Monday, December 21, 2009

Interview with Angus, proud owner of romance author Sandy Nicks

Give a warm welcome to Angus, proud owner of romance author Sandy Nicks. Angus is here to talk to us a little bit about Sandy and her books, especially her latest one just released by Vanilla Heart Publishing, titled Falling for Autumn. Sandy is the editor and founder of the site, Cool Stuff 4 Writers, which was nominated by Writer's Digest as one of the Best 101 Websites for Writers in 2009! Way to go, Sandy!

Welcome to Pets & Their Authors, Angus! You must be proud of your Sandy. Tell us, how did you come to live with her?

It was Fate! Well, I believe it was Fate that intervened because I was born in 2007 to parents who couldn’t keep me and whose human owner didn’t want me. They seemed rather eager to find me a home and placed an ad in the paper. Luckily, Sandy read it and she and my dad came and adopted me.

I was only seven weeks old at the time, but I remember the ride home like it was yesterday. I felt sad and confused, but Sandy hugged me and assured me everything was going to be all right. I cried the first few nights until Sandy finally let me sleep in her bed. Yeah, I looked at her with my sad brown eyes and totally got over on her. I’m happy to report that I still sleep in her bed even though I take up the majority of it – I’ve grown a lot since then!

What? She lets you in bed? I'm not even allowed upstairs! You live with other pets. What makes you think you're your mom's favorite?

We have a house full! I have three canine sisters, two feline sisters and three feline brothers. I’m the alpha male of the household and enjoy playing with my sisters and chasing all the kitties. I would never hurt them, but it is fun and shows them I’m the boss.

I know I’m my mom’s favorite because she’s always hugging and kissing me. I mean, she does the same to the others, but I always get in between them. Plus, I’m always with her. If I wasn’t her favorite, I wouldn’t be the one on the couch when she’s reading, by her desk when she’s writing, and on the bed when she’s sleeping. It’s like she wants me with her all the time.

I have to admit, I’m the cutest of all my siblings. I’m the only one who can smile and crinkle their brow to make it look like I know what she’s thinking. Since I’m the biggest dog in the house, I believe she also favors me because I remind her of her beloved Jake who passed away in 2004. She really loved him and even dedicated her book to him. My mom has a soft spot for big dogs.

I like the part about making them all feel like you're the boss. Good work, Angus. So your mom writes romantic comedies. Tell us about her book and what makes it funny!

Falling for Autumn is the first book in the Sisters for All Seasons trilogy. Crazy Days of Summer and A New Trend for Spring will be out in 2010. She also has a time travel romance, Circle of Eternity, that will be available in February 2010. That one is funny, too!

There are a lot of things that make Falling for Autumn funny. While Autumn is trying to rebuild her life, her mom is always offering cosmic advice and insisting Autumn get an aura cleansing. Then there’s Jack who is attracted to Autumn, but he’s hiding from a hitman and doesn’t want to put Autumn in jeopardy. This leads to a series of comedic events. In addition to the characters being funny, the way Autumn handles her mom, shady boss and her attraction to Jack, is handled in a humorous way that most people can relate to.

Reflected in all my mom’s books is her belief that love and a sense of humor go hand-in-hand.

I also find it funny when my mom talks to her mom on the phone. She whines like a little baby, then prentends she's the boss around the house. What a phoney! Are there dogs in your mom's book?

Yes! The main character, Autumn, has a dog named Buddy. Autumn’s mom, Daisy, also works at a no-kill animal shelter where quite a few scenes take place. One of the shelter dogs, a Lhaso Apso named Delilah, plays a major role at the end of the story, but I’m not allowed to give it away. Delilah is based on my sister, Emma.

Sounds like my kind of book! How does Sandy go about promoting her novel?

She has a web site:, and uses Twitter and Facebook to keep readers and friends informed about appearances and upcoming books. She also does book signings and interviews.

