How long does it take to write a book?
Each book is slightly different, depending on how long the idea has been rolling around in my head. Some stories are almost completely formed in my head so don’t take very long at all, just a few days; some stories are just an idea in there and so take two or more weeks; and some are a beginning and an end but have no middle, so take about a week.
How do you think of the book titles?
The first book – Sir Archibald Droolsalot – Big Dog Blues – the title just made sense based on the story. After that, I wanted to keep the titles similar as the books are a series, although the stories each stand alone. Also, I do love alliteration!
How do you get the ideas for the books?
I’m inspired by what children say and do. I always look on the bright side of any situation and weave in a message of positivity into my stories. I hope my young readers find the stories uplifting and insightful.
What is your favorite part of the stories?
My favorite part is the friendship between Archie and Bricky. They are so different and yet they have such a strong friendship. Very much like people, children in school often make friends with other children who are totally different from themselves, but those friendships can last a lifetime. In Book 1 – Big Dog Blues there is a positive message about bullying; then Book 2 – Sir Archibald Droolsalot – Big Dog Drools – Archie and his friends discover that you don’t have to be the same, sound the same or look the same to be friends and help each other. In Book 3 – Puppy Dog Blues Archie helps Bricky to understand that having another dog in the home can be a very good thing; and he teaches a puppy that drool can be very useful!
What is the most difficult part of writing the stories for you?
Ensuring that the message comes across in a positive and non-preachy way, and be delivered at the children’s level. I want them to enjoy the books, learn something new and be positively impacted.
In your bio you say that Archie is a rescue dog. Is he your first rescue?
No, Don and I have had two other rescue dogs over the years. I have always had dogs in my life, and I love them all. All breeds, all sizes, but I have to say my favorites are the larger dogs, but they are all such fun and so loving.
How did Archie inspire you?
He is a character, and yes, he does drool a lot! I just wanted to have a good literary use for all that drool. The other dogs in the stories are all based on real dogs I know.
Have you always wanted to be an author?
It has always been in the back of my mind; in fact I have quite a few different genre of stories on my computer. However, having two grandchildren now, aged 8 and 5, they have inspired me to pursue this dream.
Have you shared these stories with any children?
Yes, during the school learn from home period this year, I virtually read Books 1 and 2 to 23 classes in schools across Ontario from JK to Grade 3. The student’s, and teacher’s comments, questions and insights were so amazing; awe-inspiring and humbling. The younger children were also thrilled to virtually meet the real Archie!I was a Guest Speaker talking about “My Journey as an Author” for the Burlington Humane Kids Club this summer. I noticed in my virtual readings that the older students had many questions on my experiences of the process of getting a book published.