May 17, 2006

3 Questions: Allison Pace

It's a GCC day, and today, hot off the griddle, we are serving Allison Pace. I like Allison Pace. I just do. She wrote If Andy Warhol had a Girlfriend, which was hip and slick and funny, and if it was your cup of tea, I think you are going to like her sweetheart of a follow-up novel, Pug Hill.

JJ: Where did the idea for the book come from?
AP: I really wanted to write a book about someone whose life had been very affected by dogs and who spent some time reflecting on that. Pug Hill in Central Park is a place I always got a tremendous kick out of, and loved very much. So that combined with my fascination with pugs, helped form the scheme of the novel. And, I was giving readings for my first novel at the time, and contemplating my fear of public speaking.

JJ:Tell us about the best dog you have ever owned.
AP: It's a tie between Max, an Irish Wolfhound / Sheepdog mix, the most brilliant dog ever, and my Spanky, a Chinese shar-pei, the sweetest dog to ever walk the earth. Spanky makes a guest appearance (as himself!) in Pug Hill.

JJ: What's next for you?
AP: I'm working on a third novel. I can't believe I'm actually on a third novel. It's called Through Thick And Thin, and I'm very, very excited about it. It's about two sisters at very different life stages who attempt to re-bond with each other with a weight loss quest.

The best dog I ever owned was a poodle named Louis. His whole name was King Louis of the Colony Estates, but everyone called him Loo-ey. My parents had Louis before they had me, but he lived a longlonglong time, so I remember him well.He wasn't one of those little nervous yappy poodles. He was a big old poodle, very handsome, mostly because my father refused to give him that stupid puffy ankled haircut. He kept him clipped short for comfort, but never gave him that puff head with a bow on the ear ---he wanted to protect Louis' masculinity. In several ways. And this was the 70's, before Bob Barker started staring earnestly into cameras and talking about the evils of unchecked dog testicles, so Louis would sometimes disappear for days at a time and come filthy and burr-covered and stinking of French Bulldog Perfume. I am sure we left a zillion little Louis throughout the southern states as we moved around a good deal.

My dad used to blame stray gaseous emissions on Louis. We'd be driving along, and suddenly the unmistakeable smell of SILENT BUT DEADLY gas passing would fill the car, and my dad would say, LOUIS!!! in a thundering voice of disapproval, and Louis would look suitably chastened. My brother and I would giggle like maniacs and say LOUIS YOU ARE SO GROSS.

My mother would fix my father with a gimlet eye and say, not looking at the dog at all, "Indeed, Louis. Please try to control yourself. Louis."

Later Louis got his revenge. In his old age, he became the GASSIEST dog who ever LIVED.

Anyway I have digressed hideously, but talking about Allison's book got me thinking again of all the dogs I've loved before. SNIFF.

Posted by joshilyn at May 17, 2006 8:32 AM

My Dad used to do the same thing!

Posted by: Edgy Mama at May 17, 2006 9:42 AM

We didn't have a dog. My dad blamed it on ME!

Posted by: Amy-GO at May 17, 2006 10:20 AM

I've always wondered where the phrase "gimlet eye" came from?

My dad blamed frogs? go figure - the poodle never got blamed for anything....seriously he was God's gift.

Posted by: Cele at May 17, 2006 11:49 AM

Now, my dad didn't blame the dog. He blamed either:
1. the invisible elephant under his chair
2. the man behind the barn in the picture that hung in our living room.

Posted by: Laura L at May 17, 2006 3:30 PM

Aren't dads the best? And aren't dogs handy scapegoats?

Pfftt. Excuse me!


Posted by: Kismet at May 17, 2006 5:12 PM

Oh my yes, dogs are handy for blame...but our Anatolian shepard mix really IS gaseous. Did you know that Beano helps dogs too? We got desperate one evening! She's loving, and stupid, and incredibly sweet, and if she didn't weigh 85 lb, she'd FLOAT!

At least the Malamute cross looks abashed when he lets go. It's kind of weird, but since he was injured, he hasn't been as gassy as before. Not a trade-off I'd ever make, but it's a small, silver lining, I guess.

Posted by: Fran at May 17, 2006 10:08 PM