(To listen to the audio of this blog post, use the purple play button.)
Last week I met several friendly members of the Hutchinson Kennel Club (HKC) and their well-behaved canine companions. We gathered at the Reno County Museum during Third Thursday activities. The club volunteers shared with the public a great deal of educational information about dog care and training. They even had a dog breed parade! It was an enjoyable time.
Alex and I set up our vendor table and promoted our upcoming color-illustrated children’s book, K-9 Kudzu: Observations of a Working Dog Who Loves to Play. I was given the opportunity to introduce myself and K-9 Kudzu to the participants. That led to people signing up to be notified when the book’s available for purchase this summer.
I learned quite a bit about the Kennel Club. I’m amazed at how the organization continually offers training classes and competitions to the public. It’s always busy.
Here are some of the classes available at the Hutchinson Kennel Club: Puppy Kindergarten, Obedience, Agility, and Conformation. Also, members make regular Therapy Dog Visits to nursing homes, schools, and to a youth shelter. Check out the club’s website for a listing of upcoming events at www.hutchinsonkennelclub.com. HKC’s mission is “to promote activities that increase the bond between dog and owner and that are enjoyed by both dogs and owners.” I like the club’s tagline: “We train you to train your dog.”
What surprised me the most after meeting so many dog people, and learning about extensive training, was the urge I had to write another children’s book using K-9 Kudzu as the narrator.
A writer friend of mine, Kimber Silver, wrote a should be #1 Best Seller in the genre of murder mystery-romance. Titled Broken Rhodes, readers, including me, have asked Silver: “When is your next book coming out?” and “Is there a sequel?” Being asked for more of your books is the best compliment an author can receive.
To read the first four chapters of Broken Rhodes for free from Amazon, click the link below:
I don’t want to be presumptuous about the future success of my still unpublished book, but I’m hoping there will be a demand for a follow-up after K-9 Kudzu. So, I’m beginning research and developing story ideas for a sequel.
I’m researching dog training and considering how Julia, and Hannah, the children of Tom (K-9 handler) and Jesse Jennings, might have a larger role in a sequel. The girls could take courses in obedience, tracking, or agility training, each with their own dog.
It would be fun to have the canines—not the humans—share their experiences from the training classes. I can imagine the dogs discussing the ease or difficulty of scent and agility work, giving a critique of the trainer, and judging their doggie treats on a scale from one to ten.
I’ve already circled September 13, 2023, on my calendar as a dog event I don’t want to miss. During the annual Kansas State Fair, located on the fairgrounds in Hutchinson, HKC will run dog demonstrations most of the day in the Horse Expo Arena. It’s called Total Dog Demo.
I’m planning on having a vendor table to sell my books during the one-day event.
Meanwhile, I’m still preparing K-9 Kudzu for publishing and marketing. I’ve purchased a six-foot long plastic table and a tablecloth banner (the later, from D’s Duds) that I’ll use as a vendor at community events. I know I need to spend money to make money, but I’m still waiting for my financial investment to reap rewards beyond personal pleasure. Hopefully, K-9 Kudzu will gain traction with dog lovers.
Last Saturday, the third Saturday of the month, I attended the Kansas Authors Club District 6 monthly meeting at Hutchinson Community College (also available on Zoom). I gave the writers an update on K-9 Kudzu, and they were supportive of my efforts as we discussed strategies for success. If you want to learn more about the Kansas Authors Club, check out the website at www.kansasauthors.org. The public is invited to attend the free meetings. Also, despite the name of the club, you’re not required to be an author to join.
Finally, here are a few questions for you. See what you know about authors.
Q: How can you tell if a person’s an author?
A: They’re always talking about their next book.
Q: How can you tell if authors are also marketers?
A: They’re always promoting their current book that’s for sale.
Q: How do you make authors laugh?
Multiple choice. Choose one.
a) Ask them how many books they’re writing simultaneously;
b) Ask them how many times they’ve changed the working title of their latest manuscript;
c) Tell them you have a great idea for a book they should write;
d) All of the above.
For me, the answer to the last question is “D”–all of the above.
Until next time, happy writing,
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