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Monday, 21 March 2016

ℚ My Dog Can Fly [1] - Patricia Grasher

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about My Dog Can Fly (, Hazel Dell Press, 116 pages), a Middle Grade Adventure.

This first book introduces Michael.  A young boy who craves lots of adventure and excitement. If he can’t find it he makes it up.

Emma is Michael’s cousin.  In former years she was quite as ready for adventure and fun as Michael.  This year though she is concerned about her parents who have disappeared while on a magazine assignment.

Then there is Caden.  The story opens up with this small boy who is flying through the night sky with a giant dog.  The dog’s name is Aminta which means “protector.”

Woven between the fantasy and action of the story is a book that encourages trust and faith in oneself and others.   The book also explores the natural beauty and mystery of the Oregon coast.

Author Q&A | Synopsis | Teaser | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops


A very warm welcome to Patricia Grasher; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!


St Don Bosco in Turin with the grey dog, Grigio.
What was the inspiration for My Dog Can Fly?
"The first draft of this book was written about fifteen years ago.  At that time I was a nun in a cloistered monastery in Spokane, Washington and I wanted to write an inspirational fantasy novel about angels for young kids.  The dog was based on a saint (St John Bosco) who had a mysterious grey dog who showed up periodically during this Bosco’s life to rescue him.  It was my first attempt at writing a novel.  I sent it to one publisher but it was not accepted and I moved onto other things.

About five years ago I left religious life but still had a passion to write books for middle school kids.  I thought since I had already put a lot of work into this one it would be a good way to get started in again.  This version of the book has changed a lot.  It is no longer a book with a “message” about angels but more about normal kids finding out they have powers within to do more than they could have dreamed."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Hmmm.  Well the humor that Michael has is definitely me.  The inside stuff that goes on inside his head, his observations of life, fears, hopes, etc. that is probably a lot of me poking out.  Not so much what I have actually done or experienced as a kid but what I would have liked to have done.  Michael is the fun, fearless kid I wasn’t but would have liked to be."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for My Dog Can Fly - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I knew I needed a great cover and I wasn’t sure where to start.  I knew that the cover was important so I took almost every bit of money I had and went to 99designs.com and held a contest for the best cover design.  I wanted the top artists to apply and so I put up a prize of $750 for the winning design.

In the end I only had three or four designers that grasped what I wanted and had the expertise to pull it off.  Yee Yee was one of the first artists who submitted a design.  I loved his concept and he was amazing in that he worked with me throughout the contest to revise and revise his entry till I was totally sold.

There was another artist who was equally amazing (maybe even better) but he didn’t quite get the excitement and fun I wanted in the cover."
Why should we read My Dog Can Fly and what sets it apart from the rest? What makes your book unique?
"I don’t know that the book is that unique.  Truthfully it probably won’t stand out that way at all.  It’s just a quick paced fun book with a dog who can fly and has puppies who can fly as well.  Maybe the puppy part is unique.  I love puppies so I put that in there.  Each puppy has its own character and that will play out even more in subsequent books."
Can you tell us something quirky about My Dog Can Fly, its story and characters?
"When I first wrote the book I had different names for every one of the characters.  As the book changed and the characters changed the old names didn’t fit.

Michael is named after my oldest brother Mike who died when he was 28 years old.  In his wallet was a story that I had written when I was in the third grade.  I had no idea he had even read that story much less kept it.  He was my first big fan and I wanted to honor that.

In the book Michael is a bit of a dare devil who does big things with a lot of passion and maybe not a lot of thinking through.  That is probably me more than my brother though.  I think he tended to be more slow and steady wins the race.  I am more like the rabbit who starts off fast and can’t figure out why he didn’t win."
Who would you recommend My Dog Can Fly to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"This book is for kids between the ages of 8-12.

While this book started out with a religious slant it doesn’t have that focus now. More like science fiction or action fantasy I guess."
If you could / wished to turn My Dog Can Fly into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"I am just really bad with knowing names of actors and stuff like that.  The book takes place on the Oregon coast so that would be a good location.  It’s sort of a Disney type book so I could see it going in that direction.  Sort of like the Shaggy dog that can fly kind of thing."

What do you like to write and read about?  Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"This is my first book that I have written – but I would say for now fantasy with a science fiction bent. I have always liked science fiction."
What is your writing process?
"I am strictly an amateur when it comes to writing.  Totally hit and miss, spurts and stops.  I have a bit of ADD so the only way I get writing done at all is to set my timer for an hour and go for it.  I make all sorts of big plans of writing each day but it doesn’t happen that way."
What is in store next?
"Book two of this series will bring the second character, Emma a little stronger into the picture. Another puppy will join forces with Max to go deeper into the hidden cave and explore the mysteries there.  I like caves.  I like bats.  So expect a small squadron of bats to be doing some night mission work in the next book."
And as a final quirky thing, to get to know you a little bit better... do you have a pet or something that is special to you that you could share with us?
"I have a cat named Buddy (also the name of the cat in the book), a little dog named Pudge who is definitely pudgy and a big dog, Andre. "

Thank you again for being with us today, Patricia.   Have a great release week!

My Dog Can Fly
Available NOW!

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