Paddy Eger Author Interview

Summer has become synonymous with reading and author interviews it seems. I am so excited to finally be interviewing and including West Coast author Paddy Eger to the group!

PE– Paddy Eger AS– ME

AS- I am so excited to finally be interviewing you! Your book 84 Ribbons was one of my first books to read and review last summer. You set the bar quite high for the rest of my summer reading. I am thrilled to say, you have once again set that bar! You are also now my farthest author interview/guest blogger all of the way out on the West Coast! Thank you for taking the time to chat.

AS Where is your favorite place to write? Do you have any thing in particular you like to have with you? Tea, specific music, candles, outside etc…

PE I’m one of those people who sits at a desktop to work. I have my cup of tea nearby and sip it when I’m   thinking about little problems or celebrating a well-written paragraph. Usually I prefer a quiet space,            except when I’m writing about ballets my dancers are preparing to perform. Then I play the music and often find professional ballet companies YouTube videos to watch. That really inspires me!

AS You are a Washington native. How do you think the environment influenced your writing?

PE Since I live in rain country, it’s easy to spend my time writing. I like including weather and our                landscape as part of my setting since I love the salt water, the mountains and our forests. For my ballet trilogy, I’ve based in here where I grew up.

AS In 84 Ribbons, book one of the ballet trilogy, I wanted Marta to step away from her comfort zone so I        sent her to Billings, Montana. Of course, I had to explore that area so my geography was accurate. I             even stayed on an older B&B to get the feel of living in a boarding house setting. I also drove around town and spotted a large house that could become Marta’s residence. I had fun drawing the floor plans of the various locations Marta visited.

PE In When the Music Stops, book two in my trilogy, I take Marta and her mom to my favorite ocean                 beach, Kalaloch. They share an important conversation there and I’m able to introduce readers to               that stretch of Washington beach as well.

AS Writing was not your first career, teaching was! How do you think that has impacted your writing? Was it a difficult transition?

PE I’ve always loved words: their sounds, the way they feel on my tongue and how writers use those same 26 letters in such creative ways. Among my ‘wordy’ past times are reading, word searches and writing my impressions of the world around me. I was one of those test-takers who loves essays and groaned at being put into selecting True-False boxes.

I taught primary grades most of my career. Reading with kids, playing word games and also reading aloud to the class made me happy. I still work in classrooms helping students with writing so you see, I didn’t completely leave teaching.

AS You do have educational work published. When did you realize that you might actually have a knack for writing fiction and go for it?

PE For several years I lead training for classroom volunteers so I needed to create my curriculum. That       was my first attempt to write a book. I enjoyed crafting the book so I went on to create accompanying          materials. About that same time, I friend of mine, who is a well-known author, invited me to take her    writing class. I needed a piece of fiction. Since I’d danced and still had interest in ballet, I decided to       write about a young dancer who wanted to become a professional.

My writing was adequate, but I knew little about writing fiction so I slaved through the class. When a   book agent met with me, she said she saw potential in my writing. That’s when I felt I might be able to create a short book. I was wrong. Turns out with over three hundred pages in my first book, I wasn’t done with my story. Once I realized I had more to say, I knew the writing bug had bitten me.

AS What steps did you take to make it happen? Education, workshops, networking etc.

PE My friend’s workshop got me started writing, but I knew I needed to learn more so I attended a local conference, Write On The Sound, joined a critique group and read articles and books on the craft of writing. I continue working to better my writing by attending classes and have added a second critique group. I write and read blogs and articles, network with writers and follow several writing information sources looking for ways to improve myself. It’s a full-time job!

AS How much of Marta, Lynne, Bartley and the others, come from your own experiences in the dance world?

PE– I tried to give my female leads my love of classical music and ballet. Since I danced for seventeen years, I know many of the basics of ballet; class warm up sequencing, performance issues and understanding the late 1950s when I also danced. I never had the opportunity to dance professionally, but I knew the types of issues dancers’ faced then (and now) from people I spoke with and biographies I read. Professional dancers assure me I’m correct in addressing the issues I’ve taken on in my ballet stories.

AS I just finished reading When the Music Stops but also read 84 Ribbons, which I LOVED. I know how hard it is to write a review on a sequel, but how difficult was it writing a sequel?