My dad and human siblings leave postcards everywhere they go which has really helped with sales in our community. Sandy’s publisher, Vanilla Heart Publishing, does a lot of promotion for their authors like book trailers and author pages on their web site:

I also want to mention that my mom is a participating author in a program called Operation Ebook Drop. Authors in this program donate their books in Ebook format to soldiers who are stationed in the Middle East. It’s a small but great way to show our support!

Vanilla, huh? The name names me kind of hungry. Hey, that's great--what Sandy is doing to support the troops! But to go back to her writing... Is she disciplined? Does she have any crazy author quirks?

I believe if she didn’t have deadlines, she wouldn’t be as disciplined. She loves to write, but without those deadlines, she’d probably spend more time playing with me and taking me for car rides.

Quirks? Where should I begin – Woof! I won’t embarrass her too much, but she does do some weird things. She loves sticky notes and has them all over her desk with notes on her work-in-progress. Her desk is sacred. She has candles, a rock garden, a jar of candy, Celtic crosses, and other doo-dads. No one is allowed to touch anything, but the cats do a great job of knocking stuff over. I always laugh when they get yelled at.

She also has a vision board above her desk that’s filled with inspirational sayings and pictures. She believes in visualization. She thinks that that if you see it and say it every day, all that you dream of will come to fruition. Believe it or not, some of the things have come true! She’s still waiting for the Mustang though. I think she’ll be dreaming about that car for a long time.

She loves to listen to music while she writes and sometimes I’m forced to listen to her sing. It’s painful, but I love her all the same. There are times when I think she’s singing, but she’s actually reading her work out loud. That might be her weirdest quirk, but I hear a lot of writers do the same thing. I also hear a lot of writers have pets. Is that a quirk? LOL.

Sounds way too much like my mom--with all her index cards stuck to her closet door and her daily affirmations! So, what do you do while she writes and ignores you?

I don’t let her ignore me. I always let my presence be known. When mom writes, I’m either sleeping by her chair or lying on the arm of the couch next to her desk. I’m always within an arm’s reach so she can pet me when she’s having a hard time with a scene or needs to rest her eyes.

I do the same, Angus. Feels great, doesn't it? I love to lick mommy's feet. Where is Sandy's book available?

Mom’s books are available in both print and ebook formats. You can find both formats on Amazon/Kindle,, Smashwords, All Romance, Sony and Omnilit. You can also order the print edition from your local bookstore.

Leave us with some canine wisdom.

Hmm…don’t ever play, nap, laugh, sing, bark, love your humans and fellow animals, or believe in yourself in moderation. Life is short, especially when one year is equivalent to seven, so make sure you live it to the fullest!

Thanks for this opportunity, Amigo! My mom and I love your web site and enjoy reading about the other pets and their authors!

Thanks for stopping by this side of the woods, Angus! Let us know when Sandy's second book comes out!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Listen, people: Buzz's human dad communicates with pets!

I have a special treat for all my readers today. A fascinating and important interview for humans and pets of all kinds. My guest today is Buzz and he's here to talk about his human dad, Tim Link, who happens to be an animal communicator. Tim has been featured in many national newspapers, radio and TV. He helps people speak with their pets and even helps in the case of lost pets. I'm sure you'll enjoy the interview!

Buzz shares his home with his blind brother, Woody. See the photo on your right? Buzz is the doggy sitting on the right, and Woody is the one sitting on the left.

Thanks for stopping by this side of the woods, Buzz. To start with, tell us how you came to live with Tim.

About 6 years ago, my brother, Woody, and I were rescued from the county shelter by a rescue organization. Once we were washed and groomed and checked out by the vet, our pictures and profiles were posted on That’s where I was spotted by my mom, Kim. She sent the information to Tim, our dad, and they came to visit us. I immediately curled up and went to sleep in my mom’s lap. Woody took to dad immediately. After that, mom and dad took us to our new home where we’ve happily lived since.

You lucky doggies. That's great to hear! So tell us, what's it like living with a TV personality like Tim? He's been in about a zillion of newspapers, radio stations and TV channels.

