1. Tell me about your middle-grade book ‘George Knows’ and where you got your inspiration for it?
‘George Knows’ is about an egotistical magical basset hound who believes it's his duty to train and protect his 12-year-old Girlpup, a greenwitch named Karly. George and his Girlpup, must solve a murder as well as save their park from being developed. He is the perfectly designed familiar for the job.
George: What does egotistical mean?
Mindy: Um, brilliant.
George: <Eyes me to check if I’m lying to him>
Mindy: I got the idea for George…
George: When I asked if you would use your fingers for something useful and write the story of my life. You were the only one to listen to me. As a Peep, you’re okay, even if you do live with a pack of English Springer Spaniels.
2. Do you admire your own work?
Mindy: I know too many authors and read too many books to think my stuff is any good.
George: WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU! You’re talking about my life, Peep. My life is amazing. It’s not even your work. <Grumbles> I need to find better hands.
3. What’s the most blatant lie you’ve ever told?
George: I’m a dog. We never lie. Unlike Peeps. <Looks at me>
Mindy: Um, not exactly a lie. I found a litter of springer pups at a student’s farm. With a lot of help from the people at the University I worked at, most survived. One struggled and I wasn’t sure if he’d make it. I never found a home for him, and I ended up hiding him from my husband for a year. We had a commuting marriage back then, and between my roommate and me, we kept him well hidden. I never did ask what my husband (the Tall Dude) thought the doggie chew under his pillow was.
George: Told you Peeps can’t be trusted. That’s why they need dogs.
4. Do you prefer blue or black inked pens?
Mindy: I like pencils, actually.
George: Blue tastes better, but pencils have a delightful crunch.
5. If you were trapped in a room with a famous celebrity and the world was about to end, what would you do?
George: <Pants> I would sniff Lassie’s butt and see if those rumours about her are true. If they weren’t, I’d woo her.
Mindy: Richard Armitage. I’d probably pant like George. Not so sure what Armitage would do?
George: <Snort> He’d be glad it’s the end of the world.
Mindy: Love you too, George.
6. Have you ever been cow tipping or snipe hunting?
Mindy: I live in Wisconsin. Lots of cows. What do you think? We also watch submarine races at the lakefront.
George: <Looking at the interviewer> What’s a snipe? I know what a cow is. I’m not allowed to chase cows, but I love cow bones. Peeps are supposed to let US dogs hunt, and they are supposed to cook the food. Nowadays they hunt in places called supermarkets and bring home food wrapped in clear skin. And they STILL forget to feed us.
7. Which book do you wish you’d written?
George: Books are useless. Peeps have forgotten to use their instincts and store everything they know in books and those weird windows they type at.
Mindy: I would have loved to have written Stranger in a Strange Land. Robert Heinlein was brilliant and I wish I was older when I met him. Four is just too young to meet someone like him. He did teach me to play chess. Did I mention four is just too young to meet someone like that?
8. Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it all imagination?
Mindy: The story is based on scenes that actually happened to two of my dogs. Quark, the rescue I mentioned I hid from the TD for a year, found human bones at a plant nursery I used to work at. Another dog I had, Charm, loved to climb trees. Quark also stuck his nose up a nun’s habit. I just tied them together into a story. I studied biology so the environmental component slipped in. So did the Hodag, a great story with its roots in Wisconsin.
George: <Eyes wide> BIG LIE! The story is all true and based on MY life. Without me, no story. <Grumbles> I need better help.
9. What sort of environment do you write in? (e.g. quiet room, a cupboard with headphones on, in a death match with the cat for control of the keyboard).
Mindy: I can often be found at Starbucks, or the library. The Muddy Paws Pack, my three generations of springers, like to get attention. Drool on me. Steal my shoes. I write in pencil on legal pads, and then transcribe onto the computer. That’s my first rewrite.
George: The kitchen. Big windows and food. The pack know who is Alpha.
Mindy: <Rolls eyes>
10. Which character speaks the loudest to you? Do any of them clamour to be heard over the rest?
Mindy: <Eyes George, drooling on her shoe> Do you REALLY have to ask?
George: <Eyes back. Snorts>
11. What’s next for you?
Mindy: George has been telling me about Tillie’s Tale. Apparently she’s haunted by a ghost and George’s witch-in-training and he, has to banish her.
12. What’s your Porn Star name? (To get this you add the name of your first pet to the name of the street on which you lived as a child.)
George: Harumph. This isn’t appropriate for a middle-grade book. Peeps mating habits are so strange. Just sniff the butt of the one you’re interested in and get it over with.
An egotistical magical basset hound named George believes it's his duty to train and protect his 12-year-old Girlpup, a greenwitch named Karly. He and his Girlpup, must solve a murder as well as save their park from being developed. George is the perfectly designed familiar for the job.
Mindy Mymudes runs with the Muddy Paws Pack in Milwaukee, WI. She insists she is alpha, even as the dogs walk all over her. She hunts, cleans the den and keeps them entertained. When she can escape the pack, she enjoys digging in dirt, listening to audiobooks, and weaving the antics of the pack into stories. The alpha male, Tall Dude, just shakes his head and stays out of the way. She wonders what happened to the days when she worked as a professional gardener or a geneticist.
Twitter: either Mudepoz or @GeorgeBasset