Today we’re chatting with Nazanin Maghounaki, author of the charming new children’s picture book, Be More Aubrey.

Nazanin believes in the immense wisdom and kindness of animals. Some of her earliest childhood memories are sitting with her hen, Morgie, on the porch in her homeland of Iran. She says Morgie was always content just basking in the sun and having her feathers stroked. When she moved to the UK at the age of five, it was Nazanin’s bond with animals that brought her a sense of peace in the uncertainty.

She now lives with her three miniature dachshunds, and it is from them she continues to learn that it is in the small simplicities that we can all find our joy.

Q: Welcome, Nazanin! Before we go any further, let’s talk about your canine family! I know you are devoted to your three gorgeous sausage dog starlets – Aubrey, Luna and Lady – who feature on your very popular Instagram account @dogmumdiary, which has over five thousand followers. They must take up a lot of your time! Did you always plan to have several dogs or did you start with one and then get hooked?

A: Thank you – it’s great to chat with you! Well, I was warned that sausage dogs are addictive . . . and here we are! But originally it was just Lady and me. She had an incredible connection with some of my friends who also wanted sausage dogs, so when Lady was two and a half I decided to mate her. She had three gorgeous boys: Aubrey (first born), Roo, and Jack. I had intended to keep a pup, but I thought a female would be best. However as fate would have it, we were meant to have Aubrey – he does have a sweet feminine energy I think! Then I said that would be it, but once Lady had her second litter of two little girls, I knew Luna had to stay. Luckily my fiancé agreed. I’d say our pack is now complete, as I don’t have enough hands to pet everyone!

Q: So, dogs aside, tell us a little more about your work and interests, and all the other things going on in your life.

A: For work, I have a therapy practice, specialising in hypnotherapy, which I really love. It is so rewarding to help people to heal the wounds of the past. I’m also fortunate to live in Oxfordshire with plenty of outdoor space for gorgeous walks with the dogs. I really enjoy spending quality time with my friends and family, and when my fiancé is in town we love to cook together and enjoy a delicious bottle of wine. I was much more fast-paced in my twenties – always out and about. But since I got Lady in my late twenties, I’ve really enjoyed a slower pace. I think dogs really encourage us to be present and content.

Q: What gave you the idea for Be More Aubrey? And why did you pick Aubrey as the star of your book, rather than Lady or Luna? Is there something in particular about his personality which made him the obvious choice for the story you had in mind?

A: I was seeing a lot of videos and quotes about the amazing companionship that dogs give us: all the things they teach us and bring into our lives. And I really felt that both Lady and Aubrey (Luna hadn’t been born when I wrote the book, though she has a really sassy personality!) nurtured those qualities in me. The reason I chose Aubrey for the book was because when he was a a pup he really encouraged Lady and I to be more adventurous. He loved – and still loves – to be outside, running along. He has an ability to know exactly when you need him to just sit with you, and his big brown eyes really do get anything they want. Also the way he wags his whole body when you come through the door is just pure love.


Q: Is there a central message in Be More Aubrey? What do you think children will learn from the book?

A: I hope children will learn that the simple things – being immersed in nature, seeing the faces of those you love, seeking out joy, and being 100% authentically yourself – are what make a beautiful day, and in turn a beautiful life.

Q: Tell us about the gorgeous illustrations by SARAH FALLON. Did you have to look far and wide for an illustrator who understood your vision, or did you already have someone in mind?

A: Sarah and I have been very good friends since university. Lady and Aubrey absolutely adore her and she has three beautiful children, so the fit was perfect for her to be the illustrator – and she absolutely nailed the brief. She captured his sweet and curious nature because she knows him very well.


Q: Are you already planning a follow-up to Be More Aubrey? A book featuring Luna or Lady perhaps?!

A: Yes, definitely! They have become quite the local celebrity trio, so I would love to create something with the three of them in. Perhaps adventures around Blenheim Palace?

(Be More Aubrey is out FRIDAY 30TH JUNE from Victorina Press)


0 Responses

  1. Congratulations on the release of your book today, Nazanin and Aubrey, from your longtime followers in Portland, Oregon, U.S.A.

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