Alison Pace's 5 Do's and a Do-Over

It's FINALLY here! A Pug's Tale by Alison Pace (well it will officially be here tomorrow but what's one more day, right?). It's a sequel we've been waiting for since we fell for Alison's completely lovable novel, Pug Hill. And ever since we discovered this gem of an author, we've been in love. Because there's no one quite like her. Her writing is smart and funny and even a little bit quirky- in a good way! And she writes about pugs- what's not to love about that? They're like the cutest dogs evuh! A Pug's Tale Synopsis: There are pugs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art!

Hope McNeill has worked at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for years, but this is the first time she's been able to bring along her pug, Max. (Officially at least. Previously she's had to smuggle him in inside her tote bag.)

The occasion: a special "Pug Night" party in honor of a deep-pocketed donor. Max and his friends are having a ball stalking the hors d'oeuvres and getting rambunctious, and making Hope wonder if this is also the last time she gets to bring Max to the museum.

But when a prized painting goes missing, the Met needs Hope's--and Max's--help. In her quest for the culprit, Hope searches for answers with an enigmatic detective, a larger-than-life society heiress, a lady with a shih tzu in a stroller, and her arguably intuitive canine. With luck, she'll find some inspiration on her trips to Pug Hill before the investigation starts going downhill...

Sound like a fun read? We think so! And if you agree, just leave a comment and you'll be entered to win one of five copies of A Pug's Tale. We'll randomly select the winners after 6PM EST on Wednesday, June 8.

And now Alison entertains us even more with her fabulous list of Do's (love the perfect schmerfect reference!) and a very important Do-over.



1. Let Yourself Say Hokey, Cliched Things Like, Perfect Schmerfect (though, present moment excepted. try not to write them). Always with writing, I believe in putting one foot in front of the other and in not trying to be perfect.  I believe in this with most other things, too.

2. Get a Dog!  This is not just for writers who'd like to write books about dogs.  Really.  Other than solo submarine pilot, writing, the day-to-day routine of it, is one of the loneliest pursuits I can think of (er, um, of which I can think?)  Having a dog with you as you're writing can be not only company but oftentimes inspiring, and always calming.  And I'm a big, huge, tremendous believer in the fact that dogs connect people to the world --from the walks you must take them on, to the people you meet because of them, dogs bring you out into the exterior.  That's a big thing if you're hoping for a career that is so interior.  And I get a lot of thinking done, sorting out of plots and characters and the likes when I'm walking my dog, too.  In my mind, it's win-win-win :)

3. Go Elsewheres! At some point in your life, try to live somewhere where you don't know anyone.  First, you get a lot of writing done at first because you don't know anyone and have no plans.  Bonus!  But also, being in a strange place lets you get to know yourself better and I think, scary as it can at times be, a bit of introspection makes for a *much* better writer.

4. Give Bad Books a Second Chance. About three years ago, I started an essay collection and the first draft was very, very far from what we could call "working." I put it aside and felt tremendously insecure about going back to it.  I started other projects, finished other projects (namely A PUG'S TALE which I hope you enjoyed!) avoiding the unfinished essays. About six months ago I was pretty sure I'd have to scrap the whole project but told myself I'd give it one more no-holds-barred try.  I *just* finished a new first draft of that book and I'm so happy with it and I'm super grateful I dusted it off.

5. But Not a Third.  Let doors close.  I think in writing and in life, it's important to know when something just isn't going to work out.  Listen to the inner voice, and if it's really not going to work out, move on.  There will be other things to write.  There will always be other things to write.


My Do-Over: I wonder what it says about my commitment to my convictions that I'm needing to mull this one over for a bit?  One thing I'd do over would be not to make staying at home and writing all the time such a big career goal.  I've had a bunch of part-time jobs (teaching, lots of administrative assisting, blogging for a doggy site, which was writing but different) over the course of my writing life and the times when I'm writing and working at something else simultaneously are always, hands down, my most productive and happy writing times.  It took me a little bit to figure that out, so if I could go back I'd learn that sooner.

To find out more about the lovely and talented Alison Pace and her other novels including City Dog and If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend, head over to her website and be sure to follow her on Facebook and Twitter!

Thanks so much, Alison!


Liz & Lisa