The Next Big Thing

Well, this is interesting timing. My friend Cami Ostman tagged me in the following author meme. I just created a page for my memoir, Bark and Lunge, and wondered if anyone would notice the new link over there to the left. Is it premature to publicize a not-yet-published work? Too late now.

What is the working title and genre of your book?

Bark and Lunge: The Isis Story

Where did the idea for the book come from?

My dog Isis died suddenly at only four years old. I was taking a fiction class at the time, and I don’t think she knows this, but Cami had guest taught the night before Isis died. At the time, the thought of writing a memoir hadn’t crossed my mind. The next day, I realized I was meant to write the story of Isis’s life.

Which actors would you choose to play the characters in a movie version of the book?

Claire Danes as me. Matt Damon as Rob. Casting Isis will be the challenge.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Bark and Lunge is a love story between a woman and a beautiful, brilliant, and aggressive German shepherd.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency or publisher?

We’ll see.

How long did it take to write the first draft?

One year.

What other works compare to your book?

I call it Marley and Me meets Merle’s Door for the generation who raised their dogs under the influence of the Dog Whisperer. It also compares to Last Dog on the Hill: The Extraordinary Life of Lou by Steve DunoA Good Dog: The Story of Orson, Who Changed My Life by Jon Katz, and Part Wild: A Memoir of One Woman’s Journey with a Creature Caught Between the Worlds of Wolves and Dogs by Ceiridwen Terrill.

What or who inspired you to write this book?

Isis, obviously. Also my teacher Laura Kalpakian and fellow memoirists Tele Aadsen, Pam Helberg, and Jolene Hanson. And my mom.

What else about your book might pique interest?

There are a lot of dog memoirs out there, but I haven’t read any that take as careful a look at the roots of dog behavior. Bark and Lunge explores why a dog might behave aggressively. During this tragic love story between me and my dog, I experiment with an array of dog training methods until I arrive at the one that worked for us: positive reinforcement.

smiley bird

Tagged Authors:

Leigh Bardugo

Laurie Frankel

Andi Brown

Katie Woodzick

Kelsye Nelson

8 thoughts on “The Next Big Thing

  1. Lovely – I was so excited to see you tagged in Cami’s post! And it’s never too soon to create your page (says she who spent all day working on a website…) Anyway, it looks great; good job!

  2. I learned to love Isis through you long before he died.I went somewhere and came back and he was dead,I greived as if he were mine and I could not understand why you did not say why he died. I will certainly read the book if I live long enouph.(I am 82 the 3)
    Sincerely,Jeri

    I met you in Las Vegas at my sisters” birthday party with Carol and Rick

    • I remember! Carol told me you were a fan. 🙂

      Isis died very suddenly, apparently from bleeding in the thymus, which is an organ near the heart. Maybe caused by an aneurysm. I don’t think there’s anything we could have done to stop it.I choose to believe she was only meant to live a short time.

  3. Though I hate memoirs for the obvious reason that the dog always dies. I’ve only read Marley and Me through and have 3/4 of the way completed 2 more before I decided that the laughs were over and the tears were bound to start. I love reading your posts because I can relate SO MUCH. And I like your writing humor the most. Your post about walking Leo cracked me up, made me stressed, made me look at Jack and shake my head… Love your writing and I would definitely read Bark and Lunge. Hurry it up!

    • Thanks! That means a lot.

      The worst part of my memoir is that the dog has to die at the end. I wish I could write a different ending!

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