Traci:Welcome Richard. It's so nice to have you here talking to us about your book-The adventures of Sir Buddy and Mr. Pupples.
Richard: Thank you. It's been a dream of mine for a while.
, at what age did you realize you wanted to be a writer?
Richard: I didn’t think about being an author until recently in my life. After a long career in sales, marketing, advertising and real estate, I retired to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. I am a graduate of Franklin and Marshall College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration. I served in the U.S. Navy, actively for two years and four years in the Reserves.
I live with my wife, Christie, and our two dogs, Buddy and River, one cat named Oyster and many photos of foster dogs. My wife and I fostered about 50 dogs during a span of 5 years volunteering with the Animal Welfare League in the Northern Neck of Virginia.
Our dogs inspired me to start writing due to their antics and their own stories that needed to be told. The fostering of dogs has been a love of ours not only for saving a dog’s life but for the joy it brings to the one who adopts the pet. I would have to say our grandchildren have been a great influence to me in becoming an author because of their love of books…whether being read to or looking at the books on their own.
Traci: What a life you've live! What was the most significant influence on the type of books you wanted to write?
Richard: My grandchildren and wanting to convey the message about caring for lost pets to children of a young age.
Since this is my first book I will have to say my focus is on children’s picture books, and in all likelihood will remain in that genre. I like the fact that my book captures children’s attention by drawing them into the story through the written word and illustrations, but also they are being exposed or reinforced in a couple of facets of caring for animals…lost or stray pets and the fostering of them.
Traci: And all of this came about because of your love of dogs?
Richard: Our two dogs inspired the characters. Their personalities, antics and for this book, that they are both foster dogs. The plot was inspired by what my wife and I have witnessed in reference to stray/lost dogs and cruelty to dogs, and the rescue efforts, including fostering, that involves so many people.
Traci: It's a noble cause, What do you want your reader's to get from your books?
Richard: I want to convey a message about caring for lost pets to children of a young age, what better way than a picture book.
Traci: What can parents of children do if you've inspired them to want to write picture books, instead?
Richard: I would have begun much earlier writing my business plan and actively working it so that I would have been better prepared for when my books arrived. There are many, many pieces to this puzzle of publishing and marketing a book. Some pieces fall easily into place, while others either take longer or are more involved than anticipated.
Don’t put your partially written book back in the drawer or in that 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 and rewarding!
Traci: Do you illustrate as well, or do you have an illustrator?
Richard: My publisher worked with me to find the right illustrator.
Traci: In your case, Which came first; the pictures or the story?
Richard: Story. I started writing by hand but quickly turned to the computer. That made it infinitely better because of ease of restructuring, adding/deleting and most important…to be able to read what I had written! This first book I did very little research because the knowledge and experience my wife and I had rescuing and fostering dogs. In conjunction with that, I actually lived with the characters, therefore, I did not have to develop them. For future books I have already completed some research and will, of course, do a great deal more so that when I weave in facts they are as accurate as possible.
Traci: Will you write more books like this one?
Richard: Most likely yes.
Traci: Are you working on any other projects?
Richard: Yes! I am trying to finish something I had written previously and nothing is coming forth to rescue me. 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. It works like magic!
Traci: Good Luck on your next book, Richard. Before we say goodbye, Is there anything else you'd like your fans to know about you?
Richard: I am an Author who writes engaging children’s stories that not only entertain but also have a message…something of value that a child can learn. That by making a small, yet positive, contribution to their life I felt a great sense of accomplishment.
As for me as an individual, I guess I would like to say that I love the Lord and do my best to live by His word, that I love my family and friends, especially spending time with them, that I have integrity, and am honest, trustworthy, loyal, funny and happy.
Traci: Thank you for talking with us today. You can find Richard's Book The Adventures of Sir Buddy and Mr. Pupples through his publisher--Halo publishing, or online at amazon, Barnes and Noble and Ingram. You can reach Richard through his website:www.twodogstales.com