The Dog-walking Club

Every dog walk brings new drama into the lives of these dogs and their people. A supermarket shelf-stacker, a stay-at-home dad, an elderly widow and a freelance photographer sound an unlikely bunch of friends but they have one thing in common: they all walk their dogs in Beauville Park at roughly the same time each morning.
And that’s enough for Angela, bored organiser without a cause, to get them together to form the Dog-walking Club.For Jock the Scottie, Benji the spaniel, Pixie the boxer, Mitzi the poodle and Bassett the … all sorts, walking each day with their friends is a dream come true. And it changes the lives of widowed Sybil who’s spent a lifetime hiding her secret sorrow, hopeless-with-women Jon who’s wandering almost unwittingly into an affair, freelance photographer Jemma who is at every wedding but her own, and Maggi who is frantically trying to save money to visit her family in Australia.
And for long-suffering Angela a nasty shock turns into a new start in disguise for her and her husband – and their love life.

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Author Q&A

1.       What is the first book that made you cry?
I can’t remember the first book but one from later years I do recall is The Heartbreaker by Susan Howatch. From the title one might guess that it’s a romantic novel but it’s far more than that. The main character is a male prostitute working very successfully in the city of London and the story is about his redemption.
2.       How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
Ten years? No, okay, that was my first novel and includes many rewrites, style changes and anything else I thought might make it more attractive to agents. (Nothing did.) Since then I’ve written three more novels and I’m always picking them up and putting them down so I can’t say precisely or even vaguely how long.
3.       How do you select the names of your characters?
They select themselves I think. I have an idea what my character is like and I choose a name to suit. Names fall in and out of fashion so a name must fit with the period and age of the character.
4.       What are your top 5 favourite movies?
Dead Poets’ Society & Moulin Rouge. Films I adored but never watched again for fear of finding them not as perfect.
Whistle Down the Wind was a favourite when I was a child, and Sleeping Beauty was my favourite Disney cartoon.
Then thank goodness for Google. ‘What’s that film?’ I asked Husband.
‘What film?’
‘I don’t know. I think it has Glenda Jackson in it, and possibly George Peppard.’
I was half right: it was actually George Segal and it’s a 1973 film called A Touch of Class. I remember very little about it except that it made me laugh a lot. I just watched the trailer for it and even that makes me laugh. (Must see if it’s available on a channel somewhere.)
I’m sure there are lots more but these are the ones that spring to mind.

5.       If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
Make a cup of tea and try to take the advice of the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy: Don’t panic.
6.       What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?
Jo March from Little Women. As a writer herself she would, I’m sure, be sympathetic to my grumbles but also very honest - probably blunt - about getting on with it.
7.       Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Call yourself a writer from Day 1. Published or not, fiction or non, if you write you’re a writer. I still struggle to name myself as such, and I think that’s demotivating and not good for my self-esteem. Value yourself and what you want to do. Whether anyone else reads it or not.
8.       Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself! :)
I have eleven toes. I am descended from both Boudicca, ancient warrior Queen, and Lady Godiva, who rode naked through the streets of Coventry. I have been banned from giving blood because of my tendency to faint. I attended a garden party with the Queen at Buckingham Palace. I have a degree in oceanography but, no, I cannot tell you what time the tide is in. I once wrote and illustrated a children’s book about WonderBean, a mutant baked bean who saved the world. (Sadly I no longer have it or I’m sure it would have made my fortune.) I amputated my own appendix. I was in Make-up at the BBC with Matthew Pinsett, Olympic rower.

Author Bio –
I’m a golden-retriever-loving granny, who enjoys walking by the sea or in the woods, who eats too much chocolate and gets over-excited when the Welsh team plays rugby.
Writing-wise, I am an experienced freelance writer – published in The Guardian, Christian Herald and various other magazines and newspapers - with an MA in Creative Writing (Trinity College, University of Wales). My short stories have been published in Cambrensis (the now sadly-defunct short story magazine of Wales) as well as in several anthologies including Mama’s Baby, Papa’s Maybe (Parthian) and Catwomen from Hell (Honno). I am also the author of several non-fiction books published by Hodder & Stoughton, Scripture Union and Kevin Mayhew.
I have self-published two novels, This Time Last Year, and The Dog-walking Club.
I enjoy speaking about my writing to various gatherings and the media, and am an active blogger, facebooker and tweeter.
Social Media Links –
Facebook  @LizHinds99
Twitter @Liz_Hinds99
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