I am delighted to welcome Megan Rix to Bookbabblers today as part of the Red House Children’s Book Award blog tour. Megan’s book The Bomber Dog has been shortlisted in the Young Readers category. Here is Megan’s guestpost…
By Megan Rix
My two dogs, Traffy and Bella, are in all of my books and not just in the acknowledgements. Bella used to love my husband’s socks and only his socks when she was a pup (how did she know they were his?!) and Buster in ‘The Great Escape’ has a nose for identifying various members of his family’s slippers. Both Traffy and Bella used to howl as pups like Howl does in ‘The Victory Dogs’ and Bella’s love for playing ball is shared by Grey in ‘The Bomber Dog’.
Traffy is nearly 7 now, steady and loving. She comes into our local school with me to listen to children read. Bella’s just turned 4 and full of energy and determination and fun. They are the absolute best of friends and remind me a lot of Molly and Grey from ‘The Bomber Dog.’ At the start of the book Grey and Molly are living in a derelict shed and devoted to each other, so much so that when a bomb strikes a house further along the street resulting in the shed going up in flames Grey risks his life to save his friend.
My days usually start with a long dog walk by the river (with Traffy and Bella often in the river). Sometimes I write in my spare-bedroom office but only one dog can comfortably squeeze in there. Or in the conservatory but the dogs like the door open and it can get a bit cold in the winter! Their favourite place for me to write is on the bed – fortunately I love writing first drafts by hand. They clamber on and within a few minutes are fast asleep and often snoring.
A couple of hours later they’ve woken up and it’s time for me to have a break. This usually involves trying to drink coffee while playing ball with Bella with one hand and tug-tug with Traffy and her favourite toy with the other.
People sometimes ask me if the animals in my books speak and I tell them they don’t. They can communicate perfectly well without words. Anyone who’s ever owned a pet knows that.
Being home alone is never lonely when you have two dog shadows wherever you go. Even when I get up at three in the morning to do some work and creep out of the bedroom so I don’t disturb my sleeping husband Traffy and then Bella will pad down the stairs after me and curl up beside me on the sofa-bed in the conservatory.
They always know when I’m going out for the day because I’m putting on make-up and not wellington boots and they don’t like it. But coming home to be greeted by two exuberant dogs is just the best thing ever. Bella races to grab a toy to give me and Traffy picks up a chew so she can ‘talk’ and my normal dog walking, ball throwing, toy playing, writing routine resumes.
Megan’s website is www.meganrix.com
“The Bomber Dog” has been shortlisted in the younger readers category of the 2015 Red House Children’s Book Award. The Red House Children’s Book Award is the only national children’s book award voted for entirely by children. It is owned and co-ordinated by the Federation of Children’s Book Groups, and sponsored by Red House.