If you’ve read my book, How to Hunt a Menacing Magical Shadow, you might remember a furry, four-legged lump with a smushed face like a wrinkled pair of black jeans named Porky. I’ve heard from a lot of fans that Porky is downright adorable and, although a minor character in the book, is definitely a lovable one.

So who is Porky? He’s a cuddly black pug with bulging black eyes that will make you want to throw yourself at him and stoke his smooth velvet fur for hours while on a never ending loop of “awwwws.” He’s also a tracker, capable of sniffing things out and helping the team gather useful information. And we certainly can’t forget the most important of them all: Porky is a member of the elite military unit called the Black Sheep and could probably kick your ass. Or at least suffocate you with his gas.

So why is there a talking pug in the story and where exactly did my inspiration come from?

The answer to that is simple. All the characters in my story come from names of people I know and their character traits are mostly pulled from close friends and family. And, guess what, that also includes Porky!

In my boring everyday life, I live with a cuddly pugtato named TonTon (if there are any Naruto fans out there, you’ll get the reference). She’s a pug and a Boston terrier mix, with the short, stubby body of a pug and the unique black and white coloring of a terrier (more like a brindle). We adopted her when she was two from a Connecticut rest stop at one in the morning. Don’t ask, but I swear it was legit. The rescue service had a vet on board the air conditioned van and everything. It was love at first sight, and farts all the way home. The rest is history. Full of more farts and snoring so loud I need to keep the TV on at night so I can drown it out. She naps on my desk during the day while I write and work…also snoring and farting in her sleep. She barks like Zoidburg at runners outside the window, and sometimes simultaneously farts while she does it. You get the idea.

Most importantly, she’s a trained therapy dog. While we never joined an official group (turns out she doesn’t like crowds), she does more than she will ever know to help me get through the day. Whenever I look at her two little paws scrunched up against her even more scrunchy face I can’t help but to smile, give her a pet on the head, take a deep breath, and motivate myself to forget whatever was bothering me and push on.

While TonTon is not a trained ninja assassin spy (that would be terrifying), Porky’s role in the story is just as unique as she is. With his magical blue plaid bowtie, Porky has the ability to speak like an automated telephone robot. Since no one suspects a dog to be a spy, he can casually trot about surveying hideouts and listening for intel. He’s got that squishy face you can’t help but to love. And, just like TonTon, he’s always there to help out the team when they need him the most. At the end of the story, we learn a very surprising fact about Porky. What is it? Well, I’m not giving away any spoilers. You’ll just have to read to find out.

Want to start reading? How to Hunt a Menacing Magical Shadow is on sale now for a limited time for .99¢. Grab it before Sept. 15th before time runs out!


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