PE Writing a sequel was easy since I wasn’t done telling Marta’s story when book one ended. I always knew my story’s arc; I just didn’t know all the details when I started book one. Marta’s story came to me as a title with a rough outline in one day. Characters started popping up (some uninvited) and wanted to be part of my story, so I let them in. I feel they added depth to Marta’s life.

AS *SPOILER* Marta has a few love interests between the two books. How did you decide whom she ended up with? I really, really, liked Sam. I couldn’t tell you why, but I was disappointed that she doesn’t pick him! haha

PE I liked Steve. He fell in love with Marta almost from the moment he met her. I know he was a pain at      times, but I wanted him to end up with Marta. I liked their opposites: she barely finished high school                   while he was completing college when they met, he was spontaneous while she was guarded and        cautious.

When I started book two, I didn’t know what other guys would step into her life. I had great fun              writing Dennis (the jerk!) but knew that was not going to work! Then Sam appeared and I liked him a          lot. The more time he appeared, the harder it was to dump him, but I promised Steve he’d prevail.

AS The next installment follows Lynne across Europe. Have you ever had the chance to travel to some of her stops?

PE Lynne story is totally based on places I visited on trips to Europe. Actually it was on one trip while I was writing 84 Ribbons that I decided Lynne needed a book and I started writing notes to myself about what I enjoyed in the small villages especially. As Marta’s brash sidekick, I wanted to share here story. She seems so upbeat and together when she’s in books one and two. In Letters to Follow-A Dancer’s Adventure, book three, we’ll open the curtain on her life and also tie up loose ends for Marta.

AS What is the best advice you have been given as a writer thus far?

PE Write, write, write. Sit down every day and write. Like all skills, you need to practice, practice, practice. Most of what you write will be questionable; some will be worth keeping. For now, save it all. Tidbits of ideas often lead to inspiration later on.

ALSO: Anna, I want to thank you for interviewing me. I appreciate the opportunity to talk about my books and main characters. After spending so much time together they feel real to me. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. Thank you for writing reviews for both 84 Ribbons and When the Music Stops. Hearing what readers think of our stories help us develop our craft.

To learn more about Paddy and her writings, visit her website http://www.paddyeger.com. You can also find her on Pinterest, Good Reads, and Twitter.

newauthor WMS-Book

Advertisements

Author Interview With Carrie Turansky

Carrie Turanksy, author of The Governess of Highland Hall, has been gracious enough to answer some question for me! You can read my review of The Governess of Highland Hall here!

CT- Carrie Turansky   AS- ME

CT- Hi Anna, thanks for inviting me over to your blog!

AS- Thank you so much for taking the time to answer a few questions for me! I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Governess of Highland Hall and can’t wait to keep reading the rest of the Edwardian Brides series! I stayed up until 3 am the other night after I sent my email to you, to read it! I will just jump right in here.

Where is your favorite place to write? Do you have any thing in particular you like to have with you? Tea, specific music, candles, outside etc…

CT- I have a corner desk in our dining room that serves as my office. Sometimes I sit at the desk to write, but I often take my laptop and sit in other more comfortable places around the house. I also like to sit outside on our back patio when the weather is nice so I can enjoy a view of my garden while writing. To block out noise and provide inspiration, I to listen to instrumental music or movie soundtracks while writing. I have some favorite Pandora stations that I listen to as well. I’m a tea drinker, so you’ll find me drinking a cup of Earl Grey in the cool weather, and when it’s warm, I like to enjoy iced Passion Tazo tea.

AS- Faith takes a relatively important role in your books; what made you decide to incorporate that aspect into your writing? Did you find that it hindered your opportunities at all?

CT- My faith is central to who I am, so it is natural for me to include faith elements in my novels. I believe God’s Word has practical answers and wisdom for any problem or circumstance we face. Good stories include conflict and problems that the characters have to overcome, so I like to think of how God helps me or others I know through similar issues and include that in my novels to encourage readers. I hope they will see faith and God’s work in their lives in a new light when they read one of my books. There is a need for well-written stories that include faith elements, and there are publishers who come from that perspective and are looking for authors who can write inspirational stories.

AS- What is the best advice you have been given as a writer thus far?

CT- Keep learning and growing as a writer. Read widely and write every day or as often as you can. Connect with other writers and those in the publishing industry to glean from them and learn all you can. Attend writers’ conferences. Keep writing and never give up.

AS- What training/education do you have when it comes to writing?

