Thursday, April 30, 2015



Here's my interview of Sarge, the precocious dachshund author of THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES books. We promised our readers that we would bring him back to answer some of their questions, so we are pleased to have him as our guest once again.

MDH: I hear that you have recently visited several dachshund rescue societies in various parts of the country. Would you like to share a little about those with our readers?

SARGE THE DOXIE: First of all, thank you for having me back. I never miss an opportunity to promote my books! My main thrust in visiting the dachshund rescue societies was to commend the staff for work well done. My doxie buddies, I've found, don't have much interest in books--seems they mostly seek treats--so I focused on putting paw prints on copies of my book for the staff. They are special people, and it is wonderful how they help my fellow wiener dogs find a new lease on life in loving "fur" ever homes.

MDH: Well, then . . . what did you find to be the most fascinating detail about these rescue societies?

SARGE THE DOXIE: As a dog myself, the most fascinating detail for ME in the societies was the dedication of the workers. Dachshunds of all colors, coats, ages, personalities, and health are accepted and loved. It is wonderful to see humans being so accepting of them. If humans want to adopt a dachshund, they should check out the rescue societies first.

MDH: Thank you for giving us insight on that. Now, let's get to our first reader question. This one comes from a dachshund owner named Patrick in Toledo, Ohio, who asks: "You have said in the past that Papa Duke was your favorite human character in your books. Is he still your favorite now in your latest book, A DACHSHUND'S TRIBUTE?  You also recently disclosed that he passed away before your books and you never really knew him personally.

SARGE THE DOXIE:  Papa Duke wasn't on the scene when I wrote the first THREE books, either. You see, I write about Papa like he is still alive because there are so many family stories about him--that this is my way of keeping him with us, so to speak. He loved dachshunds so much.

Regarding the fourth book, A DACHSHUND'S TRIBUTE, Papa Duke is still my favorite human, although I love all of my characters, most of whom are people I actually know. Papa's friend Sellars is so much like Papa . . . I never met him in person, either, but I've heard so much about him!  Sellars passed away a couple of years ago, but hopefully, "the fishing story" in I AM SARGE will keep him alive for years to come. That  incident actually happened with him and Papa, you know!  I wasn't actually there, of course, but I had to put myself in the story so I could write it.  Other than that tiny detail, the story is true.

MDH: Papa Duke wins hands--er, paws down, I see. Here's another question from a ten-year-old reader named Reed in Detroit, Michigan: "I read I AM SARGE and loved it. We have a red dachshund named Princess, and I believe your stories because she acts a lot like you. Are there be any other dachshunds in your books, besides Duke?"

SARGE THE DOXIE: Yes. In fact, I do meet up with my real doxie sister, Precious, in I AM DACHSHUND, Book 2. This meeting also really happened, you know. Mama Holly met a lady at work who also owned a dachshund, and after talking about us, they realized that the lady's dog and I were siblings! We all had a wonderful time at our reunion, too.  And, of course, there's Duke my protege, another black and tan who joined the family, also introduced in Book 2.  He's in Books 3 and 4 as well.

MDH: Thank you, Reed, for a great question. Marla from Fairbanks, Alaska, poses an interesting question for you: "Sarge, you talk about Alaska quite a bit in your books. We don't see too many doxies up here. Have you ever been here yourself?"

SARGE THE DOXIE: I'm sorry to say that I've never been there, although I've heard about it all my life. Several of my human family and friends used to live there, you know. They all talked about it like it was the greatest place on earth to live. That's also happens to be where Papa Duke and Sellars' fishing story happened. Maybe I'll get up there one summer--I'm pretty cold natured, though, so I don't think I could handle an Alaskan winter!

MDH: Here's a different sort of question for you now, emailed to us from Waylon in Louisiana:  "Do you have any animal friends other than dogs and cats?"

SARGE THE DOXIE: Well . . . no. There are so many different dogs and cats in my circle that I've just never really branched out. I stay pretty busy with my human family and friends, you know, and also make personal appearances around the country as well. I do write about Gizmo the cockatiel in Book 3, DACHSHUNDS FOREVER, and I wanna go on record to say how that wacky bird freaked me out, sounding so human. My human aunt and uncle have a bird like him, so that's where I got the idea. Gizmo's always calling me "Pretty Boy." The first time, when I barked back at him to thank him for the compliment, he squawked, 'Hey, baby, wanna dance?' accompanied by some cool moves around in his cage. I got away from that dude--he was nice enough, but a bit too frisky for my taste.

MDH: One final question for you today--this one comes from Ethel Wilson in Marquette, Michigan: "How many books in the series do you plan to write, and what are your plans after you complete the series?"

SARGE THE DOXIE: That's a valid question, and an interesting one. Hmmmm. The fourth book, A DACHSHUND'S TRIBUTE, was supposed to be the end of the series, but I'm now planning a fifth one, A DACHSHUND'S MERRY-GO-ROUND LIFE, set to come out in summer this year.  I am pretty old for a dawg, you know--14 now, so I am planning to retire from writing books after this one. 

MDH: Thank you for your candid remarks, my friend. We've enjoyed "the rest of the story," as the famous radio commentator Paul Harvey used to say. Unfortunately, we didn't get to all the questions we had planned, so we'll save them for another time when you can come back on the show.  But before we go, is there anything else you'd like your audience to know?

SARGE THE DOXIE: It was my pleasure. I think it's time to share this tidbit:  I recently found out about a spin-off series of books that will come from THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES, but I won't writing this new series myself. However, a very strong supporting character from THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES will be a dachshund, the "sidekick" to a VERY interesting human. 

And no, it's not Papa Duke!  That's all I'm prepared to say at this point--I hear that it's only in the planning stages right now.  As I said earlier, I'm kinda retiring from the writing scene after Book 5 comes out, you know. But I AM starring in a dog food commercial in the U.K. the first of the year, so I'm excited about that opportunity.

MDH: And since you've let the cat out of the bag, my friend, I might as well add this bit of information: of course I already know about it, because I am going to write it myself!  And I thank you for giving me permission to use your character in my new series.  But I'll let you explain to the audience what a spin-off series is.

SARGE THE DOXIE:  Sorry, but I couldn't help myself!  A writer--that's you--takes one of the characters in a series and creates a new series from it.  That character becomes the main one in the new series.  Oh, I think readers--and dog lovers--will love this new series, if it is presented like you explained it to me.  It will be different with a human writing this series instead of a dachshund, though.  As I said, the doxie won't be the MAIN character, and the series won't even be from the doxie's viewpoint, but will play a very important part the stories.  Have I  explained the new series well enough??

MDH:  Couldn't have done a better job myself.  And for those who are wondering, this new series does not have a title just yet.  Oh, I've chosen the main character and the dachshund--not one you've met in the other books--and I've even picked out the setting, but that's all we'll say about my new series now.  Right, Sarge??

SARGE THE DOXIE:  But I know everyone out there wants to find out more about your new series!  I feel honored that you chose a human from my own series to create your new series.   

MDH:  Thank you, my canine buddy.  You can be my consultant to help me with the dachshund's part in it--if that works for you. 

SARGE THE DOXIE: Glad to help!  Few humans really understand the canine mind, you know.

MDH: Please join us next time, and thank you so much for sending in questions for Sarge. Keep them coming, and when we can nail down a date for this busy doxie to return, we'll have him answer more of them.

SARGE THE DOXIE:  Thank you again.  I'll drop you a text or an email when I have a release date for Book 5.

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