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Monday 8 May 2017

ℚ Whiskers and Bear: Sanctuary Tales [1] - Giacomo Giammatteo

Today we have the pleasure of meeting up with author to talk about Whiskers and Bear (, Inferno Publishing Company, 136 pages), True Stories from an Animal Sanctuary, part one of the Sanctuary Tales series.

"Go ahead, grab that box of tissues 'cause you're gonna need 'em before you finish this book. Heck, before you finish the first chapter, but you're also gonna laugh and smile and feel generally pretty darned good about people like Giacomo and his wife, Mikki, as well as their wonderful 4-footed companions. [...]

Whiskers and Bear have a unique, charming, totally heartwarming story and I urge you to buy this little book. It isn't big, won't take you more than an hour or two to read, but you'll be so glad you did and you'll help the sanctuary, too"
-- Reviewed by Lelia Taylor, Buried Under Books May 2017.

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

A very warm welcome to fellow animal lover, Giacomo Giammatteo; thank you for joining us on BooksChatter!

What was the inspiration for Whiskers and Bear?

"It’s easy. My wife and I have run an animal sanctuary for twenty-four years.

In early 2015, I had two heart attacks followed within weeks by two strokes. I spent four months in the hospital, and it has taken me almost two years to recover enough to be able to type again, albeit slowly.

I wrote this book hoping to raise enough money to help support the animals, as I’m disabled now."
We are very sorry to hear that and hope that you continue to recover.
How much of yourself is reflected in this book, and how?

"The small part I play in the book is me. This is a true story of two of the animals on our sanctuary."
The first thing that draws me to a book is its cover. Can you tell us about your cover for Whiskers and Bear - why you chose that concept and who the artist is.
"The cover was the easiest part about the book. The dogs on the cover are Whiskers and Bear, the two dogs the story is about. And the pond in the background is the one in front of our house.

The cover artist is the fabulously talented Natahsa Brown."
Why should we read Whiskers and Bear and what sets it apart from the rest? 
"This is the first book in what I hope will be another successful series—the Life on the Farm series. It will reflect tales from animals on our sanctuary."
Can you tell us something quirky about Whiskers and Bear, its story and characters?
"There’s not much to tell other than it’s a true story about two wild and crazy dogs. We’ve had about one hundred animals come through this place, and Whiskers and Bear were two of the most unusual."
Who would you recommend Whiskers and Bear to and what should readers be aware of (any warnings or disclaimers)?
"I would recommend it to anyone who has an interest in animals. There should be nothing in it to offend anyone."
What do you like to write and read about? Do you stick to a particular genre or do you like to explore different ones?
"I’m different than most. I started out writing hard-boiled mysteries, and I still have three series going in that genre, but I also write a lot of nonfiction, including a series on careers, grammar, publishing, and writing.

I have also recently finished my first fantasy series, which will be published soon."

What is your writing process?
"Now that I’m retired/disabled. I write all day and night."
What is in store next?
"Everyone will think I’m crazy, but my plans include more of the same mysteries, more grammar, and one I’m really excited about—a series of No Mistakes Grammar for Kids, which uses the animals on the sanctuary to teach the lessons."
What a fantastic idea - I look forward to seeing that!

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?

"This is an easy question. Five years ago, I rescued a wild boar who was only a few weeks old. The vet said we should put him down, as he had internal bleeding and broken ribs. But my wife and I elected to nurse him.

Now, he’s about four hundred pounds, and he’s my buddy. Back when I could walk, he’d go for walks with me every day.

Here’s a picture of Dennis when he was a little more than a year old."
What a gorgeous baby! Lots of cuddles to Dennis and all of the other animals at the sanctuary!
(You are definitely my kind of people!)

Whiskers and Bear
Help Dennis and the Sanctuary -
purchase your copy NOW!

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Unknown said...

"Life on the Farm series. It will reflect tales from animals on our sanctuary." - Any Cats in the future??? I am a cat person myself with a gorgeous Maine Coon Cat that we rescued!
Great interview!

Unknown said...

Wendy, I'm working on a compilation of stories, ones that weren't enough to fill a book, and there are cats in that one. I hope to have it out by the end of the year.