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Furry Friday: Say WHAT? Silent Communication R Us

9-2 seren
This past week has been a strain–on my emotions and my communications. I’ve over-used and abused my voice, and the strain showed up last Thursday and 7 days later has only slightly recovered. About the same time our landline telephone went out (quelle ARG!) but it didn’t matter so much because I have no voice.

No. Voice. At. All.

For someone who communicates for a living, that’s pretty darn disruptive and frustrating. We’re in the fine-tune stages of KURVES rehearsal and I’m the music director. That means coaching (that is, singing a demo) with the actors for everything from the low baritone to 1st soprano parts. I’ve got a pretty good range but combine that with a cold (I mean FREEZING! as in NO HEAT!) rehearsal space, and the vocal chords hadn’t a chance.

No phone and no voice means recording the new ASK AMY videos were put on hold, along with any new PET PEEVES radio shows. I couldn’t even croak “happy birthday” to my mom this week. I had to rely on Email and texting, and hope folks weren’t frustrated with the funky phone

!@#$%^&*!@#$%^& Verizon!  Eleven days to wait for service ain’t funny. If I had a voice, they’d get a piece of my mind!

Wait–did I actually say that? You know what I mean.

Yet while moping around the house for 3+ days without any vocalization above a whisper, it occurred to me I had no problem whatsoever communicating with the cat or dog. There was no need to say, “want to go out?” to Magical-Dawg for him to read my mind/body language and beat me to the door. Seren-Kitty anticipated the bed-spread-chase game without an invitation. Both critters assumed the position to beg tastes from my lunch plate. And neither had trouble deciphering my mood when they picked at each other like teasing siblings (as they often do), yet responded appropriately to my silent cease-and-desist scowl-‘o-doom.
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How often do we humans chatter on, making words a meaningless soup when we have so many more pointed ways to communicate? Do words devalue when spent without thought? Have we lost the ability to understand subtlety when shouting becomes the norm–and we become tone-deaf to nuance?

Seren flicks her tail. A small thing, but it brings about an attitude change in Magic. He knows. And when his ears twist just so, the cat runs, while giving him the feline finger with her nether regions. Sure, dogs have a whole repertoire of communication that includes vocalizations. And so do cats.  The cat-gods (and dog-demons) know they can make noise when they want to. But with them, there are no wasted words.

I’ve received valuable feedback on my thriller WIP so this weekend I’ll be up to my own nether regions in edits. The book includes dog viewpoint as well as a cat character. So I’ll be channeling my inner critters while continuing to give my home crew the “silent treatment” while my voice heals. I hope I do them justice–both the fictional pets and the real ones.

How do you communicate with your pets? With your kids? Significant other? Do you have a secret language, or “insider” jokes and words that can bring you to tears–or blows? Is it all words or do you also have other ways you communicate? Do tell!

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!  NOTE: the Pet Peeves newsletter will have a special VALENTINE’S DAY ISSUE you won’t want to miss!

Tuesday Tips: Racing Pacing with Jamie Frevelletti

Here’s yet another installment of tips from Thrillerfest. I’ve shared video tips from Karin Slaughter, a video of Michael & Daniel Palmer’s Thrillerfest Song, as well as a video of the Thrillerfest interview with master author R.L. Stine, and Ken Follett. I shared an interview of John Sanford and pacing and two weeks ago Jeffery Deaver and Andrew Petersen weighed in on pacing. Last week the awesome Joseph Finder offered three words that make all the difference in pacing. Today I’ve got the next installment of that panel. You can check out a boatload of Thrillerfest pictures here.

Where else but Thrillerfest could you get so much bang-for-your-buck with James Rollins interviewing a whole panel of best-selling-authors! This next video features another take on the question of pacing, this time answered by best-selling author Jamie Frevelletti.

Her book Running From the Devil starts with a plane crash and never stops.

