Today, author Terri Chilvers joins us in The Reading Realm to talk about the inspiration for her brand new book Michael the Incredible Super-Sleuth Sausage Dog, which is illustrated by Tim Budgen!

Over to you Terrie!

Buy here!

Michael the Incredible Super-Sleuth Sausage Dog is the latest adventure for mind-reading Michael and his best friend, Stanley Big Dog. And this time Michael has to turn detective to rescue Susan the Chocolate Labrador from a dastardly dognapper.

The inspiration for Michael actually came from real-life dachshunds! I love the way they always seem so confident and strut around like they own the place wherever they are. And that got me thinking about what a sausage dog’s ambition might be. I felt like it would definitely be something big and flamboyant… and that’s when the idea of a mind-reading dachshund started to take shape.

I also wanted to create a character who didn’t let their small size get in the way. Sausage dogs are often fearless and keen to explore, dig, chase or do whatever takes their fancy (with gusto)! And the same is true of Michael – nothing can stop him from following his dream to become the world’s most famous sausage dog. I hope that Michael’s ambition and resilience will inspire readers to follow their own dreams too!

The second book in the series came about when I was thinking about what else Michael might use his mind-reading for… In Book 1 we see him entertaining Hollywood audiences with his act, but I wanted to explore what might happen when Michael faces a problem away from the glitz and glamour of being on stage. And having to use his mind-reading skills to solve a crime felt like it would be a lot of fun! Of course, nothing goes smoothly for Michael and Stanley and saving Susan from super criminal, Dog X proves extremely tricky!  

I’m also inspired by other funny books. Some of my favourites are Grimwood by Nadia Shireen, Dave Pigeon by Swapna Haddow and Mr Gum by Andy Stanton. I love books where you feel like you’re reading something fresh and exciting that hasn’t really been done before. And of course, I love books that make you snort with laughter. Paws crossed that Michael does the same for his readers!

I hope young readers enjoy the next instalment of Michael and Stanley’s story. And for anyone who likes the idea of shapeshifting snails – my next book, Snails of the Unexpected will be out next Spring!

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