Tell-Tale Signs

A good friend stopped by for an unannounced visit. “You working on a new book proposal?”

“Yeah, working flat out,” I answered. “How’d you guess?”

“Dust-bunnies. Dead give-away.”

By |2008-03-16T23:45:14-04:00March 12th, 2007|On Writing|5 Comments

How to Break into Magazines

From the Mail Bag: Kate writes: I’d like to start writing nonfiction, human interest stories, emphasizing topics such as dogs and life with dogs, health and psychology. I’d like to start with articles (magazine, newspaper or both) and eventually work towards a book. I have done a few small human interest pieces for the newspaper at the University where I currently work and also back when I was in college. Any advice you’d have to share would be appreciated.

Dear Kate: The truth about the writing biz is that it’s easier to get published if you’ve already been published. It’s harder for new-comers to break in. The new writers who will succeed are the ones who […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:57-04:00March 1st, 2007|On Writing, The Mail Bag|1 Comment

Note to Self…

…Make sure, with all future book contracts, to specify that if I write a book about my dogs, and the publisher is going to put a picture of a dog on the cover, then it’s my dog’s picture that will be used. Not a generic stock photo of a dog that not only is not one of the breeds I’m writing about, but has absolutely no connection to the story.

Dogs of Dreamtime is coming out in paperback in April. Lyons decided to “update” the cover. Here’s what they came up with.

>Paperback Cover

Cute Lab mix, don’t you think? Imagine the readers’ surprise when they open the book to find […]

By |2016-10-24T09:56:59-04:00January 30th, 2007|.My Dogs and Me, On Writing|13 Comments

Alice Down the Rabbit Hole

When I was growing up, we lived out in the country where there were a lot of animals, but not a lot of kids. Animals were my constant companions. When I wasn’t busy with my horses, dogs, cats, and the cows (not ours) out in the back pasture, I’d amuse myself with my mind. Like my daughter, Caitlin, I wasn’t a great sleeper, so while lying awake at night I’d often play “What If” games.

Some of my “What If’s” ran along very noble lines like: What if I were asked to live a solitary life until I died, in exchange for world peace? Would I do it? I contemplated that question deeply and believed that I would. (I’ve since learned […]

By |2016-10-24T09:57:00-04:00January 12th, 2007|Life, On Writing|7 Comments

I’ve Been Nominated!

I just found out that my book, Dogs of Dreamtime, has been nominated for the DWAA (Dog Writers Association of America) 2006 awards, in the category for best general interest dog book. I learned of this through a friend who’s on a dog list, who read a posting from another friend, who’d received an email newsletter from DogWise. Wonder when DWAA was planning on letting me know…?

Anyway, here’s what DogWise (the Amazon of dog books) has to say about it:

  • “Dogs of Dreamtime by Karen Shanley. A story about second chances and the power of love between a woman and her dogs. We are all betting that this book is likely to be one of the […]
By |2016-10-24T09:57:00-04:00December 15th, 2006|.My Dogs and Me, Dogs in General, On Writing|6 Comments

What Do You Say When…

From the mail bag: K.W. asks: What do you say when someone has asked you to read something they’ve written, and it really stinks? I don’t want to hurt my friend’s feelings, because I know she spent a lot of time on it. She thinks the story she’s written is ready to be sent off to a publisher. I think it’s ready to be sent to the circular file. Help! I’m sure you must get this a lot.

As a matter of fact… :) I do get this a lot. I’ve had many friends, and even more strangers, ask me to read their latest manuscript. I try to remember back to […]

By |2016-10-24T09:57:00-04:00November 28th, 2006|On Writing, The Mail Bag|1 Comment