Advice & Giveaway with Debbie Rigaud

Another fun short story collection! Here’s contributor Debbie Rigaud’s writing advice. Leave a comment to win a copy of Open Mic.

What’s your best advice for fellow writers?

I’m still learning the ropes myself, but I’d advise fellow writers to not only continue developing their creative side, but to sharpen their business sense as well. What we do is creative, yes, but it’s also profession. Even though it may not come naturally to some of us (*raising my hand*), we have to learn to use both sides of our brains and have a healthy understanding about things like publishing contracts, e-book vs. print royalties, agent fees, and other small print information in the book of industry dealings.

What popular writing advice do you never follow?
I’ve heard of many writers who write reams and reams of very detailed back stories and character profiles before they start working on their manuscripts. Writers say it adds more layers to their writing and gives characters more depth. I can definitely see how developing back story can achieve all this, but it’s not something I incorporate in my writing process. Instead, I write a detailed plot summary and I work through the back stories while I’m working on my manuscript.
Where do you do most of your writing?
Over the past five-plus years while living in Bermuda, I did most of my writing on my dining room table. I regularly got together with Sylvia May, another author on the island and we’d host writing sessions at each other’s homes. I miss those days now that I’ve just moved back to the States, but I’m glad here I can work at local coffee shops. I’m at my most productive in these public settings.

What is the best book you’ve read lately on the craft of writing?
I always go back to the same popular writer’s guide, Anne Lamott’s “Bird by Bird.” It’s like Anne knows all of my creative struggles and understands what kind of tough love I need to stop procrastinating and start writing.

About OPEN MIC
Listen in as ten YA authors use their own brand of humor to share their stories about growing up between cultures. Edited by acclaimed author and speaker Mitali Perkins, this collection of fiction and nonfiction embraces a mix of styles as diverse as their authors, from laugh-out-loud funny to wry, ironic, or poignant, in prose, poetry and comic form.

About “Voila”
Thanks to overprotective parenting, Simone’s elderly great aunt Ma Tante has more of a social life than she does. But one afternoon, Ma Tante’s social scene awkwardly intersects with Simone’s in the unlikeliest of places.

About Debbie Rigaud
Debbie Rigaud began her writing career covering news and entertainment for popular magazines. Her YA fiction debut, HALLWAY DIARIES/Kimani Tru was followed by the fish-out-of-water romantic comedy PERFECT SHOT/Simon Pulse. Since then, Debbie’s non-fiction essays have been published in anthologies IT’S ALL LOVE/Broadway Books and DEAR BULLY/HarperTeen. Her short story “Voila!” is featured in OPEN MIC/Candlewick Press, and TURFQUAKE, her first YA e-book will be released late 2013. 
 www.debbierigaud.com

Leave a comment to win a copy! 


Advice & Giveaway with Diana Rodriguez Wallach

I’ve been reading a lot of short stories lately, so I’m excited to host Diana Rodriguez Wallach author of a collection of stories based on mythology. Leave a comment to win a copy!

What’s your best advice for fellow writers?
The road to publication is a long one. If you want to be an author—I mean, really want it—then you need to be prepared to settle in for the long haul. Everyone gets rejected—some spend years trying to find an agent, others years trying to find an editor, other years trying to create a fan base. Love the acting of writing so much that it makes everything worth it.
 
What popular writing advice do you never follow?
Not to write sentence fragments. See what I did there? I love sentence fragments, and I use them often.
 
Where do you do most of your writing? 
I live in a new construction development in Center City, Philadelphia, and the community has a shared space with books, TVs, a pool table, etc. It’s usually empty, and quiet, on weekdays, so that’s where I work. I’ve attached a photo. Incidentally, I also hosted my daughter’s first birthday party there. It’s a very versatile “office.”
However, I wrote Reflecting Emmy, the first short story in the Mirror, Mirror trilogyin less than two hours while sitting in a coffee shop in Philly listening to ‘80s music. So, you never know. Inspiration can hit anywhere.
 


What’s the best book you’ve read lately on the craft of writing? 
I’m a fan of Steven King’s On Writing. It’s an oldie, but a goodie, and it helped me a lot when I was writing my first novel.

