Monday, June 30, 2014

Mavis Duke Hinton Writes Like A Dog

Author Mavis Duke Hinton with her dachshund, Duke

About Dachshunds, and Why I Write from a Dachshund’s Viewpoint:

I've always thought that dachshunds were comical.  I've also closely watched other dogs, and many breeds do have a well-developed sense of play, enjoy interacting with humans, and love dog toys. 

However, none (in my humble estimation) even comes close to having as many comical facial expressions or actions as our beloved doxies do. I've often said that Duke manages to make me laugh at least once a day, and if I ever had my cell phone handy at the right time, I could capture enough comical pictures of him to fill a book.

That brings me to the point about why I have written my books from a dachshund’s viewpoint: Oh, I've been asked that question countless times . . . and I always give the same answer, basically something like this:  "It is a running joke in our family that we just know what a dachshund is thinking by its facial expression and body language.  My late father used to tell us what our dachshunds were thinking, and I believe I have inherited that 'gene' for doing so.  All of this is tongue in cheek, of course—and it makes for many a laugh around our house."

For the uninitiated, dachshunds can display a myriad of facial expressions and body language--and I proclaim that dogs can smile!  When unhappy, Duke's ears practically drag the floor, along with a somber face and sad eyes (and he knows what he is doing).  In regard to food, Duke would join the food on the plate if he could reach it.  He once snatched my piece of toast off my plate—and it was on the kitchen counter, so don't let those short dachshund legs fool you.  Chow hounds extraordinaire, dachshunds have one of the strongest senses of smell in the canine world, according to The American Kennel Club, so food is exceptionally enticing to their noses.  Therefore, I also write about food a lot:  how it smells, its consistency, and how it tastes, all in great detail, as I imagine that our doxies would do if they could write.

My other reasons (besides the “gene” thing) for writing from the dog's viewpoint are:
1) I enjoy imagining how day-to-day happenings must appear to the family dog;
2) I can shift reality to share with readers what dogs supposedly think about life situations;
3) I have a zany sense of humor (my family can attest to that), and can use such humor when incorporating it into the dog’s viewpoint;
4) I love and appreciate dogs as man's best friend--they show us unconditional love!   One of the characters in THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES series, Papa Duke, so aptly states my feelings about dogs:

 "A dawg loves you no matter what. You can be ugly, old, even dumb--but a dawg don't care. All he wants is your love and some food now and then. I think dawgs represent the unconditional love God has for us--maybe that's why He created them, to show that to us." 

Papa Duke was my late father, who loved dogs tremendously—and they returned the favor.  He was always called “Papa” by his grandchildren, and in my books, he lives on, just like he does in our hearts.

For those of us who love our dogs, my doggie stories give us a glimpse into our dogs’ views on life.   Oh, they’re not Shakespeare, but they read just fine for us dog lovers.  Or so I'm told.

The Books:  

Available on Amazon and Kindle
  I am Sarge (The Dachshund Escapades Book 1)

 Sometimes a dachshund's "lowdown from the ground" perspective is just what human beings need. I was only eight weeks old when I was adopted into my new human family who knew immediately I was a super dog. They proudly gave me the name Sarge-after my Papa Duke, who was a sergeant in the Army. Quite a fitting name for a good-looking dachshund too, I might add. I just know someday I'll do great and mighty things, befitting a super dog. But in the meanwhile, I'll just steal your heart and make you laugh out loud with the antics of this "chow hound." And maybe, if you come over, Papa and I-two food lovers-might just share a snack or two with you, too. Fall in love with Sarge, the quintessential dachshund, and laugh along with his foibles and humorous escapades.

Available on Amazon and Kindle

 I am Dachshund (The Dachshund Escapades Book 2)
Sometimes a dog has to put up with a little silliness from humans. People have strange notions and do some of the craziest things, but I don't mind them. I get all the attention I want from Mama, Papa, and my sweet baby sister, Annika, who loves my kisses. But there's one thing lacking...people food. I love people food. After you've had it, dried-up dog food tastes like cardboard. That's why I count on my absolute favorite person in the world, Papa, who calls me his "Granddawg," and his best friend, Sellars. They've been known to slip me the good stuff now and then, when Mama and Grandma aren't looking.Most dogs just lie around, passively accepting what comes their way, watching the world go by. That sounds suspiciously like a cat to me. I want the world to know I AM DACHSHUND - the guardian, the sentinel, the keeper of everything my family holds dear.
About The Author:
Mavis with Shadow and Duke
MAVIS DUKE HINTON (B.A. in English and Secondary Education), taught all grades of high school English and related subjects, including AP British literature, creative writing, speech, and journalism in her twenty-three-year career. Other pursuits have included editor and writer for various publications, including Liberty University and the North Carolina State Budget, office administrator, and police officer. She has taught method workshops at education conferences, Bible classes ranging from first grade to adult women, and spoken to Christian women’s groups. 

Raised in a military family, Mavis has lived in France and Germany, visiting Spain, touring Belgium, Holland, and Luxembourg on camping trips with her family when her father was stationed in Europe. The family had the enjoyable experience of meeting and sharing meals with friendly Europeans along the way.

She has also traveled across the USA and Canada, calling several states home: Ohio, Florida, New Jersey, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, North Carolina (where she was born)—with Alaska being her favorite of all. Living near Fairbanks and experiencing subzero weather, Northern lights, and snow-capped mountains, she loves cold weather and snow. She has incorporated these character-rich and varied experiences into her writing.

Married for forty-three years, Mavis is the mother of two married daughters and grandmother of three grandchildren.  She and her husband Clark adopted Duke when Shadow and his family moved out of state—thus creating the need for their own doxie to spoil. Duke was eight weeks old when he came home with them, and it took him only about a day to make himself at home in their house as well as in their hearts. (Duke is introduced in the novel I AM DACHSHUND, Book 2.)

Although classified as fiction, I AM SARGE is written from her real “granddog” Shadow’s viewpoint and based on her real-life family and friends. I AM DACHSHUND, the second novel in the trilogy THE DACHSHUND ESCAPADES, details more of Sarge’s family, shenanigans, and stories.  The final two books of the series are completed and currently with her publisher (Oaktara Publishing), awaiting publication:  DACHSHUNDS FOREVER, Book 3, and A DACHSHUND’S TRIBUTE, Book 4.

Mavis and her husband, Clark, a retired science teacher, make their home in the outskirts of Atlanta, Georgia. Her hobbies include traveling, reading, writing, cooking, spending time with family and friends, and laughing. 

Links:  Blog   Author's Web   Author's FaceBook Page   

The Dachshund Escapades Blog   Twitter @writer4dawg  Author's Amazon Page

OakTara Publishers

 Duke's Birthday Bash


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