Maria and I got married more than three years ago, and at the wedding in the big old barn at Bedlam Farm, I told the people there that I was a story-teller and Maria was my happy ending. This was more true than I even knew. Frieda was not at the wedding, she was locked inside the Studio Barn in the crate that she slept in during her months of separation from the farmhouse, when she could not be around other people, dogs or animals.
Tonight, I am determined that she not be shut out of her own book, so I am bringing her to Battenkill Books for the launch of "Second Chance Dog: A Love Story." Today is the publication date for the book, it is now on sale everywhere (in paper and digital form) and Frieda will be there. I owe her that.
Some people will think I am crazy, they are probably right about that, but I trust Frieda and I wouldn't bring her if I had any doubts about her. When I put Orson down, I promised myself no dog of mine would ever harm a human being again. I will keep that pledge. Frieda is my symbol of happy endings, second chances. All three of us were broken in that winter of 2008 and "Second Chance Dog: A Love Story" is the story of how we helped piece one another together, and into a creative life of love and connection. We did that for one another.
Frieda – I sometimes call her the "Helldog" or "The Dog Who Kept Men Away" – was Thelma to Maria's Louise. They were two man-hating outcasts in trouble, both adrift in the world and since I was in love with the one, I had to win the heart of the other – nothing was ever going to separate these two. Maria and I fell in love, and so did Frieda and I, although that road was a bit rocky and steep sometimes. This is a story of happy endings, love and second chances.
This is my 25th book, an exciting time for me, it's publication is a challenge, a stepping stone, a test of my ideas and theories about how a mid-list writer can make a great transition to the new era of writing and publishing. No conventional book tour this time, it's me, my blog and some help from Random House Publicity and Marketing. I am giving away dog food, free books, photos, there was always a bit of the circus in me, some writers would be horrified at this kind of book tour, I love the creative challenge of it. It is my goal to remain relevant as a writer, not to spend my remaining years bitching about Amazon. Videos, podcasts, Facebook topics on the way.
So today is the new book tour, the blog tour, my book tour. There was a time when I wouldn't sell a book on my blog, but that was then, I've got my red panties on, and a sweet warm story to peddle. Today, the book was No. l in the Kindle Dog Store, I finally overtook Danielle Steel and her mouse-dog that went to Paris. I even surpassed "101 Dog Tricks," a big best seller. I'm heading for glory. Connie Brooks has 600 pre-orders of the book (Maria and I will sign and personalize any book purchased at Battenkill (518 677-2515), no matter when. Tonight, Connie and I will figure out how to sweeten the pot with more give-a-ways.
This morning, Maria and I are off to Albany, I'm appearing on WAMC's Roundtable with Joe Donahue at 10:30. This afternoon, I'll be interviewed for an hour by the wonderful Kathleen Dunn of Wisconsin Public Radio, she is the best interviewer I have ever encountered, the high water mark of any book tour. Tonight, Frieda and Maria and I head to Battenkill for our 7 p.m. talk, reading, Q&A and signing. After my talk, I think we'll put Frieda in the car. She probably doesn't want to meet you. (or your dog) I think, when all is said and done, that she is a spirit dog, her purpose was to guide Maria to me and to make sure I was worthy of her trust and love.
She did that, and I love you and thank you, you wonderful girl. I will be proud to launch my book with you at my side. The book can be purchased anywhere. The book can always be purchased at Connie's wonderful store, but also at these places.
Also, today is the debut of the daily book give-a-way on my Facebook Page. Each weekday until Christmas I will post a topic relating to dogs, love, training and second chances and give a free copy of the book to one of the people who reply. Good luck.