About The Book

Diana Rodriguez Wallach, author of the award-winning YA series Amor and Summer Secrets, has created a modern take on the myths of Narcissus and Nemesis in a contemporary teen setting.
Her Mirror, Mirror trilogy debuts September 3rd with “Reflecting Emmy,” followed by “Nara Gazing” in October, and “Shattering GiGi” in November. Each title will be a $0.99 short story sold in digital ebook format for Kindle, nook, and kobo. The titles will be combined to create the complete Mirror, Mirror trilogy, along with bonus materials and a prequel short story, in December 2013.
In early 2014, Diana’s Mirror, Mirror trilogy will be combined with the works of YA authors Jammie Kern and Magda Knight to create the Mythology High anthology, available in ebook and paperback through Buzz Books.
Cover Copy
Eighteen-year-old Emmy is in the family business-trapping vapid narcissistic souls into her silver compact mirror for all eternity. It’s what the Rhamnusia family has been doing for thousands of years, all under the direction of Great Grandmother. Only Emmy’s latest assignment, Nara, is about to prove more challenging than she ever expected.
Gorgeous and self-absorbed, Nara is unflinchingly cruel to her classmates. Even her boyfriend, Luke, can no longer tolerate her actions–much to Emmy’s relief since she finds Luke a little more than intriguing. But when Emmy tricks Nara into gazing into her mystical mirror, what she finds there is not what she’s expecting.

About The Author
Diana Rodriguez Wallach is the author of Mirror, Mirror, a short-story collection based on the Narcissus myth, that includes Reflecting Emmy, Nara Gazing, and Shattering GiGi (Buzz Books 2013). She is also the author of three award-winning YA novels: Amor and Summer Secrets, Amigas and School Scandals, and Adios to All The Drama (Kensington Books).
In 2011, she published a highly regarded essay in Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperCollins), and in 2013, she will be featured in the anthology Latina Authors and Their Muses (Twilight Times Books). In 2010 Diana was named one of the Top Ten New Latino Authors to Watch by LatinoStories.com, and she placed second in the International Latino Book Awards. She hold a B.S. in Journalism from Boston University, and currently lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter. Website: www.dianarodriguezwallach.com
Please leave a comment to win a copy! 

Advice & Giveaway with Amanda Ashby

Please welcome Amanda Ashby & leave a comment to win a copy of her new book, Demonosity.

What’s your best advice for fellow writers?

My best advice is to not listen to me. I don’t have a clue what I’m doing it and just make it up as I go along! Plus, everyone’s publishing experience is so different that the best thing they can do is trust their own instincts.
 
What popular writing advice do you never follow?
 
I think if you ask my copyeditor they will assure that I don’t follow any writing advice, especially when it comes to grammar! I also adore prologues (I have one in Demonosity) and am absolutely, completely in love with adjectives. In fact, the only advice that I ever follow is that I try and write a great story and I would rather break a hundred rules than something that bores me.
 
Where do you do most of your writing? 
 
I have a study! I say that with glee because for years I spent all of my time at the kitchen table or chasing the sun around the house like a cat. However, I can now leave things in the knowledge that they will be there when I come back the following day!
 
What’s the best book you’ve read lately on the craft of writing? 
 
Given my lack of rule following it’s probably no surprise that my favorite craft books are by screenwriters because their advice is normally about the story rather than what words we use to create the story! I love The Writer’s Journey by Christopher Vogler and Screenwriting Tricks for Authors by Alexandra Sokoloff (which is a very reasonably priced Kindle book) and my all time favorite is Save the Cat by Blake Snyder because he used language that made total sense to me.



About The Book


The Black Rose–a powerful ancient force–has been let loose and has taken up residence in Celeste Gibson, popular girl at Cassidy Carter-Lewis’ high school. Thomas Delacroix is the spirit of a fourteenth-century knight who is devoted to protecting the Black Rose, but he needs a contemporary living being to take on the challenge. That’s where Cassidy comes in.
She’s a quirky high school junior who just wants to dress in her vintage clothes, hang out with her best friend, and take care of her father, who is recovering from surgery. She’s the last person who would ever volunteer for such a task, but no one actually asked her.  Now, like it or not, she finds herself training before dawn and battling demons at parties, the mall, and even at school. But hey, no one ever said high school was going to be easy.