How do you pace your novel? Conventional wisdom says “cut to the chase” but that really means cut out the backstory. Don’t bore your reader with background, but begin with something interesting–usually that’s the “normal world” before everything goes haywire for the hero. But how soon do you drop the hero/heroine off a cliff? Do you start in the middle of the firestorm? When planning the story, do you consciously include spots to breathe?

For the past several weeks I’ve been the substitute accompanist for my church when the organist broke her shoulder. As a singer, I always include phrasing for a singer’s breaths–because as a singer I get nuts AND PASS OUT! when the phrase never ends. The same thing should happen in fiction. But that ebb and flow can come fast or slow, become a torrent racing for a cliff or a meandering stream that picks up steam over the rapids.

Do you think readers feel that same urge for an eye-in-the-storm quiet moment? How long/how often should it happen? Or can you ramp up the tension without pause? Do tell!

Meanwhile, here’s what best-selling authors say. This video is only a small taste, of course. You can get the full deal recording (and those of the other panels) of CDs, MP3s and DVDs of Thrillerfest here.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions. Do you have an ASK AMY question you’d like answered? Stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, check out weekly FREE PUPPY CARE newsletter, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Cat Art, Dog Sperm Detectors & PhD Sheep

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Bernadette captures the essence of cat-ness in her illustrated calendar.

Monday Mentions is the mash-up-day of all the neato-torpedo links and blogs and writer-icity crappiocca collected over the past week. To start off the blog right (or is that write?), I’ve two books to feature of the pet persuasion.

My colleague Bernadette Kazmarski has published her first book Great Rescues Calendar that sings the praises of the many cats she’s met over the years. As an artist specializing in cats, Bernadette certainly has a purr-fect eye for feline beauty. She writes, “It falls under the category of things created via feline muses. I’d hardly have published this, or done all those portraits that are in it, or done any artwork at all in fact–who knows what I’d be doing–if it weren’t for my cats and their guiding, inspiring presences in my life.” Each picture includes the cat’s rescue story, year the portrait was done, artistic medium and size of the finished portrait. For instance:

Christie's happy ending story.

Bernadette continues to do feline portraits so AFTER you purchase her gorgeous calendar, see about contacting her for a portrait of your special feline friend (maybe it’ll be included in a future book!).

I met Robert Scott–virtually met him–over at KindleBoards and Smashwords while bringing my backlist pet care books back to life as Ebooks and POD. Folks, pets touch us all in many marvelous ways and the legacy they leave behind can be powerful indeed. You can read about Robert’s journey that lead him to write about losing his beloved canine companion and perhaps his book will help others going through the same experience.

Today’s list of Mentions covers all kinds of furry, weird and writerly topics, so browse and enjoy. And remember, those who have a new book, blog, article, fill-in-the-blank that might be a fit, please email me (amy AT shojai.com) with the particulars of your book/work and I’d love to feature you on a future blog. Hey, it’s all about helping each other out, right?

I suspect thriller writers (including those with an artistic or spiritual bent) appreciate some of the biting tidbits in today’s blog. Enjoy and share.

CALL FOR SUBMISSIONS

My colleague Sara Basore has been named Editor-In-Chief of G.IS.G Heavenly Publications. She writes, “We are taking submissions for an anthology called Spiritual Awakening: Stories of Praise and Redemption. We want a variety of stories from all genres, from Young Adult to Nostalgia to Horror to Romance and all in between.” She also says her cat Ginger will help by walking across the laptop keyboard.

WEIRD & KEWL CRAP

Will an Antibody Profile replace DNA identification? Great blog post from my fav forensics expert D.P. Lyle (who writes great thrillers, by the way…)

Rapist caught by sperm-sniffing K9 officer–folks, you can’t make this stuff up!

New study reveals sheep are smarter than monkeys! That’s to baaa-aaa-aaaad.


FANTASTIC FURRY CONTENT

Another of my favorite artists, Kim Santini, offers portraits of dogs, cats, horses, cows–you name it–and even has a newsletter Painting A Dog A Day, check it out.

The myth of the “hypoallergenic dog”  What do YOU think? One of the email lists I’m on has had quite a spirited discussion about the topic.

