For a couple years, Chris has been linking to my website, Travels with Choppy. And for just about as long, I have been saying that I will eventually get something published and enter the Authors Hall of Fame here.
Finally, that day has come!
Rather than just start writing a post about my awesome books that you should totally purchase, I thought I would answer six questions that I think people should ask me. You know, as if I was the sort of person who got interviewed on a regular basis or whose blog readers asked her questions (they don’t, but that does not make them any less fabulous – they are all great and you should drop by the blog and say hello to them).
Question 1: Are you the Sarah Ferguson who is Duchess of York?
No. Though I do have freckles, and you are welcome to treat me like a member of the royal family and/or give me things for free.
Question 2: How in the world does someone who has a blog about her dog end up writing a travel book and self-publishing that?
In case you aren’t a regular reader of my blog, Travels with Choppy, it is a blog that is almost entirely about my dog, Choppy. By that, I mean it’s mostly a blog where I post pictures of my dog dressed up in clothing/wearing signs. Back when I began the blog, though, it was about the year I took off of work to travel with Choppy, hence its name. I wrote a travelogue/travel memoir while I was taking that year off. For a couple years, I tried to get that traditionally published, but it went nowhere despite about 100 queries and some interest from several agents. At some point, I was given advice to take out a lot of information I had in there which I would categorize as long form trivia-type facts. I pulled those into a new document and let it sit for a long time, but it started to seem like a waste of some great information. I eventually went back to it and reformed those facts into the book that is now 101 Travel Bits: The Alaska Highway.
During that long process of attempting to get the travelogue/travel memoir published, I started exploring self-publishing. As I was putting together 101 Travel Bits: The Alaska Highway, I realized it would be a great book to self-publish. If I later decided to self-publish the travelogue/travel memoir, it would also be great practice for doing so. When I finished 101 Travel Bits: The Alaska Highway, I realized it would be the sort of book that worked best with at least one companion book and I wrote 101 Travel Bits: The Overseas Highway to go with it. So, instead of just publishing one book, I published two!
Question 3: Why write about the Alaska Highway and the Overseas Highway?
The aforementioned travelogue/travel memoir started as a book about my travels with Choppy in general but ended up focusing on a trip we took up the Alaska Highway per a recommendation from an agent. By the time I revised that memoir and began what became 101 Travel Bits: The Alaska Highway, the memoir was entirely about the trip up the Alaska Highway and thus the book that evolved out of it naturally focused on the Alaska Highway. For its companion book, I wanted another road. I love Key West and the drive out to Key West on the Overseas Highway, so it was natural and fun for me to write that second book on the Overseas Highway.
Question 4: Why is there a cat on your blog that is supposedly about a dog?
That’s Schooner. I got married and my husband wanted a cat, so Choppy and I are now forced to live with a feline creature. If I have to have a cat around here, I’m going to force him to participate in the blog. Plus, the Internet loves cats, and I am not above shamelessly exploiting the one who lives in our house if it means more page views.
Question 5: Do Choppy and Schooner actually get along/pose willingly?
Choppy and Schooner don’t hate each other, but they aren’t best friends, either. Mostly, they put up with each other.
As for posing willingly, Choppy loves to get dressed up. She gets excited when I get anywhere near the bins where I keep her clothing. I like to interpret it as her loving to get dressed up, but I realize it’s actually about her loving to get a treat when she is done dressing up.
Schooner? He’s a work in progress on the posing. He’s getting better, but there are definitely days where he doesn’t want to pose and I’m not going to force him to do so. I value having hands that are not entirely scratched up.
Question 6: What do you do besides this blogging/writing thing?
I make ends meet as an attorney. I also love to read, though I mostly listen to audio books these days – I walk Choppy at least a mile a day, so this is a perfect time to get my “reading” in. As is probably obvious, I love to travel. I’ve lived overseas in China and Japan, and I’ve visited all 50 states (Choppy has been to 43, so she’s not far behind). I have a lot of activities I really enjoy: going to sporting events, cooking, sewing, bar-hopping, and shopping, to name a few. I could use a few more hours in every day, but I try to make the most of the ones I have. I’m still going to hope I find a few extra hours a day, though. Perhaps I don’t need to get any sleep…
Find Choppy, Schooner (and me) at:
Travels with Choppy blog
Travel Bits website
Choppy on Facebook
Travels with Choppy on Facebook
Travels with Choppy on Twitter
101 Travel Bits
The Alaska Highway
101 Travel Bits
The Overseas Highway