Before we meet today's author, I want to announce that the winner of the drawing for Freedom's Crossroad, by Ramona Cecil, is:
jchoppes@ . . .
Congratulations! I'll contact you today for your snail mail address, and we'll get your book to you right away. I encourage readers to keep commenting and/or subscribe at right in order to participate in future book give-aways!
Now let's meet novelist Dandi Mackall, author of My Boyfriends' Dogs: The Tales of Adam and Eve and Shirley (Dutton/Penguin, February 2010).
Dandi won her first writing contest as a 10-year-old tomboy. Her 50 words on "Why I Want to Be Batboy for the Kansas City A's" won first place, but the team wouldn't let a girl be batboy. It was her first taste of rejection.
Since then, Dandi Daley Mackall has become an award-winning author of over 400 books for readers of all ages, with sales of 4 million copies in 22 countries. Last year she was awarded the Helen Keating Ott Award for Contributions to Children's Literature. A national speaker, Dandi keynotes at conferences and Young Author events. She has made dozens of appearances on TV, including ABC, NBC, and CBS.
Dandi is convinced that dogs are truly woman's best friend--she can't even count how many dogs she's had. She believes that if God blesses you with a guy as forgiving and loving as your faithful canine, you can live happily ever after--which is what she is doing with her husband, Joe. Her current mutts, Moxie and Munch, curl at her feet as she writes from rural Ohio.
Please tell us five random things we might not know about you.
-- I rode my first horse solo when I was 3 years old; I'm still riding bareback.
-- I used to write Scooby-Doo books, and Yogi Bear, The Jetsons, Flintstones, etc.
-- I get up about 5 AM every day--best time of the day (honestly)!
-- I walk 5 miles most days and talk notes and dialogue into a tiny tape player, which has given me a reputation locally as the woman who walks and talks to herself. (They can't see my tape recorder!)
-- At a wedding reception or birthday party, I trade my cake for other people's frosting. Yum!
I remember years ago my brother, who lived in Manhattan, told me he passed actress Sandy Dennis on the street. She was alone, talking to herself. These days that doesn't seem so strange to me anymore. I'll bet it doesn't seem so strange to you, either, Dandi!
Please tell us a bit more about the plot of My Boyfriends' Dogs.
Seeking shelter from a rainstorm, Bailey and her three dogs stumble into a St. Louis café that's just closing down for the night. One look at Bailey--from her wet dogs to her drenched evening gown--and it's obvious this girl has a story to tell.
With the stormy night ahead of her, and trapped inside the café with three unusual men with their own stories to tell, Bailey Daley unfolds the tales of Adam and Eve and Shirley, the three dogs she's won . . and the three loves she'll never forget.
Yet in this novel--three novellas rolled into one--Bailey will learn that true love, like a good dog, always comes right when you need it most, but expect it the least. And true love may be just around the corner.
What is it about your lead character that will make your readers care about her?
Bailey is flawed, but so "out there," so sincere in her quest for love. Reviewers have called her "quirky," "real," and "unforgettable," three of my favorite words for characters.
Why will readers enjoy your novel?
Sometimes I receive letters from readers, and they always want to know what happened to the main character after the story ends. I love that! With My Boyfriends' Dogs, I got to tell them. I think we learn from loving and losing. So the reader gets to see Bailey learn from relationship mistakes and carry her new knowledge into the next relationship.
If you were the casting director for the film version of your novel, who would play your lead roles?
What a fun daydream! Well, me, of course, since we're daydreaming--a couple of decades ago . . . sigh.
I would love to see Morgan Freedman as Louie, the owner of the café, Louie's of St. Louie.
My daughter sees Ann Hathaway in the lead
and Johnny Depp as one of the boyfriends.
How important to the story is your book's setting?
I think the setting is vital. If you've ever been trapped somewhere during a storm, or a disaster, there's an instant ambiance. I was stuck in an elevator in NYC, and we instantly became friends. I was stuck in a library during a tornado and got to know 8 strangers way too well. I grew up in Missouri and went to Mizzou, so that setting was essential for me.
Choose an inanimate object to represent you. Explain what you have in common with that object.
Typing Paper, the economy kind. Every morning I'm a new sheet of paper, waiting for God to write my story.
How funny that you specified "the economy kind." You're clearly humble paper.
What is the last book you read that moved you?
Plain Secrets: An Outsider Among the Amish by Joe Mackall. Okay, I admit my husband wrote it, and neighbors I love are in it. But it would have profoundly affected me anyway. I love peeking inside another culture.
A two-writer family! How cool.
What are you working on now?
I just signed a two-book contract with Knopf-Random. The first book, The Silence of Murder, a character-driven, classic mystery, comes out next year. Now I'm sweating the second book, another mystery. I'm also working on a new horse series for Tyndale House; a Christmas picture book for Zonderkidz, 17 Christmases; a funny picture book for Marshall Cavendish; and Sounds of a Silent Night, for Dutton the following Christmas.
I'm sweating just reading your list! Blessings with all of those projects, Dandi!
Where else can readers find you or your writing online?
Visit me at www.dandibooks.com, winniethehorsegentler.com, and YouTube
The book is available for purchase online through the following buttons:
Thanks, Dandi, for visiting with us and telling us about your novel. Readers, Dandi has offered to give a copy of his novel to the winner of our drawing on Thursday, August 19. To enter, leave a comment for Dandi, below. Leave your email address, in case you win, like so: trish[at]trishperry[dot]com.
Check out my interview with Harry Kraus, below, and leave a comment under his interview to be entered in the drawing for a signed copy of his book. And see how to win one of five copies of my next release, The Perfect Blend, HERE.
Annoying legal disclaimer: drawings void where prohibited; open only to U.S. residents; the odds of winning depend upon the number of participants. See full disclaimer HERE.