Cat Wisdom 101 blog from my colleague Layla Morgan Wilde covers all-things-cats, from book reviews and SQUEEEE! lovely kitty pictures, to interviews with experts, rescue matters, and a variety of fun to serious subjects. Check it out–tell her I sent you!

Like kitty TV? Sally Bahner’s awesome Exclusively Cats blog kibbles about the good, the bad and the so-so meowy programming.

What exactly does “human grade” mean in pet food? Excellent explanation from my colleague Kim Thornton over at Pet Connection.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: The Devil Made Me Do It!

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I’ve been a fan of Jim’s even before I met him at Thrillerfest a few year’s back, and then got to interview him for this Pet Peeves radio show about his Altar of Eden thriller featuring a veterinarian. So I can’t wait to read his latest Sigma Force novel.

Tomorrow, June 21st, is an all-day virtual launch party of James Rollins’ new book, The Devil Colony. If you’re a thriller lover, then you already know the name–and if you don’t, WOWZER you’re in for a treat!

Yep, that’s right, he’s a VETERINARIAN! A thriller guy who likes puppy dogs and kitty cats, yay! He even has some very cool swag available, with all proceeds benefiting the Humane Society of America (check it out!).

Oh, and did I mention, a thoroughly nice guy willing to talk to unknown wannabe thriller writers–like me. He may not even remember cuz I know he does this so often. But Jim is the reason my pet first aid book qualified me for full Thriller Writers membership when he was co-president with Steve Berry.

Did I already say–WOW!? Oh you devil, you! Just what were you thinking?

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"Devil Colony? Aha! A veterinarian finally wrote a tell-all about your family!"

And nope, he wasn’t under the influence of catnip–I can only think the Devil Made Him Do It. I know from devils. I live with a feline demon who answered to “Devil” long before her real name, because she got called that so often. And in turn, I make that sweet innocent kitty live with a “devil dawg” that’s an affront to feline-icity just by breathing the same air. As a behavior consultant, I deal with furry and human devilish behavior on a regular basis–and then there’s those devilish writing deadlines. Guess you could say the devil makes ME do it, too.

In fact, later today I’m giving a live Webinar on Senior Moments: Quality of Life Issues for Aging Pets (both cats and dogs). Sometimes I wonder if Magical-Dawg will survive to senior citizen canine status, while Seren-kitty is already well into her 9th life.

Let’s turn this devil-may-care c’attitude around and make dancing-with-the-devil a fun nose-thumbing event. Are you up for it? Join the virtual launch party tomorrow and give the Devil his due! Hang out with thriller authors, wear costumes, win prizes. My colleague Kristen Lamb (another Jim-Fan-Girl and a social media genius) came up with the idea so read all about Kristen’s devilish party plans here. You can learn more about James Rollins–the man, the author, the veterinarian–in the video below. Check out his books – here’s the full list.  And for those on Twitter, come party on Twitter at #DevilColony.

A slew of devilishly talented bloggers have already started the party ball rolling, so check ’em out:

Jenny Hansen’s Blog – Friday Devil’s Playground

Danielle Meitiv’s Blog – Digging Taters & Devilish Book Party

Piper Bayard’s Blog – On Life, Belly Dancing and Apocalyptic Annihilation

Tiffany White’s Friday FabOoolous Post on James Rollins

Writers in the Storm – Devilish Fun…A Worldwide Book Launch Party

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Pet Writers, Ghost Hunters & Doggy Feelings

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Today’s blog is a real mixed bag of furry fun and writerly advice. First off, a shout-out to a terrific magazine, THE WRITER and journalist Melissa Hart who interviewed me for a neato-torpedo July story on Writing For Pet Magazines.Melissa also is a journalism teacher University of Oregon. Recently she wrote me, “I talked about your career in class today, and for some students, the whole world just opened up.  “You can write about cat poop, and someone will pay you?  Cool!”

Yes, you CAN write about poop–and cats, and dogs and more–and live your pet dreams. I’m not the only one.