About The Author


Amanda Ashby was born in Australia and after spending the last sixteen years dividing her time between England and New Zealand, she’s finally returned home for some sunshine. When she’s not moving country, she likes to write books (okay, she also likes to eat chocolate, watch television and sit around doing not much, but let’s just keep that amongst ourselves, shall we?)

She has a degree in English and Journalism from the University of Queensland and is married with two children. Her debut book, You Had Me at Halo was nominated for a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice award. Zombie Queen of Newbury High was listed by the New York Public Library’s Stuff for the Teen Age 2010. Fairy Bad Day was selected by Voya as one of their Top Shelf Fiction for Middle School Readers 2012 and was a SCBWI Crystal Kite Award finalist for the Australia/NZ region.

Please leave a comment to win a copy of the book! 


Advice & Giveaway with Lucienne Diver

Today Lucienne Diver is back with writing advice–plus you can win a copy of her new book Fangtabulous! Just leave a comment.

What’s your best advice for fellow writers?

Keep the faith. Seriously, it can be very difficult to keep writing in the face of rejections or a bad review. The important thing to remember is that nothing, not even the cutest kitten or puppy dog in the world, is universally loved. There will be detractors. That won’t change no matter how successful you become. You just have to stay true to yourself and your ambitions and, as Dory from Finding Nemo would say, “Just keep swimming.”

If anyone’s interested in reading about a particular subject, here’s a full list of articles and blogs I’ve done that address various aspects of writing and publishing http://luciennediver.wordpress.com/articles-guest-blogs/with a cut-out leading to this list of blogs for Magical Words http://varkat.livejournal.com/218703.html.

What popular writing advice do you never follow?

I don’t know that I listen to popular advice or “truisms.”  There’s too much misdirection out there, like the suggestion that you have to do things this wayor you’re wrong, wrong, wrong. The truth is that there’s no one-size fits all in publishing, no “one true path.” You have to find your way, and the path you choose will depend a lot on your end goals. 

Where do you do most of your writing?

In the warm weather, I like to take a pen and notebook (I freehand everything before typing it onto the computer) up to the pool or dock at our lodge. In the cooler weather lately though I’ve been writing in our Florida room. Our dogs like to keep me company, one laying on each side of my lap while I attempt to write over them.  For example, here’s a picture of them in our papasan chair with Ginger, the littler one, occupying my spot. The other is Micky-doodle.



What’s the best book you’ve read lately on the craft of writing? 

I actually don’t read books on the writing craft. I’ve learned through reading fiction and analyzing what works and doesn’t work in the books I’ve loved and how authors do what they do. I’ve also learned a lot through trial and error—writing, workshopping and learning about my strengths and weaknesses from people who can see them more clearly.

About The Book:

Gina Covello and her band of federal fugitives are on the run after taking down a secret (and sinister) government facility. Strapped without cash or credit cards—a fate worse than death for Gina—the rebels must find a place to lay low. They roll into Salem, Massachusetts, the most haunted town in America and the only place they have friends flying under the radar. But within a day, Gina and her gang are embroiled in a murder mystery of the supernatural kind.

Someone—or something—is strangling young women, and it’s rumored to be the ghost of Sheriff Corwin, late of the Salem Witch trials.  Is it the ghostly Sheriff or is someone on this side of the veil using the famous story as a cover up? Gina is determined to get to the bottom of this mystery, and she needs to do it before a paranormal reporter on the scene exposes them for what they are…fanged federal fugitives.  


About The Author:

Lucienne Diver writes the humorous, suspenseful Vamped series of young adult vampire novels for Flux Books, including Vamped, Revamped, Fangtastic and the most recent, Fangtabulous.  Her short stories have been included in the Strip-Mauledand Fangs for the Mammaries anthologies edited by Esther Friesner (Baen Books), and her essay on abuse is included in the anthology Dear Bully: 70 Authors Tell Their Stories (HarperTeen).  She also writes the Latter-Day Olympians urban fantasy series for Samhain (Bad Blood, Crazy in the Blood and the forthcoming Rise of the Blood). www.luciennediver.com


Please leave a comment to win your own copy!



