Weippe writer launches ‘Smeagle the Beagle’ series, will sign copies Saturday at Clarkston bookstore

Weippe author Pam Britt, who writes under the pen name Malina Morgann, will sign copies of her latest book for kids, “Smeagle gets Hijacked,” from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m Saturday, Sept. 24, at And Books, Too in Clarkston.

Britt’s latest book, the first in what will be a series of Smeagle the Beagle adventures, follows the intrepid canine’s adventures with various woodland animals after being “hijacked” by a large owl.

The story was inspired by a real-life beagle named Smeagle who belongs to a couple on Britt’s former mail route. She became friends with Smeagle’s owners during her time as a mail carrier, helping them acquire the dog when the woman said her husband wanted a beagle to hunt rabbits, Britt said.

One day, the woman shared that she’d heard a great gray owl hooting, and she was afraid it could be a danger to the pup.

The original Smeagle managed to avoid any owl threats, Britt said. But the scenario sparked the idea for the first Smeagle adventure.

“I had to figure out, how would a dog, a young dog like that, get away if that happened to him?”

The chapter book’s cover and other illustrations are by California artist Kelley McMorris, whom Britt found by searching Amazon for children’s books with illustrations she liked.

“She’s totally awesome. She’s so cool,” she said. “I just love her.”

They plan to work together on the rest of the series, Britt said, and the cover for the second book is already done.

The books are self-published through Britt’s Weathered Hat Publishing, with more information at smeaglethebeagle.com.