Musetta inspires Clea Simon.

Check out mystery author Clea Simon’s blog “Cats & Crime & Rock & Roll” for the latest on her cat (and dog) theme mysteries, publishing, and…yes,  music. You see, the main character Theda Krakow is a music critic ably assisted by her furry friends. Clea gets some of her inspurrrr-ation from Musetta, above.

For those looking to expand their expertise, connect socially, and market with like-minded souls, LinkedIn is THE place to be. Yes, I know, you’re already connected to Facebook, MySpace, Twitter and all the rest–but the business folks gather at the LinkedIn watering hole. You can learn how to become an expert on Linked In–my colleague and terrific blogger/writer Jenny Hansen has all the must-knows on her blog “Cowbell–You Need More Of It.”

Train your dog to be a ghost hunter...really???!

Everybody knows that cats–and dogs–see and detect things humans can’t, including GHOSTS! (cue scary music…) But would you want to train your dog to be a ghost hunter? More information here–provided purely for informational purposes. *s*

I wonder if dogs play with ghostly toys–according to the above, they do feel ghostly tummy rubs. But for REAL pet toys that can’t be beat, check out the Kong Company which has both dog toys and cat toys.

Environmentally friendly concerns? I love Planet Dog products–made from recycled materials with a nifty foundation that funds dog-related endeavors.

Come have fun and support DREAM Dachshund Rescue! The Georgia Dachshund Races 2011 will be held on Saturday, June 18, 2011. See GeorgiaDachshundRaces.com for more information. Race your doxie! Costume contest! Doxie coat contests! Vendor booths! Program with sponorships, ads, and other information.

And for some pure fun–channel your inner dog. Here’s a look at the pet-human bond through the eyes and feelings of a dog. I kid you not! Enjoy.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Thoughty Thursday: Fences & Good Neighbors

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Scottish Deerhound in kennel

Please fence me in!

We’re building a fence. Actually, we HAVE a fence, but it’s pipe-and-rail designed for horses. Looks great, but it won’t keep the Magical-Dawg inside. In fact, he could vault the fence if he wanted—shhhhh, don’t tell him! Right now it’s not a problem because the roses (you remember them?) have run rampant in the back yard and engulfed a goodly portion of the fence. But since we’re redesigning the back rose garden (pronounced FLAME THROWER! aka BULLDOZER aka I-DON’T-WANNA-PRUNE-NO-MORE!), it’s time to make a secure, happy place for Magical-Dawg. He’s tired of having to come inside every time weenie humans can’t take the heat/bugs/stickers/whatever.

National Dog Bite Awareness Week blog has me thinking about safety for my fur-kids. Yes, “awareness” protects the four-legged family members just as much as it does the humans. Take a look/listen at today’s Ask Amy about a dog chasing–and scaring–neighbor kids, YIKES! That’s an accidental bite just waiting to happen, and we all know the dog will pay the higher price for even a bandaid-worthy nip.

Actually, the thorny garden with all its weed-icity reminds me of my other writerly projects I’ve shoved on the back burner. I have two more backlist books to format and get kindle-ized (cat and dog care encyclopedias, no less!) and the necessary editing/weeding feels daunting. My co-author and I just completed our play–a musical–and today tossed that baby to a couple of folks for vetting. That felt like opening the back door to Magical-Dawg to go play with coyotes–scary scary scary! Oh, and the fiction WIP now in 3rd revision has miles of weeds to wack before handing off to my editor for her flame-thrower treatment. Do you ever have writing projects you’d like to build a fence around to keep safe from critical eyes?

I can squeeeeze through

Puppies especially WILL consider barriers to be a challenge . . .

Meanwhile, the new puppies.About.com site gives me my daily SQUEEEEE! where I just wrote about easy tips about doggy fence options. Do you have a safe fenced space for your dog–or your cat? How does your pet handle strangers? Magical-Dawg decided early on that he’d protect house/yard/his-people from strangers, whether we want him to or not! Probably the coyotes should watch out if he ever did escape our soon-to-be-installed-upgraded-rose-unencumbered-fence. Meanwhile we practice socialization continually. Or maybe it’s an act–Magic now thinks the drive-through bank tellers and dry cleaners and Starbucks are AWESOME treat-dispensers designed just for his benefit.

