The Whiskey Mattimoe Mysteries

humorous whodunnits by Nina Wright . . . starring a Michigan realtor and her felonious Afghan hound

Saturday, March 24, 2007


Greetings from Naples, Florida, a little piece of manmade perfection on the Gulf coast. I'm dog-and-condo-sitting for two weeks before moving on to my next writing assignment. Trust me, this is the life! Here's a glimpse of my view of mangroves and Gulf from the 12th floor.

Happily, I've been receiving questions about the Whiskey Mattimoe series from an online (Yahoo) group of savvy readers who really know their dogs and their dog mysteries. Here's a small sample of what they're asking along with my answers:

1) How did you come up with the first name "Whiskey" for your protagonist?

For almost as long as I can remember, I've kept a list of names that strike me as funny, beautiful, or just plain unusual. I'm not sure where I first encountered the name or nickname Whiskey for a woman, but I saw it on my "list" when I began taking notes for my first mystery. I realized that my tomboyish character had been saddled with an inappropriately feminine name (Whitney) by her romance-novel-reading mom and later got a nickname (Whiskey) that fit her voice. Of course, Jeb gave her the nickname back in middle school, and it stuck. Since Whiskey can't handle her whiskey, we can have some extra fun with that name.

2) Do you model some of your characters on people you actually know?

There's a little bit of a lot of people I know in my characters, but none is modeled on a real person. Every once in a while, I'll write a piece of dialogue and realize that someone I know actually said that to me. For example, while writing the fourth mystery, I recognized a man I once dated in some of the remarks made by a character who romantically interests Whiskey. There are similarities, for sure, but my old boyfriend, as far as I know, didn't think he was the reincarnation of Teddy Roosevelt....

3) Was your goal always to write a Dog Mystery Series, or did your first book just happen to come out that way?

I started the first book with the very clear intention that Abra the Afghan hound would be the co-star and catalyst for Whiskey's misadventures. I'd had a lot of frustrating and sometimes humorous experiences with a dog not unlike Abra, so I decided to morph that creature into fiction. I simply combined my dog with an Afghan hound that belonged to a friend, and the creative result was Abra.

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