Thursday, 24 July 2014
Brook Cottage Books is thrilled to be part of the Fiction Addiction Book Tour for A Place to Call Home by G.A. Whitmore. I hope you enjoy this author interview and lets find out a little more about the book first.
Every rescue dog has a tale to tell, a story uniquely their own.
A Place to Call Home is Toby’s tale.
Born on a small farm in northern California, Toby’s carefree days as a puppy are cut short when he narrowly escapes the death sentence imposed upon him by his breeder. Through a series of events driven by good intentions, he finds himself in a Connecticut suburb, where life with his new family soon collapses on him, and his newfound happiness is brutally destroyed.
On his quest to find a place to call home, Toby encounters and endures the best and worst of humanity, as he comes face to face with sorrow and joy, fear and courage, and ultimately, with the power of love.
Part of the proceeds of from the sale of each book will be donated to an organization of the author’s choice that promotes and advocates for the protection and welfare of dogs.
Was this another dream? Who would visit him in this dream?
As if in answer to his question, a large pack of wolves and dogs slowly materialized out of the enshrouding gray and one-by-one encircled him.
The snow stopped falling. All was still and quiet.
A long, wailing howl pierced the silence.
Followed by another.
After a few moments, a chorus of howls erupted from the group that now surrounded Toby. A primordial urge rose within him. He stood up and shook off the light layer of snow that had accumulated on his fur. The urge grew stronger, more compelling, until he realized his own voice had joined the others. The multitude of voices became one as they howled on and on, until the cry reached its crescendo and abruptly ended, leaving an echoing silence around them once again.
A large, white figure approached Toby.
“Welcome to our pack, Toby.” The figure turned, and with a nod of his head, indicated the others. He turned back to Toby. “How did you come to be here?”
Toby tried to find his voice, but the howl still reverberated in his throat. When he finally spoke, his reply was weak and raspy. “I don’t know. I don’t even know where here is.” He hesitated, and then asked, “How do you know my name?”
“My name is Strider, Toby. I am your grandfather.”
Strider! The memory of lying with Tara next to his mother as she told them the story of Sadie and Strider came flooding back to him and he felt a warmth of emotion flow through his body.
“Where is this place? How did I get here?” Toby asked.
Strider paused in thought for a moment, and then replied, “This land is a different place for different creatures, yet it is the same place for all creatures. For us,” Strider swept his large head around him, “this is the place we call home.”
About the Author
Ms. Whitmore’s passion for writing and her love of dogs come together in her series The Rescue Dog Tales. The first book in the series, A Place to Call Home, was inspired by Toby, an abused dog she adopted from the Connecticut Humane Society. Ms. Whitmore currently lives in Connecticut with her two rescue dogs, Kadee and Zeus.
Author/community Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/authorgawhitmore
JB: What prompted you to write Toby’s story?
Toby was seven months old when I first saw him at the Connecticut Humane Society. He had been physically abused and was severely traumatized. His backstory, as told to me by the woman who rescued him, fascinated and horrified me at the same time. He was found in northern California in a box in a dumpster with a white female puppy, presumably his sister. They were discovered by a young couple travelling back to Los Angeles, who took the puppies home with them. When they took the dogs to the local animal clinic to be checked out, the vet who examined them thought they might be part wolf. Toby ultimately ended up in Connecticut after relatives of the couple, who had stopped by to visit while on a cross-country driving trip, decided to adopt the puppies.
I couldn’t stop wondering how and why Toby and his sister ended up in a dumpster in a box, and were they really part wolf? And more importantly, what would drive someone to abuse a defenseless puppy? My musings turned into a story. The story turned into a book.
The impetus to finish writing the book came from my realization that Toby’s story could help raise awareness of the plight of abused and abandoned dogs. When A Place to Call Home was published earlier this year, I decided to donate part of the proceeds from the sale each book to a rescue organization in honor of Toby and all rescue dogs in need of a place to call home.
JB: What drew you to Toby in the Shelter?
When I first saw Toby at the Connecticut Humane Society what immediately struck me was the brilliance of his white fur. The second thing I noticed, when I moved closer to his cage, was the deep sadness in his beautiful brown eyes. He was huddled, unmoving, in the corner of the cage. A woman who worked there came over to me and asked if I was looking to adopt a dog. I was a cat person at the time and had only stopped in because my 10 year old son wanted to look at the animals, but instead, I fell in love.
JB: How long did it take to write the book?
I wrote the book over a period of 10 years or so. I put it down several times, the longest being for four years after my first husband passed away.
JB: Was it difficult to write a book through the eyes of a dog?
I did not find it difficult to write through Toby’s eyes. He had the same wants and needs as I did, the same emotions; he just didn’t speak my human language. In spite of not “speaking” the same language, we communicated all the time. I always knew how he was feeling, and he always knew how I was feeling. I think anyone who has lived with and loved a dog understands this. It’s communication that goes beyond words. It’s the communication of love.
JB: Why do you love dogs so much?
Dogs are the best of what humans can potentially be. They love unconditionally, they are quick to forgive, they do not judge, they will trust you implicitly with all their heart, and they do not care what color, sex, religious, or ethnic background you are, they will love you just the same.
JB: Tell us about your own rescue dogs Kadee and Zeus.
I adopted Kadee from a local pound after she was found homeless, roaming the streets at the age of six months. She is a Border Collie/Shepherd mix and is smart as a whip. I find myself carrying on conversations with her all the time. Kadee is going to be 16 year old this year and is still going strong, although she’s a little slower than she used to be, but, heck, so am I!
Zeus was the third white German Shepherd I rescued (he is the dog on the front and back cover of my book). I read about him online and flew down to South Carolina to meet him. When our eyes locked, I knew we were meant to be together, so I rented a Lincoln Continental (he was a big dog!) and drove back to Connecticut with him. He ate a couple of McDonald’s hamburgers on the way back. I told him not to get used to it. We arrived home just after midnight, and Kadee and Zeus hit it off immediately.
Zeus was diagnosed with cancer last November after a lump began to grow on his leg. He was thirteen at the time, so I opted not to put him through treatment that would only extend his life several months. He passed away peacefully at home this past March with all of his loved ones around him, including Kadee.
JB: Any tips for budding authors?
Keep writing. Don’t give up. Even if you put your work down for a while, pick it up again. It will be there waiting for you.
JB: What’s next for you?
I am currently writing the second book in The Rescue Dog Tales series and hope to have it published by the spring of 2015. In addition, I plan to continue participating in rescue dog charity events to help raise money for the rescue dog cause. I am also working with my publicist to set up monthly rescue dog fundraising drives. Each month I will donate 25% of my royalties from the sale of my book to a particular rescue organization. We are reaching out to local (New England area), national, and global organizations that have demonstrated successful efforts at promoting and advocating for the protection and welfare of dogs.a Rafflecopter giveaway
The giveaway is 3 x bracelets which have been uniquely designed by a graphic artist and link with the story.