Seren-kitty is even less forgiving of strangers and doesn’t let her 7-pounds-of-bluff stop her. She marches right up to visitors, hurls cat-curses, and tells ’em to get the hell-outta-HER-house! IMO the “bite awareness” should apply to kitties, too. Fang-icity ain’t fun, no matter if it comes with hisses or howls.

Have you ever been bitten by a dog or cat–your own or a strangers’ pet? What happened? Be honest…were you at fault? Or was the pet a victim of irresponsible or clueless owners–or an innocent kiddo wanting to hug/kiss Fluffy and getting nailed?  All you savvy pet people out there, how do you protect your pets–and people–from each other? The PETiQuette book has lots of tips for recognizing and avoiding dog and cat aggression, but let’s get some free advice going in the comments section. What else would you suggest to the Aussie owners in this Ask Amy video?

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Thoughty Thursday: Un-Plugged!

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Myster E. Watching TV 019

The past two days I’ve been in purgatory–I won’t call it hell, because it’s the ABSENCE of something vital to my writing life. And I’ve learned (horrors!) that I’m an addict. . .

. . .of the Internet.

In the olden days (lawsie, sound like my Grandma used to!) words were typed and the smell of well-inked ribbon perfumed the room. Any piece of writer-icity fortunate enough to claim a home traveled via the U.S. Postal System–which meant a May 1st deadline required mail drop off at least a week in advance. Once Email emerged–and I’ll admit I arrived late at that party–writers not only saved on postage $, we gained something much more valuable. Extra time. Have a column due on May 1st? as long as you hit “send” before midnight on April 30, you’re golden.

And I’ve been burned several times by downloading emails infected with viruses or having a computer go belly up. So the past year or so all my email stays “online” in a virtual database I can access from any computer, anywhere. Even my email address book remains online, for ease of contact. Makes life simple.

Until the Internet goes ka-flooey. (That’s a technical writerly term, which loosely translated means !@#$%^&*O!@#$%^&!!)

Besides the inability to read or answer email and send articles, I couldn’t post blogs here, over at my RedRoom site, or update my spankin’ new puppies.About.com site, spread the furry news via Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Particularly annoying, I could get Email via my Blackberry but couldn’t do more than answer a word or two without thumbs being sabotagued by the auto-correct feature. Arg!

So are you (gasp!) addicted to the Internet? How do you handle outages? I ended up working with my co-author on another project that didn’t require online access. And I suppose tomorrow I’ll do more of the same since the forecasts call for more crappiocca weather.

I’ve always thought technology offered countless benefits. What about you? Do we depend on the “un-wired” world too much? What do you do when your working life goes ka-flooey? Play hookey?

I would love to play hookey sometime. But my boss is a real bitch.

I love hearing from you, so please share comments and questions–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Monday Mentions: Kindle-ization, Book Tours & Opposable Thumbs

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Sometimes evolution is a bitch. Has publishing suddenly grown opposable thumbs?

It seems a lifetime ago that I wrote two books with my good friend Dr. Marty Becker of Good Morning America. He invited me to the party to be a co-editor with him and Carol Kline on Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover’s Soul, and Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul. That was in the days when my killer-diller agent always wangled a hefty book advance–no go with these titles, and no negotiating contracts, either. Marty and Carol had already written several Chicken Soup books and convinced me royalties would be worth it at the back end (the “new” way of  writing books), and darned if they weren’t right! The titles went on to sell hundreds of thousands of copies, I got a crash course in writing Chicken Soup-style nonfiction–it’s a LOT like fiction!–and had the great fun of working with two stellar writers.