CT- I have a degree in fine art from Oregon State University and graduate diploma in Bible from Multnomah University. My training for writing has come through attending writers’ conferences, reading writing craft books, networking with other authors, being in critique groups, and writing.

AS- You are a Oregon native, which is cool because I lived in Washington State for a time, but are now in New Jersey, right across the river from me in Pennsylvania! Neither are very close to England. Where did your interest in England come from?

CT- I’ve always loved history and reading classic novels, many which are set in England. I homeschooled my five children and read many historical novels aloud to them. All that stirred my interest in writing historical fiction. In 2012 I attended a conference and asked an editor what type of book she was looking for. She said she’d love to see a story set in England during the same time period as Downton Abbey since that series was just becoming popular. She even suggested the heroine be a governess and the hero have a brooding personality with a secret past, reflecting some elements from Jane Eyre. I loved the idea, but I wasn’t sure I could write a story set in England in the early 1900s. It’s hard enough to write a story set in the US in a previous time. But I had a good friend who had just published a book set in England in 1912, and she encouraged me and gave me several research books. I jumped into the research and fell in love with Edwardian England.

AS- I truly appreciate your love of Edwardian England, since I am a bit of a time period snob myself. What about that era drew you in and made you decide to set your series in that time?

CT- When I started researching the time period I watched both seasons of Downton Abbey and a lesser-known series called Manor House. Manor House is an English reality series where people take on the roles of servants and wealthy, titled family members and live on an English country estate like they did in the Edwardian period. The division of the classes is very interesting. The homes, fashions, and lifestyle are fascinating, but there are many modern inventions that make that time period similar to today – trains, cars, telephones, etc. It’s a great time period, and there aren’t too many authors writing books set then, so it was a good time to do it.

AS- I just finished reading The Governess of Highland Hall, the first book in your Edwardian Bride. Where did your inspiration for these characters come from?

CT- The heroine, Julia Foster, is inspired by missionary Amy Carmichael, who traveled to India and served the Lord there for many years. I took pieces of Amy’s back-story and wove them together in my imagination to create Julia. There is also the influence of Jane Eyre’s story in the hero, heroine, and some of the situations in the book.

AS- I love your author website, it’s one of the best I’ve seen. The recipes that you have to go along with your different books are a great touch! Where did you get the idea and the recipes!?

CT- Thanks for your kind words about my website. I love to cook, so I enjoy including food in my books. I thought it would be fun to share those recipes with my readers, so I added them to my website. Some of the recipes are family favorites, so that’s a special nod to my family members.

AS- You are a very busy author/mom/grandmother/speaker/writer/gardener and involved in ministry! How in the world do you keep it all straight? Do you have a super awesome planner that we should all invest in? Where do you find the time to write!?

CT- I am blessed to be at the stage of life where it’s just my husband and I at home, so that frees me up to plan my days and spend a good amount of time on writing. But my life is more than writing. My family, our ministry, and my friendships are all important to me. I try to start each day spending time in God’s Word, writing in my prayer journal, and making a list of goals for the day. When I am working on a book I set a weekly word count goal, and that helps me finish my books on time.

Great questions, Anna! Thank you!

I love to connect with readers on Facebook, Pinterest, and through my website. I send out an email newsletter every other month to share book news, recipes, book reviews, and encouraging articles. I also blog at my website. The sign up for the blog and newsletter are on the home page of my website: http://carrieturansky.com/

Blessings and Happy Reading!

-Carrie

cturansky-5low-300x200

Along with visit Carrie’s website, you can also find her on instagram @carrieturansky to keep up with what she is reading, writing, her beautiful gardens and travels! She is also an active Pinner with some great stuff!

Jen Turano Author Interview

Last night I posted my book review of Jen Turano’s A Change of Fortune, the first book in her Ladies of Distinction series! I was inspired by my writing for the media class to incorporate more author interviews. If there is one thing I have learned recently, it is that most authors are more than willing to answer a few questions. Why are more people not reaching out to do this!?

JenTurano

Oh yeah, and she’s s so pretty! 🙂 Below is my mini interview with Turano-

AS- Me!

JT- Jen Turano

AS-Where is your favorite place to write? Do you have any thing in particular you like to have with you? Tea, specific music, candles, outside etc…

JT-When I’m writing a first draft, I’m most productive if I stay in my office and work on my big computer with the large screen and enormous keyboard. After that, I can move around the house with my laptop to do edits, although I’m not a writer who enjoys going to coffee shops to write – there are just far too many distractions and I’d never get anything done. I really don’t have any specific rituals when I’m writing. I just set a goal for the day, usually word count, and I don’t stop writing until I reach that goal.

