband and our dogs, Alfie (a pug) and Goose (a chihuahua).

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I have tea with the pooches everyday! In fact, everyday is a delightful tea-drinking, dog petting, wonderful writing day in my flat!

What's brewing?

Twining's English Breakfast tea… Milk with three sugars!

Any treats for you or your dogs on this occasion?

Alfie is sitting with a very large bone. Goose, however, is restricted to one small gravy bone (she's recently put on a bit of weight, and though she insists it's puppy fat, the vet told Mommy to stop giving her so many treats…)

How did your dogs get their names? Any aliases?

My hubby named Alfie, he was easy to name, he just looked like an Alfie!

Goose [photo left, sleeping], was a little trickier—I didn't want to give her a typical Chi name. In the end, it was one of her habits that led to what we chose to call her. So, when Goose wants attention she will jut her neck in and out and makes a pecking like moment… hence the name Goose!

How were you and your dogs united?

I tried to find a Pug and a Chi through the rescue centre, but they didn't have any 'small' rescue dogs, so in the end I found both through breeders.

I'll never forget driving home with Goose. She was in a cardboard transport box, which I had put on the passenger seat next to me. Within minutes (and when I was driving down a highway no less!) she had chewed through the cardboard and when I put my hand down to try to keep her from jumping out, she nipped me! I remember thinking… oh lordy! But, despite that less than perfect start she's ended up being the easiest dog I have ever had!

How do your dogs help--or hinder--your work?

They do both. When I'm working (usually through the night) they won't leave my side, so they sleep on the sofa in my office. But, when they wake up and decide they want attention I have to take a break to entertain them for a while!

Have any actual dogs inspired fictional dogs in your writing?

Not in this series, but I am sure the impact of Marley and Me will end up in one of my novels. One day!

Squirrel, postman, cat.... ?

Alfie—Postman! Goes mad when the letter box goes!

Goose—Cats! She barks at them, but if they come close she hides between Mommy's legs! (She's all mouth that one!)

What is your dogs' favorite outdoor destination?

The Lido!

Who are your dogs' best pet-pals?

Each other, they regularly cuddle up on the sofa!

Because Alfie is much hairier than Goose, she tends to sleep nestled right into his podgy belly!

What is each dog's best quality?

Alfie [photo left: in the bath] is the happiest, most bouncy dog in the world! I love that about him!

Goose is fiercely loyal, and follows me absolutely everywhere.

If your dogs could change one thing about Londoners, what would it be?

That they don't stop and pet them!

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which your dogs could speak, which actors should do their voices?

Tough question!

For Goose, Kate Winslet.

For Alfie, Adam Sandler!

If your dogs could answer only one question in English, what would you ask them?

What would you like to do more often?

What advice would your dogs give if asked?

As Daryl said on the American version of The Office: "You will win this in the end. It's all about heart, and character. Be your best self."

I think both the pooches have sat through that episode of the American Office, enough to know that it's good, universal advice!

Visit Nikki Kelly's website.

--Marshal Zeringue

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