Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Dog Dish Goes to the Birds!

Today Dakota interviews Petri Lender (and did so without drooling -- not an easy task, considering her opinion of birds :::nom nom:::). Petri Lender is a sun conure extraordinaire and owner of Fantasy Author Sandy Lender. You can visit his facebook page at “Petri the Parrot” on

This interview is part of Sandy's virtual tour celebrating the release of her Young Adult fantasy book, "Problems on Eldora Prime" ... but more about that (and about her cool giveaway) at the end of the interview.

Without further ado, welcome Petri!

Dakota: So, your human writes books. Does this mean she is home all day and easy to access? Elaborate if necessary.

Petri: “My mom (Sandy Lender) is home all day and pretty easy to access, but not because she’s writing books. She’s an editor for a magazine, which is what she says ‘pays the bills and buys the toys.’ She tells me that the royalty checks should start showing up now that she has six books out there in the world. Three have been released during October and November, so I’m ready for the cool toys to start pouring in.”

Dakota: What are your techniques for distracting your human during crucial writing moments, just because it's fun?

Petri: “I try not to disturb my mom too much when she’s writing because she looks so peaceful and content. Of course, there are times when I require attention. If a hawk flies by outside, she’s GOT to deal with that. Hawks are natural predators; therefore evil. I need her to close the blinds immediately so it disappears. To get her attention, and get it fast, I scream. If she doesn’t respond immediately, I fly down off my playgym in her general direction, but that’s really a last-ditch effort. Flying takes so much energy.”

Dakota: What indignities and neglect have you suffered because of your human's writing career?

Petri: “I’m the center of the universe, so I don’t tolerate any type of neglect. If my water gets too warm or if my food dish contains only the yucky green pellets that I don’t care for, I let my mom know that something’s wrong and she tends to it. What’s nice is she usually anticipates these problems and rectifies them before they get out of hand. Now, I will tell you that she goes on these writing binges sometimes that leave me alone for 12 or 14 hours at a time. I can only tolerate that for so long. I mean, I can nap and play with my toys and climb around on my playgym for a while…I’m very smart and good at entertaining myself…but we all have our limits.”

Dakota: I know the feeling... that's when I start bringing over my toys, one by one, and dropping them at my mom's feet. She usually responds.

So, tell me about the birds in your human's fiction. How often do they appear and how big a part do they play?

Petri: “My mom’s only included one falcon in the Choices Meant for Gods series. It’s supposed to be very pretty and all, but, you know, after looking at me, I don’t know how she can think a plain ol’ brown bird is pretty.”

Dakota: I'm with you on that, being rather colorful myself.

What movies involving birds does your human enjoy sharing with you? Books with birds?

Petri: “Oh. This is a sad question. My mom watched a movie called ‘Paulie’ with Tony Shaloub in it that had a parrot who was separated from his person. She saw it at the movie theatre and cried and cried and cried. She won’t ever watch that movie again. Then there was a movie called ‘The Parrots of Telegraph Hill’ that she sat down to watch with me. We were really enjoying all the conures and their antics, but it started to get sad, too, and she wouldn’t let me watch the end of it. She got rid of that DVD. Now we just share the hardwood floor commercial with the naughty macaw who cages the cat. :::Hee hee:::. I think that’s pretty funny.”

Dakota: My mom won't watch sad movies, either. Especially if the dog dies. If you could make one change to your human, what would it be?

Petri: “I’d get her to stop using the evil vacuum cleaner.”

Dakota: ::::shudders and nods emphatically::::

Are you happy with your human? If you could tell your human one thing, what would it be?

Petri: “I’m very happy with my mom. She’s awesome and liberal with the treats.”

Dakota: What things does your human do that would mortify her if known? What does your human do that most annoys?

Petri: “Oh! The thing that annoys me to death is when she hands out treats to the other birds before me. She has this idea that she needs to be ‘fair,’ so she makes us take turns being first each day. I don’t get that. I’ve been with her since forever. I should always be first. Always.”

Dakota: Has your human named a character for you? Are you pleased? If not, why?

Petri: “I don’t know if the name ‘Petri’ works in the fantasy worlds my mom creates. She comes up with names for dragons and faeries and that kind of thing, and ‘Petri’ doesn’t quite fit in there.”

Dakota: She invents the worlds, right? Then she decides what's right or wrong there. I think you need to talk to her about that. She might include a smart, beautiful character named 'Dakota', too. Just a thought.

And did your human name you for a fictional character? Hate it or love it? If you could rename yourself, what would your name be?

Petri: “Yes, I’m named after Petri, the young pterodactyl in the movie ‘The Land Before Time.’ In the movie, he saves the day when he finally flies. It’s an awesome moment. I think it’s a great name for me because I’m important like that and I like the idea of being named after a ferocious pterodactyl.”

Dakota: Thanks for visiting today! Good luck to your Mistress with her new book. Can you share what it's about?

Problems Mount! When 17-year-old pilot Khiry Okerson crashes on Eldora Prime, alarms still ring in her ears. She might have solved one problem, but she courts more danger than she realizes when she liberates some unexpected hostages on a foreign planet. Will the dragons she releases become her allies? It’s more likely they’ll join the inhabitants of this unforgiving world to hunt terraformers and the Instigator’s dwindling crew.

Khiry must find a way off this rock and into the United Society for Peace and Strength’s good graces. She’s got a capable marksman on her team in the handsome and renown Kor, but Khiry still wonders how her people can escape with a captain’s treason on her hands and a political leader’s sister in her care—care she can’t guarantee.

As part of her tour, She will also be giving away magnets to several randomly drawn commenters and a dragon ornament to one randomly drawn commenter. So leave a comment and let Petri know you were here -- he LIVES for comments. Don't let him down!



Dru said...

That was fun!

Sandy Lender said...

I knew Petri would be famous some day...

From Sandy Lender
"Some days, you just want the dragon to win."

Maria Zannini said...

Obviously Petri is an important bird. He has his own FB page.

You're a beautiful bird, Petri. I bow to your beak of death.

Marianne: Has Dakota asked for a Twitter of FB account yet?

anno said...

Brilliant! Now I wonder what would happen if Dakota & Petri conspired to write a romance novel...

Marianne Arkins said...

Maria, re: Has Dakota asked for a Twitter or FB account yet? ... shhhhh, not yet. But let's not tempt fate, okay?

Marianne Arkins said...

Anno, re: I wonder what would happen if Dakota & Petri conspired to write a romance novel...

A new twist on the "A bird and a fish might fall in love, but where would they live?" theme!

Brandy said...

A fun interview! Thanks for sharing Petri and Dakota!

Sandy Lender said...

Maria, Anno,
Once they start conspiring together and demanding access to the web, the anxiety level for us humans goes up a notch.
I think Petri got the idea from one of my characters, who has his own blog. Whereas Nigel uses his blog to help me promote books (and make fun of my cooking), Petri uses his facebook page to basically tell the world how great he is (and complain about me when I fail at something). Two very different goals. :)

From Sandy Lender
"Some days, you just want the dragon to win."

Beverly Stowe McClure said...

What a great interview, Dakota. Thanks.

You are a lovely bird, Petri.