AS-You are an Ohio native, but have moved around a bit. Do you think the different environments have influenced your writing?

JT-I don’t think the different environments influenced my writing as much as the different people I’ve encountered have. Most of my characters are inspired by real people I’ve met over the years, and most of those people have been rather quirky. If I’d have lived in one place all my life, I wouldn’t have met so many fabulous friends, and I’d have far less ready material tucked away in my mind to pull out when needed.

AS-Writing was not your first career, in fact, you found writing quite unusually. When did you realize that you might actually have a knack for this and go for it?

JT-As many readers know, I started writing because of a rather horrible series my son and I were reading together when he was in the third grade. We decided we’d try our hand at creating a book together, and armed with his wild suggestions (because he was your typical little boy back then) I wrote a fantasy called “Fanglers” that was filled with creatures and completely ridiculous scenes that my son suggested. I really didn’t consider sending it out to anyone until my son’s librarian asked to read it. I ran the PTO at the school so everyone knew me which is why I really had no choice but to hand over the story – especially since librarians can be somewhat scary. I was then pleasantly surprised to discover she enjoyed it. However, that’s when I learned my first important lesson – people who know you, are not the best people to critique your work. When I did send the manuscript out to a few agents, I was quickly informed that my craft needed a ton of work, but since it was somewhat pleasant, using my brain again, I just started writing a lot, and different genres at that. I knew I was doing something right because I got suggestions back from agents/editors, and then I finally signed with an agent and she very kindly sold my work to Bethany House.

AS-I truly appreciate your love of The Gilded Age, since I am a bit of a time period snob myself. What about that era drew you in and made you decide to set your series in that time?

JT-Growing up, I read mostly Regency when I’d read a romance, but a few years back, I read a non-fiction book about Alva Vanderbilt and realized how absolutely fascinating The Gilded Age was. This was truly a time in our history when we can see the rise of the New York Socialite, and see the influence of American heiresses. Since I have a background in fashion, I love being able to use the old department stores for scenes every once and a while, and don’t even get me started on the interior of the mansions that began springing up on Fifth Avenue. With my latest series, I’ve been adding in a touch more history to the storylines, mostly because there are just so many cool things about The Gilded Age. I’ve even set a story in Newport for the sheer reason that I wanted to set the scene in one of the “cottages” that were in such demand during the summer social season.

AS-I just finished reading A Change of Fortune, the first book in your Ladies of Distinction Where did your inspiration for these characters come from?

JT-Odd as this may seem, I was actually thinking about walking away from trying to get a book published because I’d had some disappointing news regarding a different manuscript. Because I was in a bit of a gloomy mood, I decided I’d clean the house because…well, that’s sure to perk a girl up, and while I was scrubbing the shower – the entire Ladies of Distinction series popped to mind. I knew everything – the characters, the storylines, you name it, it was all there. But, because I’m a little weird about cleaning, I couldn’t simply stop and start writing, so armed with a pad of post-it notes, I continued on to another room, scribbling down ideas as I cleaned, and then I started writing “A Change of Fortune” the next day. I’ve come to the belief that my inspiration for this series definitely came from above because I really was ready to throw in the towel and go back to fashion after being a stay-at-home mom for so many years.

AS-Faith takes a relatively important role in your books, and you’re obviously published by Bethany House; what made you decide to incorporate that aspect into your writing? Did you find that it hindered your opportunities at all?

JT-I felt there was a distinct need for more clean romances in the market – books that a mom would not be embarrassed to share with her teenage daughter if you will. Because of that, and because I’m comfortable with my faith and talking about God, it was a logical choice for me to turn to the inspirational market. Do I feel it’s hindered my opportunities? That’s difficult to say. My books do get banished to the dark and sometimes gloomy Christian section in the large bookstores instead of being shelved in romance, but…with every new release, more readers find me, so…I think I’m exactly where I’m supposed to be.

AS-A Most Peculiar Circumstance, was chosen by Booklist as a Top Ten Romance for 2013, what did it feel like to have that recognition that you had not only been accepted as a writer, but people were truly enjoying your work!?