I really don’t pay too much attention to this unless a TV appearance requires dad and mom to travel away from home. Then I miss them but, they always bring Bubby (a.k.a. Woody) and me a special toy or treat when they come home.

(He doesn't pay attention??? Yeah, right!) You also live with Woody. Are you good pals?

Woody and I are the best of friends. We’re brothers from the same litter. So, we’ve always been together. My brother lost his sight suddenly this year, so I help him get around without bumping into things. He does pretty well for himself most of the time, unless I get him too excited (e.g. barking at someone at the front door).

Oh, sorry about Woody! I can't imagine life without sight. He's really lucky to have you. But to go back to Tim, I have to tell you, Dude, I'm intrigued. I hear Tim is an animal communicator. What's that, exactly?

An animal communicator is someone who is able to communicate with any animal on a deeper, more intuitive level. This is great unless you’ve just done something that you shouldn’t. He always knows who did it.

Hmm. I'm not sure I'd like to meet your dad, then. He would know right away who stole the candy cane from the Christmas tree... and he would tell my mom! Can he help people who have lost their pets?

He helps to reunite a lot of pets with their families. He first communicates with the lost pet to find out if they are still alive and whether they want to come home to or not. If they are alive and want to come home, he then asks the animal for additional information that can help with their return. He also uses map dowsing in combination with animal communication to assist in locating lost animals. Dowsing has existed in various forms for thousands of years. In modern times, dowsing has been used to detect water for wells, mineral deposits and archaeological artifacts hidden in the earth. Using a map, this same practice can be used to determine the general location of the lost animal.

That is amazing! What services does Tim provide?

In addition to lost pet consultations, dad’s services include consultations to help with health and behavior concerns, Reiki energy healing sessions and consultations that assist families in dealing with the loss of a pet.

And now he also has written a book! Tell us how that came about and where the book is available.

When dad works with someone’s pet, he takes notes about the pet, what was communicated and the pet’s picture. When one of the journals was completely filled, my mom suggested that dad share the experiences with others through a book. It can be purchased through dad’s web site,, or through any major bookstore or online bookstore (, Barnes & Noble, Borders, IndieBound, etc.). Dad’s book also comes in electronic format and can be viewed through any of the electronic readers or on a computer.

Does Tim have a website and blog?

He has both. Dad’s web site is The blog can be viewed through the web site at:

Is there a newsletter people can subscribe to?

Yes. Dad distributes a monthly newsletter. You can subscribe to it from his web site at:

What do you love most about living with Tim?

I love that he loves all of us (Woody, the rabbit, the turtle, the 8 finches and 4 fish tanks full of fish) all so much and takes really good care of us. He is the best dad ever! Plus, it also helps that if we need or want something, we can tell him and he can hear us.

Between you and me here, what can I do to communicate better with my mom? Sometimes she doesn't understand that I want pumpkin pie and not that dry old kibble!

When your mom is spending time with you, have her ask you a question verbally and then you give her the answer (telepathically, of course). Ask her to trust what she is receiving from you. The more she trusts what she receives, the more the ability to hear you will grow.

Leave us with some canine wisdom, Buzz!

I’d like to share one thought with all the people out there. That thought is for them to open their hearts and talk to the animals in their life. Trust me. They won’t hesitate to tell you exactly what is going on.

Listen to this guy--he knows what he's saying!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Interview with Gandalf the White and Dumbledore, owners of Sylvia Engdahl

My guests today are two very special cats, Gandalf the White and Dumbledore (I wonder where she got the names from...). They're special because they live with a very special lady named Sylvia Engdahl. Sylvia has published many, many science fiction books (believe me, the list is long, just visit her website if you don't believe me!) With all those books, I doubt she has any time for these two feline critters... but I guess she finds a way, because they LOVE her! Follow Sylvia on Twitter and Facebook.

Read on to find out why...

Hey, Dudes. Welcome to my blog. So, how did you come to live with Sylvia?

