14 April, 2022

#CharacterInterview - Meet BENJI the black Labrador from Brown Eyes by Frances Ive - #WomensFiction #Family @healthysouluk

Brown Eyes: A watchful eye as a marriage falls apart. The phone call, the rows, and the split are all observed by the family Labrador. He knows the habits and senses the moods of his beloved family members. Seeing them unhappy and hurting each other is unbearable. Where did his perfect life go?
Her marriage to Phil in crisis, two children at the challenging teenage stage, and a close friend in peril, Meriel’s world is falling apart. She finds solace in the arms of another man, but is this the answer for her? It is her stubbornness that threatens the family’s future together, until a major loss has a life-changing effect on her. A sliver of hope returns.
Like a fly on the wall, Benji the dog sees it all.

Narrated by both the dog and Meriel, Brown Eyes is from the author of Finding Jo.

Meet BENJI the black Labrador from Brown Eyes by Frances Ive

If you had a free day with no responsibilities and your only mission was to enjoy yourself, what would you do?

That’s easy for me. I’d like to be off the lead at the beach, with one of the family standing watching. And I’d like Rosie, the lovely boxer dog, to be there as well. We could frolic and play in the waves and not care about anything else.

If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?

This is more difficult as a lot of things have changed. I would have said Phil, but he has behaved very badly lately and Meriel isn’t herself at all. So, I am going to suggest that Elly, the daughter in my family, would be best. I like the way she enjoys life with her friends – she isn’t an adult yet so she laughs and giggles and forgets about the bad things. 

What is your idea of perfect happiness? And, what is your current state of mind?

I have already had perfect happiness, and it has been shattered by events in my family. My life was good, I had regular walks, food quite often (although an extra meal wouldn’t have gone amiss), delightful owners and everything was easy. I am not sure I knew how perfect it was until things went wrong, and now I am devastated.

What do you consider to be the most overrated virtue and why? 

I am very loyal and I think that’s important. I would do anything for my owners. But maybe loyalty is not what it should be with humans. Phil is the father and husband in my family and he has been disloyal now. I am shocked that he can do what he did and cause people I thought he loved lots of unhappiness.

Tell us 3 things about yourself that the readers do not know about.

 - I secretly really like the cat, but I don’t want to look as if I’m too soft, so occasionally in the garden I chase it.  But if it wants to get into my bed and cuddle up to me, I find it comforting, particularly at the moment.
- I love eating but I think I need more meals than I get One day I went into the  neighbours’ house chasing a delicious smell. I grabbed something pink and large on a table, just my height. I got back through the hole in the fence and chewed away at the crunchy red bits. That filled me up. 
- Sometimes there is a fox in the garden and I am shut inside. I go mad to get it as foxes make me huff and puff. All I can do is jump up at the big windows and one day I broke the glass. No-one knows how it happened.

About the Author:

A career as a journalist led to health writing for UK national newspapers and consumer magazines, and various non-fiction books. Frances’ first novel, Finding Jo, influenced by travels in India, took some years to come to fruition. It was published on Amazon in 2021. 

Frances on the Web:

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