Jimmy Mender and His Miracle Dog
by Angelo Dirks & Leland Dirks
Genre: Fiction – Family Life
Word count: 65,000
Can a man you’ve only known for a week change your life?
Paul Young can’t forget Jimmy Mender, the Stetson-wearing cowboy and former Marine who smells of Old Spice. Jimmy Mender can’t forget that he’s got a past that could hurt anyone he loves. And when Jimmy disappears, Paul is heartbroken.
For years, Paul wonders what happened to Jimmy. Then, out of the blue, Paul receives a package from Alaska. In it is a note from a stranger informing Paul that Jimmy has died. Also enclosed is a stack of Jimmy’s journals and a notice that there are other things up in Alaska that Paul is welcome to if he wants to go there and get them.
And so, Paul embarks on a journey to the north. In the process, he discovers who Jimmy truly was, and in turn, learns a great deal about himself. Along the way, a Border Collie with a secret decides to help him out. Sometimes, falling in love with the wrong man can bring you exactly where you need to be in your life.
Leland, how did you come up with the title for your book? Does it have any special meaning?
The name Jimmy Mender came out of nowhere… I knew I wanted a character who ‘fixed’ things for people, and Mender fit. The miracle dog part was just a part of the story I envisaged. Also, my co-author insisted a dog be given equal billing.
Who was your favorite character and why?
Surprisingly, it was Paul Young. I was sure when I started the story it would be Jimmy Mender, the hero. Instead, it was the ‘everyman’ of the story.
Does your book have any underlying theme, message, or moral?
Believe in possibilities. Follow your heart. Be open to surprises.
What would/could a reader or reviewer say about this book that shows they “get” you as an author?
If someone told me, “Hey, you really understand dogs and people and how they interact,” I’d be dancing on sunshine for weeks.
Give us an excerpted quote from your favorite review of this book:
“[This book]… defies categorization. There’s a touch of magic, a fair amount of adventure, and underneath it all, a lot of heart. It’s a great read. I recommend it.”
Where can people learn more about your writing?