Thursday, February 25, 2016

Victoria J. Coe & Kipper

Who is in the photo at right?

The dog: Kipper - Probably 10 years old, and definitely one of a kind. Every day somebody stops us on the street to ask what kind of dog he is!

The human: Victoria J. Coe - Reader, teacher, and author of Fenway and Hattie (GP Putnam's Son's/Penguin Young Readers), a novel for kids ages 8 and up told from a dog's POV.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

I enjoy my one and only cup of coffee in the morning before Kipper and I head out for a walk.

What's brewing?

Whatever my husband makes. As long as it's hot and has caffeine, I drink it.

Any treats for you or Kipper on this occasion?

On our walk, Kipper enjoys treats from my pocket as well as treats found "in the wild" - especially pizza crusts, smooshed pop tarts, bits of bagel (he's not choosy!).

How were you and Kipper united?

When we moved from California to Massachusetts, we promised our kids two things - a backyard hockey rink and a dog. We kept both promises!

How did your dog get his name? Any aliases?

Our kids decided on Kipper after Miikka Kiprusoff, a top NHL goaltender at the time. And you know, the two Kippers actually kind of look alike.

Does Kipper do more to help or hinder your writing?

Kipper is a huge help. Our morning walks are a chance for me to let my mind wander and unleash my creativity. And when we come home, Kipper dutifully crashes - which gives me lots of peace and quiet for writing. At least until the Big Brown Truck arrives...

Have any of your actual dogs inspired the creation of fictional canines?

I got the idea for my fictional character Fenway from Kipper, but to be honest, Fenway is a lot more like me than my dog. However, Fenway and Kipper do have a few traits in common - they're both insecure, they're both protective, they both love treats, and they both hate squirrels!

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

All of the above.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Squeaky toys, for as long as they last.

What is Kipper's best quality?

His good looks, definitely.

Who is Kipper's best pet-pal?

He greatly prefers his two human brothers to other dogs. They are his best pals, by far!

If Kipper could change one thing about Massachusettsans, what would it be?

He would probably try to convince the natives (and tourists) not to feed the squirrels in Boston Common. Those monsters are totally out of control!

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

If Kipper could understand English, there is a lot I'd love to explain to him. Like the fact that his barking does not scare the Big Brown Truck away!

If Hollywood made a movie about your life in which Kipper could speak, who should voice him?

One of those youngish actors who always plays the awkward sidekick.

What advice would Kipper give if asked?

Kipper would advise anyone and everyone to follow me on Twitter or Instagram so they can see pictures of him every day.

Visit Victoria J. Coe's website and learn more about Fenway and Hattie at the GP Putnam's Sons/Penguin Young Readers website.

--Marshal Zeringue

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