O. Warfield

O. Warfield, author and poet,  wrote the Omar Blue Saga, which includes Omar Blue,  K-9 Town, USA, and the new publication Led By An Eagle,  to reach out to families, avid readers and dog lovers of all ages.

Please tell us a little about yourself.

O. Warfield: I live in Richmond, Virginia,  with my loving husband and daughter.  Accompanied by my daughter, Joy, I offer special entertainment to hospitals and facilities for children and adults with special needs and to seniors in assisted living communities. The events include readings of Omar Blue and a host of gifts and surprises.

When did the writing bug bite and in what genre?

O. Warfield: When I was a young girl, I wrote short stories. As I got older,  I wrote little poems too. No one would see them. It was just something I did.

A while back, I started writing poetry for friends. Just to brighten their day if they were having a bad one. Usually silly stuff about something that may have just happened or more serious for something they were going through such as sickness or even death of a loved one.

After being told many times how comforting my words were and how I should become a true writer, I decided maybe I should put more thought into what I was writing. In doing that I began to realize how easy and comforting writing is to me.

I’m told it’s a rare gift how fast I think up poems and/or stories for almost any scenario but I think it’s just a trait most writers have.

I write prose when it better suits the story I’m telling, but my real love is rhymes.  My Omar Blue Saga is told in rhymes, with special attention paid to meter and flow.  My rhymes don’t distract, they enhance my stories, making them unique.

When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

O. Warfield: Until I started writing my books, my only goal was to make someone feel better when they read what I’d written especially for them. My short poems.

When I started writing Omar Blue and K-9 Town, USA, my focus was on entertainment and humor. I had a very sick family member who loved animals. At least once a week I’d read what I had completed to her. I wanted everything to end on an upbeat note even though there were serious undertones. My first book is a little more juvenile than the second, Led By An Eagle. It was geared towards family reading, children especially, and included  illustrations. I’m happy to say that readers of all ages have and are enjoying it.

Briefly tell us about your latest book.

O. Warfield: Led By An Eagle has leader Omar Blue taking his Pack into the mountains to meet his kin. K-9 Town is full of excitement. Though reluctant to leave their beloved K-9 Town, USA the pack sees this as their chance to find out more about their mysterious leader whom they have grown to love and respect. A leader who makes each of them feel a part of something wonderful and invincible.

But … just before their departure, Rottweiler Brady has a confrontation with Mountain Lion Booby while he and Pit Bull Sammy are on an enjoyable morning stroll. The mountain lions’ plan backfires when Booby is embarrassed in front of his followers. Livid because “Professor” Brady had gotten the best of him, the mountain lions vow to rid “their” land of Omar Blue and his Pack, forever. They’re going to follow the pack into the mountains, picking up kin as they go.

Meanwhile, it’s no secret they’re being followed by Mountain Lion Booby and his Pride. But fearless to a fault, Omar Blue and his Pack’s attitude is, “Let them come. We’ll handle them when they think they’re ready.”

Having a ball, as Omar Blue and his Pack are known to do, even those lovable naughty puppies get into the act.

The showdown is one of a kind and will have you right in the middle of the action. To be remembered as unique and I hope, powerful.

This book is to be enjoyed by the whole family.

 What’s the hook for the book.

O. Warfield: Led By an Eagle is made up of a community of diverse characters. Big, small, mixed breeds, purebreds are all the same at K-9 Town, USA. Each has its own personality and background. Love, friendship and loyalty are taken to another level. My characters know they are loved and needed and will protect each other above all else. They love the town they have founded and the way of life their leader has shown them. For this they would live or die for Omar Blue, just as he would for them.

How do you develop characters? Setting?

O. Warfield: My characters are imagined from real life animals and people. I put in some of the breed’s natural characteristics in most cases, then add what I need for a particular scenario. Some of my main characters belong to family and friends. My dog Omar Blue has a strong character. That’s what it takes to be a respected leader. I’m talking about a strong presence so he can lead my rottweilers, pit bulls and the others and make it fictionally believable. I built his character around his real personality. Sweet as can be but definitely an alpha. Some of my stories come from listening to people talk. Especially my naughty puppies. We all know how funny babies are when they are just learning to do things on their own. As I listen, I start formulating my stories for Omar’s K-9 Town Pack.

