1. How did you come up with the title?
Chula, our sheltie, doesn’t just pad along—she trots. When she found out that she’d be going with us on a 2-month trip to France, she danced and pranced and then began to trot, not realizing how far France was from California. In fact, France is halfway around the globe from us. I began to see Chula as a globe-trotting dog with a spinning world under her paws, and it seemed like there was a good title in that image. That’s how the title Dog Trots Globe was born.
2. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
The book is light-hearted and captures the joie de vivre that Chula, Bob, and I all feel when we are in France. I wanted my readers to have a fun read and to experience another culture. That’s why the book includes videos in the enhanced ebook version (and online for other readers) and why there are songs set to traditional French music and sung in French. The serious message is how much experiencing the history, language, life, and culture of another country can enrich your life.
3. How much of the book is realistic?
The book includes over 150 photographs showing all the places we visited with Chula. Readers can step right into France via these photos of real places. The historical details, anecdotes on customs, and information on such things as types of French cheese or how the Eiffel Tower is painted are factual. In these respects, the book is realistic, but when Chula puts her spin on things, we move into another realm--not that dogs don’t speak the real truth!
4. If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your book?
Yes, I’d include even more information on France. Since the book is told by Chula, a dog or chien in French, I started out being uncomfortable that she could relate information. As I got more into the book, I decided she was a chien savant, so I had her tell more about France. After the book was published, I then created a number of Extras pages for the OIC website where my additional information on France could live.
5. What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part was selecting the photographs and weaving the narrative around them. I had thousands of images to choose from, but I didn’t want to create a book of just photos and captions. Instead, the images had to go with Chula’s adventures as they unfolded and still give readers a vivid view of France.
6. Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
Of course! Almost everything I write involves some research. In fact, when I learn something new and surprising, I’ve found something that will probably interest my readers, too. For example, I didn’t know that the Eiffel Tower had started out red or that it takes 15 months to paint it. I didn’t know each coat adds a little to its weight, or that too great an increase in weight is a cause of concern for its stability. Fascinating!
7. Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
There was not a specific moment when it happened. Even as a young child, I knew that what you could say you could write, and that what you could write could be read and understood by someone else. These links in communication are basic concepts, but they led to an interest in publishing that started when I became editor-in-chief of my sixth-grade newspaper, deepened when I ran a daily newspaper in college, and culminated in running an educational publishing company in my professional life.
8. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
I love to read and have many favorite authors. For fiction, a few are Barbara Kingsolver (Poisonwood Bible; The Lacuna), Julia Alvarez (Something to Declare), Ann Patchett (Bel Canto; State of Wonder), Joanne Harris (Five Quarters of the Orange), and Khaled Hosseini (Kite Runner; A Thousand Splendid Suns). All these authors have a rich cultural backdrop to their novels so that I get engrossed in the story and learn about life in different times and places.
9. Tell us your latest news.
Just started writing for an exciting blog, called OIC Moments (say “Oh, I see”), whose goal is to enrich people’s lives through connections to positive, creative ideas and diverse cultures. I value curiosity, imagination, innovation, and different perspectives—I’ll write about all these in the blog.
10. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
Thank you for your comments on Dog Trots Globe. May you experience the fun that Chula and I had in France and in recording our adventures. To see what Chula is up to next, come be her friend on Facebook.
About the Book
This travelogue recounts the adventures of Chula, a 9-year-old Sheltie, whose travels take her from California to France. With over 150 vivid photographs of France, the lively narrative follows Chula as she sniffs around the boulangeries, lavender fields, and big outdoor markets of Provence and as she wags her way through Paris. Throughout, the reader gets anecdotes on French life and information on everything from cheeses to the Eiffel Tower, all from a fun dog's-eye view.
A helpful Afterword gives tips on pet travel. The publisher’s website offers Extras with related videos, travel planning guides, dog fun, free downloads, and more.
Prices/Formats: $19.95 hardcover, $9.99 ebook
Genre: Pets / Travel
Publisher: OIC Books
Release Date: 2011
Buy Links: Amazon, Kindle, OIC Books, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, Google
About the Authors
Sheron Long first visited France as a student in Grenoble. In love with the culture and the sights, she returned dozens of times exploring all corners of the country. Sheron and her husband Bob settled in Provence, where they now live part-time and enjoy charming villages, outdoor markets, remarkable scenery, and delicious food. But as much as they enjoyed themselves, their experiences were somehow lacking. You see, the family was incomplete because they always left their beautiful dog, Chula, behind when they traveled.
In 2010, Sheron and Bob planned a two-month trip to France. Their longest trip yet! Unable to bear that much time apart from Chula, they decided to take her along. It was by far their best trip. Upon her return, Sheron decided to capture and share the adventure of traveling to and through France with Chula by creating the book and ebook, Dog Trots Globe — To Paris & Provence.
Chula Wula D’Augue, whose first name means "pretty" in Spanish, is an 11-year-old, 30-pound Shetland Sheepdog (Sheltie) with a true sense of adventure. Whether chasing squirrels in her backyard in Carmel Valley, California, or evicting feline squatters from her backyard in Saint-Rémy-de-Provence, Chula gives it her all. She's always ready to drop everything and go on a trip to town or across the globe, and she does it all with that lovely Sheltie smile.
In Dog Trots Globe--To Paris & Provence, Sheron combines the elements of an armchair travelogue, canine memoir, and photographic celebration of France by having Chula provide a humorous dog’s-eye view of the trip. The book offers a truly unique perspective of Paris and Provence, mixing the experiences shared with interesting facts and tidbits of French life and culture. Sheron also decided to include helpful tips and information on traveling overseas with your pet, in hopes of encouraging and helping others who might also want to do so. As for Chula, after experiencing France for two glorious months, she is eager to return at anytime, or travel more of the globe with her dedicated owners.
Links to connect with Sheron and Chula:
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