My guest today is Amy Peterson, author of From Zero To Four Kids in Thirty Seconds.
JVS: Amy, thanks for stopping by. I really enjoyed From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds. It was not only interesting and fun, but your tips were great! I thought that the combination made for not only an enjoyable read, but would help a new stepparent feel a little more confident at least. Have you gotten much feedback about that?
Thank you, Joy, for the comments—I’m so glad you enjoyed my book! I’ve heard from several stepmoms who said they could relate to the tips in my book, and I also heard from two women who said they wouldn’t run away if they found out the guy they were interested in had kids. That was all great to hear. One comment about my book that touched me was when Nikki of Purple Penguin Reviews wrote: “It helped me relate to my own stepmother in ways that I had never considered before. I fell in love with this book and I highly recommend it to anyone, whether you are a stepmom or not.” I was happy to hear that my book might be of help for stepkids, too.
JVS: I'm not surprised; you covered a lot of territory. I know that you're working on a sequel. What will it be about?
My “squeak-quel” is about a whole assortment of critters my husband, Mark, “always wanted.” This one starts with Mark claiming that his son, Conrad always wanted an aquarium, which I question based on the surprised look on Conrad’s face when we give him an aquarium and because he asks what he should put in it. Several frogs come and go, followed by two messy iguanas and finally Mark admits he’s the one that really wants critters. It turns out Mark’s list of “wants” is rather long. All in all, my home becomes habitat for frogs, iguanas, hedgehogs, ferrets, mice, gerbils, hamsters, dogs, a stray cat, fish, a rescued rabbit and a domestic duck. I also share fun encounters with the wildlife that I attract to our backyard.
JVS:Will the book have fun chapters like From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds did?
Yes. For example, one chapter is called “Goin’ Hog Wild,” and in that chapter, I introduce Sonic, the female hedgehog Mark fell in love with at the pet store. After Sonic is settled into our home, Mark decides Sonic needs a boyfriend and arranges for my dear sister to bring a male hedgehog from St. Louis to our home in Michigan. Louie, the male hedgehog, escapes from his cage several times and literally scales a wall to be with Sonic. The result: several unplanned litters of baby hedgehogs.
JVS: So it'll be about you, Mark, the children, and the critters?
Yes. My book will also show how each pet had a way of taking over the house and how I managed to spoil each one. For example, the chapter “Ferreting Out Another Want” is all about ferrets. We end up with four ferrets, and because they are mischievous, we have to cover up our potted house plants, rubber band our kitchen cupboards shut, and duct tape the underside of our Lazy-Boy chair. In this chapter readers will learn that our ferrets all liked raisins and Pop-Tarts; one liked bananas; another liked bagels bits with lots of butter.
JVS: Will it be as entertaining and full of helpful hints as much as From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds?
Indeed, my next book will be entertaining and humorous, with the little problem that a few of the animals die over the 17-year history covered. This book will also be filled with helpful tips throughout. For example:
· Fleas and ticks on a rescue rabbit hop more than a rabbit does.
· A domestic duck can be quite content in a house with two dogs and a cat.
· Fish find little humor when their tank leaks all over the floor.
· Hamsters get the most attention when kept on a kitchen counter.
I will also have photos of each of the critters on my web site. And finally, I have four photo books that I hope to convert into e-books, including:
· Purrkins, the Cat
· Bumpkin (about the domestic duck)
· Good-night, Big Wuzzy (about a ferret)
· Dusty, the Angel Pups
JVS: I know there'll be an eager audience for this, and I'm looking forward to it because I can relate. While I've had mostly cats and dogs, I also had a rabbit, parakeets and other birds in our household, as well as White's tree frogs--which aren't as common, but certainly not as much fun as Sonic!
I’m hoping there will be plenty for even veteran animal owners. For example, even as a veteran cat owner, you may find humor in the story of our $100 hairball.
Thank you again, Joy!
For a chance to win one of five (5) copies of the paperback version of Amy's book, go to her site: http://www.amylpeterson.com/ and comment that you're following her blog, liked her on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/authoramylpeterson and can't wait to read either her book about being a stepmom OR her next one, about animals, and you'll be entered to win!