Pacific Northwest native Elsa Watson has been curious about dogs since she was a little girl. Growing up, she was an avid reader and short story writer, and often wondered what it would be like to write a novel.
After college, she and her husband entered the Peace Corps and moved to Guinea-Bissau, West Africa, a small country just south of Senegal. While there, they served as agriculture volunteers in a small village, inoculating chickens, sheep, and goats and helping establish a women’s community garden. While in the Peace Corps, they purchased a cat, Moogy, for five cents, and enjoyed raising chickens.
It was in Guinea-Bissau that Elsa started writing, filling tablets of paper long-hand with early stories. After two years, she and her husband returned to the U.S., along with Moogy the cat. They settled in the Bay Area, with two other cats, Tigger and Allie. In 2001, the family relocated to an island in western Washington, drawn by the area’s mix of forests and hobby farms. Elsa began writing seriously at that time and, in 2004, published Maid Marian (Crown, 2004; Three Rivers Press, 2005), a re-telling of the Robin Hood legend.
She currently works at the West Sound Wildlife Shelter, a wildlife hospital and education center. West Sound Wildlife gives injured and orphaned wild animals a second chance at life. Recently, they’ve cared for animals as diverse as a baby fox, an osprey, barn owl, flying squirrel, and fluffy little ducklings.
Two dogs, Lucky and Kota, joined the family in 2005, bringing a unique blend of humor and excitement. Elsa has always enjoyed speculating about what the dogs might be thinking, a habit that led to the birth of her novel Dog Days, which will be published by Tor/Forge on May 22, 2012. It will be followed in February 2013 by The Love Dog. Please also look for her upcoming e-novellas: A Christmas Tail (October 2012) and The Puppy Trap (January 2013.)
Photo at right: Susan Wiggs