Boomer, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, is unable to yip. Boomer lives with Nana Weathers, a musician who possesses a magical ring. Boomer quickly bonds with Nana’s nine-year-old granddaughter, Chloe, who has a stutter. Her big wish is to sing like Nana. Chloe and Boomer make new friends at dog obedience school and grow their confidence. By teaming up in the music room and gaining a little help from their friends, will Chloe and Boomer find their voices?
Where are you from? Tell us a little about yourself!
I’m a native of North Carolina who has lived and worked in New York City and various European countries as a professional singer. I now reside in Tennessee where I taught voice and voice-related studies at Middle Tennessee State University.
Tell us about your book? How did it get started?
Finding My Yip is the first book in a chapter series. It tells the story of a 9-year-old girl with a stutter whose big wish is to sing and the bond she forms with a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel puppy that is unable to yip.
I have always enjoyed writing. A few summers ago I started on this project while I was on beak from my university position. It seemed natural for me to write a story that involved music and included a dog like the one I own. I wanted to tell a story that reflects my values and is edifying for children.
What inspires and what got your started in writing?
As a child, I enjoyed writing poems and short stories and in the world of academia, I published articles. Writing poetry has been and remains a creative pastime for me. In Finding My Yip, Chloe, the 9-year-old child, keeps a poetry notebook; one of the poems in her notebook is featured in the story.
Where do you write? Is there something you need in order to write (music, drinks?)
I sit in a comfortable gooseneck rocker in my bonus room writing the drafts for my stories on a legal pad. Once the first draft is finished, I transfer it to my computer. I like to have hot ginger tea flavored with maple syrup and my dog nearby.
How do you get your ideas for writing?
Walking for me is more than exercise; it is also meditative. I often get ideas for stories and poems while I walk. Ideas have also come to me while gardening.
What do you like to read?
I’m an eclectic reader who enjoys non-fiction and fiction. My book club meets monthly; we choose books from various genres. January’s book was Heidi Durrow’s The Girl Who Fell from the Sky, but I also read Ann Patchett’s The Dutch House through a Libby download to my Kindle. As a fan of WWII literature, I recently read The Accidental President (Harry Truman) by A.J. Baime.
What would your advice to be for authors or aspiring in regards to writing?
It helped me to attend writer’s conferences where I met other writers, learned about the business of writing, and listened to presentations given by successful writers and other industry professionals. At one time, I was in a group of writers who met weekly at the local library to share their work.
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