Q&A with Susan Abel Sullivan: THE WEREDOG WHISPERER

Susan Sullivan WEREDOG WHISPERER Book CoverToday I welcome Susan Abel Sullivan to Dog Reads, a blog that features interviews with authors who’ve written a canine story for kids or young adults.

AOB: What is the title of your book? Pub date and publisher? Genre? Targeted age group? Illustrator?

The Weredog Whisperer

December 31,2013, World Weaver Press

Paranormal Mystery

Target age: adult, although middle grade and teens may enjoy the three teenaged characters in the book

AOB: Who is your key dog character(s) and what kind of dog is he/she? Feel free to list as many different breeds or mixes as necessary. Tell us a little more about him/her.

Luna is a white American pit bull terrier.  Bertram and Cleo Tidwell adopt her from the animal shelter as a trail run for having a baby.  She’s about a year old.  Everyone loves Luna.  She’s an easy going, fun loving dog and is based on my real-life pit bull, Moxie.

AOB: In 70 words or less, provide a succinct plot description of your story.

The Tidwells might have adopted a pit bull as a test-run for having a baby, but had no idea that they’d wind up with an instant were-daughter when their dog is bitten by a weredog while on a spring break vacation to the Florida Gulf Coast. The Tidwells’ trip has gone to the dogs as they jump through hoops to protect their unexpected new daughter from a dog-eat-dog world.

Praise for The Weredog Whisperer

“Fun, quirky, suspenseful, and outrageous — this paranormal adventure will have you laughing, gasping, and turning the pages.”
—Jeanne Cavelos, best-selling author of The Passing of the Techno-Mages

“If The Weredog Whisperer doesn’t have you busting a gut then your sense of humor has definitely gone… well, you know the rest.”
—Scott Barnes, NewMyths.com

“The Weredog Whisperer is LOL funny… Whether readers are from the southside of Dee-troit or south of the Mississippi, Sullivan’s true Southern humor and charm are sure to appeal to them all.”
—Michelle Lowery Combs, award-winning author of Heir to the Lamp and the forthcomingSolomon’s Bell

“Cleo Tidwell’s wacky adventures rank right up there with Stephanie Plum’s and Sookie Stackhouse’s; what fun to enter the world of author Susan Abel Sullivan’s novels!”
—Barbara Rowell, Director Jacksonville (AL) Public Library

“Even better than the first! The Weredog Whisperer puts Cleo Tidwell firmly on my must-read-her-next-adventure list.”
—Jeep Diva Reviews

The Weredog Whisperer is a delightful, fun-filled fantasy! Engaging, humorous, and full of surprises.”
—Beth Duke, Author of Delaney’s People and Don’t Shoot Your Mule

To see my “dream cast” for the novel, visit Heidi Ruby Miller’s Cast Your Characters”.  

Susan Sullivan with dogs photoAOB: What inspired you to write this story?

I wanted to try a fun and funny twist on the werewolf story and wound up with silly weredogs like a Chinese crested, Jack Russell terrier, and a basenji, as well as weresharks, a weregator, and a were-killer-whale.  And since my dogs are like my children, I wondered what it would be like if my dog turned into a teenager during the three nights of the full moon.

AOB: What was the biggest challenge you had writing your story? How did you overcome it?

I don’t outline my discovery drafts.  I hit a snag in Act III when the plot delved into dog fighting.  There’s really nothing funny about dog fighting.  After a few false starts, I came up with a new direction that was both suspenseful and funny involving a couple of crazy weresharks.

AOB: What other YA/MG books have you written? Do any of them feature a key dog character? If so, which ones?

What are these stories about?

I have a couple of short story collections that are for YA/MG. Cursed: Wickedly Fun Stories and Fried Zombie Dee-light! Ghoulish, Ghostly Tales. The latter has a story, “Finding the Way Home” about a ghost dog.

AOB: What kind of story can we expect next from you? Is it about a dog? If so, what is it about?

Luna the pit bull turned were-daughter will show up in my next Cleo Tidwell paranormal mystery, working title: Top Vampire Chef.  I’m also working on a YA series—The Simon Sylvestri School for the Supernaturally Challenged—that has a weredog character named Louie.

Susan Sullivan Author PhotoAOB: What else would you like us to know about you or your story?

The Weredog Whisperer takes place on the Florida Gulf Coast and my family moved to Pensacola, FL when I was eleven, so I’m very familiar with the area and had a great time setting a novel there. There’s even a flying saucer house in the book that was inspired by a very real flying saucer house on Pensacola Beach.

AOB: Can you remember the first book that made an impact on you? And why?

The Annotated Dracula by Bram Stoker. Not only did I fall in love with Stoker’s novel, but Leonard Wolfe did an exceptional job with the fascinating annotations about Transylvania and Victorian England.

AOB: What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Learn how to write well before worrying about getting published. Join a writers’ group and attend well-reviewed writing workshops.  I’m a graduate of the Odyssey Writing Workshop for speculative fiction and it was the best thing I ever did for myself. http://www.sff.net/odyssey/

Learn more  about Susan Abel Sullivan on her web page and follow her on Facebook or Twitter

Thank you, Susan Abel Sullivan, for joining us at Dog Reads!

 

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All materials © 2017 Annemarie O'Brien. Web site by Websy Daisy. Illustration © 2013 by Tim Jessell