Friday 21 July 2017

And now for something completely different!

To celebrate the release of T A Williams' new book To Provence With Love, I'm featuring a blog from Trevor himself. One of the stars of the book is Marlon, the labrador and here are the thoughts behind him.

It’s a dog’s life

   My new book, To Provence, with Love, is the story of a famous old film starlet who engages the services of disgruntled teacher, Faye, to write her memoirs. Through her, Faye soon learns that the pathway to stardom is not always easy. But then, the same can be said about Faye’s life and the life of the hunky, but reclusive, lavender farmer down the road. They have all had their problems and they all have their demons to face. But it isn’t all gloom and doom in To Provence, with Love; one of the characters in the book hasn’t a care in the world.
   Those of you familiar with my other books will know that I always (well, almost always) include a black Labrador in my books. We’ve had Dante, the Italian Lab in What Happens in Tuscany, Stirling, the heartbroken English Lab in What Happens at Christmas and way back in my very first book, Dirty Minds, there was Noah, the Lab whose master is heartbroken. Now, in To Provence, with Love, we have the happiest of the lot: Marlon.
   Named after the great man himself – after all if your owner’s a mega-famous film star, what else could you be called? – Marlon lives in a chateau. Some dogs, like Snoopy, live in a dog house, some live in little flats, some in big houses, but only the very, very lucky ones live a life of luxury in a chateau. However, unlike so many wealthy inhabitants of spectacular homes, Marlon isn’t spoilt, he isn’t overweight and he isn’t at all snooty. Of course, in common with all Labradors, he is constantly hungry, and has perfected the “they don’t feed me” expression we all know so well. But that’s about his only vice. Well, that and barking his head off every time the postman comes up the drive.
   He is the best dog in the world to take for a walk – he doesn’t pull on the lead and he never runs off after bunny rabbits. He is totally housetrained, faithful and obedient. He is excellent company and he is a really, really good listener. As a man, I must admit to my share of responsibility for, like so many of my gender, not being a terribly good listener. My wife tells me stuff and, well, I don’t always concentrate. I do try my best, but it’s something that’s built into our DNA. Now, I can probably recall almost all of the commentary on the last rugby match, but domestic stuff tends to go in one ear and out the other. But not so, our Marlon. He listens attentively, never butts in (unless it’s to put a sympathetic paw on your knee) and those big, doleful brown eyes are full of mute comprehension.
   You getting the picture? That’s right, Marlon is one of the main characters in the book. He is an epic example to all of us as to just what true, uncomplicated love is all about. If he likes you, he steals your bra and lies on it. If he’s feeling sorry for you, he gives you a nudge with his cold, wet nose and if he’s happy to see you, he stands up on his hind legs and does his best to lick your face. We all need a bit of that from time to time.

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