Hello, dear friends and followers, I’ve always been a devotee of Richard Fidler on the ABC and Michael Parkinson on the BBC. Helene has finally caved in a recognised my talent. So here it is! My first interview going live. Please enjoy.
Nero, Bunson, I’m delighted to turn the spotlight on you two today. I must say I could get used to this interviewing caper – licence to ask all sorts of probing questions!
So let’s get comfy and start with a little bit about you. Nero first. Such a strong name, may I say. I’m sure the ladies love you. What tribe are you from?
I agree Nero does sound strong – more original, significant and dignified than the commonplace Blacky. My name is Piccolo Nero Cane. (Car-ne). It’s Italian for Little Black Dog. Nero is used like Prince Henry of Wales uses Harry.
The ladies adore me – especially the receptionist at the vet clinic and the concierge at the boarding kennels. I had a thing for the golden Lab next door to us. Unfortunately she passed away from snakebite. My heart broke when it happened. (*sniff*)
My physical tribe is a black lab cattle dog cross. Mum was purebred cattle dog and dad was the black lab (I was told that dad was a fence-jumping opportunist). I remember Mum fondly, yet distantly. My Dad means nothing to me. Gabba is everything now.
Mine and Bunson’s tribal heritage is in fact the same as yours, Brother Zeus. Codus Canis Spiritis (translate: The Canine Spiritual Code). We are adventurous, affectionate, loyal and give of ourselves entirely and only to the humans we are devoted to. We also pose for photographs for different reasons – professional and otherwise – it’s part of ‘the Code’.
Nero, I’m honoured to meet other members of the CSC! Not many in Cairns…
So what’s Gabrielle’s writing routine like? How do you keep her focused on her writing? Any tips for other minders?
N: Walkies come first after coffee and diary planning. If she’s working on something for her employer we’ll pose for photographs and then she disappears into the office for hours. If we’re in the office with her we sleep at her feet until she either breaks for meals and a cuppa and we get a toilet opportunity. If we’re outside, we lay about in the sun and keep an eye out for any passing kangaroos or other wildlife in the area.
B: When she’s working on her books it’s again done after walkies. However on the ‘book’ days she talks and talks and talks all the way through the walky asking us questions about has she got the right POV, is her GMC strong enough, are plot wrinkles forming etc. Before she’d say she hasn’t found her ‘voice’ yet, but lately she’s been saying she’s ready for the crit partners to run their eye over the work as she’s got more of herself in her narratives and dialogue.
N: We regularly contribute to her overcoming word blindness by doing something similar to you, Brother Zeus. If we’re inside with her, rather than put the tennis ball in her lap, I’ll put my chin on her thigh and sigh a lot. This gets her out of the office to stretch and we go into the garden and kick a ball around.
B: I do a similar thing to the chin resting that Nero does. I take it a little further and put my front paws on the arms of her office chair and stick my nose in her ear until she gets up and goes outside with us.
N: If we’re outside we stand at the office window and stare or bark at her until she looks at us. Then we either wince and dance around or run to the back door. It gets her out of her chair see?
B: My advice is if you have a writer then you really should do this ‘distraction tactic.’ It’s for their own good.
Excellent advice, gentlemen!
Bunson, did your parents also have a distinguished heritage? Your name sounds very scientific. Does that make you an analytical kind of hound? How do you assist in the research or does Gabrielle have her own methods?
I came from the shelter – an RSPCA rescue. I got no idea what physical tribe I am. I’m definitely cattle dog and beagle with maybe some coolie or border collie in me. I look like a science experiment, that’s why they called me Bunson Burner. Most of the time it’s just Bunson.
I wish to add that like you, Zeus, we’re of a more sophisticated perspective and are established agents of the Code. We have reached “Significant Practitioner” status amongst the ranks (it’s a bit like Helene being a senior pilot and qualified to train junior aviators… it’s about the number of hours clocked… am sure you’d understand). Nero and I can refer to each other as ‘Brother,’ (and we’d like to think we can call you that too, Zeus.) So can those of higher ranking. Those of lower rank cannot. So in a way we are distinguished.