My settings are always wilderness with trees and mountains for shelter and wide open spaces where the pack can run free and the puppies can run wild.

O. Warfield: Who are the most unusual/most likeable characters

In Led By An Eagle there are two. The oldest of the Elders. Komondor Rasta Mama who was introduced in Omar Blue and K-9 Town, USA along with her son Rasta Kooley and his family, and, Great Dane Granny who is making her first appearance.

These two have special gifts. Rasta Mama has the gift of second sight. She can see bad things that are about to happen. Great Dane Granny is able to cast away evil. They have named themselves the “Seers” and plan to travel together and use their gifts and “special potions” to keep Omar’s Pack safe.

O. Warfield: Do you have specific techniques to help maintain course of the plot?

Maintaining the course of my plot isn’t hard because there are so many directions I can go. Just as real life takes us in many directions. K-9 Town, USA is just getting on its feet. There are many adventures ahead without changing the course of the plot.

O. Warfield: Do you have a specific writing style?  Preferred POV?

I really don’t know if I’d call it a style of writing. I love to rhyme but I’m just addicted to writing. I entertain myself with what I write, so I hope my writing, no matter what form, is entertaining to others. My stories seem to have little lessons attached to them. I think that’s because reinforcement of good ideals never hurts. Maybe I can label that a part of my writing style because it comes naturally.

O. Warfield: How does your environment/upbringing color our writing?

I grew up in Brooklyn, New York and became an adult in the late 60s when “make love not war” was one of the more popular sayings.  Omar Blue’s K-9 Town, USA is an example of this philosophy.  They want to live in peace but will go to war at the drop of a hat. They won’t let anything disrupt their way of life and the happiness it brings them.

O. Warfield: Share the best review you’ve ever had.

I’m very proud of this review. My reader captured every feeling I envisioned. The review is from: Omar Blue and K-9 Town, USA.

Omar Blue and K-9 Town, USA – I have to say that when I saw the book – slim in size I thought at first it was going to be detailed with facts about dogs, so thankfully it was short and to the point. I never ruffled through the book to get a glimpse of what my eyes were about to enjoy. I took it to my desk and planned to take a sneak peak. After the 3rd page I was hooked. Literally I could not put the book down – the stories are delightful, and I felt like I was right in the middle of action with the K-9’s. Darn the phone is ringing – put the book down – great wrong number – back to the stories. Before I knew it I was on chapter 8, and I decided to stop reading so that I could savor the rest of the book on a slower pace. The author made this a fun, easy to read book, and the problems presented, along with the way they were solved relate to life – trusting, leadership, teamwork, diversity and so much more. Its a great book for any age bracket. I think each age group will relate to it differently based on their own unique set of challenges.

― Ricky

O. Warfield: What are your current projects?

I’ve finally published the e-book and paperback versions of Led By An Eagle. It’s now available on Amazon.com. I’m on cloud nine about that review I mentioned above but I know this is only the beginning. Writing is the fun part. Promoting is serious business.

A never ending project of mine is working with an agency called Fetch A Cure. Through community outreach by way of events, campaigns and fundraisers, FETCH works to promote the need to help pets live long, healthy lives. We continually work to raise awareness and further education about pet cancer prevention, detection and treatment and senior care and aging issues. I could go on and on but instead I’ll let you find out about the wonderful programs we have in place by visiting http://fetchacure.com.

In addition to the above, I am now gearing up for my yearly contribution to the Combined Virginia Campaign. This is a statewide fundraising effort done by State agencies. Each year for the last eight, I’ve coordinated a spectacular talent show with proceeds going to the Sickle Cell Foundation, the first six, then we brought the money even closer to home, changing our theme to “Pampering Tots.” All funds are donated to a diaper bank program known as Capital Diaper Bank, to purchase pampers for babies in the community.  This takes place mid November. Lots of fun and talent in addition to being very gratifying.

