It’s here! Today I received my author copies of my new book. It’s an exciting time for a writer, unpacking a parcel and seeing for the first time the result of thousands of hours of work. There is just no feeling quite like it. A book is the product of a lot of effort. Mostly mental and this one in particular has been living in my mind for a long time. Even though a writer’s life is largely sedentary and we don’t appear to do very much for days on end, we are working even when we seem to be day dreaming. It’s here in the mind that a lot goes on, invisibly. There’s no magic to writing, it’s graft like any other work and art.
What began as abstract wanderings, slowly firmed up over time and is now something solid, it’s real. Copies of it are sitting here now on my desk in front of me. Cerise on the front cover, Angel on the back. Since 2011 all the writing I do is for my dogs and those like them. Albert Claude is now hankering after being in the next book. Patience my boy, patience, I am not a quick worker.
As well as exciting, there are spasms of worry. This is normal I know. When writers are about to reveal work for first time, it would be odd if there were no flecks of anxiety floating around. Will the book be received well? I hope so, of course, but if not, I know I’ve done my best to make a positive contribution.
I recently attended a writer’s webinar and a best-selling author gave an analogy which felt close to home. Writers are like slugs seeing the salt pot looming, anxiously wanting to slip back under cover rather than dodging a deathly sprinkle. It made me laugh, perhaps a little too hard.
The book is a slim collection of tips, advice and I hope, what are encouraging words. A book that will help anyone who wants to do their best when living with dogs who have come from backgrounds like mine have. From environments where little human interaction happens, where care is minimal, brusque or non existent. Dogs who have no experience of living in homes have everything to learn about what humans expect of them. Humans have everything to learn about those expectactions and what they mean for the dogs.
Too often, misunderstanding behaviours adds to the difficulties for all involved. With no experience of the abnormal, deprived conditions in which many dogs are forced to live, and with no training, it’s not surprising that we struggle to understand or help them. I hope that the book will offer some clarity and direction for both dogs and their humans.
Pre-ordered copies – and there are many, thank you for that trust in my work – will be posted shortly. With all proceeds from the book going to the charity Schnauzerfest, good early sales of the book have been great to hear about.
I’ll bring news soon on a generous sponsorship that Schnauzerfest has received that will see copies of the book reach adopters most in need of help. More on that in another post. Right now, I’d best get to work on keeping Albert Claude happy with a book of his own.