Advice & Giveaway with Laurie Faria Stolarz

Please welcome Laurie Faria Stolarz, author of Deadly Little Lessons. Here’s her writing advice. Leave a comment to win a copy of her new book! 

What’s your best advice for fellow writers?
My biggest advice is to persevere.  There are many talented writers who give up after 5, 10, or even 50 rejection letters.  Be open to learning and to getting better in your craft.  If more than one person criticizes the same point in your work – i.e. your main character whines too much – chances are you need to look at that point again.  Never pay reading fees while trying to get published – ever.  Do your homework.  Know to whom you’re sending your query letter, who that person’s clients are, what that person’s track record is (i.e. the details of his or her most recent acquisitions), and what that person is looking for.  Every letter should be personalized and reflect that you’ve done your research.  And, lastly, consider joining a writers group. There’s nothing better than being in a group of like-minded writers who can help inspire and cheer you on, and who can provide constructive feedback that can help to strengthen your work. 
What popular writing advice do you never follow?

Write what you know.
Where do you do most of your writing?

I’m lucky to have an office space in my home.  But I can really work anywhere – in the car, in a waiting room, at a coffee shop, or sitting at the kitchen island.  I carry around a notebook, ready for when inspiration strikes.
What’s the best book you’ve read lately on the craft of writing?

Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott

About The Book:

Camelia Hammond’s trying junior year of high school is finally over…but her troubles aren’t. After she discovers a painful truth about her family, she escapes to a summer arts program in Rhode Island. Determined to put family – and boyfriend – drama behind her, she throws herself into her artwork.
At the arts school, she gets caught up in the case of Sasha Beckerman, a local girl who is missing. Even though all signs suggest that the teen ran away, Camelia senses otherwise. Eager to help the girl, she launches her own investigation. Meanwhile, Camelia realizes how much she misses Ben, despite being committed to Adam.
But time is running out for Sasha, and Camelia will have to trust her powers if she’s to save her. Will the lessons Camelia has learned in the past give her the strength to do so?

Wanna sneak peek?  Go here:  http://www.lauriestolarz.com/dllessons.pdf                    

About The Author: 

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, Project 17, and Bleed, as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series.  Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston. Checkout her website for a fun contest:  www.lauriestolarz.com.

Leave a comment to win a copy of Deadly Little Lessons!

Writing Advice & Giveaway with Eileen Cook

Here’s some great writing advice from Eileen Cook. Leave a comment to win a copy of her new book, The Almost Truth

What’s your best advice for fellow writers? 

Read! Books are the best teacher.
What popular writing advice do you never follow?  

Write what you know. For me part of the fun is learning something I don’t already know.
Where do you do most of your writing?   

My office is the old sun porch on our house. I do a fair bit of work in there, but I also like to lounge on our sofa and write. My dogs prefer when I sit on the sofa because then they can snuggle in.



What’s the best book you’ve read lately on the craft of writing? 
I love books about writing!  I have stacks and stacks of them, which makes picking a favorite hard.  I love SAVE THE CAT by Blake Snyder. It’s a screenwriting book, but the structure works great for novels and it’s full of practical examples. I also really like Stephen King’s ON WRITING for a kick of motivation. 

About The Book

From the author of Unraveling Isobel and The Education of Hailey Kendrick, a smart, romantic novel about a teenage con artist who might be in over her head.
Sadie can’t wait to get away from her backwards small town, her delusional mom, her jailbird dad, and the tiny trailer where she was raised…even though leaving those things behind also means leaving Brendan. Sadie wants a better life, and she has been working steadily toward it, one con at a time.
But when Sadie’s mother wipes out Sadie’s savings, her escape plan is suddenly gone. She needs to come up with a lot of cash—and fast—or she’ll be stuck in this town forever.
With Brendan’s help, she devises a plan—the ultimate con—to get the money. But the more lies Sadie spins, the more she starts falling for her own hoax…and perhaps for the wrong boy. Sadie wanted to change her life, but she wasn’t prepared to have it flipped upside down by her own deception. With her future at stake and her heart on the line, suddenly it seems like she has a lot more than just money to lose….
About The Author

Eileen Cook is a multi-published author with her novels appearing in eight different languages. She spent most of her teen years wishing she were someone else or somewhere else, which is great training for a writer.  Her latest release, Unraveling Isobel came out in Jan 2012
You can read more about Eileen, her books, and the things that strike her as funny at www.eileencook.com.  Eileen lives in Vancouver with her husband and two dogs and no longer wishes to be anyone or anywhere else.

