Posted in Author Interviews, Blogging, nonfiction, writing

Author Interview ~~ Helen Kuusela and Bumble ~~ Confessions of a Rescue Dog

Today I have a special treat for everyone. My good friend tiny (tinylessonsblog.com) and her rescue dog Bumble have written a book.

Bumble is amazing!
Bumble is amazing!

Bumble is a brown toy poodle. He is a rescue dog and he loves to tell stories. All from his vantage point, in first dog, and with a twinkle in his eye. Now at the respectable age of 13 he has gathered enough courage to tell it all: from the trials and tribulations in his first home to his time in the shelter, his rescue and all the adventures that followed. You will discover that Bumble is a skillful observer and a great analyst of human behavior. He has a lively imagination and a very big heart. His story is a treat for pet lovers of all ages! A portion of this book’s sales will go to the local Humane Society shelter in the county where Bumble lives to help homeless animals find loving forever homes.

You can also visit the Firdemonte Press to learn more about Bumble and where he lives. You can buy the book on Amazon here.

1-What inspired you to write your book?

Oh, there are several things. I have written all my life, but my writings have been of the boring, professional kind. I have always wanted to write a novel, but never had the time. When last year’s NaNoWriMo was approaching, friends like you inspired me to empty my plate and give it a go. This particular book has been a long time coming. You see, I used to tell animal stories to my son when he was little. A new story every night. He loved these stories and has been bugging me to write a “story book”. And then, maybe most importantly, we adopted a rescue dog who thinks he’s human. Bumble has done so many funny and wise things that sometimes I think so too 🙂 So he’s really the writer. He tells his heartwarming story quite humorously and in the first dog.

2- Who did the cover and illustrations?

My son Mike did all the artwork (cover and a few illustrations inside the book) despite his busy schedule. He is a skilled graphic artist and it was a great experience to work with him! But I need to say that this is not a children’s picture book.  The target readership is pet/dog lovers of ages 10-100, but parents can certainly read this to younger children as well.

3- What was one of the surprising things you discovered when writing it?

I had a two-prong surprise! The first part was positive: I was able to write 50K words in one month with little advance preparation! The second part was negative: the enormous difficulty I had to come back to the manuscript and edit it several times before it went to the “real” editor. I had given myself a long break from writing in December and over the holidays, but even after the break and when I honestly had the time, I invented other priorities. It was really, truly hard to finalize the book. I had not experienced anything like that in my professional non-fiction writing.

4- Tell us about finding Bumble, the wonderful inspiration for the book.

Finding Bumble is a story in itself. My husband had a very serious incident with his heart and decided to retire almost on the spot at a very young age. He said to me that now was the right time to adopt a dog. And he was specific: a small brown poodle. I remember laughing and asking him why that specificity. He told me he “saw” a brown poodle in our home. Ok, he was still very sick and under heavy medication so I didn’t want to try to talk him out of it. But I quickly confirmed that this would be a difficult undertaking. Very few poodles were available for adoption in the area where we then lived, none of them was brown, and all of them were adopted before I was even able to call the shelter. I continue to monitor several sites after my 12-h working days. No luck. Then, about five weeks later, on the morning of New Year’s Eve, I spotted a small, scared-looking toy poodle on one of the adoption sites. And he was brown! I called immediately and learned that this particular shelter already had lots of inquiries about this dog, but that they would not make a decision on first come basis. I raced to the shelter, spent time with Bumble and wrote an application – the tenth. The rest is history, and Bumble gives his take on it in the book…

5- Is there going to be a second book?

Hmm, probably. I have actually started (just a little bit) writing a novel about my years and adventures in Africa. It is a much more demanding book to write. Hopefully I’ll have the time and the stamina to finalize it. I’m also collecting some poems, so maybe a poetry collection at some point. Maybe.

6- I know you are a busy working woman, tell us how you made time to write.

 When I decided to try the NaNoWriMo, I had just completed a huge, 10 month project in Egypt. I simply said “no” to new projects for November and December last year. It was not easy, but I knew that if I really wanted to write, I could not be focusing on my professional work at the same time. I’m not that split of a personality :). So if I want to continue writing, I will need to do a bit less other work – which I hope I’ll be able to afford.

7- As a new published author, what is one piece of advice you would give other writers?

Honestly? I am still far from experienced, just gotten my feet a little wet. If I dare to say something it would be that a writer has to decide that the hard work s/he is doing is truly important. Every day. Until there’s a manuscript. Then take a break and come back to the revisions energized! And maybe I should add that getting the book out is the easy part… letting people learn about it is definitely much harder. Thanks for helping on that Jackie!

I’m so pleased I can do my small part on that tiny! Thank you for your great answers and doing this interview with me. Good luck on all you want to do in life!

Now readers, another treat for you! If you buy this book this weekend (March 22 -24)  the book will be part of “Kindle Countdown Deal” for 99 cents! So for 3 days only you can get this delightful book for 99 cents! Order a few extra for Christmas/birthday gifts or just as an everyday gift. I know you’ll enjoy it!