About Marianne McKiernan:
I’ve been a volunteer puppy raiser for Canine Companions for Independence since 2001. My tenth puppy, Preston, is currently at CCI College (Advanced Training) in Oceanside, CA. If all goes well, he should graduate in May, 2016. Raising puppies has been an incredibly rich experience with many unexpected outcomes, including writing a book! I work part-time at Denver’s best bookstore, The Bookies, and also have my own business, Telling Tails Animal Communication. I live in Denver with my husband, two cats and two pet dogs (or as we call them, Assistant Puppy Raisers.) We’re expecting our next CCI puppy in February, 2016.
What inspires you to write?
First and foremost, I am inspired to tell great stories about the extraordinary dogs and people of Canine Companions for Independence. I also love writing modern fairy tales that have an underlying meaning; I often write these as gifts for someone in my life.
Tell us about your writing process.
I’m an impulse writer. I start with the germ of an idea or a specific topic and write to see where it leads. I like writing dialogue and I often hear the characters talking to each other. And yes, most of my characters are dogs.
What advice would you give other writers?
Read widely (books, magazines, blogs, newspapers, etc.) and pay attention to which authors move and delight you, and why. Is it the way they draw characters, set scenes, write dialogue, use humor, craft beautiful sentences, turn a phrase? I think the writing that moves me is a mirror to what is important to me in my own writing. I also recommend reading “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lamott for great advice and inspiration.
How did you decide how to publish your books?
As a first-time author, I was exceptionally lucky. My book started as a blog when I worked as a producer for 7News, the ABC affiliate in Denver. One of my readers was Katherine Sears at Booktrope publishers. Katherine approached me about publishing a book based on the blogs, and mentored me through the process. I was assigned a spectacular editor who cared as much as I did about creating a great book, and a dedicated, thoughtful book manager who continues to find creative ways to promote my book. My advice to new writers is to explore alternative publishers, like Booktrope, and to make sure everyone involved believes in your vision.
What do you think about the future of book publishing?
I believe there will always be a place for books. I work at a small independent bookstore which specializes in children’s books, teacher resources, and a carefully curated adult section. Our clientele is fiercely loyal and enthusiastic about new books, classics, and emerging authors. They freely admit to using e-readers occasionally, but they often say they prefer reading an actual book. I’m most encouraged by the kids who come into the store looking for their favorite authors and suggestions for new books to love.
What do you use?: Professional Editor, Professional Cover Designer, Beta Readers
What genres do you write?: humor, memoir, nonfiction
What formats are your books in?: Both eBook and Print
All information in this post is presented “as is” supplied by the author. We don’t edit, to allow you, the reader, to hear the author in their own voice.