Author: Larry Verstraete
Publication Date: November 15, 2018
Publisher: Yellow Dog
Coop is an aging, cynical, down-and-out dachshund who faces the ultimate test when his new owner, Mike, and Mike’s grandchildren, Zach and Emma, run into trouble. Mike rescued him, but does Coop have what it takes to do the same?
Drawing strength from the stories about great dogs that Mike shares with him, Coop charts a dangerous journey to save his new family.
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The world of … (World Building)
The World of Dogs
Coop is the narrator of his own story. He is an elderly dachshund who has been shuttled between shelters and homes most of his life. He experiences everything from a dog’s point of view, and yet he lives with humans who do things for different reasons and in different ways than he would.
To make Coop’s voice authentic and believable, I had to learn how dogs function and then imagine how that would translate into various situations. In a dog’s world, senses play a key role. Of all the senses, the primary one is smell. Dogs have many more smell receptors than humans do, and smell is their main information-gathering tool. They sniff everything – other dogs, garbage, dung, crotches. That led to some interesting and comical scenarios.
Coop’s size and age factored into the story in a big way, too. In his world, everything looks large and challenging. Because he has a few age-related issues like arthritis, even climbing up on to a bed is daunting. When Coop faces threats and danger, his size and age heighten the challenges confronting him.
To write as Coop, first-hand experience paid off in a big way. I’ve been around dogs my whole life, but even then I needed to do more research. I read books about dogs, visited shelters, hung around with dachshunds, and questioned owners about their pets. At one point, I crawled on all fours to appreciate how a small dog like Coop might view life. I saw scratches in our hardwood floor and dents in the furniture that I never noticed before. Try it yourself, if you want. You’ll see knees, chair legs, and the floor in new and interesting ways.
About the Author:
Larry Verstraete (B.Sc, M.Ed.) is a Winnipeg writer and educator. A teacher for 30 years, his experience ranges from teaching university courses to teaching at the senior and middle years levels in public school. An author of books for youngsters, Larry has also written for writer’s manuals, science textbooks, and educational journals, and has conducted sessions in science and writing for youngsters and adults around the country. His writing career began as an off-shoot of his teaching one, and here is his story.....
- Three (3) winners will receive a copy of Coop the Great by Larry Verstraete (INT)
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