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Tuesday 2 May 2017

ℚ♫ Seven Days to Goodbye: Trina Ryan’s Dogs in Training [1] - Sheri Levy

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Seven Days to Goodbye (, Barking Rain Press, 212 pages), a Young Adult Coming of Age Novel; book one in the Trina Ryan’s Dogs in Training series.

“Trina’s foray into the world of boys, friendship, and fashion while focusing on the important task of training service dogs strikes just the right balance. This canine-inspired coming-of-age tale is a poignant but fun summertime story.” — Val Muller, author, the Corgi Capers series and The Scarred Letter

|| Synopsis || Trailer || Teaser: KCR Preview || Author Q&A || About the Author || Giveaway & Tour Stops ||

A very warm welcome to Sheri Levy; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

We love music; do you have a music playlist that you used in Seven Days to Goodbye, or which inspired you whilst you were writing it?

"Below are some songs to motivate me, calm my brain, add a perky rhythm, fill me with happiness, or make me feel brave before I write. Bruce Cockburn's 'When it’s Gone, It’s Gone' makes me see the ocean waves."
What was the inspiration for Seven Days to Goodbye?
"My experience working with special needs children brought about my awareness of service dogs. After meeting a young boy in a store whose dog wore a vest, I assumed he was a puppy raiser. He smiled and offered, “No, Mam. This is my Diabetic Alert service dog.”

After interviewing him, I wrote about his experience with his dog and how having a service dog had changed his life. The story was published in Club House Magazine in 2010, and won an award with the Dog Writers of America Association. This inspired me to create my first novel, Seven Days to Goodbye. I did my research with a service dog organization, PAALS, and developed, Seven Days to Goodbye, about Trina, a puppy raiser for service dogs. After completing Sydney’s training, she must return him to be matched to his forever companion, and decide if she’ll be brave enough to train another.

Seven Days to Goodbye, also won with the DWAA in their Special Interest category in 2014."
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?
"Through the years, I had trained six dogs in their basic skills, and for sixteen years had taught children with autism. Those experiences gave me enough knowledge to write about both characteristics.

On the beach, Logan, a young boy with autism, makes a magical connection with Trina’s dog, Sydney. Logan begins to speak and giggle, and Sydney responds to Logan’s attention. Since Logan has older brothers, Trina and her best friend, Sarah, meet the guys. This new interest causes a strain on the girls’ friendship.

Seven Days to Goodbye, takes place on Edisto Island, a quiet, old-fashioned, beach town. My husband and I frequented this location every year with our best friends. I used my beach memories and turned the story into a young adult adventure with teen issues, humor and plenty of puppy love of both varieties."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Seven Days to Goodbye - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"I loved the cover, Stephanie Flint, my illustrator created. It sets the tone of the story with the ocean behind Trina and Sydney by her side. Of course, everyone thinks the dog is going to die. But once you read the synopsis, you realize he will be returning to his facility to change someone’s life."
Why should we read Seven Days to Goodbye and what sets it apart from the rest? 
"Seven Days to Goodbye has caught enough attention, it is now called: Trina Ryan’s Dogs in Training series. The second novel is due July 18th, 2017.

Here are two reviews on why a reader may enjoy reading Seven Days to Goodbye.
“Author, Sheri S. Levy deftly taps adolescent themes of love, loss and friendship through the added lens of a service dog’s life –changing effects on her young trainer. A fresh twist on the familiar coming-of-age tale. Well done!”  (Jennifer Leeper, author)
From Readers Favorite: “Sheri S Levy has written a book with a great deal of appeal. She created characters that the reader will connect with, relate to, and truly care about shows an exemplary, and certainly a hallmark of a highly skilled author.”
This novel covers the inevitable coming-of-age lessons, about change, loss, growth, and relationships and setting life goals. It is more than a dog story."
Can you tell us something quirky about Seven Days to Goodbye, its story and characters?
"This story was very emotional for me to write. I wanted to keep the memory of my first red-merle, Australian shepherd, Sydney, alive. I also used my favorite people as the characters in the story. Only if you know me, would you know which names are special."
Who would you recommend Seven Days to Goodbye to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"From reviews that I have received, this story is for young teens and up. The adults who’ve read the book have enjoyed the story as much as the teens.

