I am pleased to host another wonderful author Rebecca Stroud, who is also an advocate for the protection of animals.
Short author bio: I am a former newspaper reporter/columnist and a current book author/editor. Prior to my writing career, I worked for the SPCA, a veterinarian, and volunteered at a wildlife sanctuary. I’ve been actively involved with animal issues for over 30 years (and a dog always shows up in my books.:-)
Sonia Forbes and Linda Jacobs are identical twins with identical mindsets…one of which is the belief in vigilante justice. Specifically, against those who intentionally harm animals.
Both being euthanasia technicians at the Animal Control facility in Jacksonville, they’ve seen too much needless and heartbreaking death due to ‘man’s inhumanity’ to helpless creatures. Yet, rarely do they see the perpetrators of these crimes punished accordingly. So these truly ‘twisted sisters’ take matters into their own hands and embark on a crime spree of their own that quickly becomes the talk of the town.
Caught in the middle is Amanda Silver, an animal-loving homicide detective and her fiance, Kevin Monroe, the lead investigator for the county’s Animal Cops Unit.
Will these law enforcement officers do their sworn duty? Or will they look the other way?
*** This suspense novella of approx. 15,000 words is for mature readers.***
How did you come up with the title?
Although I am not a proponent of vigilante justice, I definitely believe that those who do the crime, should do the time. Since they usually don’t when it comes to animal abuse, “do unto others” was a good fit.
What inspired you to write this book?
Do Unto Others was written when I was very angry…I had just read yet another horrendous animal abuse article where the perpetrator suffered little consequences for his atrocious actions. I have said it before and I’ll say it many more times again: What we need are stronger laws that are stringently enforced. But since that never seems to happen, I took out my frustrations via fiction.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part was writing the abuse scenes. As an ardent animal lover, it was very emotional for me to be so graphic but it had to be done to get the point across. It is not a ‘warm and fuzzy’ subject by any stretch of the imagination.
Did you try the traditional route to publishing, i.e. querying agents/publishers?
I tried years ago with another book (I’ve published seven to date) and decided the effort was not worth it. There are far too many hoops to jump through even if you’re accepted and I don’t have that kind of time to waste. So self-publishing was a godsend (and so was Amazon).
What have you learned during your self-publishing journey?
That marketing is a pain in the butt…:))
How are readers/reviewers reacting to your book?
For the most part, Do Unto Others has been favorably received. Admittedly, the book is a hard sell because of the subject matter. However, the majority of readers/reviewers praise the message I meant to convey.
What advice would you give a new author just entering into the self-publishing arena?
Hire an editor! Too many authors think they can do it themselves but – as an editor myself – you would not believe some of the ‘junk’ I read on a daily basis yet the author feels it’s ‘perfect’. Yes, there are some who excel in writing ‘clean and polished’ prose but they are few and far between. Don’t chance it. Personally, I charge reasonable rates compared to some services who ask for thousands. In any case, having your book edited is a necessary cost of doing business or else you’ll get slammed by readers/reviewers.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
I wrote an essay in third grade about Abraham Lincoln and the teacher (Mrs. Robinson, no less) gave it five gold stars…I never looked back.
Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?
I want to thank each person who has ever read my books as you are my reward for the blood, sweat, and tears that go into putting my imagination into written form.
Any advice for other writers/indie authors out there?
Don’t give up! As ‘someone’ said, “This is a marathon, not a sprint.”