Friday, November 21, 2014

Author Interview with Richard McEwan




Richard McEwan retired to the Outer Banks of North Carolina after a long career in sales, marketing and advertising. He lives with his wife, Christie, and their two dogs, Buddy and River, one cat named Oyster and many photos of foster dogs. He was inspired to begin writing because of his grandchildren's love of books.

Tell us about your current book. Give a short summary.


This is my first children’s picture book, The Adventures of Sir Buddy and Mr. Pupples – The Rescue just released by Halo Publishing International. The book introduces children to the idea of fostering pets through the engaging story of the rescue of a lost puppy.

My hope is that the story will plant a seed for fostering pets, and when a child sees a stray dog or cat, that they think about the story and how the puppy, Mr. Pupples, was found and saved. 


Can you tell us about your publisher and how the process worked in getting published? 
Halo Publishing has been a delight to work with. The staff has been responsive, especially Lisa Umina, the publisher. I had contacted Lisa after a fellow author told me that is who she worked with in publishing her first book. I told Lisa I had written three stories and she suggested I select one and submit it, which I did. It was accepted and after working with an editor to smooth out the bumps I searched for an illustrator locally. That did not pan out so I contracted with an illustrator, Amy Rottinger, through Halo and that turned out to be a great experience. Once the character of the dogs was established, Amy worked on finalizing the pencils for each page for approval and then went to color. Halo then produced a PDF version of the book for approval sending it to the printer. The printer then sent a final press proof for approval before going to printing. 

How did you get the idea for this book?  
The idea for the book came from two sources. First, my involvement with my wife in fostering dogs; and the impact that has in not only bringing joy to the one who adopts the dog or cat but also in saving animals from being euthanized. Second, is my grandchildren’s love of books.


What is a typical writing day like for you? 
Since this is my first book I really do not have a typical writing day. I started this spring with notes for my first story and then began filling in around the notes as time permitted or as thoughts came to me.  The completion of the first story generated the momentum to continue with writing the next two, using a similar pattern of writing.


What do you enjoy most about writing? 
Envisioning the enjoyment children will have reading the story and their learning from the story.

What is the most difficult part of writing?  
When I am trying to finish a thought or complete something I had written previously and cannot because I have writer’s block. It is so frustrating. Sometimes I can push through it and the words flow but I have found the best tact is to leave it alone for a while…just let it rest. 

How has publishing a book changed your life?  
It has given me a greater awareness of the value of picture books in a young child’s life. The illustrations or pictures immediately engage a child but also reflect the story being told which brings the child into that story. This combination leads the child to connect words with the visuals, thus the beginning of reading. Just as important, the stories expose children, at an early age, to ideas and concepts.


Is your book is based on true events? How has that affected those around you or why made you choose to use historical events? 
The character Mom in the book is actually my wife. Her love for animals, in particular dogs, lead her into fostering. She has a sense of pride about her role in the book but, more importantly, that children are being introduced to the fostering of dogs, and the treatment of lost or stray dogs.


What are your plans now? 
First I want to get this book on solid ground as far as building awareness, developing followers and, of course, generating sales. Then I will begin writing my second book in this series.

What is your best tip for aspiring authors?  
Don’t give up! Don’t put your partially written book back in the drawer or in the file folder you have had for years. Make a commitment to yourself that this is important and set aside the time. Think about the feeling of accomplishment you will have when you have your book in your hands for the first time or see your book on the shelf of your local book store or on Amazon. It’s powerful!
 
Is there anything else you would like to share with our readership? 
The story is actually about our two dogs, both of whom we had fostered. Sir Buddy’s story is base on fact and Mr. Pupples’ story is a mixture of truth and fiction.  My wife and I over a 5-year period had fostered about 50 dogs with only one not being placed in a forever home due to serious health issues.
 
Do you have a website? If so, please give the URL. If not, where can readers go online to learn more about your book(s) and to order?
 
About the Book:
This is an engaging story for children to read or have read to them about a lost puppy. Hopefully, it will encourage young ones to think about the story when they come upon a stray dog or cat; and seek the guidance of an adult in helping to find it's family...or new home.

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