I read the first two books in Zoe Dawson’s GOING TO THE DOG series and adored them, so I asked Zoe if she would mind letting me interview her. Doesn’t she look pretty in green?
Going to the dogs is such a fun series. Where did you get the idea?
In 1998 when Sex and the City aired, I was a single mother, divorced for five years with two young daughters. I couldn’t afford HBO and thought that the show was some risqué romp through New York City that I couldn’t relate to.
Then in 2005, a good friend of mine told that she couldn’t believe that I was a romance writer and I had never seen the show. So on her recommendation, I bought all six seasons for myself as a Christmas present in the very pink (even the New York skyline) pretty, decorative DVD box. I admired the presentation of each season with the full length pages of the stars of the show: Carrie Bradshaw, Miranda Hobbs, Charlotte York, and the unforgettable Samantha Jones.
I started to watch and, the more I watched, the more I fell in love with these women. Their friendship was magical, unshakable, and so very fun. The show was one six-season romance novel with four distinct romances, each just as wonderful as the woman who falls in love and buys into all that bullshit (That’s Miranda talking).
When I finished the series, I was in tears for two reasons. It was so romantic as each woman discovered who they were and where they belonged in the relationship with their great men, but also that the series was over.
That’s where my imagination took over and the Going to the Dogs series was born. I wanted to create that kind of friendship and that kind of great romance, but I wanted it layered with a cute furry friend. I also wanted to set it in very dog friendly New York City. I wanted to make each of the women a professional in the dog business. So my series is Sex and the City with dogs.
How many books do you have planned for the series?
In Leashed, Callie Lassiter is a dog trainer, my tomboy dog whisperer with her Great Dane, Jack. Groomed for Murder’s heroine, Brooke Palmer is a dog groomer and the baker of unique, organic doggie treats that her bulldog, Roscoe loves to munch on. Hounded features Poe Madigan as a Goth princess vet who is interning to become a doggie surgeon and handling two, very precocious Jack Russell terriers, Edgar and Allan, dubbed The Terrible Two. And in Collared, Harper Sinclair is a wise-cracking, worldly socialite who treats her award-winning standard poodle, Blue as just one of the dogs.
Dogs or cats?
I’d have to go with both. Right now we have a cat named Little because she is, well, little. She was a rescue and looked to be the runt of the litter. But don’t let her size fool you. She can hold her own. You should have seen her fending off my daughter’s boxer, Gus. That’s one feisty little cat.
Any special talents?
I paint watercolors and Chinese brush paintings when I can manage to fit them into my busy schedule. I’ve even sold four of them and had someone love one that I had sold so much, she commissioned one from me. That was pretty thrilling.
What was your first job?
My very first job was at a resort in Grand Isle, Vermont. I was sixteen and a waitress. It was quite an adventure and the first time I was away from home. I even had myself a fling and met my first love that summer. It was quite memorable.
If you could have dinner with any character (fictional or real) from history, who would it be and why?
Abraham Lincoln. I think it would be so exciting to talk to him about his life. The way he shaped the country and how he saved the U.S. from a terrible separation that could only have hurt us in the long run. He was a great, great man.
You have an alter ego. Do you want to share who that is?
Yes, I write for Harlequin Books as Karen Anders. I have written for Intimate Moments and Blaze. I currently am writing a Navy series, To Protect and Serve. I’ve submitted proposals to them for three more books. One set in Washington, DC involving an NCIS agent and a Navy scientist, one set in Hampton/Norfolk, VA involving an NCIS agent and a CGIS (Coast Guard Investigative Service) agent , and one set in Coleville, California involving an NCIS agent and a master sergeant in the Marine Corps. I should hear any day whether they were accepted. Fingers crossed.
What is your favorite thing about writing?
Organizing and writing a chaotic mishmash of a story from my head into a cohesive love sotry that can be enjoyed by readers. It’s so satisfying to have the empty page fill with words from my imagination.
Which of your pets is most memorable?
My Pink. He was the best cat I have ever had. I’ve had pets all my life, and I will admit that I would see people with their pets and I’d think, wow, they really love their pet. I loved all the different pets I have ever had, but I didn’t really understand, until I met my Pink. I miss him every single day.
When’s the next book coming out?
That’s a tricky question at this point. I have a self-imposed deadline of June 17, but if I sell some books to Harlequin, those deadlines might muck with mine. But, I’ll work hard to get Hounded out on time. Here’s the blurb:
Veterinarian Poe Madigan enters The Fur Ball with her Jack Russell terriers (aka The Terrible Two) to compete for a cash prize that will keep her mother from losing her home. But when her fabulous partner sprains his ankle, Poe must trade him and his talented Bichon for a muscle-bound jock who can’t dance and his Bassett Hound named Lazy Daisy. If that’s not enough to make her despair, it seems The Terrible Two have angered someone and they’re receiving death threats! Security Specialist Jared Taylor promises one of Poe’s friends that he will go undercover as her dog dancing partner to protect her from danger. What he didn’t expect was to find that his staid, traditional life could be turned all topsy-turvy and he would find a soft spot for a neglected hound and fall for a Goth princess. But will his omission of who he really is and his motivation ruin the real prize – Poe.
Blurb for Leashed
Jack has some ‘splainin’ to do!
That’s right! Callie Lassiter’s normally well-behaved Great Dane Jack has run off and done the wild thing with the neighbor’s dog. It must be puppy love! It’s doubly embarrassing since she’s a professional dog trainer. Of course, the neighbor would have to be hot, hot nightclub owner bad boy Owen McKay, just the kind of man Callie is determined to avoid.
Owen’s comfortable with his playboy status and the hype in the media. But the ground moves beneath his feet when he gets an eyeful of the girl next door. The Dog Whisperer never looked this good! How can he convince this wholesome honey that his player days are behind him? Maybe Jill, his Great Dane can help him with this dilemma now that she’s pregnant and Callie’s dog is to blame.
Is this bad boy a bad bet?
Blurb for Groomed for Murder
Can a dog have a bad hair day?
Brooke Palmer owns Pawlish, an exclusive doggie spa and grooming business in upper Manhattan, but when a client’s champion poodle gets a bad poodle cut and has to undergo therapy to recover, the client sues. The lawyer they send is drop dead gorgeous, but Brooke won’t be wooed by a corporate shark in a sharp suit.
Corporate lawyer Drew Hudson has better things to do then take on this ridiculous lawsuit, but since he works for the client’s husband, he has no choice. After meeting the beautiful, sweet-tempered owner, he can’t keep his mind on the silly case. But when the client turns up dog gone dead, Brooke may be a conflict of interest when she’s charged with the murder. All Drew wants to do is prove that this sexy entrepreneur is not dangerous, except to his heart.
Can she take a chance on him?
Zoe Dawson is the alter ego of Karen Anders, award winning, multi-published author. Her writing journey started with poetry and branched out into fiction. With a couple of college English courses under her belt, she penned a historical, then moved onto contemporary romance fiction.
She’s launched the first book in her self-published Going to the Dogs Series. Leashed begins the tails (pun intended) of four New York City dog professionals who meet at a dog park and become fast friends. Out now, Groomed for Murder, Book #2
She is also publishing with Entangled Publishing and will have her debut novel out with them in 2013. It’s the first book of the six book The Misfit Squad Series of police procedurals, featuring a group of troubled homicide detectives who have landed in the “last chance” squad. If they don’t shape up, they’re out.
Today, she is happy producing romantic suspense, romantic mystery, and soon paranormal and urban fantasy novels. The words feed her soul and the happily ever afters feed her heart.
You can find her at the following links:
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Groomed for Murder