Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Fido and Friend in Five: Sheila Nielson and Furry, Feathered Friends!

Sheila Nielson
A few weeks ago, there was an article in USA Today declaring that mermaids are the next hot thing in books. Goodbye blood-sucking, humorless undead and hello beautiful singing sirens of the deep. HOORAY! I love mermaids. As a matter of fact, I told my parents when I was about four or five years old that I wanted to be a mermaid when I grew up. I spent a heck of a lot of time in our bathtub trying to grow a tail. "How'd that work out for ya?" you might ask. Not so great.

But I have never lost my love for mermaids and neither has Utah author (and fellow librarian, I might add), Sheila Nielson. Her debut teen novel, Forbidden Sea, grew from a life-long fascination with these magical beings. The other really cool thing about Sheila is she's also an illustrator, jewelry maker, and doll collector.
You can see her artwork and jewelry on her website

Sheila is also an animal lover. She shares her life with her tiny toy poodle and her 11-year-old parrot. Sheila's parrot talks, dances, and loves to play peek-a-boo! A local author, a fellow librarian, a lover of mermaids and dogs? It was a no-brainer I'd ask Sheila to be in the Fido and Friend spotlight!

World's cutest puppy!
Feathered friend
1. How did you and your little poodle find each other?  I'd been wanting to buy a tiny toy poodle for a very long time, but hunting down a good breeder was quite a trick. One day, I picked up one of those free "Thrifty Nickel" want ad papers and discovered a breeder who had just what I wanted. When I went to pick up my puppy, I met my dog's mother AND grandmother, who really liked me a lot! They were jumping all over me and licking my face--very cute. The owner was so impressed by how well I bonded with her two older dogs, she begged me to take her favorite puppy from the litter. My dog was indeed a special little sweetheart and the breeder didn't want her to go to just anyone. I'm so lucky I was lucky enough to get her!

2. What makes you dog's tail wag?  Bacon, chicken, and that high-pitched baby talk voice everyone uses when they first see how tiny and adorable she is. She knows that is her special voice.

3. What's your all-time favorite dog story?  Bark George, by Jules Feiffer. I like reading it to groups of preschool children at the library. They just love it!
Little Princess

4. If your dog could change just one thing about you, what would it be?  She would like me to offer bacon on the menu more often than I do. She'd also like to sleep under the covers with me every night, but she's too small. I'm afraid I might roll over on her while I'm sleeping!

5. In five words, tell us what your dog means to you:  Best friend in the world!

Thanks so much, Sheila and friends, for being in the Fido and Friend spotlight! If you are looking for a good mermaid tale, be sure to check out FORBIDDEN SEA. Fingers, paws, and fins crossed for a sequel! 

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