Wednesday 23 October 2013

My author spotlight falls on Eileen Riley....

Eileen Riley is a professional pet nanny, experienced broadcaster and journalist. Born in America, she rose through the diplomatic service to take on postings in Cameroon, Papua New Guinea and Washington (under President Carter), before moving to London where she fell in love with a British man and promptly quit diplomacy in favour of looking after other people’s dogs. She lives in south-west London with her family, and regular canine guests.


I am delighted to welcome Eileen to our blog and for taking the time to answer our questions about her book

Where did you get the first flash of inspiration for Secrets of a Pet Nanny?

My brother-in-law Bob always said that he loved reading my emails and had been asking for the 'first chapter of your book for Christmas' for years.  Many, many years. Then, one August he called up to say that he and his family would love to come spend the holidays with us. Since he lives in the US and we are in London, this was going to be a rare and very special event. And so, I decided to sit down and write him the first chapter of my book. But, what book? I had no idea, that is until I started realising that for the past several months, I had written very few emails that did not include at least one story about something funny that a dog, or his owner, had done. I had the germ of an idea, so I sat down and started writing. Sadly, he was snowed-in and never arrived for Christmas, so I just kept going, and wrote the whole book.

What can you tell us about the book which will pique the reader's interest?

When I arrived in London as a diplomat, I had no idea that it was only the second best job in town.

When do you find the time to write, and do you have a favourite place to do your writing?
Usually very late at night. I'm a night owl and like it when the house is quiet and the phone isn't ringing. My favourite place is in the front room, which I have commandeered, painted a wonderful shade of green, and turned into my study. Not that I call it that, of course. That would make the rest of the family realise what I have done.

What would you like readers to take away when they finish reading Secrets of a Pet Nanny?

I would like readers to turn the last page and put down the book, smiling and thinking about the great dogs they have known and the millions of ways in which knowing them has made their lives so much richer.

And finally a fun question:
What was easier - Diplomat or Pet Nanny?

They both have their challenges, their ups and downs. But in only one of those jobs am I adored by my clients. I will leave you to figure out which one that is!

 Eileen has very kindly offered a signed copy of her lovely book in this great giveaway.

My thanks to Eileen for her generosity and to Alison Menzies at Elliot&Thompson for the opportunity to interview Eileen.


  1. Thanks for an opportunity to 'win' this book - it sounds like a really lovely read.

  2. I'm usually a cat person, but this sounds lovely. Thanks Josie x

    1. Thanks Anne - we'll keep it a secret from Costa and Nero !!

      Good Luck :)

  3. Have entered, good luck everyone



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