JT-It was a huge surprise, as well as an honor, but, quite honestly, it completely freaked me out. Writers are an odd lot, and we dwell on all sorts of nonsense, mostly what will happen if we can’t produce another fun book, and then…readers will hate us and they’ll never buy another book again, and…well, the neurosis goes on and on. That’s what happened to me when Booklist was so kind as to really like my book. I was sure I’d never be able to produce something even remotely close to “A Most Peculiar Circumstance” again and then I’d just have to go back to being a buyer for a department store. I’ve calmed down a touch since that book was released – although I do still get super nervous when I have a new book coming out because it’s always all about the reader, and I really don’t want to put out a book that readers find disappointing.

AS-What is the best advice you have been given as a writer thus far?

JT-Keep producing new work and don’t read your reviews – especially on Goodreads because, wow, people can be mean.

To learn more about her books visit http://jenturano.com/category/books/

To learn more about the Gilded age and why she loves it so much, check out her posts here!

Follow her on Facebook to keep up with new books, book giveaways, other articles on Jen and her work and just to see what she’s up too!

Recycled Tails with Heidi Evans

I LOVE dogs. My whole family loves dogs. We actually just love animals in general. We are definitely “zoo” people. We like to visit the zoo and like to think we have one at our house. One thing that we have always been passionate about is rescuing dogs. For years I watched Animal Planet, loving every moment an animal was rescued by the Animal Cops and adopted out to a new and loving home. You can imagine our excitement to start working with a local rescue, Recycled Tails, between our school and work schedules. Father’s Day weekend 2013 we adopted our third dog, Mikey, from Recycled Tails.
10574370_10204451550713927_1933272051132942981_n
He’s definitely more thrilled to be snuggled than he looks here. We had also previously rescue Molly and May from other rescues.

10906210_10205439264846163_7593243987413596422_n

I am required to do an interview as a project for school, and thought that if I was going to interview somebody and have to put it on a public platform, it might as well be about something I love, be beneficial and do some good! Somehow in the midst of crazy schedules, Heidi and I found a time that worked for both of us for me to go to the dog lady’s house and interview her!

AS- ME, Anna Swenda HE- Heidi Evans

AS: When did you start RT?
HE: I started Recycled Tails in 2011 after having worked with another rescue since 2005. I’ve been rescuing forever though.

AS: How/why did you start RT?
HE: I’ve rescued animals since I was on my own at 18. If there was an animal somebody didn’t want, I took it in. I was rescuing cats, but cats are a lot harder to adopt out, which is why I kinda switched over to dogs. I had tons of free time and decided to go all out and start my own rescue.

AS: How do you find/receive animals that you get, and where do they come from?
HE: They find me. I get emails everyday all day long. Today I just got an email with 30 dogs from South Carolina that need to go or they get put down. It was literally 30 pictures of dogs with their name, whether they are heart worm positive/negative, do they like other dogs or not and what the cost of rescuing them is. Sometimes people sponsor them which is when people pay the $35 dollars or what ever to get them out of the shelter. So a lot of our dogs come from the south but recently we have been pulling from Camden, New Jersey because they need a lot of help. Or turn ins, people who just can’t keep their dogs anymore.

AS: What kinds of animals do you rescue?
HE: Everything and anything. Everything from exotic birds to horses to pot belly pigs to lizards to rabbits, chinchillas if we have the ability to house them and care for them appropriately we rescue them.

AS: What is the craziest kind of animal you have been asked to rescue/help?
HE: An emu. I got called because if her owner didn’t find a home by Thanksgiving her husband was going to eat her. She had raised this emu from an egg in her house. It was like an ostrich in my barn, I was going to keep her but she didn’t like other farm animals. I found her a place that already had emus and she was terrified of the other emus! She finally went to a family with no other pets. She loved getting sprayed with water, you could pet her- it was one of the neatest experiences of my life. She was that friendly from being hand raised.

Emu-wild

In case you don’t know what an emu looks like…

AS: Do they go through a process once they come to you?
HE: We don’t have a black and white process. I like to keep them for at least a week so that I know if they’re ok with other dogs, if they’re crate trained- kinda test the waters and try to place them in foster homes. I take every animal based on whether or not I personally have space for them. I don’t ever take dogs and go “Oh crap, we have no place to put this dog.” I will never take a dog that I don’t personally have the space to house. From there, after they’ve kind of been evaluated, I try to get them into foster homes.

