One Writer’s Journey

October 14, 2019

Book Sightings

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:40 am

Last Friday morning, I was puttering along on Facebook.  I hadn’t even made coffee yet when I came across a friend’s post.  “When your kid brings this book into your perfectly happy dog-free home and you have to read an entire chapter that very persuasively debunks your #1 allergy argument, suddenly censorship of books doesn’t seem all that unreasonable.”  Oh, yeah.  I remember those arguments.  No, you can’t have a snake/snapping turtle/goat/savanna cat, etc.

Then I scrolled down to the photo.  That cover looks familiar.

Wait a minute, my friend was joking about MY book.  So I responded.  “Hmm. Of all my books, I never thought this was the one parents would try to censor. 😁”

We’ve had a good laugh about this and she said that I could share her daughter’s photo.  But seriously, if you want to make an author’s day, post a photo of your child with their book.  Or your class with their book.  Or maybe even your cat with their book.

Okay, the cat is mine.

The next time you or your child enjoy a book, share a photo.  There is a good chance that you will make someone’s day especially if you make a cheeky comment.

That said, I feel like I should said my friend Julie a fruit basket or something.  She has requested that I write a book about pet rocks.  I’m thinking about something on the importance of zoo adoptions.  Or wildlife sponsorships.  Sorry, Julie!


February 7, 2019

Author’s Copies: Going to the Dogs

Filed under: Uncategorized — suebe @ 1:39 am
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Look at what I found on the bench Tuesday?  Another pair of author’s copies.

Labradoodle and Puggle are both part of the Top Hybrid Dog series from Capstone. Whenever possible, I like to get two books in the same series especially if it is a new-to-me publisher or a tried-and-true publisher but a new series.

Two books mean that I figure out the standards and format for the series one time and then get to apply it twice.  These particular books were a lower reading level than I am used to writing which also meant that they were shorter.  While I’m used to including sidebars in a chapter, I also had to include fact boxes – a brief, interesting fact that didn’t appear in the main text.

I also didn’t anticipate just how difficult these books would be to research.  Fans of each hybrid tend to focus on the pluses – smart, high energy, fun, curly coat.  People who want you to buy a pure bred often focus on the negatives – smart = easily bored and thus destructive, high energy = needs a lot of exercise, curly coat = brushing required as well as trips to the groomer.  The books had to be upbeat which made it hard to write about potential health problems although knowing about these problems are an essential part of researching any dog, purebred or hybrid.

I’m not ready to quit writing younger books – these are for readers in grades 3 to 4.  But I have to admit that writing at a 7th to 8th grade level is definitely my sweet spot.  I can write either higher or lower but it takes a lot more thought as I rough it out and tinkering to reach the desired reading level.

The series that I’m getting ready to pitch is for this reading level. Maybe the dog books were good practice because it doesn’t seem as difficult as it was the first time.  You know what they say – practice makes perfect.


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