Interviews with Writers

Q&A | Fiona Harrison | A Pug Like Percy

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If  you’re a regular reader on Jera’s Jamboree you will know that Taz is a rescue dog and just how much he has enriched our lives over the past five years.  When I was offered to take part in the blog tour for A Pug Like Percy I jumped at the chance … Percy is a rescue dog too.  And who can resist the tagline on Amazon!

A furry festive miracle who’s there for you with a helping paw. Percy definitely isn’t just for Christmas…

A Pug Like Percy

Fiona Harrison is a dog lover and writer from the West Country with fifteen years’ experience as a national journalist, frequently writing for all the women’s magazines and has also taken on ghost-writing projects. Now married to a fellow animal lover, Fiona lives in Berkshire and is focusing on her two passions; animals and writing.

A Pug Like Percy is Fiona Harrison’s debut novel and published by HQ on 3rd November in digital and hardcover formats.

Hi Fiona,

Welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.

Please summarise A Pug Like Percy in 20 words or less.

Abandoned at a shelter, Percy finds a loving new home but quickly realises his new family desperately need his help.

What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?

It started when I adopted my cat, Pico from Battersea four years ago. I was working on a piece for a newspaper and had a tour of the rescue centre. I was so inspired and amazed by what I saw I wondered what it would be like to write about it from the perspective of an abandoned animal.

What scene did you most enjoy writing Fiona?

I loved the scenes where the dogs are all talking to one another. I really got into the role of each dog and found myself believing the conversations were going on around me. I think the scene I found most enjoyable to write was where Percy’s family sneak him into the hospital and the trouble that causes, that gave me a lot of fun!

What scene was the hardest to write?

I think it would have to be the scene where Percy finds Jenny has collapsed. He is so desperate to help, and will do anything for his family, that when he realises he can’t save this little girl as he so desperately wants to do he’s crushed.

Did you do any research for your book?  What resources did you use? 

I did an awful lot of research. Not only did I talk to plenty of shelters about their experience of rehoming animals but I also spoke with the Cardiomyopathy UK and a fabulous nurse named Sarah continually gave me information about life with dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM) throughout. She told me what was possible and what wasn’t and really made me see what life was like for families in Gail’s situation.

A Pug Like Percy tackles a social issue. What message would you like people to understand? 

I have tried to tackle the issue of abandoned animals and would really like people to understand that a rescue animal is very much a part of family life. Interestingly, I have found that a rescue animal can care for you as much as you care for them. (100% agree with this)

Do you have a most creative time of day Fiona?

I have two creative times of day, first thing in the morning and late afternoon. I usually do a couple of hours then, get a bit of brain ache so do something else before starting again in the afternoon.

Do you have a favourite place you go to for inspiration or a favourite activity?

I love running and I’m very lucky to live right by the Thames. I go out most days for a run along the water and find that if I’m ever stuck on a plot point, the answer will usually come to me as I’m jogging.

What are you reading now? Opinion?

I’m currently reading Lisa Hall’s latest novel, Tell Me No Lies and cannot put it down. Her last one had me hooked, but this one is keeping me up at night as I say to myself, just one more page…

Finally, are there any tips you could share with new writers that have worked well for you?

Even though I have worked as a journalist I always thought I would never be able to write a book, even though that’s what I always wanted to do. The trouble was I didn’t know where to start with something so much bigger than a short piece. But once someone suggested I plot a story out from beginning, middle and end, all the pieces slotted into place and I found it much easier to get going.

Thank you for being my guest today.

Wishing you success with all your writing projects Fiona.

Fiona Harrison

Percy is homeless, abandoned by his owner at an animal rescue centre on a cold winter’s night. So when he finds a loving new home with Gail and her family, his deepest wish is that this time, it’s forever.

Gail hopes that Percy will be the little miracle that her family so desperately needs. Her young daughter, Jenny, is in and out of hospital and she’s only just holding things together with her husband, Simon.

With the family at breaking point, and Christmas just around the corner, is Percy the furry friend they’ve all been waiting for?

Full of hope and utterly heartwarming, A Pug Like Percy is the perfect read for fans of A Street Cat Named Bob and Alfie the Doorstep Cat.

I've been blogging about my interests at Jera's Jamboree for 9+ years. My love of reading, crocheting, being out in nature and positive psychology are all things that help me unwind from my role as an Inclusion Lead in a primary school.

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