How to Find Heaven on Earth, Write Books About Pets and Lose 10 PoundsPublished December 15, 2008
Former Petside blogger Allia Zobel Nolan is back to talk about her new book and how to break into pet writing. Read on to see what "KittyLiterate" has been working on and learn the tricks of the pet author trade!KittyLiterate here. If you remember me from early Petside.com, you're the best. If not, cruise on back to the blog archives. Either way, have I got some news for you. It's about a fabulous new book.
Yup, my latest, PURR MORE, HISS LESS: HEAVENLY LESSONS I LEARNED FROM MY CAT is hot off the presses. You can find it on Amazon, B&N and in bookstores on May 1st.
Oh no, not another cat book! Oh, yes, but you NEED this one! Why? Two reasons:
1. It has the most I-can't-believe-how-fantastic-they-are-brilliant, cat-tivating, un-purr-allaed watercolor illustrations of puddies by Erika Oller that you will (no kidding) absolutely suck wool over; and
2. It has divine aphorisms, which, as cat experts and lovers, any one of you could have written...but I did write...and hope you enjoy.
See, I've always said, and maybe you have, too, that cats can teach us the most profound things about life. My puddies, Angela, McDuff, and Sinead, for example, have shown me how not to hold grudges (hiss, spit, and get over it); the importance of sharing (never bring dead snakes home unless you have enough for everyone); and how to be content in any situation (as long as there is a warm lap to lie in).
What's more, I firmly believe I've become a better person for having cats in my life. They've taught me you really CAN find heaven on earth--and I've put all that in the book.
Which segues nicely into a question I get all the time: How do you get a book published on pets? My answer: I don't know for sure. I can only tell you how I did it. I took the advice of pundits who say: "Write about what you know; write about what you love." So that's what I did. I didn't talk about it; I sat down and wrote it. And believe me, that's the easiest part.
The hard parts come after the writing and for me, they consisted of finding a great illustrator who shared my vision (I like to offer a whole package to publishers); composing and getting a proposal out to publishers (I, thank the Lord, have a great agent, but I also do a lot of the legwork myself); follow-up, and then....the part that's the hardest for me....WAITING. Oh, and yes, there's the-kick-in-the stomach part, and that's dealing with the big "R": REJECTION.
That's how I've gotten some of my pet books published. And I honestly believe a lot of it has to do with timing, as well. I've put proposals away that have been rejected and taken them out three years later, revamped them, sent them out, and voila, gotten an offer. So persistence is another ingredient in the mix. I'm also a consummate optimist. If I really believe in a book, I know sooner or later it will find a home. And that's my formula...at least, that's what worked for me. I also pray a lot and consider myself truly blessed.
If you have an idea for a pet book, believe in it, and have the moxie to stick with it, my advice is: Go for it! And I wish you every success.
And of course, nowadays, you could go the self-published route. But that's a whole 'nother thing, which I'm not that familiar with.
Now, as for losing ten pounds, I jog pushing my cats in a baby buggy three times a day. And if you believe that, there's a bridge I'd like to sell you. Actually, I lost ten pounds by writing more and eating less. And that's the truth! Honest!