Thursday, April 7, 2011

Fido and Friend in Five: Kate Jackson and Dixie!

I am so pleased to have this very special guest in the Fido and Friend spotlight this week: an editor and her dog! Editors are, needless to say, the life blood of writers. That may sound like an overstatement but it's true: no editor, no published book. Editors are the instrument that polishes our diamond in the rough--and not only polishes but elevates our work beyond what we thought we could do. I have had the great good fortune to work with two such editors--Evelyn Fazio (WestSide Books) on my first novel, The Ring, and Molly O'Neill (HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen Books) on A Dog's Way Home. 

Kate and Dixie
photo by Kate
Kate Morgan Jackson is editor-in-chief at HarperCollins Children's Books, a job she describes as "the best in the world. Working with an incredible array of authors, artists, and editors is a gift, pure and simple, and fills my days with fun complications of the best kind." You'd think that and taking care of her family would be enough to keep Kate busy, but no. This woman is also an amazing photographer, passionate dog rescuer, and a gourmet cook. All this has led to a whole other life Kate leads away from her desk at HarperCollins. "Somewhere along the line, these two interests (food and photography) crossed paths and turned into a cooking blog called Framed Cooks . And what a roller coaster ride it's been!" If you visit her blog, you'll see not only delicious photos she's taken of the food she cooks, but also photos she's taken of babies, teenagers, and rescue dogs--all things she loves with her trademark passion. You'll also find wonderful recipes on that blog too.

1. How did you and Dixie find each other?  Dixie came into our lives when we finally said yes to our daughter's daily pleas for a puppy. We adopted Dixie from the Aunt Mary's Doghouse rescue program when she was just ten weeks old--we walked into the shelter and Dixie literally jumped right into Emma's lap. After three years of Dixie, I can't remember what life was like without her. She is a noisy, ravenous, gorgeous, messy conglomeration of rambunctious love!

(photo by Bob Carey)
2. What makes Dixie's tail wag?  Besides absolutely any kind of food, you mean? Dixie loves people. Nothing makes her happier than the sound of the doorbell...that tail wags so fast and furiously that I think one of these days it's going to levitate her into the air like a helicopter. My biggest challenge with Dixie is trying to teach her that as much as she wants to launch herself  into the arms of whomever is walking in the door at 100 miles an hour, the person might not feel the same way. But her great big doggie heart is in the right place.

3. What's your all-time favorite dog story?  One of the most amazing experiences of adopting Dixie was that my daughter, Emma--then an 8th grader--became an evangelist for dog adoption. She learned so much about all the dogs our there in dire need of homes, and dedicated herself to spreading the word in that relentless, wonderful way kids-on-a-mission have As a result, Emma wrote a picture book called A Home for Dixie. It's illustrated with with beautiful photographs of Emma and Dixie by the terrifically talented Bob Carey. Emma and Dixie went on a tour of school, libraries and bookstores to talk about the book and the importance of adopting rescue dogs. They even appeared on The Today Show! Emma donated every penny back to the shelter where we adopted Dixie. It was an incredible experience for our entire family...and as a result, it's definitely my favorite dog story!  Watch Emma and Dixie on The Today Show here  Emma Jackson "A Home for Dixie"

4.  If Dixie could change just one thing about you, what would it be?  It would be a toss-up between feeding her more than twice a day (I think 20 times a day would be A-Okay with her), and spending more time with her. I get home from work at the end of each day, and she's faithfully sitting by the door waiting for me. My daughter tells me that she takes up her position by the door about an hour before I get home, and when I walk in, she's vibrating with happiness to see me. On the days I work late, I get a pang of guilt thinking of Dixie sitting there wondering why I'm not walking through that door.

(another great BC photo)
5. In five words, tell us what Dixie means to you:  Unconditional, exuberant, faithful, noisy LOVE!


  1. Thank you so much for sharing the story of how we adopted Dixie!

    Love, Emma

  2. It was my honor, Emma! Thanks for sharing your story too!