iUniverse author Anne E. Beall, PhD, talks about Heartfelt Connections — recently named one of the top 100 Indie books for 2016 by Shelf Unbound!
Heartfelt Connections: How Animals and People Help One Another is about the many ways that we’re connected to animals and how they help us in ways we might not expect. I learned that animals help children learn how to read, help people who are handicapped, help individuals who have experienced trauma, and even save lives. Animals have a profound effect on so many people.
Do you have any particular literary influences?
I’ve always appreciated authors who write in the first person and who come across as very genuine in their prose. I’ve tried to do the same here.
I’m a researcher and I became interested in this topic after having community cats (feral cats who are trapped, neutered, vaccinated and located in an area). These cats got rid of the rats in my neighborhood and I started to wonder how other animals help us. This interest led me to do research and I was astounded to learn how many different animals are helping humans. I learned that animals such as sheep, ducks, llamas, horses, pigs, cats, and dogs help people who are ill, disabled, having emotional issues or who are trying to overcome other challenges.
I spent about 6 months doing the research and another 6 months writing the book.
What is the one message you would like to convey to your readers?
Animals have a profound influence on our lives and have an intelligence and capacity for feeling that we may not realize until we look more closely at them. Animals are also communicating with us all the time. If we spent more time listening to them, we would see that they are complex creatures who form strong attachments to those around them.
Are there any events, marketing ideas or promotions planned for your book?
The book has received great reviews on Amazon and recently was named one of the top 100 Indie books for 2016 by Shelf Unbound.
I’ve also been on several radio shows. Here are two recent ones.
What was your favorite part of your publishing experience, overall and with iUniverse?
When I started thinking about publishing this book with iUniverse (it’s my 4th one with you guys), I called and asked for some assistance in thinking about the book. I talked with one of your consultants, who told me that I had a good idea but that the organization of the book could make or break it. He was right. I thought carefully about that and came up with a way of thinking about the animals in it and creating an organization that made all the difference.
Finally, what advice would you give to aspiring authors?
Just sit down and write. Find something that you’re passionate about, and start writing!