I had the pleasure of speaking with Karen Snow, author of "Seven Gifts from Seven Dogs" recently and share with you both that interview, and the fact that the books are now out!
Me: Is this your first book?
Karen: Yes. I've done journalism over the years but this is my first book.
Me: What was your inspiration for this book now?
Karen: Once in everyone's lifetime, people go through a couple of rough years. I was struggling, and (then) my dog Gretl died last February. That was the straw that broke the camel's back. I started writing about her and our relationship. It was a healing process for me. Dogs have been a huge part of my life. I wanted to inspire people with my story (to let them know) you can get up again and move forward.
Me: How did you come up with the title?
Karen: Dogs are incredible teachers. Their lessons were their gifts to me.
Me: Name one entity outside your family that you feel supported you.
Karen: This is a solo act, not to sound selfish. Besides my family it was very much an inside job. My sister read the book today. I asked her which was her favorite and she said she couldn't choose.
At first the book was my mission. It's grown so big it is now part of the mission.
Me: I noticed on your website your connection to an animal charity, Dogs Deserve Better. Can you tell us a little about that?
Karen: I have been connected to them for years. The way some people treat their dogs is terrible - like leaving them chained up all day. People need to know more about treating their dogs better. My son, my dog Jack and I are leaving soon on a cross-country tour, speaking at churches, shelters, senior centers. Our first stop is at the Dogs Deserve Better shelter in Virginia Beach.
There is a spiritual side to this, a teaching and an educational side. We're compiling a list of places to go. Whoever wants to talk to me, as long as I can promote this and make the words serve their purpose.
Me: What are your current projects?
Karen: I will be blogging the whole tour so people can follow us. We are going on an adventure and making new friends. I want to help people and dogs. It's that strong for me to do this. It should be set up by Monday, for those who would like to follow. More information will be available on my Facebook page and my website.
Me: Is there anything you found particularly challenging in your writing?
Karen: The words flowed. This book needed to be published. I wasn't going to wait around and have someone tell me it wasn't good enough. It was a labor of love.
Travelling the self-publishing road was more or a challenge. I had an idea in my head of how I wanted the book to look and feel. I wanted to find the right graphic designer. I had to find the right publisher. Print on demand was $10 per book and I didn't want that. I wanted more control over my book.
Me: Do you see writing as a career? Will there be another book?
Karen: Writing is my way of expressing myself. For a really long time, I've loved dogs. I can't stand to see them sick or hurt. It's going to be my life's purpose. Writing this book helped me find my purpose. Dogs are beautiful companions. They have something that they are here to give us - that is sacred. I'm taking a course at college on animal-assisted therapy - dogs helping with hospital patients' recovery and the like.
Absolutely there will be another book!
Me: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Karen: Yeah, don't give up. There are so many (publishing) companies out there. Let the company feel right for you. Let the editor feel right for you. Get started. You may not know where you are going, but just get moving.
Me: Do you have anything specifically you want to say to your readers?
Karen: When this all started, I was in a dark place. One day I said, "I'm tired of this. I'm choosing to be happy." I went to Home Depot and bought some flowers. I chose to be happy in a very dark time. We can choose that.
Me: If you had it to do over again, would you change anything about the book or your process?
Karen: No. Nothing at all.
I would like to express my appreciation to Karen Snow for granting the interview and wish her the best of success with both the book , the work she is doing and the journey she is about to undertake. Please be sure to check out her site and subscribe to her blog when it goes live. Do it for the furry companions in your life, past, present and future and for the many gifts they have given you.
And, I'm thrilled to share with you that I have taken Karen up on her challenge to choose the lesson of one of the dogs, live it for 30 days and report back at SevenGiftsSevenDogs.com. I even made a 'challenge button' for myself. and I will have a post each day in February (and I guess two days in March) for what I am learning. I'd love to have you join me in this challenge!
To let you know, I have chosen Gretl's lesson and challenge: PURPOSE.
I'm also sharing this post with these wonderful link-ups:
(the list will probably grow, too)