Also, as part of Codus Canis Spiritis, we observe a ‘balance life bias love’ approach. It’s an intrinsic part of who we are and strive to be. Our motto is ‘we give, we are, we pose for the camera.’
I wouldn’t say I was analytical per se. Investigative yes. I am after all, part Beagle.
In terms of her research Gabba stares at the computer and looks for as much as she can that’s written on the particular subject. Both Nero and I assume our position (outdoors or indoors) and leave her to it until we think she’s due to come out what she calls, “The Cave.”
Gentlemen, I’m honoured to call you brothers. Truly Honoured.
Tell us a bit about a normal day in a writing dog’s life. Early risers? Long walks, swims? What’s the rhythm to your day?
B: We’re early risers. As soon as there’s movement in the house we’re at the back door. Whether the sun is up or not. We have a heated dog kennel so we’re cozy and toasty over night but we love both Gabba and hubby so much, we like to see them as early in the day as possible.
B: Then we take LOOOONG walks with Gabba – and love it. On the weekends we go down the paddock with the hubby. Then it’s breakfast and depending on the day we supervise Gabba’s activity in the cave or hang out with hubby around the farm.
N: The rhythm is cruisy and comfortable. It’s nice, we really are lucky. She could be a 9-5er somewhere and away from us most of the time.
B: Or live in a suburban block without our glorious 50 acres.
Sounds idyllic! Perhaps I could come and interview you at home. I like the sound of a heated kennel!
But how can you tell when Gabrielle’s on a roll and the words are flowing? Anything you do to assist?
N: She laughs in the cave. Frankly, both of us go to sleep – we’ll leave her to it as much as we can to not interrupt flow but we know it’s good for her to get out and have a break from the screen so we let her know when it’s time.
What does she do if her muse is on holidays? Helene claims her muse is never missing in action but I’ve know there are days when she has to go for a long walk to sort things out…
B: This is when she goes away from us a bit. She has to go to town fairly often for errands, but sometimes she gets this blank look on her face, leaves and she’s gone for hours. Apparently she goes to the coffee shop and stares at passersby. When she gets home, she pulls out a little notebook then sits with us on the verandah and scribbles and scribbles and scribbles and scribbles in it.
Oh that does sound familiar. Perhaps Gabrielle and Helene are from a similar tribe…
Now a couple of quick questions for both of you. What’s your favourite spot in the house?
B: Wherever Gabba is.
N: Or in front of the fire (during winter) and in the hallway in front of the air conditioner (during summer).
What would you prefer to eat for breakfast, lunch and dinner?
N: The cat’s food – if she leaves it around it’s fair game.
B: Yep, I agree
Cat food? What is this magical thing? I’ve never tasted it…
Who’s your favourite animal hero?
N: Our predecessor Blue. He reached a higher rank amongst the code (Master) and he is revered. And we don’t mind the Footrot Flats dog.
B: Yeah, and Gromit from the Wallace and Gromit series is cool too.
Oh yes, Jesse from Footrot Flats was a major crush of mine… Sigh…
Nero, Bunson, thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to chat today. It’s been wonderful finding out more about you and also Gabrielle. I look forward to her launch party soon! We’ll be there to help you celebrate 🙂
Ciao for now.
Gabrielle is a journalist/online writer with a focus on pet health articles. Her work has seen her write many things from flea management to poly myositis. She has many articles published as a freelance journalist and former advertising features writer for a regional newspaper. Gabrielle is currently completing the Certificate Three in Film making.
She makes her fiction writing debut securing a place in the Romance Writers of Australia’s highly contested 2013 Little Gems Anthology.
Gabrielle loves her dogs, writing, her shoe collection, friends and husband. (not necessarily in that order).
Find Gabrielle’s blog at: www.gabbawrites.blogspot.com.au
Follow Gabrielle on twitter: @gabbawrites