Leave a comment to win a copy! 

Summer Fun & Giveaway with Elise Allen

Please welcome Elise Allen who’s celebrating the paperback release of Populazzi. Leave a comment for a chance to win a copy! 

What’s your favorite summer memory?


I have a very distinct memory of being in the ocean at Atlantic City with my grandfather.  I held one of his hands; my sister held the other, and as each wave rolled towards us he’d holler, “JUMP!” and we’d ride it up and over.  I can see the smile on his face, his bathing shorts straining over his massive belly… it’s a snapshot moment that feels like love.  It always makes me achingly happy… “aching” because he died two weeks before my wedding.  That was almost 15 years ago, and I still miss him.


Ice cream or popsicle? What’s your favorite flavor?


Ice cream, no contest.  Favorite flavor goes between Rocky Road and Pralines and Cream, depending on if I’m in the mood for chocolate or vanilla.

What will you be reading this summer? 

Right now I’m reading Anne Lamott’s Some Assembly Required.  I’m obsessed with Anne Lamott, not only because her fiction is pretty much my benchmark for great writing, but because her non-fiction is like holding a mirror to my own internal struggles with self-doubt, the search for spirituality, and the quest to live life to its fullest.

About Populazzi

WHAT WOULD YOU DO if you had the chance to erase your past and reinvent yourself as the person you’ve always wanted to be?  Would you grab it?  Would you stick with it, no matter what the consequences?

Cara Leonard always wished she could be one of  those girls: confident, self-possessed, and never at a loss for the perfect thing to say.  One of the Populazzi. It always seemed impossible… but now could be her chance.

When Cara moves to a new school just before junior year, her best friend urges her to seize the opportunity and change her life… with the help of The Ladder.  Its rungs are relationships, and if Cara transforms herself into the perfect girlfriend for guys higher and higher on the Popularity Tower, she can reach the ultimate goal: Supreme Populazzi, the most popular girl in school.

The Ladder seems like a lighthearted social experiment — a straight climb up — but it quickly becomes gnarled and twisted.  And when everything goes wrong, only the most audacious act Cara can think of has a chance of setting things even a little bit right.



About The Author


After starting her career in television, Elise Allen has emerged as a vibrant new voice in teen fiction.  She is the co-author of Hilary Duff’s New York Times Bestseller Elixir, as well as its sequels, Devoted and True.  She received an Emmy nomination for her work on the PBS show Dinosaur Train, and fulfilled a lifelong dream when she wrote for the Muppets.  She lives in Los Angeles, where she indulges her inexplicable desire to run marathons.  Visit her at www.eliseallen.com, or on Twitter @EliseLAllen.


Would you like your own copy??? Leave a comment for a chance to win. 

Guest Blogging

Today I’m blogging about my trouble with “firsts” over at YA Outside The Lines, but I’m hosting Laurie Faria Stolarz here. Her latest installment in the TOUCH series is on bookstore shelves now. Leave a comment to win a copy!

How to bring your psychometric senses to fruition
By Camelia Hammond, main character, TOUCH series by Laurie Faria Stolarz

1. Make yourself comfortable in a place that feels “sacred” to you. For some it’s outside, surrounded by nature; for others it’s a favorite chair or surrounded by candles; for me, it’s wherever I’m doing pottery.
2. Close your eyes and concentrate on your breath, letting go of any stray or nervous thoughts.
3. Now, take an object in your hand. A good idea is to have someone give you something they’ve owned for a long time, i.e. a favorite bracelet or a set of keys.
4. Close your eyes again and concentrate on this object. Be aware of any thoughts or feelings that come about as a result of holding this object. Talk those ideas through, even if they seem silly or insignificant, but never make information up.
Remember, this takes practice and a bit of experimenting. The goal is to begin tuning in to your own inner awareness and your ability of perception. What often works for me is asking a question aloud, and then sculpting out the answer, using my power of touch in a creative and organic way.
Good Luck!
For more information, go here: www.lauriestolarz.com

