About Me

My photo

Published author and book nerd, I write and review romance novels.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Interview with Mike Dufort, author of 'Courteous Canines: Practical Dog Training for the Rest of Us'

I have hosted quite a few authors on my blog page, so why not interview my fiancé as well? Introducing the love of my life, Mike Dufort <3<3<3
Apart from being my future husband, Mike is a Lead Computer Software Engineer by trade. But his true love is dog training and obedience issues.  He loves all animals and tries to avoid animal shelters at any cost (he will want to take them all home).  At one time, he had 13 pets in all - from snakes to ferrets to multiple dogs – and somehow managed to teach them all to sit on command.  Well, except for the snakes.  And the ferrets.  And the chinchillas or hedgehogs didn’t sit either. The dogs did sit, though.  Researching animal behaviour and obedience issues has been a passion of his for decades, as well as writing his humour column Dungeon of Spew, hence the odd combination of the two in 'Courteous Canines'.
What does his book deal with? Do you have troubles teaching your dog how to sit, obey you when going on a walk, not to relieve himself indoors, not to jump on people, not to chew your shoes or precious belongings? The answer to these questions, and so much more, can be found in Mike's new book 'Courteous Canines - practical dog training for the rest of us'.
Just have a look at the cute cover. Isn't that gorgeous? (Please don't tell me I'm biased!)

'Courteous Canines' or 'The Canines' (as I call it) can be purchased on Amazon. That means right HERE
Today I interviewed Mike (don't' you agree that this sounds way too formal when it comes to a cute couple?) Here is what he had to say (In between kisses, of course.... Hey, what do you expect? We love each other!):
1.      What genre does your book fall under?
Some people will say Courteous Canines is about dog training and humour.  I say it’s about controlled human insanity.  Meaning, me.
2.      What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?
It’s far more serious than it seems at face value.
3.      How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?
The first “manuscript” was a two-page diatribe given to a co-worker who punched his dog in the face to “make him behave.”  After that, I decided to create an entire book, which took me about a year after normal work hours.  After I was satisfied with a complete book, it likely took me a few more months to re-read the whole thing each night to try to perfect it.  
4.      What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?
Many compare Courteous Canines to “The Dog Whisperer.”  Which is insulting to me.  (Whispering to The Dog Whisperer – shhhh – your material sucks.)
5.      Who or What inspired you to write this book?
My own dogs.  They inspired me.  Oddly, in English.  Please…no one mention this fact to the CIA or NSA.
6.      What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?
It’s not preaching, and it’s not just my opinion.  I sought out so many people to help me out with what works and what doesn’t.  There isn’t one universal solution to any one problem.  Hence, I provide alternatives in most cases.
7.      What sparked your passion for books and the art of a good story?
George Carlin and Joe Pesci. 
8.      What was the seed of inspiration for your book?
Simply helping people and dogs alike.  I love all animals besides spiders, scorpions, mosquitos, red ants and electric eels; I have no need to be electrocuted by a sea animal.
9.  Is there a message in your book that you want readers to grasp?
Dogs are not property.  They are family members.  Period.  They are also not snake food.
10.  What challenges have you faced in your writing career?
As a new writer, most big-time publishers won’t even bother to read your work if your name isn’t known.
11.  What has been your best moment as a writer?
All the amazing feedback I’ve received from those who read pre-release copies of “The Canines” (as my fiancée calls it).
12.  Who is your author idol?
James Patterson, Dean Koontz and my fiancée Lillian Summers.  While they write fiction, they are able to make the stories seem all too real.  Oh…Dave Barry too, for his ability to make me laugh at everything he writes.
13.  Do you see yourself in any of your characters?
Yes.  I feel like the dogs in my book often, pooping on the lawn occasionally.
14.  Do you feel like your dream has come true or is there much more to do?
I met Lillian Summers, am going to marry her, AND she now likes snakes!  Is there more of a dream?
15.  What is your personal cure for procrastination?
I’ll tell you later.
16.  What does your workspace look like?
If I have all my papers sorted, filed and put away, I’d never find a thing.  Enough said.
17.  Have you ever had a day when you just wanted to quit?
Sure.  Quit filing and sorting my papers.
18.  What do you do when you’re not writing?
This is WAY too personal for an interview like this!

19. What book most inspired you?
There isn't a single book, but there is a single author: Dave Barry.  Any of his books.  He can take the most complicated, mundane and boring topics and turn them into hilarious prose.  I followed his lead and did the same for Courteous Canines.  Most dog training books are far too boring to pay attention to; I wanted mine to be enjoyable and funny to read. 
And I have to agree with Mike on (18). Waaaaaaaaay too personal. Use your imagination, folks!
I thank Mike for the time he has taken to reply to my questions.
Until my next post, best wishes to everyone!


  1. Very nice interview, and best wishes to both of you in your life together and your professional goals.