The only thing to be aware of, is the story will snag your heart."
If you could / wished to turn Seven Days to Goodbye into a movie, who would be your dream team?
"If I could turn this series into a movie, it would be filmed on Edisto Island, in an older house over-looking the beach with pelicans and loggerhead turtles laying their eggs at night.

I don’t have a dream team, but would need a red-head and a blond girl, a red-merle Aussie, and two adorable guys to play the brothers."
What has been my greatest challenge as a writer?
"I have found my greatest challenge is staying focused. There is always something to learn and I have to push myself to believe in myself. I can be my worst enemy or best friend, depending on how the revisions go."
What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author? What has been the best compliment?
"I don’t recall a tough criticism. I believe in listening to my critiques and learning from the comments. Some I take and others I ignore.

My best compliment was after finishing my proof on Seven Days to Goodbye. My publisher asked me what I was working on next, and added the name of the second story at the end of my first book.

The first novel has turned into a series and will end after the third story."
What is your writing process?
"I brain storm a plot, and work my way to the end of the story with a very basic outline. I am more of a pantser than an outliner. Which means, I write by the seat of my pants."
What is in store next?
"Now that Seven Days to Goodbye is a series, the second novel, Starting Over, is due July 18, 2017. I am excited to be having plenty of promotions and will have pre-orders.

A hint on Starting Over; The story continues from where it left off, with the same characters, plus one new girl. This new girl adds diversity, issues with horseback riding, and plenty of growing-up conflict.

I have written a third of my way through the last story, For Keeps. I will keep everyone posted on its new developments."
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?
"My final quirky thing is probably easy to figure out. I love training my dogs and spending a lot of time with them.

We rescued a seven- month-old, black-Tri, Aussie, and named him Mulligan. He turned out to be was a very difficult rescue to mend. I learned more about positive reinforcement from his trainer, even though I had taught my special students in the same way. A month later, we adopted an eight-week-old, blue-merle, Aussie puppy, Slater. He showed Mulligan how to be a puppy, and they are now nine and eight and a half years old. They have traveled with us everywhere we go."
Hello Slater and Mulligan! You are both very beautiful; lots of head scratches to both of you from all of us at BooksChatter! :-)

Sheri, thank you for sharing them with us. We look forward to seeing you again for Starting Over.

"Thank you, Flora for having me on BooksChatter."

Seven Days to Goodbye
Available NOW!

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

sheri levy said...

Wow! This is quite an amazing blog! Thank you for putting all of this together. I love hearing the music! I may have to write today!

sheri levy said...

Thank you, Flora. This was so much fun to see this morning. I hope more will see all of your work!

Sandra Warren said...

I loved reading about your story, Sheri! Congratulations on this book and those to come. I've vacationed on Edisto Island and can see why you'd choose it as a backdrop for the story. Thanks for sharing this great interview.

Ally Swanson said...

Congrats on the new book and good luck on the book tour!

sheri levy said...

Hi, Sandra. Thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. It is the only way I get to know who has read the post! Books Chatter created an amazing post!

sheri levy said...

Hi, Ally. You have been a super supporter! These posts have been fun to see. You are all very creative! Thanks for commenting!

Nikolina said...

I really enjoyed reading your interview, thank you!

sheri levy said...

Hi, Nikolina. Thanks for reading another post!! I tried hard to make it sound new! I appreciate your support. I love the addition of music! You all work hard at putting these together.

Ally Swanson said...

Excellent interview! I really enjoyed reading it!

Ally Swanson said...

Awww thanks Sheri! Glad I can help promote and get the word out about your intriguing new book! :)

Ally Swanson said...

Just stopping by to say hi! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

sheri levy said...

Hi Ally. I'm still enjoying your blog posts and continue sharing it. Thanks for stopping by. Hope you have a fabulous weekend. I'm getting settled in our new area and have started writing again. Feels good-