Today, I write the Next Big Thing Blog where each author answers the same ten questions. I will be talking about my published middle grade non-fiction book published in 2012.
What is the working title of your next book?
The book I am currently working on is a middle grade fiction about a dachshund who changed the negative attitude of Anicca, her new person, towards dogs by leading her through many misadventures. The working title is a simple “Mitzi.” The theme is: A dog can lead us where we didn’t know we wanted to go. Today I would like to discuss my published non-fiction middle grade book A Dog is a Dog And that’s why he’s so special, which received a starred review in School Library Journal in 2012.
Where did the idea come from for the book A Dog is a Dog?
It was an accumulation throughout many years of teaching puppy, obedience, and 4-H classes. As well, a lifetime of general observations of how many families, individuals and children have no understanding of the uniqueness of the dog and how much he has to offer us if we let him. Being kept in a fenced yard or a pen and fed twice a day doesn’t allow much time for cross-communication. I wanted to help change that.
What genre does your book fall under?
A Dog is a Dog is a middle grade non-fiction book for ages 9 – 13, although some adults have told me they learned a lot from the book.
What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?
Non-fiction books are produced in documentaries. Several of these have been made about various aspects of the dog world and have appeared on TV channels. The humans are usually narrators or the people who demonstrate working with their dogs.
What is the one- sentence synopsis of your book?
This book helps humans to understand the uniqueness of the dog, his instincts inherited from the wolf, his body language and the significance of his choosing to leave the wild and live with humans.
Who is publishing your book?
Alpine Publications Inc. is my publisher. They specialize in books about dogs and horses.
How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?
Before I even started writing this book, I spent several years thinking about the content. Once I started writing the first draft, it took about a year and a half. The second and third years were spent on deletions and additions of new material and continuity. The last year was spent on a final overall revision.
What other books would you compare this story to in your genre?
In recent years many good books have been written about dogs in the various age ranges. Each author has selected a particular aspect of the dog world, such as history of the dog in different cultures, training service dogs for blind, deaf and handicapped people, dogs on the trail to the Alaskan gold rush, military dogs and many other topics.
Who or what inspired you to write this book?
I wanted to give middle-graders a broad scope of those wolves, Canis Lupus, who through thousands of years became its own species, Canis Familiarus, the dog, whose purpose was to live with humans. I have shown this from my research with many photos and drawings throughout the book.
What else about the book might pique the reader’s interest?
The couple of selections written in the 19th century which show the intense bonding between the individual and their dog.