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Word by Word

Behind the Scenes The Case of the Purloined Professor

If you've read the first book in The Tails of Frederick and Ishbu series, The Mystery of the Burmese Bandicoot, you know that Frederick and Ishbu are based on two real pet rats I had in my kindergarten classroom a few years ago.

Frederick was a slim gray rat, the color known to rat fanciers as "lilac". Ishbu was a hooded rat with a white body and black head. Both rats had round shiny black eyes and whiskers that vibrated with every motion. I spun tales of their imagined adventures to entertain my kindergartners. Many years later, I expanded the adventures and wrote them down.

Most of the places in the first book were researched through the internet, books, and magazines, but when it came time to write the second book, I wanted to recreate places I'd actually visited--my hometown of San Francisco, one of the world's loveliest cities; Loch Ness and Cawdor Castle in Scotland; Zermatt and the Matterhorn in Switzerland.

I don't know where the rats will travel to next, but I hope they will take me along.
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