Thursday, May 31, 2018

Megan Bannen & Brontë

Who is in the photo at right?

I’m Megan Bannen, the author of The Bird and the Blade, and I’m hanging out with Brontë, a two-year-old female Beagle-ish mutt. Fun fact: It turns out that taking a selfie with Brontë is rather challenging.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Brontë waits patiently while I down 2.5 cups of coffee and write a few words before we head out the door for our morning walk around the neighborhood.

What's brewing?

Most days, it’s Aldi’s Fair Trade Medium. I set up the coffee pot the night before so that a perfect cup of coffee awaits me by the time I stumble out of bed at 5:00am.

Any treats for you or Brontë on this occasion?

One of our neighbors has a metal box full of dog treats at the end of their driveway. Sometimes, we fill up the box with our own treats to help out. It’s kind of like a Little Free Library, only with dog treats instead of books.

How were you and Brontë united?

Last spring, we lost our beloved Zora Neale Hurston, a shih tzu-poodle-maltese-ish mutt whom we adopted shortly after we were married. I was heartbroken and didn’t think I’d want another dog so soon thereafter, but 1.) a house without a dog is basically a house without a soul, and 2.) my sons get food everywhere, so I was in need of a doggy vacuum again. Thus, we adopted Brontë from the Great Plains SPCA last June.

How did your dog get her name? Any aliases?

We’ve long since established that all Bannen pets must be bookish. As I mentioned earlier, our previous dog was Zora, and we also have two cats: Jane Austen and Thursday Next. When we adopted Brontë, the shelter was calling her “Lady,” and that would never do. She has striking eyes and that soulful hound dog look about her, clearly a dog who belongs to the windswept moors. But she is also spunky and a bit stubborn. Brontë just seemed like the right fit for her. You can choose whichever Brontë sister you prefer. (Personally, I’m on Team Charlotte.)

Does Brontë do more to help or hinder your writing?

I’d say Brontë is helpful to my writing. She doesn’t bug me when I’m sitting at my computer, but she is always, always game for a walk, and walking helps me unsnarl plot problems and dream up new ideas.

Has Brontë inspired the creation of any fictional dogs?

Brontë has not, but Zora inspired the creation of a doggy character in a middle grade novel that will most likely never see the light of day. That fictional dog’s name was Rossetti, by the way.

Cat, postman, squirrel...?

Cat: She doesn’t pay much attention to cats. Except Thursday Next. She is not a fan of that particular cat.

Postman: I think she just wonders why this person never comes inside to pet her as is her right.

Squirrel: She has nearly ripped my arm off on multiple occasions and sent me tripping over the leash in her mad pursuit to kill them all.

Ball, squeaky-toy, stick...?

Brontë enjoys a fake rawhide bone and her rope toys. She’s a huge fan of stuffed animals, but since she kills them very thoroughly (plus the occasional accent pillow) that is something we have given up on.

Where is Brontë's favorite outdoor destination?

She enjoys the occasional visit to the dog park. She’s also a big fan of escaping and running amok, dangerously close to a very busy intersection. So that’s awesome.

Who is Brontë's best pet-pal?

Penny, a Siberian Husky we frequently meet on our walks.

What is Brontë's best quality?

She is incredibly affectionate. We call her The Boneless Pile of Love.

If Brontë could change one thing about Kansas Citians, what would it be?

Pour a bunch of tax money on a robust public transportation system on both sides of the state line. And to all Americans, she has this to say: high speed rail, people!

If Brontë could answer only one question in English, what would you ask her?

Why do you think jumping all over me is going to make me put on my shoes any faster or put the leash on you faster or get you on a walk any faster? Why??

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

Melissa McCarthy.

What advice would Brontë give if asked?

All you need is love … unless you’re a squirrel or a rabbit.

Visit Megan Bannen's website.

--Marshal Zeringue


  1. Great post! I love that her pets are named after books! Really enjoyed the interview!

  2. What a lovely pupster with a sweet face. Love that treat dispenser idea-so brilliant!

  3. Great name and that selfie is tops. Good idea about the treat library. Lady Caroline