I’m not sure if this is typical of writers, or if this is just typical of me, but when my mind gets focused on something it’s hard for me to allow anything else in. I call it my Dog Brain – just like when a dog sees a ball or a treat, the whole rest of the world seems to disappear. Funnily enough, that’s precisely what’s been on my mind lately: dogs.

As many of you know I’m in London for the summer working on the sequel to The Fantastic Fable of Peter Able and while the going was slow at first, I’m happy to report that now, I am almost done with the first draft.

So of course, as this book is winding down, my brain, like a dog with a ball, had decided that no, it can’t possibly just rest and relax. It needs a new something to ponder and just the other day as I was walking through the park, the perfect new obsession entered my mind: You have to get a dog.

And no, my brain didn’t say, “maybe you should get a dog when you get back home,” or “perhaps it would be nice; think about it.” It said “you have to get a dog,” in a voice rather like the voice of God’s, or perhaps James Earl Jones, I always get them confused. And so here I am, a few days away from finishing my book, and now obsessing over, not the finale, but what type of dog should I get?

Psychologists out there, go ahead and tell me I am undoubtedly prolonging finishing this book, as it has been my project and my doted upon baby for the past months. Go on.

Truth be told, I know this already. It’s always the same finishing a book, whether you’re writing it or reading it. It’s exciting, liberating, and at the same time, rather depressing. What will happen to the characters when you’re gone? What will you do with the time?

Well, luckily, I still have one more book in this series to write, which I’ll begin later on this year.

In the meantime, though, I have to get a dog.

So which kind should I get?

I’m here in London, fast at work writing the sequel in the Peter Able book series – and by fast, I, of course, mean writing furiously for a few days, then taking breaks for travel, then writing some more, then taking a break having lost all of my data in a hard drive crash, freaking out, injuring my foot, and so being forced indoors to recover, try to pick up where I think I left off, and write some more.

Something I’m learning – travel may not be the most conducive to sitting down and writing. In fact, it’s not great for sitting down at all, and if you’re anything like me, you’ll do the exact opposite of sitting down so intensely that you’ll wind up injuring your foot.

It is, however, inspiring. I’ve been all over London and a few other parts of the U.K. over the past month, including Oxford (once home to the likes of C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Alice herself from Alice in Wonderland), Stratford upon Avon (Shakespeare’s hometown), Bath (where Jane Austen hung out), and Stonehenge – which doesn’t have much to do with writing, but I just wanted to brag. To say that I’ve been inspired over the past month, soaking up all of these writerly vibes, is an understatement.

So now that I am forced to sit, ice my foot, and actually write, I’m as excited to see the words that come forth as if were reading them. Each is a surprise, a delight. Did Jane Austen inspire that sentence? Perhaps the ghost of Tolkien? Or seeing the actual door to Narnia? (Yes, folks, there’s an actual door in Oxford that inspired the doorway to Narnia. I seent it!)

Needless to say, Book Two will be similar to the first, and yet very different. I’m writing this one in a different place, in more ways than one, and even though working in writing with moving around all the time has been a challenge, it’s also been a gift. A fun, exciting, stressful, and often infuriating gift. Kind of like a Furby.

I’ll keep you guys updated on Book Two’s progress. In the meantime, I hope you enjoy the first one. If you haven’t read it already, don’t wait for an injury to force you to sit down long enough to read it. Read while you’re at work instead!

My name is Natalie and as you might have surmised, this is my very first blog post. There won’t be much fanfare, I fear, for as of now, there is probably nobody reading this.

Which takes the pressure off of me, really.

See, I recently joined Goodreads’ Author Program as my debut novel, The Fantastic Fable of Peter Able, was just published on June 30 (about a week and a half ago).

And so, in an attempt to fill in this altogether empty and dreary space that is my Author Page, I will write a blog! I will write and write, and write some more! My words will spill into the Internet Void until one day, one person notices this brand new author page and thinks, “Hm. I wonder what she’s written on this blog?” And won’t it be nicer to have posts up and ready for her, than to have to scramble to write them then?

I think so too.

Author’s Note: If today happens to be that day, that you, dear reader, have decided to start reading my brand new blog, I apologize for the babbling. I promise to deliver wise, profound, hilarious, and altogether life-improving posts in the future, but for now, alas, I am just getting started.

Now let’s watch a funny video.