This candid canine just happened to be George, star of the YA Fantasy GEORGE KNOWS, and thanks to Mindy's assistance and the kind folks at MuseItUp Publishing, his tale will be available tomorrow at online vendors everywhere! (The Kindle version released on Monday.)
George is a familiar. Young Karly, greenwitch in training, is his student. And when it falls to them not only have to save their local park, but also solve a murder, it's up to George to take charge—or at least hope that Karly takes the hint.
So with that, I'm very happy to welcome George the Basset Hound to my little corner of the internet!
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Laura: George, as you can probably see from glancing around here, I'm more of a cat person. I don't actually know much about dogs because I've never lived with one. What are your top three tips for humans who are so lucky to have creatures like you in their lives?
George: I’m going to ignore your c*t comment.
A: Feed us more. Most of us can’t reach the cabinets, much less open them. So, share your Peep food with us. You think it’s fun to have the same old kibble everyday? I bet you wouldn’t enjoy Special Krunchies for every meal.
B: Treats are good. Liver brownies are the very best. Do you want the recipe? Auntie Heather makes the best.
C: We like walks. Lots of walks. We know our poo is popular with you Peeps, after all, you collect all special and all in bags. We’re more than glad to provide. You need to make sure we also get lots of chances to sniff poles and trees. That’s where we get our P-mail.
Laura: Tell us more about P-mail and how you use it to communicate with others.
George: It tells us who’s around and what they’re up to. I can tell if a dog is tall, or short, what its eaten, and if a girl is flirting. If they are trying to take over my territory. All the news that fit to pee on.
Laura: What do humans need to pay more attention to?
George: Peeps really need to pay attention to their instincts. They really don’t use their common senses. It’s like they can’t smelltaste bad things, or hear important noises, or find their way out of the bathtub without a dogs help. And Peeps are impossible to train. I’m an excellent familiar and a great teacher, but my Girlpup Karly doesn’t get it sometimes. I figure if I work with her long enough she’ll either get it, or I’ll be old and she’ll have some other familiar to teach her. I don’t give up easily, though.
Laura: You work with a Greenwitch-in-training. What's your biggest challenge in getting her to learn her craft?
George: The biggest challenge? She’s a Peep. Peeps are poorly designed creatures. They have poor balance, can’t run worth a darn, have lousy smelltasting ability, forget there is an above and below, always looking ahead. Should I go on? If it wasn’t for those things called books, they wouldn’t know anything. Where did their instincts go? Good thing they have us dogs. I know my magic, and with Auntie Heather’s help, I can guide Karly to get the right healing plants. And it takes a solid partnership to heal things with them. Even if they don’t deserve to be healed.
Laura: Who gave you the job of helping Karly? Are dogs the only type of animals that can work with greenwitches, or do other animals play roles, too?
George: I was born a familiar. Auntie Heather found me for Karly. She’s very good at matching familiars with their witches. Auntie Heather’s had a lot of them—right now she has Roquefort. Roque’s okay. For a raccoon. I don’t know what other kinds of familiars she’s partnered with. I think she’s very old.
Laura: What types of dogs are best for this job?
George: Obviously basset hounds are the best familiars. I am perfectly designed. Four sturdy feet that keep me close to the ground where the scent is strong, long ears to scoop the smelltaste to my face, big paws for digging, and a very intelligent brain filled with amazing instincts. I know everything worth knowing. Or nosing.
Laura: Do you practice any magic yourself, or just help Karly learn how?
George: I AM magic, I don’t need to practice it. Even my drool is magical. Karly has to practice. All the time. If you paid attention to my aura, you’d know just how strong my magic is. I forgive you, you are only human.
Laura: I see. Well, thanks for taking the time to chat, George!
Laura: Oh dear, he left P-mail on the blog tags.
Laura: But now that he's ambled off to other destinations on his digital tour, I have it on good authority that after his next stop today, he might have to reconsider his opinions on, as he calls them, c*ts. Because there's another animal currently prowling cyberspace, and her skills are something fierce—almost as fierce as the one who brought her to life. Tune in tomorrow for a brief writing Q&A from bestselling urban fantasy author Faith Hunter to find out more!