Maggie Mayhem: When and How I Write

Maggie Mayhem at the Castle
Category: Writing

One dog has at last agreed to share the insights gained through years of hard experience: Maggie Mayhem has trained some of the world’s most stubborn humans (including her co-author Kim Sears), and so there is no better canine to explain the complexities of human behaviour. Luckily for us, Maggie takes a moment out of her busy day to tell us how she manages to get so much done!

First things first, I can never write on an empty stomach. I make sure to fill up on a large protein-based breakfast and then have snacks handy to nibble on throughout the day. A punnet of blueberries is always essential; I’ve been told they are a superfood but to be honest I just love to nudge them along the floor with my nose and then squash them into the rug under my human’s desk with one of my paws.

At the start of every day I like to spend a good hour lying on my back with my paws in the air.

I’m a terrible procrastinator, you see, and get distracted incredibly easily. If I’m sitting in the office and it’s a gorgeous day outside, all I can think about is charging through sun dappled forest paths in pursuit of a squirrel. Whereas if rain is beating down on the windows then I like to curl up on my favourite chair and congratulate myself on staying inside, and before I know it I’ve fallen asleep and it’s past lunchtime and time to eat again.

I like to spend a bit of time researching before I write, and draw a lot of inspiration from my Border Terrier friends on twitter. So I’ll have a quick glance at my timeline before starting anything in order to see if I’ve missed anything. I also like to be surrounded by Border Terrier paraphernalia; my favourite item is a small bronze figurine that reminds me that although I’m small I’m incredibly tough (and make a fabulous paperweight). 

At the start of every day I like to spend a good hour lying on my back with my paws in the air, because it allows everything creative to collect in my brain and I can work more effectively. I’ve got an active little imagination (show me a terrier who doesn’t) and I’m constantly flooded with ideas for new material. I was chased across our local park by a rather amorous Bulldog not so long ago and it struck me that he would make a wonderful romantic hero, should I ever get round to writing a novel. I’ve got lots more that I would like to write one day but as you can see there’s an awful lot of work that goes in before I even pick up a pen, and that’s not just because I don’t have opposable thumbs. 



Thanks to Frances Lincoln Children's Books we have one copy of How to Look After Your Human: a Dog's Guide to give away. For a chance to win it, post your answer to this question in the comments or email it to

- Which breed is the dog in the photo above?

Closing date: 17:00, 18 July 2016. Open to UK entrants only. Full terms and conditions.


Love dogs and picture books? Check out this list of 10 picture books about man's best friend

Maggie Mayhem (Kim Sears)

Kim Sears lives in Surrey with her husband and two dogs, where she paints and chases tearaway terriers through the woods. How To Look After Your Human is the first book a dog has ever asked her to type up and is out now!