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Nathaniel S. Johnson Author Interview

Phoebe and Fred follows the adventures of two talking basset hounds who are taken in by a kind and loving family. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

I have been adopting rescue Basset Hounds for about 21 years. During this period, the breed and me have become fine friends. Also, over time, these hounds have cleverly coached me on how best to spoil a Basset and ways to provide the best creature comforts! They are smart, love children, charm many, and make happy home companions.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

Growing up and later residing in diverse New England country towns, I became acquainted with a wide variety of interesting and outstanding personalities. Since Phoebe and Fred was published, a few residents here in Rockport have asked me what town I had in mind. Our town?  I reply, “it’s up to you, the reader.” That’s the fun of writing (and reading) fiction!

I felt this story was very well written. What’s your experience as a writer?

I have been writing much of my life: in school, letters to newspapers, radio and TV scripts (public and commercial broadcasting), plus numerous short stories for small publishers on the internet. I was fortunate to find Atmosphere Press, for they acknowledged my ability and have been highly supportive throughout. Today, I recall a comment by my English teacher, Mr. Connor, after submitting an essay when I was a senior at Concord High School. “Nat, you are a good writer.”

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

My next effort for Atmosphere Press is well underway. One Before Bedtime encompasses a variety of short stories written over varying periods and with a diversity of subjects and moods. I am so pleased Atmosphere’s editors have taken the time to help focus on the best of these, and I hope readers will enjoy reading each one (or more) before bedtime.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website

Phoebe and Fred

Harmony is your typical village; secluded, close-knit, peaceful, and quiet. That was why the city-living Watsons found it to be the perfect spot to grow their little family. They added to their little family Phoebe and Fred, the brilliant Basset hounds, as well as a truckload of gossip and weary villagers. But, in a world where talking dogs are as impossible as flying pigs, will a loving family be enough to reassure the bassets that they will not again be thrown out and abandoned?

Phoebe and Fred by Nathaniel S. Johnson tells the story of two lovely not so ordinary basset hounds that found their way into a charming family. When Watson lost their dog, Billy Beau the Black Lab, Henry Watson was thrown into despair and almost swallowed by loneliness. His wife and kids thought a new addition to the family to replace their previous dog was the only way to save him, and it turned out the bassets were the best thing that happened to their whole family. Things, however, took a turn for the worse when one morning, the bassets did something that no ordinary dog could do.

Phoebe and Fred is a lighthearted story. I found the book straightforward and a solid read. There were not lengthy conversations, but they were sure long enough to warm my heart. The Bassets were particularly intriguing, and I was somewhat confused why the villagers were so weary of them. My blood boiled at some point, and I was dismayed by how petty Reverend Treadwell was and so delighted that Kyle, the sheriff, had some faith in the hounds.

Phoebe and Fred is a humorous story about two amazing Basset Hounds and the family that falls in love with them. The writing was immaculate, the characters were on point, and it was a delight to picture life in the small town in my head just from the description. Children will find this book an absolute delight, and fur parents might as well too.

Pages: 88 | ASIN : B0BMLPJSLH

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