People often ask me if I had a co-author for The Spare Room, or worked with a ghost author. Well, you’re looking at her! Meet Holly.

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | co-author Holly

Over long hours of writing, Holly would slowly sink into the couch as I typed, eventually snoring gently as her velvety left ear slipped softly over my return key. Even today as I type this blog, I find myself inadvertently flipping my pinky before pushing the enter button, though there’s no floppy ear shrouding it. Just one of those whimsical things that stays with you through a shared experience like writing a book together.

Don’t get me wrong. There’s nothing more Holly likes more than to go out exploring in the wilderness (the #mobilebiosphere trip was her own personal heaven on earth!) And trust me, this dog’s traveled! Being outside and exploring new ground gives her, and our whole family, unspeakable joy.

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | Laini and Holly

Except that one time we took a wrong turn on a winter hike in Seattle… and she had to be carried down. But she doesn’t really like to talk about that.

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | Holly hike

Anyway. All this to say that Holly and I wrote this book together. She listened with those expressive, melted milk chocolate eyes as I tested clumsy sentences out loud. She cuddled against, and warmed my right side during those cold, winter months, as the fire warmed my left. And every so often, she’d lift her head to cast me a slightly judgmental glance when I opened once too many times.

Laini may have first rescued this terrified, cowering puppy who thought she was a lap dog…

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | Laini hugs Holly

but she’s been watching over us ever since.

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | Holly pensive

Even old man Puffin fell under her protective paw, may he rest in peace.

Emily Chang | The Spare Room | Holly protective

Here’s to many more years of adventuring, writing, and cuddling together.

#thespareroombook #doglife