Dead Dog

| June 9, 2018


Trust your dog, trust your dog, trust your dog, but never trust a zombie.

Angie Graves and her dog, Murder, are known for their ability to hunt zombies. They are brought to Big Bend National Park to help solve a missing persons case involving the undead. In this remote corner of the United States, they will track the zombies through a vast park the size of Rhode Island and full of deserts and canyons. It is a daunting task. Angie’s faith in Murder’s abilities will be tested. Can she trust her dog?

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Trivia about Dead Dog:

-This book was inspired by my encounter with a dead dog while I was on a walk at Christmas time.

-Also, my dog was getting older, and I was starting to think about what happens to dogs when they die and to the people they know. He has passed away since.

-An early scene where Angie and the other searchers are working through heavy brush was inspired by search training I have done in the Houston area. As most SAR volunteers know too well, the brush in the Houston area gets really thick, and the thorns can get nasty. Wild pigs are a dangerous nuisance and something every SAR worker is aware of if they come from that part of Texas.

-The winding drive to get to incident command was inspired by an actual search.

-The friction between teams is also partially inspired by teams in Houston. We are all big hearted people devoted to finding lost people, and sometimes our approach philosophies can cause us to have to reconsider our priorities, but everyone I have worked with has been very professional and focused. The part where a search is interrupted by untrained search and rescue volunteers on ATVs was also inspired by actual events.

-I got the idea for the construction company search because Mojo and I participated in several training sessions in a construction company’s lot.

-I decided to set the mystery in Big Bend National Park because I had recently camped a week in Big Bend National Park and fell in love with its solitude. I immediately envisioned a long, multi-day tracking a lost person throughout the enormous park. Some of the trails and areas I have visited, such as the Dagger Flats trail and Mule Ears, enter directly into the story. At Dagger Flats, there really is this giant forest of yucca, which gives off an alien landscape vibe. You should visit this park.

-There is a history of ghosts in the Big Bend area, and ghosts are associated with The Wild Hunt. The Wild Hunt is a European folk myth tradition involving a ghostly or supernatural group of huntsmen passing in wild pursuit. The hunters are often the dead, sometimes an unidentified spirit or lost soul. Seeing the Wild Hunt was thought to presage some catastrophe such as war or plague, or at best the death of the one who witnessed it.

-Some character names in the series are taken from Texas towns because I enjoy weekend trips through small Texas towns.

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