Thursday, June 4, 2009

An Interview With Kathryn Miles, author of "Adventures With Ari"

Kathryn Miles, author of Adventures With Ari graciously answered some questions that Gerard and I had for her after reading her book and we thought we'd share them with our readers. Following are the questions we asked and her answers:

Did you do the research on the different nature things because you were really interested or because you wanted to include it in the book?

Both. I wrote the book because I became so interested in the different aspects of nature that Ari and I investigated. When I set out to start my year-long experiment in canine naturalism, I didn't set a lot of rules for myself, because I wasn't certain what sort of form the project would take. But I did know that I value environmental thought and wanted to know more about the world in which I live. As our progress progressed, I found myself wanting to learn more and more. I'd sit down to research the gestation period of frogs, and end up spending an entire day reading about the secret lives of amphibians. The same was true for any species, really. It's a wild, wonderful world out there. I don't think I knew the half of it until I met Ari.

How is Ari doing now?

Ari is fantastic. She is three years old now, and a lot more grown up than she was in the book. But she still has the same exuberant energy and curiosity that made our time outdoors so pleasurable (and, luckily, she's outgrown some of her more naughty puppy behaviors).

Do you have plans to write another book?

I'm currently at work on a very different sort of project: a narrative about a legendary Irish famine ship called the Jeanie Johnston. It's a different style book--popular history--but it's also very rooted in landscape and place.

Why did you decide to write this book?

The project actually began as more of a personal journal or almanac--a way for me to get in touch with the seasons and the ecology around my house. As I came to realize how much I was learning through Ari, however, I realized that other people might benefit from adopting some version of canine naturalism in their own lives. So the book became a way to chronicle my experience and do some of the foundational work I thought might be helpful for others. I also wanted to pay tribute to Ari--and to relationships in general. At it's heart, I think the book is really a love story: love for place, love for the creatures (2- and 4- footed) in our lives, love for the sense of connection we all seek.

Stop by Kathryn's blog, Out With Ari at .
(Pictures in this post used by permission)


The Author said...

I used to read Kathryn's blog all the time and it is fantastic. I've lost track of it lately and had no idea she'd written a book. I'm sure it's wonderful too. Thanks for the review.

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