Writing – they say – is a solitary occupation. But is it? Really? Let’s visit with Joan Donaldson and ask her about her constant companion, Fergus O’Flaherty.
QPQ: Welcome to the Quid Pro Quills, Joan! Introduce us to the orange cat you’re sharing with us today.
JD: We adopted Fergus ten years ago, shortly after we returned from a musical trip to Ireland. Usually we refer to him as Fergi.
QPQ: Since you’re an author and you come up with names all the time, how did you come up with Fergus’ name?
JD: While touring Ireland with two friends, my husband John and I sought out places where we could play at local musical sessions. John plays piano accordion and I play an Irish B/C button accordion. One night I was too tired to venture out, but John and our friend Robin who plays flute, joined in the session at O’Flaherty’s pub. The leader of the session was Fergus O’Flaherty who played tenor banjo and ran the pub.
QPQ: What a great way to come up with a name and hold on to a fun memory. How does Fergi help you in your writing?
JD: Fergi likes to sleep next to my computer or on the chair with me. If I run into a rough patch, I talk to him, pet him, and his presence soothes and inspires me.
QPQ: That’s what our four-footed friends do best. Have you ever written one of your pets into a story?
JD: Fergi has starred in a picture book manuscript where a cat knocks an important card of ribbons into a crock of flour. Several times, when I can’t find a measuring cup, it turns up in the flour bucket, having been hidden there by Fergi.
QPQ: So Fergi was just begging to be written into a story! Tell us three things you and Fergi have in common.
JD: Fergi loves my quilts, as do I! He enjoys hanging out with me in my kitchen garden, and both of us are fond on yogurt made from my goats’ milk.
Thank you for visiting here at the Quid Pro Quills. Where on the web can readers connect with you and your books?