We were six months old and were living in a nice resale shop that also serves as a temporary home for cats rescued from the pound by a group called the Shelter Animal Resource Alliance. We had lived with one of the volunteers until we were old enough to go there, so we were very eager to get into a forever home with a person of our own. When our mom, Sylvia, came in looking for a cat, I got right up on her shoulder and purred, so she couldn't put me down. They said I was part Siamese because I have blue eyes and dark orange markings on my face and ears, and Sylvia was afraid I might prove too talkative to fit into her quiet life -- but I had bever done any loud talking in the shop so she took me home anyway (and later I proved not to be Siamese, as the white fur on my back turned orange and I developed some orange tiger stripes on my sides). Mom didn't want me to be lonesome while she was busy, so she chose my brother to some along. She didn't like the names we had at the shelter so she named us after two wise wizards: Gandalf the White and Dumbledore.

Do you two get along?

We get along fine! We are brothers, at least Sylvia was told we are, though she has never been quite sure since we aren't anything alike. We were together as kittens in the pound and have never been separated. We still wrestle and chase each other sometimes even though we are 7 years old, but it's all in fun. We're too big now to fit in Mom's lap together so we take turns -- when one of us comes and looks wistfully at the lap, the occupant gets right down. Mom says it must be telepathy.

What's it like living with an an author? Is she one of those egotistical ones?

It's nice because she is home all the time and gives us nearly as much attention as we demand -- though at times her mind does appear to be on her work instead of on us, which we do our best to discourage. I, Gandalf, am particularly happy that there aren't any other people in the house because when somebody, even a familiar neighbor, knocks on the door, I go under the bed. Mom says this is strange because I saw a lot of people in the shop I came from and I wasn't shy then. My brother Dumbledore, on the other hand, would like to see more action around here. He wishes we were allowed to go outdoors.

What type of books does she write?

Sylvia says her novels have to be called science fiction because they are set in the distant future on other worlds, but she is unhappy with that label because it often means that people not looking for science fiction don't discover them. On the whole they are liked better by readers who don't read much science fiction -- or have not read any at all -- than by dedicated sci-fi fans. No background in science fiction is needed to enjoy them.

In the past, the novels she wrote were for Young Adults -- that is, for teens. One of them, Enchantress from the Stars, was a Newbery Honor book and won other awards. But although her YA books have been republished in the 21st century, it has been a long time since she did any writing for teens. Her recent novels are just for adults.

Of all her books, which one is your favorite?

We don't really know much about her YA novels, as they were written long before we were born. So our favorites are the two adult novels she wrote while we were around to help: Stewards of the Flame and its sequel Promise of the Flame.

Does your author mom have a website?

Yes, she has two of them. The main one,, is mostly about her Young Adult novels, her life (there's one page about us), and her advocacy of space colonization. The other one,, is about her adult novels and has a video trailer plus lots of review quotes and information about the controversial topics dealt with in the book. Whichever site you visit first, there are links to the other, so you won't get lost.

Is she disciplined? What does she do all day?

She works at the computer all the time she's awake except for an hour or so watching television and a couple hours just before bedtime when she holds us and attempts to read. She says this is not a matter of being disciplined because she has physical problems that keep her from going anywhere. Usually she is not writing; her main work is editing nonfiction books for high schools, which is what she does to support herself and us.

Does she ignore you while she writes?

We don't give her a chance to ignore unless we're asleep -- if she tries to, we keep bumping against the back of her desk chair. For some reason even though says she enjoys having us with her, she is upset when one of us insists on being in her lap while she's trying to work. She says there isn't room for a 22-pound cat between her and the computer keyboard and when near a deadline she can't afford lose much time. Occasionally she even gets cross and pushes us off, although we really don't see why, since often she seems able to reach over with one hand and type with two fingers. She says it would be better if we sat with her while she's watching television, which we absolutely refuse to do; neither one of us likes the noise from the television and besides, we don't like the way it competes with us for attention.

Where are her books available?

They are all available at and at Sylvia's websites, and Enchantress from the Stars is also available in bookstores.

What do you like most about Sylvia?

She loves us and says we're her family. What more can we say?