It’s the summer of 1964 and the Supremes are the reigning queens of radio. Sheryl-Anne MacRae dreams of running away from her home on an apple orchard in southwestern Ontario to find her missing mother. But the teenager’s plans are put on hold when her uncle and guardian, Fergus, the local pharmacist and an amateur photographer, brings home a handsome young hitchhiker.

When Sheryl-Anne meets the guitar-toting Peter Lucas Angelo, she falls in love. But life in Eden Valley is not as idyllic as it seems. As the summer progresses, Peter is pulled deeper into Fergus’ dangerous underworld – a world of sex, drugs, pornography and apocalyptic visions.

Through the naïve eyes of the ethereal 14-year old Sheryl-Anne, Kelly Watt explores themes of child abuse and sexual deviance, and the secrets, dissociation and denial that allow it to flourish.

A gothic tale told in vivid, often hallucinogenic prose, Mad Dog was a 2001 Globe and Mail notable book and Watt’s first novel. The book has been republished with a U.S. publisher (an updated edition).


  • How this story originally released in Canada in 2001 resonates strongly in the current #MeToo era
  • Why the author felt 2019 was the right time to release the U.S. and e-book editions of her 2001 novel
  • Issues surrounding child abuse and child trafficking
  • Sexual abuse cases coming to light that used to be hidden (e.g. Jeffrey Epstein)
  • The issue of child luring and why it happens
  • Author is an advocate for victims of sexual abuse and involved in several nonprofits that are mission-driven


  • Self-Improvement Month – September
  • Read a New Book Month – September
  • World Gratitude Day – September 21
  • National Book Month – October
  • National Work and Family Month – October
  • World Smile Day – October 5
  • Conflict Resolution Day – October 17
  • Evaluate your Life Day – October 19


Kelly Watt’s award-winning short stories have been anthologized, published internationally and longlisted for the prestigious CBC Radio’s Short Fiction Contest twice (2017/2015). She is the author of two books—the travel companion Camino Meditations (2014), and the gothic novel Mad Dog (2019). Watt lives in the Ontario countryside with her husband, a miniature schnauzer and three diligent chickens.


“The strangest coming-of-age story you ever did read.” The National Post

“To call this a first-love/coming-of-age story would belie the suspense and mystery that Watt so adeptly creates.” The Globe & Mail

“At the heart of Watt’s startling new novel is a look at fanaticism that dangerously blurs good and evil for the perceived fulfillment of a prophesy.” – Jenivieve DeVries, Highly Recommended, The Book Shelf, Guelph, ON