The idea for Once I Ate a Pie came about on several levels.  First of all, most all of my family has dogs:  my son in Africa has several, my daughter has rescued several, and my son in Boston doesn’t have dogs because he’s not at home much…however, Once I Ate a Pie is dedicated to him because dogs quite simply adore him.

My daughter, Emily, and I were talking one day, both of us rather annoyed with our husbands. 
 “ I don’t think I’ll get married in my next life,” I joked. 
 “Let’s marry dogs,” said Emily.  “They love you without reservation.  They’re always glad to see you.”
 “And sometimes they fetch,” I said.

So the book was born.  Most of the dogs are dogs we know, or have known and loved, so the book is very personal for us.  The illustrator, Katy Schneider, had done a painting of my dogs, Charlie and Emmet; a painting we love.  And she had done a previous book with us – Painting the Wind - in which there were wonderful dogs.  She seemed a splendid choice for this book.  Working with Katy has been so satisfying.  She most often emails us the paintings she has done, and sometimes invites us to see work in progress at her studio.  Emily and I, in turn, provide her with opinions and any support she may need – she is very professional.  

I can’t remember how long the book took from writing to publishing, but I must say Katy is a very fast painter.  And she actually prefers to paint rather than sketch first.  She likes working in her medium.

Katy is now in the process of finishing a new book by Emily and me:  I Didn’t Do It, a book about puppies.  It should be out next year.  And in the way of life and art, Katy has a new white fluffy puppy, and Emily has adopted a very LARGE puppy who is part White Pyrenees and part something else big.  And I still have Emmet and Charlie!
                                                                            - Patricia MacLachlan

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photo by Daniella Bordonaro