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7 Questions With an Author: Donna Cavanagh

Author, blogger, comedy writer, podcaster - Donna Cavanagh

Author, blogger, comedy writer, podcaster – Donna Cavanagh

This is another installment of the “7 Questions With an Author…” series, featuring writer Donna Cavanagh.

Donna is a personal friend, a gifted writer and founder of the web sites HumorOutcasts.com and HumorOutcasts Press.

Her latest book, A Canine’s Guide to the Good Lifewas “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?donna_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.

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  1. Great interview Tor! And Donna, it sounds like this book could be a winner and humorous to boot!

    • Donna Cavanagh says:

      I hope this isn’t a repeat response. My first one didn’t seem to go, but doing it again! LOL Thanks so much Joe! The girls worked hard on this “tale”.

      • Nope, no repeats here Donna. I bet the girls did work hard. Watching the video made me think of our boy we recently lost. It stung but was sweet seeing another similar dog.

        • Donna Cavanagh says:

          I get that for sure. It’s been six years since our Miss Muffie our German Shepherd passed away and we still miss her every day. I am glad the video made you smile. That is the whole point – to get people to smile!

  2. Tor – I love question number 7 – you really can’t beat that.
    Donna – I just checked out your HumorOutcasts site, and I love it! The True Story of the Something? classic.

    • donna cavanagh says:

      Hm,.my picture changed. I guess they didn’t like my cartoon image. LOL Thanks Jonathan! That means a lot that you went to HO as we call it. :) That is Bill Y Ledden our Irish writer. He keeps us in stitches. He greets me every morning with a laugh!

  3. Theresa Wiza says:

    Frankie and LuLu wrote an amazing book – and Donna’s editing skills were remarkable. I highly recommend this book to all dog lovers and even to anyone who doesn’t own a dog, but who loves animals.

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