O. Warfield: Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Visit my blog to learn what makes me tick and be entertained at the same time, http://omarblue.blogspot.com

Linkedin  http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=104878369&trk=tab_pro

Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/O.-Warfield/e/B004SIXGDI/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=100001606294213

Twitter: http://twitter.com/OWarfield

Thanks for joining us today.

O. Warfield: Thank you again for what you are doing.

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Barbara Ebel

Barbara Ebel is an author and a physician.  She has lived up and down the US East Coast and now resides in a wildlife corridor in Tennessee. “Perfect for writing,” she says.  Her first novel is a romantic suspense:  Operation Neurosurgeon: You never know …who’s in the OR.

Please introduce your self, Barbara.

Barbara: I am a physician-turned-author who sprinkles interesting, credible medicine into the background of my storylines.  However, that doesn’t take center stage to my plots or vivid characters.

Another thread you will find in my writing is dogs.  There will be at least one four-legger as a main character, especially since I own a few and have made one a star in a children’s book series called Chester the Chesapeake.

When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

Barbara: I am a physician-turned-author, so my “M.O.” is to sprinkle credible medicine into the background of my plots. However, my characters and plots take center stage!  Also, since my specialty is anesthesiology, my operating room scenes shine. I love for readers to get realistic views into what goes on and there are messages they pick up by my showing and not telling them.

Briefly tell us about your latest book. Series or stand-alone?

Barbara: Since I have written several genres, I’ll focus on my fiction which best suits your site: Operation Neusosurgeon: You never know…who’s in the OR.  This novel was written as a stand-alone.  However, I am consistently asked about a sequel because of the characters and their development, so writing a sequel is in my future!

Here’s a short description:

Who says a rising neurosurgeon can’t fall from his pinnacle?  From the skullduggery taking place deep in the Tennessee woods to the silent tension in the OR, Doctor Danny Tilson’s life takes an abrupt turn after performing surgery alongside a scrub nurse with aqua eyes and a velvet voice.

Can Danny’s situation get any worse after the alluring lady disappears, he inherits her roguish retriever, and his Albert Einstein historical book turns up missing? A pack of Tennessee attorneys pursue Danny while he develops a scheme with his paramedic best friend to payback the mysterious woman who left in a hurry.

What’s the hook for the book?

Barbara: Will an esteemed neurosurgeon fall prey to a calculating seductress during an astonishing surgery?

How do you develop characters? Setting?

Barbara: Ha!  My characters happen to emulate some character’s I’ve bumped into over the years and the setting for Operation Neurosurgeon is straight out of Tennessee.  The geography and description spans from Memphis to Knoxville, and from Nashville to the Caney Fork River to a character deep in the woods. You will enjoy the flavor!

Who’s the most unusual/likeable character?

Barbara: Even though Danny, the neurosurgeon, is the protagonist and takes center stage, he’s pretty stupid for being so smart. My favorite character is the dog and the paramedic who you may fall in love with. He stands by his friend no matter what. The most despicable and unusual character is Rachel. How diabolically cunning she is, but I’ll post no spoilers!

How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Barbara: The beautiful state of Tennessee was perfect for the plot’s progression. The contrast between the big cities and backwoods, along with the contrast between urban and rural characters, makes for great spin and variety.

Share the best review (or a portion) that you’ve ever had.

Barbara: Red Adept Reviews, the critical in-depth eBook reviewer, gave Operation Neurosurgeon: You never know…who’s in the OR an overall 4 ½ stars and a perfect 5 stars for characters. And here’s a tight review or the “verdict” from Indie Book of the Day which was awarded to it on 6/26/12:

Author Barbara Ebel creatively uses medical facts by deeply embedding them into the storyline and at the same time keeping the readers hooked. Operation Neurosurgeon stars a character whose single mistake can cost him a career but everything is not over yet, or is it? Barbara Ebel has managed to keep the suspense & mystery alive, till the very end. An enjoyable read & recommended for those who prefer detailed descriptions with logical plot progression.                                                                                                    – IBD Verdict.