AS: About how many foster homes/volunteers do you have?
HE: I’d say we have a good 10 regular volunteers who help do stuff. I have a woman who processes applications for me which is a huge help and another woman who does all of the technical stuff for us. She does PetFinder, Facebook, all of that stuff. She can’t foster so that is her contribution, she loves doing it and I am very grateful that she does. Those two woman are my most constant volunteers. Everyone else helps foster, comes to events that kind of thing.

AS:What does being a foster home entail?
HE: You do an application like you are going to adopt a dog. We check with your vet to make sure your other animals are up to date on shots and everything and then they can foster. During foster care all they need to do is take care of the dog. We can even provide food if they want food. They don’t have to pay for vet care, food, anything- just love, care and shelter. That is one of our biggest advertisements because people are afraid it’s going to cost money. It doesn’t have to cost you anything, we appreciate the help, flea and tick medicine, what ever you need we will provide it for you.

AS: What is the average length of time you have an animal before they are adopted?
HE: We get dogs that are adopted in 3 days and others that take a year. 2-3 months would probably be the average. When we get puppies in they fly off the shelves. Older dogs take a bit longer. A white pit bull will minimally take one year. A lot of rescues look at the adoptability of a dog, I don’t. Sometimes I have too, but I will take in older dogs. The longest I had a dog was a year and a half, and it was a pit bull.

AS: What is the average cost per animal for medical/boarding while they are with you?
HE: If they come from the South, it is about $75 to vet them- spay/neuter, vaccinate, and then $75-$100 for professional transport. There are volunteer transports, but it’s drive a bit, switch cars, drive a bit switch cars and dogs can escape. That method tends to be a bit more traumatizing for the dogs. It takes two days versus an overnight trip with the professional transporters. If they come up and they have been honest, it’s about $175-$200 a dog in total. I recently had a dog come up that needed groomed, extensive dental work, neutered, heart worm positive, by the time he’s all said and done he will cost us about $1,000 because they lied about him. The average is $200-$300, but if I get dogs from Camden they are completely vetted and they are volunteer transport so they don’t cost us anything. That’s how we balance out the money, the dogs that cost a lot verse the dogs that are low-cost.

AS: How many animals have you been able to relocate to new homes?
HE: I couldn’t even fathom. I can tell you that my goal now is 5-10 dogs a month because we are such a small operation. Some months are better, some are worse. When I worked at the bigger rescue, we could have 15+ adoptions a week. I wish I had kept track, because I’m sure it’s insane. By the time they go through the process it’s relatively time-consuming. There are places that bring dogs up from the south and have them pre-adopted for when they get here, how many returns do you think they get? I don’t get returns. I don’t want dogs to come back, so I make sure that they are with the right people.

AS: What is your favorite part of the job?
HE: The dogs. And that’s why I’m so glad that I have someone to do the internet part for me, and the paper part for me because I don’t enjoy that. It’s the dogs. It’s caring for the dogs, getting to know the dogs, seeing them fattened after they come in as skeletons, and watching them go to their new homes after being saved from death row. So many of the dogs I get I rescue from a post that says “this dog needs rescued tonight or has until 4pm today,” and all I have to say is “yes” and that dog gets spared. I may not see that dog for two weeks, but it’s alive because, I said yes. So I love meeting new dogs, and making them healthy because we get dogs that have been hit by cars, that are skeletons, that are old, and getting to help them.

AS: What are your biggest challenges facilitating RT?
HE: Finding foster homes. That is my absolute biggest challenge. Finding homes that are committed. People say “I can watch a dog for two weeks” which helps, short-term, but it doesn’t open up a space for me to get a new dog. It’s definitely finding foster homes, and finding people you can trust.

AS: Do you have a favorite adoption story?
HE: My most recent one would probably be Poppy. He was a white pit bull that I had for about a year. He ran free here, no leash, no fence. He was just going to live here forever if he didn’t get adopted. I couldn’t bring him in because he hated cats, but he is definitely one of my most recent favorites. He went to a home where they are willing to put up with anything and take care of him. He definitely fell into the right place.

Poppy!

Poppy!