 About Deadly Little Voices:

Camelia Hammond thought her powers of psychometry gave her only the ability to sense the future through touch. But now she’s started to hear voices. Cruel voices. Berating her, telling her how ugly she is, that she has no talent, and that she’d be better off dead. Camelia is terrified for her mental stability, especially since her deranged aunt with a suicidal history, has just moved into the house. As if all of that weren’t torturing enough, Camelia’s ex-boyfriend, Ben, for whom she still harbors feelings and who has similar psychometric abilities, has started seeing someone else. Even her closest friends, Kimmie and Wes, are unsure how to handle her erratic behavior.
With the line between reality and dream consistently blurred, Camelia turns to pottery to get a grip on her emotions. She begins sculpting a figure skater, only to receive frightening premonitions that someone’s in danger. But who is the intended victim? And how can Camelia help that person when she’s on the brink of losing her own sanity?
More About Laurie:

Laurie Faria Stolarz is the author of Deadly Little Secret, Deadly Little Lies, Deadly Little Games, Deadly Little Voices, Project 17, and Bleed, as well as the bestselling Blue is for Nightmares series.  Born and raised in Salem, Massachusetts, Stolarz attended Merrimack College and received an MFA in creative writing from Emerson College in Boston. For more information, please visit her Web site at www.lauriestolarz.com.

Leave a comment to win a copy of Deadly Little Voices! Or if you’re new to the series, I’ll send you a copy of the first title. Contest ends at midnight on January 15th.


On The Go With Joy Preble + Book Giveaway!





One of my favorite author friends, Joy Preble, visited Utah last week, so I took her on a short adventure to Antelope Island. Where else in the world can you see bison roaming on an island in the middle of a huge, salty prehistoric lake? 

I also attended Joy’s book signings to celebrate the release of Haunted, the sequel to Dreaming Anastasia. Joy was also kind enough to kick off my new On The Go questions. 


Leave a comment and you can win your own signed copies! 


1. You have been given your Dream Vacation. Where are you going & what are you doing?

I am actually planning for one of my dream vacations – probably year after next if we can save enough money. We will be going to Australia and New Zealand to see everything we can see – including Sydney, koala bears, and the gorgeous scenery where they shot Lord of the Rings. I can hardly wait!!

2. What if you could travel to a different time period?

I’d like to travel to turn of the 20th century NYC and have tea at the Plaza Hotel. Because seriously, who doesn’t want to do that? I could do that every afternoon, actually. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

3. Are you a planner or a seat-of-the pants traveler?

I’m a ridiculously OCD-type over-planner. Just ask my husband. He referred to one New York trip as “The Bataan Death March of Vacations.”  I read travel guides. I search on line. I map quest like a mad woman. I ponder. I make lists. My lists make lists. I have plans for vacations we might never get to. It’s scary.

4. What’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to you on vacation?

One time – on a spur of the moment trip to San Antonio and Sea World, we got to the hotel and the clerk said, “Your room isn’t ready.” What she meant was that this hotel was still being built and our room (which we’d booked from a central reservation line, not the individual hotel) wasn’t actually built yet! But as it was late and every other hotel in the area was booked, they put us up in what had been the hotel night club. We were awake all night with the neon flashing in the windows. I guess that’s more funny than awful, though.


Find out more about Joy Preble at http://www.joypreble.com/


Now it’s your chance to escape into adventure & romance based on Russian folklore. Leave a comment to win a copies of Dreaming Anastasia and Haunted

Contest ends on Tuesday, April 19, 2011.

Interview with Bobbie Pyron & A Book Giveaway!

Today I’m so excited to introduce you to a wonderful new middle-grade novel, A Dog’s Way Home by Bobbie Pyron. I love the way this story–alternating between the lost dog and his girl– combines action and adventure with school and family issues. But I mostly loved the way my own 11-year-old daughter got lost in this story! 