What are your current projects?

Barbara: I am simultaneously working on the text and photographs for the two final Chester the Chesapeake children’s books in the series. I don’t rush ‘producing’ them, but let the storylines come to me. Since I illustrate with real pictures of my dogs, it will take me at least two years to finish them.  I also hope to start the sequel to Operation Neurosurgeon by the end of the year.

Where can folks learn more about your books and events?

Barbara: Please visit my website where you’ll find my eBooks & paperbacks; book videos & a few reviews; as well as links for purchase:

http://barbaraebel.weebly.com

Please visit my children’s book website all about Chester the Chesapeake!  Who doesn’t love dogs?

http://dogbooksforchildren.weebly.com

Twitter:  @barbaraebel

Thanks for joining us today, Barbara.

Barbara: Shelagh, thanks for having me!

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Katherine Kane

Katherine Kane, is an urban dog owner with over thirty years experience working with dogs. Her first books focus on her love for pets, and take advantage of the experience she has had training and working with dogs. 

Shelagh: Hi Katherine. Please tell everyone about yourself.

Katherine: I have lived and traveled extensively throughout the United States, Canada, Latin America, Europe, and Africa. The learnings from these experiences have been amazing and too numerous to count. The people I’ve met have proved to me that, across the world, we are more alike than different. Over the years, in addition to traveling, I have gathered graduate degrees, worked in academia and the corporate world, had two of the most wonderful daughters a person could ever have, and enjoyed every single day. (Well, some days have been better than others.) Now, my daughters are grown, my corporate life is wrapped up, and I can do what I want to do. So I’m writing books and playing golf.

Shelagh: When did the writing bug bite, and in what genre(s)?

Katherine: I’ve always wanted to write non-fiction, but was busy being a working single mom. Now that my daughters are grown and I am semi-retired, I have the time. My first book, Training The City Dog, was inspired by bringing a puppy home to my downtown highrise. There is very little information out there that is helpful to all of the challenges of raising an urban dog. Some dog training books have titles that indicate they are applicable to dogs in cities, but early in the book you get to the housebreaking chapter. When they tell you to take the puppy to a quiet and tranquil spot in the back yard, their credibility slips a bit. The dog trainers in our area are from the country or the suburbs, so they don’t even pretend to have much of a clue about how to help with urban matters. Thus Training The City Dog was born. 

Shelagh: When you started writing, what goals did you want to accomplish? Is there a message you want readers to grasp?

Katherine: My goal was to help dog owners and their dogs be excellent city citizens. I talked with close to one hundred people – dog experts, city dog owners, and city dog dislikers – to find out how they deal with urban issues, and if they don’t have urban experience, how they would handle these issues if they did. I thought it was very important to consider the decisions property managers make to ban dogs from their buildings and the perspectives of people who wish dogs were banned from cities because their issues point to ways we can make our dogs more acceptable to everyone around. Although raising our dogs to be healthy, happy, and safe in urban environments that require special petiquette is a very serious matter, there is also a lot of humor underlying the experience. My book takes a lighthearted approach to these serious subjects. I want to deliver the message with good humor. There is a copy of my book in the salon I go to, and the woman who owns it says it is fun to hear people chuckle as they read through the book while sitting under the dryer or waiting for their appointment. 

Shelagh: Briefly tell us about your latest book.