AS: What fundraising/events do you do for RT?
HE: We just did, what’s become a yearly fundraiser at PJ Ryan’s [in Phoenixville]. They’re great, they let us keep the door entry fee, they don’t charge us to be there or use the space. We’re going to do another one at the Great American Pub in Phoenixville. They are turning their parking lot into a bar, they are letting us close it off, charge a fee, have bands, same type of thing as PJ’s but it’s all going to be outside. We don’t do a ton of fundraising. We live off of our adoption fees and personal donations. Basically, we charge adoption fees and hope that it balances out with the dogs that cost us a whole lot verse the dogs that cost us little to nothing. We try to stay at zero. We never have any extra, but we try to not owe anybody money.

AS: What are some other ways people can help/get involved?
HE: We always have our adoptions nights like down at First Fridays [in Phoenixville], we always need extra hands for that. We also need a fundraising coordinator. I would love that. To have someone just figuring out ways to raise money whether it’s selling pizzas or spaghetti night or what ever. It’s just too much for me to do by myself. So that would be a huge help. But there’s always ways to help. There are events, there’s a girl that comes on Sundays just to walk the dogs. I don’t always have time for that, and she can tell me how they do on the leash and that kind of thing. People are more than welcome to come and just do something like that.

AS: What are some of the most common mistakes people make after they adopt a new animal?
HE: Haha. Over-whelming the animal. Inviting everyone in the neighborhood over and being surprised when it acts out. I always tell people to treat your new animal like a new baby from the hospital. Don’t take it to PetSmart, or all over the place- you don’t know them and they don’t know you. If you get in the shower, put it in the crate, you can’t watch it. Don’t leave it with your children. A dog might be great with my kid, but interpret your child differently and act differently. You have to build trust and assess their behavior for a while. I once had people adopt a black lab, take it right to their friend’s house, the friend reached in to pet him and the dog snapped at him. They tried to put their hand near/in his food bowl the first day and he wasn’t too friendly about it. They wanted to try to bring him back, and I explained that I could not adopt him again since he had “bitten someone,” when they were the ones who had made the poor decision. And they still have him. I check in once in a while and he’s doing great, after they adjusted and realized that they needed to let him settle and get used to everyone and everything first. I always tell people to contact me if they have any issues, I’m a resource. I’m here for you.

AS: Do you have any advice for people who are thinking about adoption or have recently adopted a new pet?
HE: I would say about 98% of our adoptions are foster to adopt. I always push for that, I want to make sure this dog is a good fit for you. It’s like a lease to buy. So many rescues shove their dogs out, and I don’t want to do that. Before you are going to sign an adoption agreement and pay to take a dog for the rest of its life, I want you to make sure that it’s a good fit, before you commit and realize it’s not what you want it to be. I want to make sure the dog is a perfect fit for your home, and if it’s not a perfect dog, that you’re willing to work with it. Just like I said above, make sure it’s a good fit and you are willing to put in the time and effort. And again, I always tell people to contact me if they have any issues, I’m a resource. I’m here for you.

*Foster to adopt is EXACTLY how we ended up with Mikey!!!*

AS: What is the adoption process and about how long does it take?
HE: Super quick because I have somebody else processing applications! We process applications same day. We had one come in today, they’ve already been processed. The first thing we do is call your vet. If your vet gives you an excellent review it’s like you’re already pre-approved. Then we have a meeting, we interview you, you meet the dog. Generally it goes very quickly and it gets done in a couple of days. There is a $250 adoption fee that covers the cost of transport, any vet treatments they need while they are with us, and any general costs for things like food. Some times people are a little farther away so it takes longer. Sometimes they’ll come and meet a dog earlier in the week and then pick them up on Friday so that they are home for the weekend with them. As soon as a dog is adopted and taken home, I am looking to fill that spot already. If I have an inkling, I’ll wait a bit. Even when a dog goes to foster, I wait a bit to make sure that it works out before I fill that spot.

AS: Where can current adoptable animals be found/viewed?
HE: PetFinder.com, RecycledTails.org and we post many of them on our Facebook Page.

rt_logo_green

Here are some quick links for the adoption/foster application, RT Swag, and a place to give monetary/supply donations! Be sure to like Recycled Tails on Facebook to learn about upcoming events and keep up with new critters coming in and to celebrate those that find their furever homes! For any questions, you can contact RT at recycledtails@hotmail.com

Thank you so much to Heidi for taking the time to sit down to chat with me and share her heart for rescue! Another HUGE thank you to all of her volunteers and those that make time to participate in RT events, foster, or just give their time to help give the animals that come through a second chance for a fulfilling and happy furever home!