Leave a comment to win a signed copy of A Dog’s Way Home.
I’m impressed by the way you depict Tam’s doggie thinking in A Dog’s Way Home. You obviously know a lot about canine sensibilities. Will you tell us a little bit about your very first dog?  

The very first dog we had when I was a child was a wonderful beagle named Puck. I come from a family of big-time dog lovers and dogs were always members of the family. They were not dogs that were stuck out in the back yard–they lived in the house with us. Puck was probably one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever known and had an “old soul.” He was our nanny. We lived in a small beach town in Florida. Whenever my sister and I went out to roam the neighborhoods or the beach, my parents always said, “Take Puck with you and mind him.” We didn’t think there was anything odd about that! And because I was a rather shy child, I often preferred to spend my time with Puck than with other kids.
Tam is separated from his little girl Abby, but neither gives up finding each other again. I once found my missing cat after six months (I phoned the animal shelter on my birthday–and my cat was there!). Have you ever found a lost pet? 

This is kind of a “lost pet” story: when I was about five, our neighborhood was hit by a small tornado. It came on so suddenly, we barely had time to come in from the back yard and hide in the bathroom! When the storm passed, my sister said, “Oh no, Pucky is in the back yard!” My mother and sister and I ran to the back yard. Not only was Puck gone, but so was his dog house. We walked all over the neighborhood calling and calling his name. My mother even called my father at work and told him he had to come home and help find Puck. Right after my dad got home, we got a phone call from some folks several blocks away. The man said, “We got at dog house in our front yard and a dog in it that belongs to you”! Just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, Puck and his dog house had been picked up here, and dropped down over there. He never got in that dog house again.
I’ve always liked standard poodles, but my daughters don’t think I’m fashionable enough to own one (poodles apparently don’t like sweatpants!) What three dog breeds best represent you and why? 

Wow, three…that’s hard! My husband will tell you without hesitation that I’m a Border Collie. I’m always trying to get him to do something! And I need a job to do—I’m not a nap taker or lollygagger. But I’d like to think I also have the loyalty of a Sheltie and the stubbornness of a terrier.
Tam encounters many wild animals on his journey. Have you ever had a wild encounter while hiking with your dogs? 

Ha! Well, living up here in Park City, it’s not at all unusual to have close encounters of the wild kind. And I do spend a lot of time—all year round—out on the trails with my three dogs. We’ve frequently encountered moose, coyotes, foxes, deer, rabbits, grouse, elk, and unfortunately, skunks. One of my dogs, Boo, is a coyote mix so she loves to hunt. When she was younger, she’d run up and antagonize a moose until it had enough and chased her. Of course, she’d run straight to mom and hide behind me! Another time, she met a very friendly fox. They played and played together out in a field for a good ten minutes. It was so amazing—and of course, I didn’t have my camera with me.
I admire the way Abby sticks to her belief that Tam will return–long after everyone else gives up. Tell us about a time in which you’ve stuck up for your beliefs. 

I am by nature a fairly reticent, peace-making kind of person. I don’t like to “rock the boat.” BUT, I will not back down when it comes to the importance of adopting pets and the rights of our animal friends, whether they be domestic or wild. I will also have to say, I also had to really stand up for my beliefs when I was trying to find an agent or publisher for my book, A Dog’s Way Home. So many people (editors, agents, workshop critiquers) told me I “couldn’t” and “shouldn’t” write the book in two different points of view. But I knew in my gut and in my heart that that was the way the book had to be written. I stuck by my vision for the book until I finally found my wonderful agent who also believed in the way I had to tell the story. Eventually, she found my amazing editor, Molly O’Neill, who also believed in my vision (and may I point out, I originally met Molly at one of your SCBWI regional conferences the year before). What I learned from that is this: yes, you have to “pick your battles” but you also have to respect your instincts and your vision!
To find out more about Bobbie Pyron see her website: http://www.bobbiepyron.com  Be sure to check out her blog too! You can see me with my big doggies featured in her Fido And Friend In Five series.


To win a copy of A Dog’s Way Home, please tell me what kind of dog best represents you!
Contest ends at midnight on March 23, 2011.
Open to book and dog lovers worldwide!