At the age of 14, Simon Whaley wrote to the playwright and author Alan Bleasdale to ask his advice about becoming a writer. "Don’t," replied Bleasdale. "Become a brain surgeon instead. It’s easier." Fortified by these encouraging words, Simon went to work for Barclays Bank for eight years, followed by a stint in local government. None of these career paths led to an obvious future as a writer, or even as the bestselling author of a number of books on dogs, but he got there eventually. His literary pedigree includes One Hundred Muddy Paws for Thought, and One Hundred Ways for a Dog to Train Its Human.