Marty now is the resident vet on The Dr. Oz Show, and partners with co-writer Gina Spadafori, the founder of Pet Connection. They’re already NY-Times bestselling pet book authors, and their latest book, Your Dog, The Owner’s Manual launches April 15–I’ve already pre-ordered my Kindle copy. Marty is brilliant at marketing and although the book is debuting in both print and Ebook format, I’m a bit surprised that the promotion efforts look quite traditional. With the Chicken Soup books, we put together special websites and conducted radio media blitzes — but after 23 books I have never yet gone on a “book tour.” It’s expensive, publishers hardly ever fund them, and with book stores closing, the venues are hard to find.

But Marty and Gina have planned a two-month 30-city tour in a specially wrapped 45-foot bus, leaving on April 25 from Houston–appearing in pet products stores along the way (brilliant!). Follow the tour from DrMartyBecker.com. Gina will report along the way via Facebook and blog updates, Tweets and YouTube videos/Flickr photos. I can’t wait to get my paws on the book–and also see how the promotion works out.

Barry Eisler turned down $500,000 to self-publish!

Compare that to the latest from indy-publishing’s hero, JA Konrath–a best-selling writer because, he says, he went Indy. He’s the fellow that Amazon.com made an offer he couldn’t refuse so he turned down NY publishing and–dare I say?–went rogue. His terrific blog A Newbie’s Guide to Publishing currently features a virtual conversation with his buddy Barry Eisler, best selling thriller author. You’d think since traditional publishing has been so good to Eisler, he’d stick with it but–news flash! Barry Eisler just turned down a $500,000 advance and instead will self publish. Check out the blog for the full story! BREAKING NEWS: Self-publishing break out author Amanda Hocking appears to be poised for a traditional publishing contract worth $1 million.

So on the one paw, my nonfiction colleagues use a traditional tour and incorporate social media along the way; while fiction authors like JA Konrath and Barry Eisler choose the “new way of writing books.” Is it because nonfiction is so different than fiction, both in writing and marketing? For all you writers out there, please share your experiences. Have you done book tours–virtual or otherwise–and how’d that work for you? Are you sticking with traditional publishing, or are you self publishing? Readers, how often have you attended a book tour appearance? Will you turn out for Dr. Marty and Gina when they roll into town? (Hint: They’re bringing along a dog!)

“He stuck in his thumb, and pulled out a plum . . .”

I love hearing from you, so please share comments–and to stay up to date on all the latest just subscribe the the blog, “like” me on Facebook, listen to the weekly radio show, and sign up for Pet Peeves newsletter with pet book give-aways!

Thrillerfest! Videos, Pictures & More

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I had a wonderful time–again–in NYC at Thrillerfest.  With four-track speaker panels, it was tough to choose between stellar topics and terrific speakers. And I have to say, the receptions and after-hours spent in the bar catching up with old friends and making new acquaintances was a highlight. This was my fourth Thrillerfest and (hard to believe) it was the best ever! The picture above is of me with my friend Paula Lanier and author Jason Pinter. Visit me over at my Facebook page for more images of Allison Brennan, John Gilstrap, Shane Gericke, Steve and Liz Berry, Sandra Brown and more.

I also managed to video snippets of some of the sessions. But frankly, I was too busy enjoying the event and taking copious notes to do too much picture snapping. One of the best times for me was participation on a “social media” panel, and then a book signing. Go figure–nonfiction pet books were a hit! Of course, lots of thriller/mystery/suspense writers include dogs or cats in the story, so a book on behavior or treating gunshots, arrow, animal bites and such comes in handy. Videos include:

2010 Debut Authors with Brad Melzer speaker, Thrillerfest Saturday July 10, 2010, Silver Bullet winner Brad Meltzer speaks to the audience, and Debut Authors: Avery Aames, Graham Brown, Ryan Brown, Carla Buckley, Teresa Burrell, Pamela Callow, JJ Cooper, Reece Hirsch, Jeannie Holmes, Brett King, Sophie Littlefield, Boyd Morrison, Alan Orloff, Brad Parks, Sharon Potts, James Rubert, Stephen Jan Schwartz, Norb Vonnegut

