... Well, to begin with, I’m a writer who’s spent her career working for newspapers and magazines, doing corporate work and teaching about professional writing. Like all of us who love reading and messing about with words, I dreamed of doing something bigger. Over the years I’ve started several book projects, even a movie script, which ended up, for various reasons, unfinished. This time around, I was determined to go the full distance.

 

It’s said that everyone has at least one good book inside them. I truly believe that. And I was going to prove it – to myself and to the world at large.

 

The impetus for my writing (the dog doesn’t die) was Marley & Me. I read that book when it came out and later on, was dragged out to see the movie. I’m sorry up-front if I’m going to step on anyone’s toes here (I do that a lot) but, although there were some enjoyable parts in the book, I ended up mad by the time I finished it. Mad because here were two supposedly intelligent people, one of them a journalist(!), who apparently didn’t have time to research the first thing about raising a puppy. They made many mistakes, which were turned into comic fodder for the reader, and at times their ignorance bordered on abuse. At one point, the young dog is locked up in the garage for several hours and, surprise, surprise, takes his anxiety and frustration out on the drywall. Ha-ha.

 

The other thing that I didn’t like about M&M was its standard dog-book plot: boy meets puppy, puppy grows up, dog dies. As a dog lover, I tend to avoid books and movies that prey on the easy emotive power of killing off the dog. (Even worse, the movie version spun out the dog’s death for a full 10 minutes, ensuring everybody in the theatre turned into sodden mush.)

Hate it when the dog dies? Check out films and books first on

https://www.doesthedogdie.com

 

I decided I’d write a book that was the opposite of Marley & Me. Instead of a guy, I’d have a female protagonist. Rather than relying on ignorance to raise her puppy, I’d have my heroine, Bria Lawrence, research and ask questions, as well as learn by trial and error. Most important, the dog would not die at the end of the book.

 

Fact is, though, when I got down to writing this book about Bria and Roscoe the Brittany, I found human beings intruding more and more into the plot. Various eligible men, Bria’s mum, her best friend Stacy… they all shoved their way into the story, causing all sorts of complications, some of which were compounded by the dog.

 

I trust you will find (the dog doesn’t die) – now more accurately described as anti-Marley & Me meets Bridget Jones’s Diary – a fun, light read. And maybe learn a thing or two about proper puppy upbringing in the bargain.

Why did I write (the dog doesn’t die)?

©2016 Leslie C. Smith 

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