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Made with ❤ in Australia
July’s Author+Pet is the much loved Sandie Docker. Sandie writes truly lovely books set in small-town Australia, featuring memorable characters, lots of heartache and emotion, with uplifting but bitter sweet endings. Her books also include animals (a cheeky possum in her latest).
As well as being a warm , welcoming and generous human Sandie is also the founder of the inaugural Northern Beaches Reader’s Festival in Sydney which kicked off in 2022. Sandie founded the festival because she found a lot of the bigger writer’s festivals rarely feature popular fiction authors which , surprise, surprise, are actually popular with readers. Sadly, I couldn’t attend the first festival but I did get to a great author talk by Sandie in the small town where I am working at present.
I’ve just finished and loved her new release, The Redgum River Retreat. It’s a masterclass in seamless flashbacks, effortless blending of past and present, and a thoroughly satisfying, if a wee bit reach-for-the-tissue-box, (in a good way) read. Sandie’s books have been described as a warm hug so you won’t be surprised to find out she is the devoted owner of a chocolate Labrador named Charlie- the king of cuddly breeds.
AUTHOR PET QUESTIONS
Part 1. Author Questions. The Fast Five.
1. Serial pet monogamist? Or ménage a pet?
Monogamist. I can barely cope with one pet, let alone more!!
2. Set the scene. – where do you hang out with your pet/s?
Usually on the back porch, especially when the sun is streaming in on a clear winter’s day.
3. Pet character profile
Charlie is a nearly 13-year-old chocolate lab, who, despite her body starting to reflect her age, still acts like she’s a puppy. She is the most affectionate dog on the planet, and would be totally useless as guard dog because she just wants pats from everyone. Despite her age she stills does a jumpy-twirly happy dance whenever food is coming.
4. Muse, distraction, or disruptor?
Disruptor. I often try to write outside with her, but she spends the whole time shoving her snout under my arm wanting cuddles, which isn’t conducive to typing.
5. Best pet in a book?
Can say one of my own? In The Kookaburra Creek Café I have border collie named Shadow who is loyal and gorgeous and plays an important role in the characters’ lives.
Part 2. Now we’re talking, or panting, or purring…
Questions for both author and pet. Please answer in alternating POV, ie provide the pet’s answers about you and your answers about your pet.
1. Favourite treat.
My mum, Sandie, loves chocolate, but she never shares it with me, which I think is highly unfair. Hello. I’m a lab = food. And I’m a chocolate lab.
Charlie is a lab so anything she can eat is her favourite snack. She even loves her worming tablets!
2. Their Worst habit.
Mum, is a bit lazy and could definitely take me for more walks. She’s also a terrible procrastinator. I sometimes encourage that, though.
Charlie has a habit of stomping on my toes with her heavy paws, and I have an irrational fear of my feet being hurt, so it’s not a good combo.
3. Their best quality.
Mum takes care of all the hard stuff like vet visits, and medicines, while dad often gets credit for being my favourite. She’s super loving and loyal.
Charlie is the best cuddly cuddler in all of cuddletown!
Bedroom truths. Eg. On the bed, under the bed, next to the bed, closed bedroom door, 3 in the bed????
Mum and Dad won’t let me sleep with them, which probably isn’t a bad thing as I do take up a lot of room.
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