Please welcome E. J. Copperman, who will describe the genesis of his new release, Dog Dish of Doom, and yes, it’s just as charming and hilarious a mystery as you think~

By E.J. Copperman
So there was this dog, see.

A friend of mine who lives in New York City has a dog, and it came about in conversation one day that the dog (his name was Fred) was a stage actor before my friend Chris Grabenstein (accomplished author of mysteries and middle grade supernatural stories) adopted him. In fact, Fred was featured in the cast of the Broadway production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. On Broadway.

Fred in Chitty:

Once the show closed and Fred was between gigs, he ended up being brought by his agent (oh yes, Fred had an agent) to Chris and his wife, who fell in love with Fred and adopted him.

That story stuck with me. Fred had been a stray, found by the agent/trainer in an ASPCA shelter and brought in to audition for his role. He turned out—with a good deal of training—to be a natural and got the job. A star was trained.

Somewhere in the recesses of my diseased author mind Fred’s story became a murder mystery because that’s what I do. And the main character of the book became the dog’s agent because . . . well, a theatrical agent working with animals is rife with possibilities.

The book is called DOG DISH OF DOOM and it begins the Agent to the Paws mystery series from Minotaur Books.

It’s not like I knew Fred well, or actually at all. But I’d heard about him and seen pictures of him on Chris’s web site. And the truth is, the more facts I knew, the worse it would be for my story. With only the basic information of Fred’s journey in my head I could make up pretty much anything I wanted without feeling obligated to be accurate.

So in the book Fred, who was a rather small terrier mix, became Bruno, a very large, very shaggy dog of indeterminate breed who had already been adopted when my agent character Kay Powell took him on as a client. Bruno is up for the role of Sandy in a Broadway revival of Annie because find me a role for a dog people know better. Okay, besides Lassie.

I don’t know if that counts as “inspiration” of if I just let my mind wander until it came across an idea lying in the road, but either way the book started with Fred. He has, sadly, since passed on after a very good life, but Bruno, having the advantage of being fictional, can hang in there for as long as people decide to read my book.

So it’s up to you, readers: Keep Bruno going! And say a quick thanks to Fred along the way.

E.J. Copperman is the author of DOG DISH OF DOOM, the first book in the Agent to the Paws mystery series, as well as the Haunted Guesthouse series, the Asperger’s mystery series (with Jeff Cohen) and the Mysterious Detective mystery series, making E.J. a very busy writer who owns a beagle named Gizmo, who has no theatrical ambitions.