The 2012 memoir A DOG NAMED LEAF about our rescued cocker spaniel and Allen facing life-threatening challenges together, will be on the New York Times Best Sellers list next week (December 21). Wow! We are letting fans of that book know and we’re getting a lot of heartfelt positive responses.
It’s amazing how many of the comments people have made about the book on Amazon and Facebook mention that they couldn’t put it down. One woman wrote us and was “mad” because she’d only intended to read a couple of chapters at bedtime but was up till 2:00 a.m.
This book was very personal and painful to write and have published. We adopted Leaf from the Animal Humane Society in Golden Valley in 2006 when he was one year old. Previously we had volunteered at the animal shelter. We are grateful that Animal Humane Society did not give up on this abandoned dog and moved him from their Coon Rapids location to Golden Valley in hopes that he would have a better chance of finding a home. Broken and scared, he turned out to have a much tougher time than we anticipated while learning to be in a family (or even inside a house).
There are times in life when one or two years are packed with experiences that normally would happen over decades. It was that way with Leaf and Allen. Thankfully, they found each other at exactly the right time. Together, they went through the ups and downs of bonding while walking around Twin City lakes and visiting local dog parks. Leaf was a severely traumatized dog, and Allen was at that time, a former inner city police officer who had closed down emotionally after having too often seen the worst in human nature. Trust turned out to be a big issue for both of them.
Shortly after we adopted Leaf, one of the best neurosurgeons in the country, on staff at a local hospital, operated on Allen to heal an unruptured brain aneurysm that could burst at any time. By then, Leaf and he were two comrades struggling to survive what life was throwing at them.
It took a long time to come to the point of being able to add to our bios: New York Times bestselling authors. Many writers know how much perseverance and patience is required before having a breakthrough. In this era of YouTube and Instagram and instant gratification, it’s tough for aspiring writers to understand that these types of fame flashes are like winning the lottery and with similar odds.
About halfway through our journey of writing animal-themed books, the pundits were declaring that books were dead. No one was reading anymore. Then e-books came along. Soon, people who hadn’t read a book in years were reading.
So our publisher converted our backlist print books into e-books. The e-books began selling very well and driving people to their print book counterparts. If we hadn’t persevered and continued writing new books over the years, the publishers would have let the old books go out of print, and we would have missed this new era of e-book sales. But we were viable authors who were still building readership and consequently were able to survive during the era when books were supposed to be having their last gasps of breath.
One college freshman came up to us at our book event and was carrying an armful of books. She said she had never read an entire book all through high school. But e-books had gotten her reading again, and she realized what she was missing in her life — books!
Join us in celebrating a milestone. Check out A DOG NAMED LEAF at http://amzn.to/1Gm0V1V