Q & A with Kate Klimo: DOG DIARIES #1 – Ginger

GINGER hiresI’d like to welcome Kate Klimo back to Dog Reads, a blog that features author interviews with those who write dog stories for kids. Her Dog Diaries series are illustrated by Tim Jessell who was interviewed recently on Dog Reads.

What is the title of your book? Pub date and publisher?

Dog Diaries #1: Ginger, January 2013, Random House Books for Young Readers

Who is your key dog character? Tell us about him/her.

Ginger is a golden retriever who faces many trials, but still manages to maintain her sense of optimism.

In 70 words or less, provide a succinct plot description of your story.

This is a memoir told by a golden retriever, dealing with her rocky beginnings in a puppy mill, her two failed attempts to find a happy home, and her days of running with a pack of a wild dogs before being rescued and finding a furever home with an eight-year-old boy.

What inspired you to write this story?

Inspiring this story were all the dogs I have ever loved, a canine cavalcade starting with my first dog, a rough collie named Pal who babysat me in my crib, going right up to my sons’ dog, George, who, in the course of defending his family, bit the insurance adjuster. Dog Diaries, the series this book launches, will feature the stories of mostly famous dogs; dogs who made their mark on history. But I wanted to dedicate the first book in the series to an Everydog, your basic run-of-the-mill pooch who wasn’t famous.

What was the biggest challenge you had writing your story? How did you overcome it?

The biggest challenge was telling the story from the dog’s point of view, which is to say, climbing into the head of a dog. I like to think that I was able to do this without giving Ginger too many humanoid thoughts or attributes. The fact is that people and dogs have been living together since the cave days and, in many ways, pets and their human companions live in each other’s heads.

What other YA/MG books have you written? Do any of them feature a key dog character? If so, which ones? What are these stories about?

I have written an early grade series called the Dragon Keepers, about two ten-year-olds who wind up being the caretakers of a dragon named Emmy. In the first book, Emmy hides from a bad guy by “masking” as a sheepdog.

I have written a YA series called the Centauriad, which has lots of horses in it, and lots of other mythical creatures, but, so far, no dogs. Hmmmm…maybe I should reconsider. (Yes, please do!!)

KateKlimoWhat kind of story can we expect next from you? Is it about a dog?

If so, what is it about? I’ve just finished writing the third and the fourth Dog Diaries, about Barry the legendary St. Bernard of the high Alps, and Togo, the Siberian husky who was the real hero of the Alaskan Serum Run. Both books were a blast to research and write.

What else would you like us to know about you or your story?

I’ve never met a Golden retriever I didn’t like.

Can you remember the first book that made an impact on you? And why?

I loved the The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe so passionately that my best friend and I spent much of our grade school years desperately trying to find a portal into Narnia.

Thank you for joining us today at Dog Reads, Kate Klimo! Be sure to check back to read more about Kate’s other Dog Diaries books as they come out. To read about Buddy, click here.


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