Chris: I live in Boulder Colorado. My son and daughter are grown and married. Now, I have a new generation of grandchildren to write for. My first college degree was in art, and I spent ten years as a production potter, making dinnerware and teapots. It was fun, but I felt a calling to words.
I could have made Dent any age or attitude, but I automatically made him an adolescent. I like middle-schoolers—I like the way they walk, the way they talk and the things left unsaid.
Sheila: How did you come up with the Idea for The Adventures of Tooten and Ter?
Chris: When my kids were in college, my husband and I traveled frequently because of his work. I often found myself touring a city alone, so I had enough time and space to give my imagination full reign . We had recently raised a Guide Dog for the Blind puppy, and it occurred to me that lab puppies had a lot in common with thirteen-year old boys—they are both curious, helpful, brave, maddening, fool-hearty, and sincere. So, I had hit on the two main characters of my next project, The Adventures of Tooten and Ter. As detective partners. Tooten is a guide dog puppy-in-training and Ter is a thirteen-year-old foster kid (with a far too trusting foster father). I located many of the twenty episodes in the different cities we had visited..
Sheila: That's some good information on how to go about researching an area.
Sheila: We all want to know about the first sale. What was that like?
Sheila: What did you wish you knew beforehand about the writing/publishing process?
Chris: If I were to start writing these books again, I’d leave out details of the weather, clothing, dates, and holidays. I have reordered the episodes, more than once, to reflect changes in the characters relationships and other developments, and each time, I have had to make many changes like taking out the snow and turning Christmas into St. Patrick’s Day.
Sheila: What struggles did you face?
Chris: My other challenge has been marketing an e-book. I haven’t convinced bookstores and libraries to spotlight my book because it’s not on their shelves, and they decide upon their e-book selections at a higher level than the library person at the young-adult desk. Also, building a website has been a challenge. However, the bright spot is reading the book to fifth-grade classes. The kids are great—insightful and empathetic.
Sheila: Thank you for visiting with us today Chris and looking forward to the sequel, A Nose for Trouble.
Be sure to visit Smashwords.com and check out Chris McCloskey's books.
Also available are her websites:
Teachers’ website: readersnudge.com