When you live in a city, there is the matter of housebreaking a puppy without having doors leading to anything resembling a yard that is quiet and tranquil. There is the matter of elevators, which don’t bother some dogs, but are a total mystery to others. Elevators can be very threatening to dogs that are shy or that tend to be protective of their space and their owners – all those people smashed into that tiny space is difficult for them. In high-rises, there is the matter of fire alarms, which mostly go off in the middle of the night in a storm, requiring getting your dog down the stairs with lots of people who are not interested in tripping over it or waiting for it. And high-rises have hallways and lobbies with many people coming and going – challenging for dogs that want to either protect their space or greet everyone they hear with angry or happy barking. Outside, there is a wide variety of people and dogs to socialize with – lots of them. Sometimes lots of them all at once. And not all encounters are pleasant – there is the neighborhood monster dog and there are the people who are dog curmudgeons. There are busses and trucks and trains and cars belching and honking day and night. There are horse-drawn carriages and horses carrying mounted police. There are pot-belly pigs and cats being walked on leashes. There are sidewalk cafes and markets and festivals and fireworks.  There are ordinances about dogs, and no one wants to have to bail their furry friend out of dog jail. All of these present challenges for the urban dog owner. All of these topics, and more, are covered in Training The City Dog.

Shelagh: How do you develop characters and setting?

Katherine: Although this is a non-fiction, how-to book, it is full of four-legged characters! About the matter of housebreaking, there is Tiddly Winks, the tiny pup who can be litter box trained (much better than going out in a snowstorm at 3:00 a.m. to respond to calls of nature). And Homer, the puppy, who is totally distracted by the friendly man who owns the deli down the street, smells wonderful (at least to Homer), and wants to give him a hug and a treat – who wants to learn to potty in the proper spot when deli man here? And Moppet who learns how to ring the bell when she wants to go outside. There are lots of people – dog dislikers, dog lovers – without dogs, pickled people pouring out of the pubs at night, and people in uniform – who your dog should learn to bow to. There are dogs, cats, and other urban creatures – Monster Dog – just cross the street and don’t get near it. There is Bouncer the exuberant people lover. There are horses, chipmunks, squirrels, geese, monkeys, pot belly pigs, and cats. In the matter of critical commands, there is Doodles who has to learn Leave it!, Droopy who has to learn to Drop it!, Harvey who needs to learn to Heel! even if he doesn’t want to, and Dasher who is absolutely defiant about learning to Come! As for the matter of sidewalk cafes, Dino the Dinosaur Dog must never put his nose in someone’s nachos or sample anyone’s salad. Fluffy needs to know her manners when trotting through shops that let her in. Sweetie Pie must learn not to eat the sweet peas and petunias out of flower boxes. Dude has to learn how to wear snow boots, even if he rips them to shreds during the training process. Angel may not be so quiet when you are not at home and Yipper needs to stop yapping all the time – both need to read the chapter on Barking. Floppy may be terribly afraid of elevators, especially if she has to share it with Monster Dog. TatterTott the tiny pooch needs to be kept off the ground when she goes to festivals and markets and Sassy needs to turn into velcro-dog instead of flying around and jumping on produce tables at the market. The setting is the city – any city anywhere.

Shelagh: Are all your characters likeable?

Katherine: Of course I think all the canine characters are more than likeable. They are lovable and adorable. But some of the people characters are in need of help. As the saying goes, dogs don’t need nearly as much training as their owners do. Although I don’t give people names in Training The City Dog, there are definite character types. Monster Dog’s owner needs to get a grip – literally – on the leash and the dog. Cell phone Sally needs to stay off the phone and pay attention to all the people who are getting tangled up in the two retractable leashes she uses for her two rambunctious furry friends. Clueless Cathy needs to make sure that when the elevator door closes, both she and her dog are on the same side of the door. Old people trying to navigate through city parks can be stricken with terror at the friendly fuzzball that bounces around their ankles and crashes into their arthritic knees because fuzzball’s owner, Intense Ivan, is involved in an animated conversation instead of tending to Fuzzy. All of us city dog owners need to respect those poor people who don’t like dogs and who are afraid of dogs. Maybe if our dogs are good and polite and positively dripping with proper petiquette we can win them over. Maybe they won’t love our furry friends nearly as much as we do, but at least they won’t try to banish them to places beyond the city limits.

Shelagh: How does your environment/upbringing color your writing?

