Mik-Shrok: Behind the Story

Do you have a favorite breed of dog? My favorites are smart dogs, like working dogs and hunting dogs. Our family pets were black Labradors, and one of them, Duke, was an especially good hunter. I’ve always admired the way a well-trained Lab knows what to do before anyone tells him.

One day, remembering Duke, I decided to write a short story about a dog. My first question was: What kind of dog? And right away, I had the answer: a husky. Huskies are the smartest, strongest dogs I know.

I had been reading about a missionary, so I asked myself how useful the huskies might have been, years ago, to the missionaries in Alaska. And then I started to read. I read dozens of books about Arctic missionaries and their dogs. I read dozens more books about what it was like to live in Alaska, and the more I read the more I knew I wanted to write a story about two young missionaries. They’d be just starting out in Alaska and not sure of anything. Of course they’d need a dog team. And the team would need a good, strong, smart leader.

I never did write that short story. I started on the first Arctic Adventure book and got to know Mikki and Steve and Liz, and then I wanted to write another book about them, and a third one too.

About the artist: Jim Brooks, who lives in Greenville, South Carolina, painted the cover for Mik-shrok and drew the pictures inside the book. His interest in portraying wildlife is evident in his realistic interpretation of wild creatures and has earned him numerous awards. He has generously given me permission to use his drawings on this website.