Have Dog, Will Write - The New York Times

You might be surprised to learn how many authors on the current best-seller lists have had help — well, sort of — from their dogs. (Note to cat people: Please don’t be offended. We’ll investigate writers and their felines another week.)

As Jennifer Weiner — whose latest novel, “Mrs. Everything,” is at No. 7 — explained recently on her website, owning a dog is essential to the creative process: “You wake up every morning. You walk the dog. You do this whether you’re tired, depressed, broke, hung over or have been recently dumped. You do it. And while you’re walking, you’re thinking about plot, or characters, or that tricky bit of dialogue that’s had you stumped for days.”

Elizabeth Gilbert — whose new novel, “City of Girls,” is at No. 5 — credits her beloved French bulldog, Chunky, with helping her survive an emotional crisis. “When somebody you love is close to death, your world becomes terribly small,” she told O Magazine last fall. Having to take Chunky out four times a day reminded her that “I still belonged to the world of the living,” she said, adding, “And in the 10 months since the love of my life died, Chunky has taken me out nearly 800 times. My life cannot collapse into a dark world of grief because his cannot.”

Debbie Macomber, author of the No. 6 novel, “Cottage by the Sea,” has often blogged about her dog, Bogie: “He’s partial to me. He has to be in the same room as me. If I’m writing, he’s nestled by my side, and if I get up for a cup of coffee, he follows me into the kitchen.” (He’s probably hoping for some of the special doggie ice cream she keeps in the freezer.)

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