1. How did you come up with the idea for this book?
I actually dreamed the story line to this book. It was that time between awake and sleep when I saw my book take shape. I got up and wrote out a general outline. Now, I will tell you all the elements came together in the dream but the ideas were there for the taking. For instance, in my small town paper I read an obituary and the person's first name was Wheat. I thought that was the best name ever! My parents were farmers (they passed away and we still have land in northeast Colorado). Lets face it, there isn't much money in small farms, so my dad and I had many discussions about the benefits of raising marijuana (Phillips County in Colorado has not passed a law making it legal to raise marijuana). I am in love with werewolves but don't care for vampires. I had just finished reading Temple Grandin's book Animals in Translation and loved it. (I have interviewed Temple for articles I've written and I am fascinated with the woman)
2. Do you have any plans for other books?
I am working on a series with Wheat Keigwin. The second book is Bulldog Fall. I am also writing a thriller that is untitled.
3. Is Special based on a real dog?
You can see the "real" Special on my web site. http://www.lenajomccoy.
com/Bio.html My family always had working dogs because we lived on a cattle ranch. My dad was very fond of Australian Shepherds. Both Putter and Jack (in the story) were my dad's dogs. Special was given to me by a high school boyfriend. He got her at the pound and she was the most unusual dog. My family talked to her in full sentences and a lot of times she would answer back in doggy noises! We would say, "sit please," or "you need to stay on the porch." Our farm was two-and-a-half miles off the highway and my mom always knew when I turned on to the gravel road because Special would run to the end of the lane to wait for me.
4. What advice would you give to aspiring authors?
People tell me all the time they want to write a book. I always say, "do you know what the hardest part is?" They lean in close, like I'm going to tell them a big secret. Then I tell them, "it's sitting your butt in a chair and writing!" Really! It is the hardest part. I have been a writer/editor most of my life and writing a book was the hardest thing I've ever done because there was no deadline. No one holding me accountable. It was just me, wanting to put my story on paper. And that's all it takes: writing!
Thanks so much +Lena McCoy for answering these questions and sharing some insight into your writing!