Monday, June 20, 2011

Beagle Bailey spills the beans on mystery author Lauren Carr

Hey, Beagle Bailey. Last year, your brother Ziggy told my readers about how he came to become part of the Carr household. Now, I believe in giving equal time. How would you like to tell us your story?

Thanks, Amigo! It’s about time someone asked. As a young orphaned pup, I was fortunate to have ended up with a good foster family. I had a lot of foster brothers and sisters, but with my charming personality, I quickly became a favorite among the human children. They used to fight over whose bed I got to sleep in at night.

But, as is so often the case with foster homes, I was only meant to stay there temporarily. One day, a call came from this family that was seeking a companion for a young boy whose dog had recently passed away. It was hard saying good-bye to this family that I had come to love so much, but, alas, this boy, whose name is Tristan, needed me to mend his broken heart.

His mom, now mine, turned out to be Lauren Carr. She writes murder mysteries, which I guess is supposed to be cool. Even better, she’s a swell mom.

Do you mind telling us what breed you are?

I’m a blend of only the best and greatest of the breeds. I’m beagle, which explains my extraordinary sense of smell. I’m Italian greyhound, which explains my fast-on-my-paws moves and slender figure. To round out the package, I’m fox terrier, which Dad says makes me a little crazy. I prefer to use the word “passionate”.

Why does your dad say you’re crazy?

Everyone has a quirk! Okay? Everyone has something that makes them just a little bit crazy. For me, that’s thunderstorms. Dad insists that my barking at the thunderstorms doesn’t make them go away. I say hogwash! It works. I swear. I bark at the storms and they do go away. Sometimes it takes a lot of barking for a really long time, but eventually, they always go away.

Meanwhile, while I’m working my tail and vocal cords off barking at the storms, Ziggy just sits there looking at me like I’m crazy, which doesn’t help if you ask me.

Tell my readers about your brother Ziggy.

He’s an Australian shepherd. Boy, let me tell you about Ziggy.

Mom and Dad had promised me that I would get to be an only dog. For over a year, everything was fine. We were one big—okay, not big, but small—happy family. And then, what happens? One day, Tristan and his mom go out for a football game and what do they come back with? A puppy! This squirt isn’t even housebroken! And I’m supposed to share my toys and family with him?

For the first couple of weeks after Ziggy moved in, I kept threatening to sue over breach of contract. We had a deal! But eventually, the squirt grew on me. Then he grew bigger than me. I have to admit it was nice having someone to frame for my messes. Did I say that? I mean someone to play with.

After a few months, Mom called a dog trainer in to analyze this nutty dog. You see, I do what I’m told, which isn’t very much. I eat, sleep, follow Tristan around and look adorable. How hard is that? But Ziggy refused to get with the program. You’d tell him what to do and he’d say, “That may be what you want, but I’m going to do things my way.” Then he’d get into trouble and act like it was worth it.

So, this dog trainer analyzes both of us and says that Ziggy keeps getting into trouble—get this—because he’s so smart!

Translation: I, Beagle Bailey, don’t get into trouble because I’m dumb. Ziggy gets into trouble because he’s so smart that he gets bored and gets into trouble to liven things up!

Psychiatry is for the birds.

What is it like living with Lauren? Is she one of those egotistical authors (like my mom)?

Would you believe that Mom is the only female in our family? She’s always taking care of everyone: Getting Tristan ready for school and letting us outside. Then, it is time to get Dad up and making the coffee. After she lets us back in, it is time for our before-breakfast biscuit. Then the family needs their breakfast. After she feeds them, then it is time for our breakfast. Then, while she is cleaning up, we need to get our bite of leftover toast from their breakfast. Then we need to go outside again to see if anything changed since the last time we were out. You have to keep an eye out for stuff like that. Then—I don’t know what Mom does after that because then it’s time for my mid-morning nap. But you get the point.

Mom stays up late at night to write when it is quiet. I like to sit across from her in her studio on those quiet times and inspire her.

Tell us about Lauren's book! I hear one of her characters is a dog name Gnarly.

Gnarly is a German shepherd. She based him on Ziggy, which is why that squirt has such a big head. Let me tell you how smart Ziggy is—Sorry, you asked about Gnarly. His name means extreme and that’s Ziggy, that’s for sure. Gnarly is either very bad or very good, but always loveable. He’s the only dog to be dishonorably discharged from the United States Army. The army refuses to talk about him. I have some thoughts about that.

In It’s Murder, My Son, homicide detective Mac Faraday was on the brink of bankruptcy when he inherits his birth mother’s estate. It ends up she was Robin Spencer, the American version of Agatha Christie. In addition to her swanky estate in a small resort town on Deep Creek Lake, Maryland, he inherits Gnarly, her German shepherd. The very first time the reader meets Gnarly when he’s standing on Mac’s chest when he first arrives at Spencer Manor. He finds out that Robin had saved Gnarly from being put down after he almost died trying to save his mistress, the next door neighbor, from being murdered.

So Gnarly is a witness to his mistress’s murder?

Yes, and he leads Mac Faraday to the killer. Gnarly becomes Mac Faraday’s sidekick.

They work together again in Old Loves Die Hard. Mac’s ex-wife shows up on account that he’s now rich. But before Mac can tell her to leave, she and her estranged lover are found dead in his private penthouse suite. Now Mac has to work not only to clear his name, but the reputation of the Spencer Inn, the five-star resort he had also inherited from his birth mother. In this book, Gnarly saves Mac’s life!

You have to read them both! They are both available in both print and Kindle, and all the e-book formats on Mom’s website, Amazon, and anywhere you can get books.

Does Lauren have a website?

Sure does. It’s at

What do you do while she writes and ignores you?

I often sleep at her feet and inspire her. I really like it when she puts a fire in the fireplace and I can curl up in front of the fire. Since I don’t have as much fur as Ziggy, I get cold easy. I do that when I’m not napping in what Mom claims to be her writer’s studio. She would be able to spend more time in it if she wasn’t always so busy taking take of everyone.

Every now and then to break things up, Ziggy and I will wrestle and play around. Our favorite thing is to go tearing around the house. We have all hardwood floors here so when we get running really fast it can be like skating. I love to nip at the back of Ziggy’s legs and chase him into the living room where he’ll hit the Oriental rug at top speed and slide it all the way across the room and Wham! end with a body slam against the French doors! Then Dad comes in and finds the rug up against the doors and chews out Ziggy for messing up the living room. There are advantages to being the good dog. (ha-ha!)

What do you love most about Lauren?

She’s a softie. I was watching television and saw this old show called Lassie. Lassie would do this thing where he’ll would sit there all pretty and lift up a paw and look so loveable. So, I tried that. And it worked! I’ll lead Mom into the kitchen and perch there in front of the cabinet where the biscuits are and put on the most adorable face, and then I’ll lift my paw. Works every time!

Leave us with some canine words of wisdom.

Always leave room in your schedule for a good nap.

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