It’s not often that I get to interview a four-legged rock star. Although I am a huge dog-lover, most of the dogs that come into my life are the ordinary kind, not the globe-trotting, fun-loving, adventurous and highly intelligent celebrities like Mr. Pish.
Now I don’t want to embarrass you or anything, and I’m sure you hear this all the time, but you are quite a cute dog. What kind are you?
I’m a full-blooded rough-coat Jack Russell Terrier. And yes, I hear cute a lot. I do prefer dashing, however.
I'll try to remember that. And what’s with that one ear?
The ear is my trademark. Makes me irresistible, doesn’t it? You know you want to pat me. Stare at my ear. You are feeling happy. You want to give me treats. Is it working yet? Stare longer at the cute ear. I know you want to give me treats.
I would love to give you treats, but we do have a bit of business to discuss here first. You are the star of a whole series of books; what are their titles and what are they about?
Yes, I am – thanks! There is the Postcards Series – and there are 4 books so far there – I travel around North America, looking for awesome places for kids and their families to discover. All these places (and my books) promote outdoor learning and literacy. I’ve got two Cross-Country adventures (books 1 and 2), an East Coast adventure, and a South and West edition. I send a postcard from each cool place I visit! I also have written Mr. Pish Goes to the Farm (which was an Amazon bestseller in 3 categories, by the way), and Mr. Pish’s Woodland Adventure. I really want kids to get out and see what’s around them. I even have a section on my website that is dedicated to Mr. Pish Approved Places! There is so much to discover!
And you've been out there discovering most of it. You’ve been to all kinds of places, both natural wonders and man-made creations. What would you say is the most fun place you’ve ever been to?
The most excellent places were the ones where I was treated like a BIG celebrity. Usually food was involved. I got in free everywhere I went – people rolled out the red carpet for me! It’s hard to put a paw exactly on the most fun place, though. I’ve been to wolf parks and a dairy theme park and Times Square and Yellowstone National Park and the Atlantic and Pacific oceans – I don’t think there’s any way I could choose just one. (Although the deep dish pizza at Gino’s East in Chicago and the cheesesteak at Pat’s King of Steaks in Philadelphia were fun. Hey, I can’t help it – I’m a dog. I love food.)
And a smart one! Where did you have your greatest learning adventure?
I learned something cool everywhere I went. But at the Jewish Community Day School of Rhode Island, I learned that kids are really smart. One little girl told me that dogs can’t write postcards. So I had to tell her I just dictated them; my secretary actually wrote them. Tough audience!
Kids ARE smart. But now let's talk numbers. How many US states have you visited? How many countries?
I have visited 41 states in person. I’ve seen pictures of the rest. That counts. And I’ve explored 7 Provinces of Canada. I know my books are also being used in schools in India, Mexico, and Scotland, so I think those count, too.
Well, even if you haven't been to those places yourself, your books have been, so that has to count for something. But you know, I’m pretty sure you don’t have a driver’s license, and I don’t think you could reach the pedals anyway. How do you get from one place to another?
*ahem/arf* Just because I don’t have a driver’s license doesn’t mean I can’t drive. But, since I’m a celebrity, I have a driver. I mean, come on. All the big stars have drivers, right? The Pishmobile is all decked out for me. I have a little platform I can lie on so I can see out my tinted window, and I have a little dogwalk (like a catwalk, except for a dog, of course) pulpit kind of deal between the two front seats so I can tell the driver where to go.
The Pishmobile sounds too cool. How many other celebrities have a pulpit? I'll bet even the Kardashians don't have one of those.
Kids really love your books, and I know you really love spending time with them, as well. What’s your message to kids in school?
Hi kids! Pass the biscuits to the front now. Oh, you mean like a lesson message? Isn’t it time for a treat break? No? Okay, well, I really would like kids to pay attention to what’s outside. I would love them to take just one minute and look up from their video games or iPads and listen to what’s around them. Take a look. Take a sniff. There is something to see, hear, and smell everywhere! Maybe they will see something awesome. It’s there if they take the time to look.
And they can start by taking a look at your books and then deciding what places they'd like to go! I'm sure they can get plenty of good ideas from you.
I don't think you can type, but I know you have a human (K.S. Brooks) help you out with the logistics of writing your books. How do the two of you work together? Do you dictate to her? Or do you sit in her lap as she types what you tell her?
Look, it’s Melissa, right? – you make a lot of assumptions. I can, in fact, type. I’m uber-talented. Unfortunately, what I type doesn’t make a lot of sense. But still, that’s typing. So, no more trick questions! But yes, my secretary follows me around as I brainstorm. She carries a pen and notebook in case I have an epiphany, and she doles out the dog biscuits and other treats. When we’re working on a project, I’ll sit on the chair next to her or on her lap to make sure she’s typing what I say. Because, these writers – man, they like to inject their own kind of je ne sais quoi into other people’s stuff. Yes, I’m a very well-traveled dog, I know some French.
You really are an intelligent and educated dog! I also know your human, Ms. Brooks, helped write a book called Triple Dog Dare, about West Highland Whites. What did you think of that book and the Westies in it?
I was a little annoyed that I wasn’t used as the main character. I mean, I inspired the book, so you know, come on! Credit where credit is due. But then when I read it, I was okay with it being Westies because the characters kept trying to trick each other by swapping dogs – and I mean, come on – look at me – there’s no way I would have a double! I thought the book was pretty fun because the people were very silly. Like real life, you know?
Er, uh, yeah, okay. I don't think I'll argue with you on that one. Finally, though, what specials are you running for the holiday season?
Thank you very much for asking! We’ve got the 2015 calendars – hanging and desk planner editions – available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. We’re also running Postcards from Mr. Pish’s East Coast and South and West editions for 99 cents for the month of December. And, lastly, Mr. Pish Goes to the Farm will be free on December 25, 26, and 27 so people can fill up their new Kindles with some fun reading! The Mr. Pish Goes to the Farm app for Apple and Droid products is always 99 cents. I have an English accent in that app. Quite classy.
Anything else you’d like to add?
Well, I know I gave you a little bit of a hard time, but I appreciate your interest! NOW may I have a treat, please?
No problem, Mr. Pish; you've been the perfect gentleman. Let me grab some liver snacks for you, but in the meantime, where can readers connect with you?