Tomorrow, we welcome Edan Lepucki, author of New York Times bestselling novel California, to Nashville. Today, we welcome her to Musing, where she’s the author of our our very first guest post, a toast to a cool pooch named Omar.
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It took me four years to write and edit California, and during that time I was childless, pregnant, and then a mother; across that spectrum of experience, however, there persisted one constant: my almost eight-year-old dog, Omar Little, who’s named after the character from the HBO series The Wire.
Omar has been present for almost all of my writing, whether he’s panting on my lap, or breaking my concentration with his gritty yap, or staring at me from his bed with a complex look of skepticism, boredom, pity, love, and wisdom. His brain can’t be bigger than a plum, yet his eyes contain such deep expression! He is tender and silly and put-upon and I love him.
In an earlier draft of California, there was a line directly influenced by Omar. In the flashback where Frida meets her nearest neighbors The Millers (who are already dead when the book opens), she says of little Garrett’s blonde hair, “it was white as a Maltese’s fur.” My editor pointed out that the dog breed signifies wealth and that the line brought up a lot of questions for her about Frida’s background. Omar himself was a rescue, but most Malteses are not, and I knew my editor had a good point. So, sorry, Omar, I had to cut your people out of my book.
My new novel, which is still a very early draft, has a Maltese named Milkshake. Let’s hope for Omar’s sake that the dog doesn’t get cut in revision. (Alas, I am not confident Milkshake is central to the story…)
Thank you, Omar, for being my muse and companion!
– Edan Lepucki
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In other news: Enormous thanks to CNN and Condé Nast Traveler for featuring Parnassus Books in two great travel articles last week. We are honored to be among such fantastic company!