I love to read books, edit books for authors, and participate in the wonderful blog tours for smaller authors who are still working on getting into the mainstream! I also tutor S Korean students online while being a single mom to my 12 year old daughter with Williams syndrome :) Perfect life!
Coop the Great by Larry Verstraete Blog Tour with Giveaway!
Coop the Great by Larry Verstraete
Publication Date: November 15, 2018
Publisher: Yellow Dog
Coop is an aging, cynical, down-and-out
dachshund who faces the ultimate test when his new owner, Mike, and
Mike’s grandchildren, Zach and Emma, run into trouble. Mike rescued
him, but does Coop have what it takes to do the same?
Drawing strength from the stories about
great dogs that Mike shares with him, Coop charts a dangerous journey
to save his new family.
Dogs are like property owners. We
pee to mark our boundaries and claim our territory. It’s our way of
saying to another dog, “Hey bud, I was here before you. This place
I sniffed around
a statue of a fierce dragon spewing fire, then moved on to another
statue that looked like a half-horse, half-man creature. Although I
couldn’t detect the presence of other dogs, I peed in four places
far apart, generously soaking each to leave my mark. I left my final
deposit near a statue of a bare-chested man with curly hair who was
holding a lightning bolt in one hand.
Only, I knew
that wasn’t completely true. Mike’s place wasn’t really mine. I
was just a temporary visitor. Mike would tire of me soon, just like
my other owners. But any place was better than Derby, even if it was
only for a few days.
Larry Verstraete (B.Sc, M.Ed.) is a
Winnipeg writer and educator. A teacher for 30 years, his experience
ranges from teaching university courses to teaching at the senior and
middle years levels in public school. An author of books for
youngsters, Larry has also written for writer’s manuals, science
textbooks, and educational journals, and has conducted sessions in
science and writing for youngsters and adults around the country. His
writing career began as an off-shoot of his teaching one, and here is
the Great, I knew some of the plot
before I started writing. By some, I mean I knew how the story
would begin, and I knew how it would end. The middle was fuzzy, but I
figured it would reveal itself once I started writing.
Wrong! I plowed
ahead and wrote the first third of the book, then stalled
completely. I didn’t really know how to get my characters to
the end. Finally, after floundering for many days, I put the draft
away. I realized that I had homework to do if I was ever to finish
Although the problem
seemed to be a plot one, I thought it might have more to do with my
characters. I didn’t know them as well as I should. I
backtracked and developed a 4-page character sketch of my
protagonist, Cooper. On the plus side, I wanted Coop to be resilient,
curious, and resourceful among other things. On the flawed
side, I needed him to be cynical, anxious, emotionally distant and
resigned to his lowly position in life. I established an
emotional wound from the past – an event that clouds Coop’s
perspective on life and affects everything he does from then on. In
his case, it was a fire he felt responsible for causing.
Once I had character
sketches for Coop and others in the story, I spent a week plotting a
detailed outline that would carry me to the end. I knew the
characters intimately by then. I knew how they would react to each
other and to obstacles I put in their way. I plotted each chapter in
detail, outlining not only what happened, but how it influenced each
Guided by the
outline, I wrote the rest of the story. It got me through the
difficult middle stretch and to the end. But – and this an
important but - I didn’t entirely follow the outline. As I
came to know my characters better, fresh ideas surfaced that altered
the story-line. If I thought they strengthened the story, I
integrated them into the fabric I was weaving.
Some writers – the
pantsers - think that character sketches and outlines limit their
creativity. They prefer to fly by the seat of their pants and write
without planning much or at all. For me having a map at the
start of the journey saw me to the end. Sure, there were
detours, but at least I knew where they were taking me.
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