Today we are joined by Kate Spicer to talk about, ‘Lost Dog’, a story that evokes the universal feeling of one’s cold, human heart cracking open for their pet. But this book is so much more than just the story of Kate losing her dog, it’s a homage to the grit & character of Notting Hill & the social fabric of the city of London itself. It is also Kate’s brutally honest self-reflection of her shadows. Opening with ‘Lost Woman’, Kate sits in flat in Mayfair doing drugs & living a lifestyle more fit for a grungey rock ‘n roll star than a successful middle-aged journalist. Following this, is the catalyst for Kate’s own journey of self-realisation brought on by her dog, Wolfy.
Nestled in her flat drinking wine & slipping the occasional f-bomb, like a starlet from a “late night 70s French art show”, Kate keeps it real. You will see why Kate’s refreshingly raw honesty is a testament to the success of ‘Lost Dog’. We hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
The chat opens with a book-cast reading from to set the scene of Kate’s initial panic of losing one’s four legged friend. Following this, we talk:
- Writing a book on losing a dog & the feeling of inferiority when looking to be published. “Who cares that I lost my dog?”
- Opening the book with Kate the ‘Lost Woman’: Kate reaching naked for a bottle of mezcal whilst in a flat in Mayfair taking drugs. Her experience of being a ‘mess’ way past her sell by date for her lifestyle at the time.
- The ‘endemic’ use of drugs in today’s society.
- Generation X & the culture of low level addiction. The fine line between ‘use’ versus ‘abuse’,
- The mad nine days of searching for her dog through London & the complex family issues that arise when your brother is responsible for losing your dog.
- The universal feeling of devastation when one loses their dog, it’s a shared experience across all walks of life, even celebrities.
- Maternal child worship: Kate’s experience as a childless woman.
- The fetishisation of pregnancy, children & babies in today’s society.
- The abandonment that women experience when their friends have children.
- Kate’s objective study of parents: If they fetishise their children it means there is something missing within them, this can be projected in neurotic, protective behaviour towards their children.
- Kate on telling her”real f**king truth’. A raw, honest no holds-barred account on writing “what frightens you the most”.
- The process of writing a book: “like pushing a rock down a hill”.
- The fictionalised characters in the book that reflect real people within Kate’s book: The bad influence friends she left behind as a result of writing the book, the hurt feelings people experienced, & the people that don’t recognise themselves in the book
- Lost Dog’s Melanie Oxbridge character: every sexy blue stocking, privileged, upper class, private school, successful & wealthy girl from Kate’s life.
- Lost Dog as a literary Voodoo doll: The cathartic feeling of being awful about people Kate had been jealous of, or threatened by “the minute you actually express this stuff, all the power goes away”. .
- Kate’s ‘Positive Twitter Experience’ – a very rare one at that, when Kate shared a poster on her Twitter of her lost dog, Wolfy. She woke up to 3,000 retweets of her original post, with people all over London sharing her ‘Lost Dog’ tweet. Wolfy had effectively gone viral. She thanks Jeremy Clarkson for his inital retweet reaching the masses. How did she achieve it? Kate believes all her experience in the media for years & years, led up to that one fateful poster like a ‘soap opera’ on Twitter, that ticked all the right boxes – cute pic, straight to the point messaging, famous retweeter.
- Twitter’s community of supporting one another: @beautifulmumsy the Twitter campaigning of complete stranger who paid forward her pain in love & support, who helped Kate Spicer find Wolfy.
- The book was ‘widely rejected’ when Kate initially wrote the book – “who cares about this random middle aged drug addict with a lost dog”.
- The nocturnal London with the many culturally diverse & eccentric characters in the late night streets of the city.
- Kate’s very touching connections she would make with the many diverse characters in the streets of London.
- The moment in which Kate found Wolfy, a moment she will never forget, in a body shop for Porches & very expensive cars. The surge that vibrates through one’s body when you finally come back together as a dog & his owner.