Make Your Career a Thriller with Panel Master Jeff Ayers interviews authors Joseph Finder, Laura Caldwell, Stephen Coonts, Chris Kuzneski and John Gilstrap

Is Nonfiction More Thrilling? Peter James interviews True Thriller Award Recipient Mark Bowden, and Panel Master Doug Preston hosts nonfiction panel with authors Sean Michael Bailey, Emily Benedek, Mark Bowden, W. Craig Reed and Kathleen Sharp

Lisa Scottoline interviewed by John Land, and Daniel Palmer and Michael Palmer singing “The Writer’s Prison Blues” at the Awards Banquet.

I can’t wait until next year!

amy

Kindle-izing, Pet Peeves & Sad News

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Complete Care for Your Aging Cat has been Kindle-ized!

The Kindle-ized kitten book met with great success, and I expect no less from the “mature” version. This updated, revised version of the award-winning Complete Care for Your Aging Book (NAL) provides all the must-knows of caring for your mature feline. The print version won the Merial Human-Animal Bond Award, and the Hartz Senior Cat Award, and the latest edition expands on this theme with updated health and behavior information. Step-by-step home care advice, insurance options, and help explaining to children the end-of-life issues are offered. The most common “old cat” issues cover details about diagnosis, drug/nutritional/natural treatment options, and specialists to help owners are provided.

Unique to the Kindle edition, though, is an incredible value-added in the form of click-able “hot links” to online sources of cat care products, information, and the experts who were interviewed for the book (in the Kindle-for-PC version). Me-wow! My cat edited this book and gives it five paws up! You can check out samples from the book with these excerpts on “how old is old” and “how to give fluid therapy” at my new Pet Peeves website. If you’re inclined to get a copy, please-please-please post a review to share what you think with other readers. Thanks in advance!

Pet Peeves Website Launch! You’ll find free dog and cat care, behavior, training, first aid, and how-to information in articles and videos on a variety of fun-to-serious subjects. I’ll include links to appropriate Pet Peeves radio shows, too. And the Pet Peeves E-newsletter (going out later today–yes, I know it’s late) will also spotlight various dog-centric and cat-egorical topics from the Pet Peeves and cats.About.com sites. For instance:Fireworks Phobias? Here’s how to fix Fido’s fear.Dog Chasing the cat? Learn how to cut the chase.Do your pets follow you to the potty? Learn why.Is your rescued cat scared? This reader asked how to help her feral cat.

As for the “thrilling” news, Thrillerfest is less than a week away. I’m on a panel hosted by best-selling author (wow can she write!) Allison Brennon and several other movers-and-shakers in the world of books. Check out the Murder She Writes blog and comment on the survey. We’ll discuss all the good, bad, & ugly about social media—and the audience is in for some surprises! This ain’t gonna be a dry industry naval-gazing exercise. I like to call it “The Great S&M Debate” and I’ll be wearing my rhinestone #1-Bitch pin. *eg* Hope to see y’all there.

FLASH–late breaking news. My friend and colleague Kari Winters died unexpectedly a year ago, and it’s been a struggle to re-home her pets but all are safe. I’ve blogged about that situation before–she died under shady circumstances. However, one kitty (Lucy) desperately needs a final forever home. Her current foster-mom is willing to send Lucy anywhere in the country and says she’s mainly sweet with people–it’s the other pets that she irritates. Kari’s dear friend Darlene Arden headed the push to rehome these kitties and writes, “I think stress levels are running much too high, plus my friend broke her ankle this weekend so things aren’t great. Bottom line: we find her a home or she will be put down. She has been given chance after chance with experienced cat people but she really does need to be an “only” pet.”

So please cross-post the notice about Lucy, let me know your interest and I’ll put you in touch with Darlene. *s* Until next time, pet your critters for me, read a great book, listen to some “peevish” radio, and enjoy your July 4th weekend. And maybe welcome Lucy into your home.

Woofs & purrs,

amy