Tuesday, June 17, 2014

CHARACTER INTERVIEW: Maggie Porter

1.      Tell me a little about yourself (where you live, who you are, what you look like, what you hope to achieve, etc.)
I’ve been called “the dog lady” but most people call me Maggie. Maggie Porter.  I’m named for my mother, and I’m the spitting image of her, or so people say. I wouldn’t know; I haven’t seen my mother since I was a child. I was angry with her for a long time, but after what happened this summer I’m rethinking my attitude.


When I was five, my dad moved us to Florida. I might still be there if my grandmother hadn’t passed away and I inherited the family property and came back to Eagle Cove, Arkansas to renovate and reopen Waterside Kennels. (You might say dogs run in the family: my grandfather was a legendary dog trainer, my father is a veterinarian, and I run a boarding and training kennel.)

If I look in the mirror, I’ll see light brown hair, shoulder length but usually pulled back to keep it out of the way. About 5’6” with hazel eyes, fair skin that’s prone to burn without copious amounts of sunscreen, and more muscle than fat thanks to working with dogs all day. Most days you’ll find me in boots, jeans and a tee shirt, although I’ve been known to wear a dress on special occasions.

Eagle Cove is in the high Ozarks, with more wildlife than people. I have a couple of neighbors, not enough staff, and (thankfully) customers who are willing to make the drive out to the kennels.

2.      What do you like to do in your spare time?
Oh, spare time—that’s on my wish list! Any downtime I do get is spent fixing up the house, catching up on paperwork, and playing with my dogs. I wish I had the energy of my young Labrador Retriever, Sam—he’s always ready for a new adventure. By the end of the day, my energy level is  as low as that of my Cocker Spaniel Sweet Pea, who spends her days napping. She has that in common with Mr. B, the Beagle I adopted. He’s still recuperating from a serious injury that ended his K-9 career, and likes to take things slow.

3.      What is your favorite color and why?
Yellow. It’s cheerful and soothing, and keeps the shadows at bay.

4.      What is your favorite food? Why is it your favorite?
I eat a lot of spaghetti and sometimes I’ll toss a piece of chicken in the skillet. If it’s quick and easy, it’s my favorite.

5.     What would you say is your biggest quirk?
Hmmm…not sure you’d call it a quirk, but I’ll confess I’m more comfortable talking to dogs than people. With dogs, you always know where you stand.

6.      What is it about your antagonist that irks you the most, and why?
My writer says I can’t tell you about the antagonist in book #1, but I’m pretty sure everybody will soon know how I feel about Simon Tate (you’ll meet him in book #2 of the series). Simon’s the one who’s pushing the county to enact a “dangerous dog” ordinance. Never mind that the real problem is poor training and owners who won’t take responsibility for their pets—Simon refuses to listen to reason, and he’s charging ahead no matter what I say. And the worst part? He’s doing this for personal gain, and that seriously irks me.

7.      What or who means the most to you in your life? What, if anything, would you do to keep him/her/it in your life?
The “What” is easy—that’s Waterside Kennels. It’s my whole life.
As for “Who” that’s a bit more challenging, but I think my neighbor Zak has become an important part of my life. In fact, I’m having a hard time imagining life without him, or his adorable daughter Claire. We shared a scary experience this past summer which made me realize how much I cared for them both.

8.      What one thing would you like readers to know about you that may not be spelled out in the book in which you inhabit?
Contrary to what some people say, I really do know there’s life beyond dogs. (There are cats, too!)

9.      If you could tell your writer (creator) anything about yourself that might turn the direction of the plot, what would it be?
I really would like a little romance in my life, please!

10.  Ask me any question. I've always wanted to know what a character thinks about writers like myself. I'll answer the question at the end of this interview.
Kathryn, keep in mind that I run a kennel…I’ve noticed you don’t have any animals in your stories. Would you consider adopting a pet?

(Let's try the picture this way):
 Our new cat sweety pie.
Actually I have adopted a pet. Her name is Sweetie Pie and she's truly the cat's meow. Let's see, she waits for us at the door when we come home, investigates every inch of our house on a daily basis (keep in mind that we are constantly in renovation) and likes to wake everyone up at about 5 a.m. with her meowing.

Thanks for asking!

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Links:
Facebook Author Page: http://tinyurl.com/ozk3uja
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7 comments :

  1. Kathryn, thanks so much for interviewing my amateur sleuth! Loved reading about Sweetie Pie, too!

    In book #2 of the series, a kitten joins the household after being rescued by Maggie's elderly spaniel. In honor of this addition I'm going to add a kitty slideshow to my website, and hope you'll share a photo of Sweetie Pie for us all to enjoy.

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  2. What a fun interview! Here's a question for Maggie. Do you have a favorite breed, or do you love them all the same?

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    1. Alyssa, Maggie is partial to Cocker Spaniels because that was her first dog. Some breeds, she'll confess, she loves more than others, but I suspect that has more to do with their behavior (and their owners' behavior) than the breed itself.

      Sweet Pea (Maggie's spaniel) was inspired by my own spaniel mix Alix, who shared my life for nearly 18 years.

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  3. This sounds like a fantastic story and I am looking forward to reading it. The cover colors are striking and very memorable, which in my humble opinion, helps greatly when book buyers are scanning the shelves or the tables at a book store, etc. I am truly anxious to get to know the entire story in this book and I definitely agree that there is life beyond dogs as cats are wonderful too. Much success with this novel. Cynthia

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    1. Cynthia, thank you so much for the lovely compliment about the cover! I've passed that along to the artist I worked with.

      Maggie didn't have much experience with cats before opening the kennel but she's really enjoying her time with them. And in book #2, the kitty joining the household was inspired by my own rescue kitty. At times he seems to think he's a dog so I think he'll fit right in at Waterside!

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  4. For those of you who want to meet Sweetie Pie, click this link: http://idea-creations.blogspot.com/2013/08/our-new-cat-sweetie-pie.html.

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    1. So glad you added the photo of Sweetie Pie, as I couldn't make the link work. (Maggie and I are sometimes computer challenged!)

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