A. My wife said, How about doing something with dogs? The basic building blocks came to me right there at the kitchen table: two detective pals; narration by the four-legged one; and all in the first person, which I'd never tried before in a novel. Plus the most important thing - Chet would not be a talking dog (or be undoggy in any way) but would be a narrating dog. Anything that thinks and has memory must have a narrative going on inside. I went to the office - over the garage, commuting distance fifteen feet - and wrote the first page. Then I wanted to know what happened next.