Monday, May 21, 2012

Fido and Friend in Five: Lauren MacLeod and Elvis!

Lauren MacLeod
Man's best friend may be his (or her) dog, but a writer's best friend is their agent! Let me tell you from my own experience, a good agent is worth their weight in gold. They recognize that diamond in the rough and help the author polish it until it shines. Then they take your "baby" out into the world, guarding it every step of the way like a pit bull. And they get to handle all that icky contract minutia that makes artistic types weep. That's why I happily have agents and their dogs on Fido and Friend in Five. I think pretty much all of the authors who've graced this blog have agents; all of us would agree we wouldn't be where we are without them.

Lauren MacLeod is one such agent. She's passionate, tenacious as a terrier, and smart as a, well, sheltie. Lauren has worked for the Strothman Agency for several years, straight out of college. I know, she looks like a baby, doesn't she? Lauren agented one of my favorite mermaid books, Real Mermaids Don't Wear Toe Rings, by Helene Boudreau. And yes, the book is as funny as the title implies. Lauren has a real sweet spot for humorous books, by the way. Just sayin'. Oh, and she has a thing for sunken ships. As a matter of fact, she may have been the youngest member of the Titanic Historical Society when she was a tween. Yep, she's a Titanic geek.

Lauren is also a proud dog mom to Elvis. When I first approached her about being on Fido and Friend, she did worry just a tad that being in the spotlight might give little Elvis an even bigger head than he already has. We decided to take that chance. I mean after all, he is The King!

Elvis's head
1. How did you and Elvis find each other?  Elvis was a Valentine's Day/oh-no-let's-get-a-puppy-before-we-move-into-a-new-place-so-we-can-start-potty-training-on-these-floors present from my husband and I to each other. We'd initially wanted a basset hound (I'd grown up with one) but decided on a minnie dachshund because we needed a good city dog. My best friend has a mini doxie named Oscar Heinz whom we both adore. We knew instantly we'd name him Elvis because we got married in Las Vegas with, you guessed it, Elvis assisting!

Are they gone yet?
2. What makes Elvis's tail wag?  Puppy cheese wiz! Actually, I think it is chicken flavored, but it's this puppy treat paste made by Kong. We fill one and give it to him every time we leave. You can just see him thinking, "Come on guys, hurry up and go! No more dawdling!" He also adores the dog park next to our building. I think he perhaps likes all the attention he gets from fellow dog owners than from other dogs.

3. What's your all-time favorite dog story?  Because of Winn Dixie! I'm not sure how anyone could pick anything else. I may be slightly biased though because I grew up across the street from a dog named Dixie who was just about the world's sweetest dog, and I do project my Dixie onto Winn Dixie.

What, me chew?
4. If Elvis could change just one thing about you, what would it be?  I'd get up earlier, especially on the weekends. Poor Elvis, all he wants is parents who think 6:00 a.m. is absolutely the best time of the day to play. I'm hoping this is a puppy thing and he'll eventually grow out of it, and eventually become the snooze hound I was promised.

5. In five words, tell us what Elvis means to you:  Snuggles, kisses, friendship, ruined carpet.