This is another installment of the “7 Questions With an Author…” series, featuring writer Donna Cavanagh.
Her latest book, A Canine’s Guide to the Good Life, was “written” by her two dogs, Frankie and LuLu, and is a guidebook described as “….a short, tail-wagging tale that tells it like it is when it comes to reining in an owner and getting the upper paw.”
A portion of royalties of the sales of the book goes to the Pennsylvania SPCA.
Here are “7 Questions With an Author: Donna Cavanagh.
1. Tell us about your book?
A Canine’s Guide to the Good Life is the work of my dogs Frankie and LuLu. They thought the canine world needed its own guidebook – a short, pictorial about what a dog needs to achieve the good life.
They invited several other dogs to be in the book as well. So, there are pooches of family and friends and even some Hollywood types. The dogs are trying to be socially responsible as well so a portion of their royalties goes to support the SPCA.
2. What led you to write it?
I only helped with the editing and of course, I helped them flesh out their ideas into sentences. Frankie thought up the idea after one of her private therapy lessons which we attended for 10 weeks to help her overcome some “emotional” issues. She talked to LuLu about it, and they brought it to me.
3. Who is a writer that inspires you and why?
Well, of course me? Erma Bombeck has been an influence, but to be honest it’s not the humor writers who influenced me as much as the female comedians. I love them all from Lucille Ball and Phyllis Diller to Gilda Radner to Ellen DeGeneres. As for Frankie and LuLu, they would probably say their biggest influence was Snoopy.
4. What was the biggest challenge you faced writing this book?
Getting down the dogs’ language. Believe it or not, there are a lot of idiomatic differences between canines and humans. Plus, they were a bit more temperamental than I thought they would be.
5. What advice would you give to an aspiring writer?
Don’t work with kids or animals. No, in all seriousness, I would say never give up on a dream or idea if you feel in your gut that you need to write about it. There will be people who torpedo your ideas, but it’s not their opinion that should drive you. It’s your own heart and mind that will bring your idea to light and make it successful.
6. Where do you get your ideas?
It’s scary to say that the bulk of my ideas come from my life, and it’s funny because I don’t lead that exciting a life. So, either people feel badly for me because I am boring or they enjoy my boring existence. Either way, I am grateful.
7. Anything that you’d like readers to know that I haven’t asked?
I take humor very seriously, and that is why I started HumorOutcasts.com. I think everyone deserves the chance to be creative and express their thoughts and ideas. Humor is our best weapon against the challenges of today’s world, and I think it’s a genre that deserves a lot more respect than it gets.
If you’re a dog lover – Donna also assembled this slide show to accompany her book.