Saturday, March 27, 2021

Paula Munier's "The Hiding Place"

Paula Munier is the USA Today bestselling author of the Mercy and Elvis mysteries. A Borrowing of Bones, the first in the series, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award and named the Dogwise Book of the Year. Blind Search was inspired by the real-life rescue of a little boy with autism who got lost in the woods.

Munier credits the hero dogs of Mission K9 Rescue, her own rescue dogs Bear, Bliss, and Blondie—a Malinois mix as loyal and smart as Elvis—and a lifelong passion for crime fiction as her series’ major influences.

She’s also written three popular books on writing: Plot Perfect, The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings, and Writing with Quiet Hands, as well as Fixing Freddie and Happier Every Day.

Munier lives in New Hampshire with her family, the dogs, and a torbie tabby named Ursula.

Here she shares some thoughts on casting the canine characters in an adaptation of her new Mercy and Elvis mystery, The Hiding Place:
If you saw the remake of The Call of the Wild with Harrison Ford, you may know that the canine character Buck was played by a CGI version of a rescue named Buckley. Director Chris Sanders had not yet cast the role of Buck when his wife Jessica Steele Sanders found Buckley on Petfinder. Buckley is a St. Bernard and farm collie mix, just like Buck in the book. Jessica packed up their 14-year-old rescue Brody and drove all the way to Kansas to meet Buckley—and the rest is movie history.

If The Hiding Place were a film, I’d want all of the real dogs who inspired the characters to land the starring roles. Susie Bear, the Newfoundland-retriever mix trained in search-and-rescue, would be played by Bear,
our own Newfie mutt. Service dog Robin, the Great Pyrenees and Australian shepherd mix, would be brought to life by our own rescue Bliss. And Sunny, the golden retriever—yes, there’s a golden in this story!—could only be played by one of Vermont poet Jerry Johnson’s goldens. (Jerry’s campaigning for his favorite breed to appear in a Mercy Carr mystery finally paid off in The Hiding Place.)

When I first wrote Elvis—the lead dog in the series, and Mercy’s main Malinois—I created a composite canine based on several working dogs I’d met at a Mission K9 Rescue fundraiser. The make-believe Maligator became so real to me that I wanted my own Elvis—and we had the opportunity to rescue a Malinois mix, we jumped at the chance. (Well, at least I did, and my husband humored me.) As it turns out, our pandemic puppy Blondie is as fierce and fearless as her fictional counterpart. She’d rule the screen as Elvis.

Even in CGI.
Visit Paula Munier's website.

Coffee with a Canine: Paula Munier & Bear.

My Book, The Movie: A Borrowing of Bones.

My Book, The Movie: Blind Search.

--Marshal Zeringue