Today I’m excited to share my interview with another Colorado author (Yay!) and another book featuring dogs (Yay!) Lisa Blake and I are members of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of SCBWI and hopefully we’ll be back to in-person gathering soon and can meet face-to-face. Lisa is celebrating the debut of her first picture book, HOW TO LOVE YOUR PUG, illustrated by Nadine Rebrovic. It’s the first in her HOW TO LOVE YOUR PET children’s book series, designed to remind us to choose love, pause to connect, and to find joy with our furry family members. If you know me, you know I live by these words.
Lisa is generously offering a signed copy of HOW TO LOVE YOUR PUG to one lucky winner. Don’t forget to comment on the blogpost to be entered to win.
What were you like at the age of your target audience?
I remember always asking “but why?” (And driving my parents nuts!) Why is the sky blue? Why do girls play with Barbie’s and boys play with Tonka trucks? Why do we live where we live? I was an inquisitive but shy kid, peering out from behind my mom’s legs and taking in every detail about someone. I loved to play make believe and I remember having an imaginary friend. We always had pets growing up — dogs, cats, fish, hamsters, a pig. We even housed a baby raccoon named Rocky at one point. We lived in Iowa and my dad would come home with the strangest things from the fireworks stand on the border of Iowa and Missouri. He cultivated that love of the outdoors and animals in me. I would often be found tagging along behind him with my Mickey Mouse fishing pole, heading to the pond behind the house or watching him feed the dogs bowls of milk and brushing them at the end of the day. These are fond memories.
What inspires you?
Reading to my five year old and watching his imagination blow up larger than life. No matter where we are — camping, rafting, visiting grandparents — we always try and carve out an hour to read and tell stories before bed. My son actually came up with the title HOW TO LOVE YOUR PUG, after we were talking about our dog Mojo and how special he is to our family.
What’s the one thing you hope readers take away from your books?
How important it is to say “I love you” every day to those in your life. And to always hug your pets.
This children’s book was written during the early days of Covid and quarantine. Some of the things that have brought us, as a society, the most joy in the past year have been our pets, our kids, simple back-to-basics things like sitting down with a good book or reading to our children. Through this series, I want to spread the message of choosing love in a time that might feel uncertain or heavy.
What’s next for you?
I’m currently writing the second book in the series, HOW TO LOVE YOUR RESCUE PUP and I’m taking every opportunity I get to spend time with all the various and special dog breeds, taking notes about the unique ways to care for them or the quirky things that bring them happiness. I’m really looking forward to writing HOW TO LOVE YOUR GOLDEN and HOW TO LOVE YOUR BASSET. They have such lively and hilarious personalities.
To connect with Lisa and find out more about her books: