"An Artist is born"
A Children's Book Written By: Yvonne Dagger
It took four years, but it was well worth the time,
effort and tears I put into my first book of a
series of books about the adventures of Dagger DogVinci.
Encouraged by many people including most of the librarians we met as we held our "DogVinci" Workshops at their libraries, I heard them often say on our travels all over Long Island and New York City, "Why don't you write a book?" Then when we were hit with the pandemic, that caused Dagger and I to go into isolation for close to three years. Our workshops and Dagger's love of community ceased. I'm sure everyone felt the effects of COVID. The scary horrible toll it took on every family all over the world. We all felt the effects of it and still do, I suppose. Of course, we continued to create in Dagger's studio. That was our saving grace. In isolation, I began to think about what was said to me during our workshops about writing a book. But, could I do it? I'd written papers in college, but never a book!! I could give it a try, I thought!!
Therefore, taking to my writing tablet, I started writing my first children's book about Dagger's life as a canine artist. It was important for me to include his message of education and community service in the book.
The first draft I wrote was about Dagger's life as an artist. It was simplistic and geared more for toddlers. It was about the dog that painted from his heart. After sending my manuscript to experts in the area of writing direction, I was told that they yearned to learn more about Dagger's journey from his birth. They wanted to know his back story. Their points were well received by me. So...back to my writing tablet I went!
It was fairly easy to tell Dagger's story from the day I picked him up at Canine Companions' Miller Family Campus at eight weeks old until the time he learned how to paint, sell his works and give all of his money to charity. I knew it by heart since I told our story at all of our over 150 "DogVinci" Workshops in the years we visited libraries, schools, senior living facilities, museums and charity events.
It literally took me four years to get my book to publication, though. That part of the process was not an easy task. For sure! I learned that an author needs an agent to get into the big publishing houses. That takes oodles of money and because Dagger gave all of his funds to charity, we didn't have the funds to make this happen. I was also told that sometimes it takes years even with an agent to get the big publishing houses to recognize your accomplishment. I knew that I had already spent four years creating my book, the thought of waiting many more years to get published was not something I wanted to do and pay for. So, I decided after investigating publishers, that my best mode of operation on the publishing scene was to self-publish my book through Amazon and IngramSpark. That alone takes an expert to manage. A friend and author of two books gave me the name of an expert in the field....Jaye Medalia. Jaye was instrumental in helping me with everything from how to create the book for publication to giving me steadily advice all through out the process. As an art director and seasoned expert in book publishing, Jaye knows her business. Her expertise in all areas of publication was beneficial to getting things done. She followed the process to a "T." She was able to secure a wonderful illustrator for me, Penny Weber. Penny is a fabulous illustrator. I love her style. I'm not an illustrator. Penny is. She was so accommodating and patient with the little nuances that Jaye and I felt needed to be added such as the spaghetti and meatballs after Dagger's day at the Broadway Show. Hee! Hee! She did all of it with grace and understanding.
I have so many people to thank. First and foremost, my husband, Denis. Denis has been a driving force and wind beneath my wings to get to the finish line of this endeavor. Jaye and Penny were there for me throughout the process even up to the date of release. They're still there whenever I need them. I will be forever grateful to them. And to all of you, without your encouragement and support, I'm afraid that I would've never had stepped outside of my world to challenge myself to live a dream that I've always had.
I'm beginning my next great adventure in Dagger DogVinci's life. So, stay tuned to travel with him on another zany journey.
In the meantime,
I wish you and your families a
Happy, Blessed, and Peace-Filled Holiday Season!
Happy Tales to you,
P.S. Make sure you tune into our New Podcast "Howling Talent."
Anna Roy, the President and Founder of the Animal Heroes Hall Of Fame and I co-host this enlightening and fun podcast as we interview people from all over the world who share their talents by helping animals through their creative process.
Tune in today to learn about a wonderful dog name "Buddy Mercury"
and his human mom and dad,Laurie and Glen Wolfe.
Click HERE to listen to this amazing story.
A Place where I can Bark, Blog and Woof a Little
written by Yvonne Dagger