An Interview with Izzy McHale
Annie: Hello! I’m Annie Knox, the author of Paws for Murder, the first in a series of Pet Boutique Mysteries. I’m here today to interview Izzy McHale, owner of Trendy Tails Pet Boutique in Merryville, Minnesota. Say hello, Izzy.
Izzy: Hi guys!
Annie: So you run a pet boutique. That’s a pretty specialized business. Can you tell us how you settled on this career path?
Izzy: [Sigh] It wasn’t exactly on purpose. I studied design at University of Wisconsin, Madison, and I planned to move to New York and become a fashion designer. For people. Thanks to an ill-fated romance, though, that plan never materialized. For lack of human models, I started making clothes for my dog Packer and my cat Jinx. Then I started selling some of my creations at the Merryvillle Gift Haus. I only recently got up the nerve to go out on my own and open my own boutique.
Annie: That sounds like a big leap.
Izzy: Tell me about it. I probably wouldn’t have done it if I didn’t have my landlady Ingrid Whitfield and my Aunt Dolly pushing me.
Annie: It sounds like you have quite a cheering section.
Izzy: Well, I have Ingrid and Dolly. And my best friend Rena Hamilton (who sells homemade pet treats in the store). Rena’s got my back 100 percent. Everyone else in my family, though …. They think I’m totally going to blow this.
Annie: Really? Why?
Izzy: Let’s just say that my family nickname is “Dizzy Izzy.” My older sister Dru has the level head for business, and my younger sister Lucy has the charm of a real salesperson. I’m just me. My mom is putting on a brave face, but I know she’s terrified the business will go under and I won’t be able to pay Aunt Dolly back the money she lent me to get the business going.
Annie: Is that a real possibility? The business going under?
Izzy: Um, yeah. You should know. You’re the one who gave me Richard Greene for a neighbor. He’s a savvy old coot, and he does not like the idea of having all these animals traipsing in and out of my store, making noise and harassing the people who visit his military memorabilia shop. And you also put me on the radar of Sherry Harper, local trust fund baby and protester extraordinaire. If she has her way, I won’t make it through my grand opening.
Annie: Right. Yeah. Sorry about all that. How about your personal life?
Izzy: What personal life? I spend time with Rena, my family, a couple of other friends, but most of my energy is devoted to the new store and solving all these murders that seem to happen right on my doorstep.
Annie: But what about your love life? I thought there was a special someone in your life right now.
Izzy: Hmmm. Well, that’s complicated. Really complicated. I don’t think I want to answer any questions about that just yet.
Annie: Fair enough. Anything else you’d like to share with readers?
Izzy: Just that Merryville is a pretty great place to visit, either in person or on the page. My family may not have complete faith in my business prowess, but they’re wonderful people. Even salty old Richard Greene has a certain charm to him. I hope everyone will pick up Paws for Murder and give us a visit!
Paws for Murder by Annie Knox. Signet. 2014. ISBN 9780451239501 (paperback), 320p.