Katherine: My environment and my upbringing are both the color of my writing. I am a city girl. I love cities. When I visit the country, I have to take a recording of inebriated homeless people yelling at each other with sirens and cars honking in the background so that I can go to sleep at night. I was raised with dogs. When my dad came back from WWII, instead of bringing lovely English china and silver home to his new wife, he brought back an Irish Setter named O’Toole. When my grandfather decided that O’Toole, who he re-named Red, was his dog, we acquired Hairless, the English Sheepdog. Hairless was my constant companion and protector as a toddler, including protecting me from my parents when they got a bit angry over something I did that, in their opinion, was naughty. My mother was a breeder of Dalmations for a while (way before they soared to “popular dog” status and became the “dog of the year”). Chloe delivered 28 puppies who grew up and out to loving owners over her career as a mom. We had Snoozer, the boxer, who loved to be put into the pram. He sat up tall and proud, wrapped in a baby blanket and with a bonnet tied on his head, while we paraded him up and down the neighborhood sidewalks. My children were raised by Ruffy the black lab, who happily lead a team of burglars around the house so they wouldn’t miss anything that might be valuable (as the burglars reported to the police when they were captured). My dad hunted with standard poodles, and Luna (aka LoonyTunes by her vet, groomer, dog walker, and dog day care handlers) is my second black standard (following the loss of my beloved black standard Misha).

Shelagh: Do you have a favorite review?.  

Katherine: All of the reviews of Training The City Dog have been excellent, so I am not going to hurt anyone’s feelings by picking out a favorite.

Shelagh: What are your current projects?

Katherine: I have three current projects. 

1. Getting Training The City Dog out on the Kindle and the iPad (by mid December, 2010) and getting it up on Amazon U.K. and Amazon Canada before the end of the year.

2. My next book is still title-less. (I have trouble assigning titles until my webmaster and my editor get frustrated and tell me  “just land on something and lets go with it!”) It is an extensive and thoroughly-researched book about helping your dog live a happy, healthy, and safe life with you, whether you live in the city, in the country, or somewhere in between. It talks about the cost of dog ownership and selecting a dog. There is a how-to-pick-a… chapter about selecting a vet, a dog day care, a dog walker, a groomer, a pet sitter, a boarding kennel, and all the other caregivers we have for our dogs. There is a chapter on food and shelter, including a section on foods that may be dangerous for our dogs that is abridged at the back of Training The City Dog. There is a chapter on contributing to the community through fostering dogs or providing our dog as a therapy dog or a blood donor or a working dog. There is a chapter on fun things to do with your dog, like geocaching and agility and hunting and disc competition and tricks training (great for therapy dogs) and lots more activities. There is a chapter on health and safety. There is a chapter on traveling with your dog. And, of course, there is a chapter on dog and dog owner good manners. As with Training The City Dog, I am doing extensive research and talking with dog experts in every dog-related field. It is scheduled for publication in the spring of 2011.

3. My third book (also title-less at this point) is an anthology of dog stories by dog owners. I have the framework built and have some submissions. l may be posting a call for more submissions on multiple networking groups including LinkedIn, She Writes, Published Authors Network, Goodreads, and several dog-owner groups if I need more stories. In case any of your readers are interested in sending me a submission, have them contact me through the Contact Us form on our website, and I’ll send them the submission requirements. This book is scheduled for publication in the summer of 2011.

We are also publishing two other books by other authors, who are being shy about promotion at the moment, so I have to respect their wishes and keep silent about their books for a while longer.

 Katherine: People can learn more about City Pet Book projects and events from our website:  http://www.citypetbooks.com

We make sure the site is frequently updated with tips about dogs, topics for dog owners, and many resources that dog owners find interesting and valuable.

Shelagh: Thank you for joining us today, Katherine.

Katherine: Thanks so much for having me, Shelagh. And I hope all your readers give their dogs a huge hug, a good rubdown, and a yummy treat many times every day at a minimum! And I hope they tell their dogs, over and over, that they could not imagine life without them.

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