INTERVIEW BY AMANDA KEATS
Alison Pace's latest novel is the fabulous and fun A Pug's Tale
1. How did you first get into writing?
Ah, I imagine this is hardly and original answer but I was always into writing. I was always writing stories and journal entries, I can remember a particularly epic story I worked on for much of thrid grade. I got into writing professionally about ten years ago when I jumped into the deep end of the pool and started writing my first novel. I wrote on weekends and after work and found that I believed in it as this thing I was really truly supposed to be doing, much more so than I had believed in anything else. I think I got very lucky with that novel as I got an agent fairly early on in my search and that book sold to Penguin, which is where I'm still published, five books later.
2. How did the idea for A Pugs Tale come about?
A Pug's Tale continues the story of Hope McNeill who was the protagonist in my novel Pug Hill. That novel ties up pretty neatly with a happy ending for Hope, but since Hope as a character, was always the type to be looking for something –Hope is a searcher, a yearner– I'd wonder periodically what it was that Hope would be looking for next. Eventually I fell on the idea that Hope could be looking for a material object. I've always loved mysteries so I thought it might be a good time to write one.
3. What's a normal writing day like for you?
There's a lot of puttering around and clearing any other possible task off my desk. There's a lot me thinking, hmmm, not sure it's going to happen today, and then I usually get good work done in the afternoon. Worst comes to worst, I revise stuff I've already written. I'm a big reviser and a believer in whoever it was that said, I do my best writing with my delete key. Sometimes I think I do too.
4. Have you always been an animal person? How many pets do you have?
Always, always. I grew up in a house where we had at least four dogs at any given time (and guinea pigs, hamsters, fish, a rabbit and cats). I love animals. I think they're brilliant and fascinating and I could talk about / write about / spend time with them without end.
5. What do you enjoy reading? What's your favourite women's fiction book?
I love reading everything. My favorite thing to do is read…specifically women's fiction, mysteries and humorous essays. I think there is nothing like the feeling of being immersed in a great book. My favorite women's fiction books are The True and Outstanding Adventure of the Hunt Sisters, The Time Travelers Wife, Bridget Jones' Diary.
6. What's next for you?
I'm just putting the finishing touches on my first collection of essays. They're about my life with dogs. I'm very excited about them. And then I might see what happens next with Hope and Max.
VISIT ALISON PACE'S WEBSITE