The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Annie Ingram

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The Interview: Bookbag Talks To Annie Ingram

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Summary: Very few people believe that dogs can talk so it was something of a relief when Sue met author Annie Ingram. She has lengthy conversations with her cocker spaniel Kammie and has shared them with us in her book. There was a lot to talk about when she popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.
Date: 19 August 2017
Interviewer: Sue Magee
Reviewed by Sue Magee

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Very few people believe that dogs can talk so it was something of a relief when Sue met author Annie Ingram. She has lengthy conversations with her cocker spaniel Kammie and has shared them with us in her book. There was a lot to talk about when she popped into Bookbag Towers to chat to us.

  • Bookbag: When you close your eyes and imagine your readers, who do you see?

Annie Ingram: I see a mixed group of children, teen-agers and adults with smiles on their faces as they chuckle away at the antics of a crazy girl and her wee pooch.

  • BB: I've never met a dog called Kammie before! Where did the name come from?

A.I.: My grandma, affectionately known as 'Nanny', spent many hours, well . . . Many minutes at least . . . Playing with the first letters of the names of our family members and finally came up with Kammie - Kate, Annie, Mummy, Myself, Isaac and Everybody else . . .

  • BB: That makes perfect sense, Annie. When did you first realise that Kammie could talk to you? Most owners seem to feel that communication with their dog is all one way, but you obviously realised early on that she could talk to you!

A.I.: Kammie spoke to me on the day I went to meet her. The first things she said was "Mummy, can I adopt this human please, she seems pretty trainable!" Her mum was more than happy for me to take her home because she could, I was, to quote, "obviously a Push-Over" I was already pretty familiar with 'Dog' after having been adopted as a pet human a few years previously. I'd gotten a bit rusty but it soon came flooding back.

  • BB: You say that for much of the time the household revolves around Kammie. Having had two Rhodesian Ridgebacks who graciously allowed us to live in their home (as staff, obviously) I fully understand this, but what happens if you ever try to change the status quo? Does Kammie allow this?

A.I.: To be honest, I'd not even dare to try this, but, I imagine if I did I would be subjected to a very stern telling off, and probably made to wear my collar out of the house as well as indoors to remind me of my "Place".

  • BB: What inspired you to write about your conversations with Kammie?

A.I.: Kammie and I both feel very strongly that a lot of humans need to be able to understand their owners better. We know that this would make life easier for thousands of dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, snakes and all other animals across the globe. It's our hope that sharing our conversations will encourage open communication and, ultimately, bring World Peace. Failing that, we hope it will fund our next trip to Bognor Regis.

  • BB: Graham Covey has done some lovely illustration for Conversations with Kammie. How did you discover him and how did he take to the idea that Kammie could talk to you?

A.I.: Kammie actually dragged Graham out of a bush one time when we were out walking. As he was brushing the burrs off of his clothing, he started asking Kammie where she was from, which human belonged to her and what she did for a living. I overheard their conversation and knew he had obviously been owned by a dog before, and he was one of our small club of 'Dog talkers' (a very different group to 'Dog walkers') When I found out he was a struggling artist I asked if he would like to work with us on our book project and he readily agreed.

  • BB: How old is Kammie and how does she relax?

A.I.: Kammie is 6 years old now. She likes to practice opening doors for exercise. To relax she loves watching Lassie, Turner and Hooch, Lady and the Tramp and other doggy shows. She also loves Jerry and Tweetie-Pie because they've shown her how to beat cats - Jerry and Sylvester always lose and that lifts her spirits immensely.

  • BB: Did you enjoy producing the book? Would you recommend the process to other people?

A.I.: Producing the book was an incredibly exciting process. The Self-Publishing Partnership are a great company, so helpful and knowledgeable and .... They completely understood how important it was consult with Kammie and myself throughout the whole project.

  • BB: You've got one wish. What's it to be?

A.I.: To make people smile and realise that being owned by a pet is a privilege and a delight.

  • BB: What's next for Annie Ingram?

A.I.: Kammie and I have many plans, we have plenty of conversations still to share .... We sincerely hope that people will want to join us in our future journeys.

  • BB: We hope so too, Annie. Please thank Kammie for allowing you the time off to talk to us.

You can read more about Annie Ingram here.

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