Sunday, February 24, 2013

Virtual Author Book Tours: "Creature Features" by Tim Rowland Guest Post

Publisher High Peaks Publishing, November 16, 2012
Category: Non-Fiction, Animals, Humor Essays
Tour Dates: February, 2013
Available in: Print and ebook, 160 pages
When Tim Rowland’s earlier book of his animal essays, All Pets are Off, was published, readers immediately clamored for more. Their preference for animal stories over the political columns Tim’s also known for is understandable: animals are way more fun to read about than politicians. Especially now.
So here’s a new volume of over 75 warm and funny essays, from the introduction to the farm of bovines Cleopatra and Heifertiti, the Belted Galloway beauties, to the further antics of Hannah the English Bulldog and Juliet the tiny Siamese, along with assorted donkeys, pigs, goats, horses, chickens, geese—and of course, more of the joyful bouvier des Flandres named Opie—that’s sure to provide loads of smiles and even outright guffaws.
Praise for All Pet’s Off and Strange and Obscure Stories of the Civil War:
Hilarious Look at Pets – I Guarantee You Will Laugh Out Loud.Tim Rowland is the columnist in our local paper and this book contains the columns he writes about his pets, including his newest dog Opie. Anyone who has had a cat, dog, alpaca, donkey, pig, horse, or who just loves animals will find this one of the funniest books written about animals. Rowland has a way of writing that hits home to any pet owner. The book is very easy to read with each “chapter” being a page or a page and a half. I took the book on a recent plane flight and I am sure the other passengers wondered what was going on as I could not help laughing out loud. I guarantee you will too!” CJS, Reviewer
” For some time I have been clipping columns written by Tim Rowland from the “Hagerstown Herald”, where we read them, to send to a close friend in Washington, D.C. who also likes his sense of humor and choice of rustic farmhouse topics to liven up the day’s news. This friend has been so taken with his writing that she forwards all the clippings to a relative in Texas who previously edited a small town paper and lived in a semi-rural suburban setting that sounds like Tim’s, with lots of animals around. When I tried to “edit” my choices of which columns to clip, she protested that her relatives were so fond of them, I should collect absolutely all of them. I thought she’d be pleased with Tim’s move “up” to writing a book of curious but true tales of this area in Civil War times. Since “Strange and Obscure Stories of the Civil War” probably is not on the New York Times bestseller list, I wasn’t sure I would find it on but it was there and made a good Christmas gift buy for this buddy. It was an easy way to move through my shopping list. Once it was in my hands, I couldn’t resist speed-reading it for myself before wrapping it up.” B. Howard, Reviewer

Guest Post (by the author)

When the Bouvier de Flanders named Opie was a couple of months old, it would frequently fall on me to puppy sit. Where puppies are concerned, successful monitoring means that the room in which the puppy has been left will still be vaguely recognizable when the principal owner returns.

But no matter how closely the young dog is watched, he will always be able to sneak a few good, destructive chews on chattel that previously had value.

My solution to this was simple: Keep the animal outside. We lived on 14 acres, what could happen? I would sit in my office and write, taking occasional peeks out the door to make sure Opie wasn’t in any appreciable trouble. But even this solution wasn’t a sure thing—there were chickens to chase, tender young flowers to till and all manner of trouble to get into. So, fighting deadlines and rising anger at his antics, which kept interfering with my work, I was finally relieved when he settled down with a stick and contentedly chewed away.

So perfectly behaved was he, I eventually forgot about him as he did his thing and I did mine.

Except I couldn’t completely shake the uneasy feeling that all was not right with the world. I kept having that feeling that I’d seen that stick before. Finally, writing project completed, I stood in the doorway and watched him chew for a while—until it hit me. That “stick” he’d been working over for the past half hour was in fact a sweet cherry tree I’d carefully planted the week before.

I sucked in on my cheeks and then quietly turned and went back to my computer and wrote down the story in full. This offered a moment of clarity to me—animals could do their worst: from now on, I would not protest, I would enable.

To a great degree, this explains why I write about animals: Therapy.
Animals are always testing me. Goats escape from their confines, calves wind up in the zinnias, donkeys shriek for their breakfast, horses play catch-me-if-you-can. A little known fact about animals is that they are serial pranksters. It would drive me nuts, except I have learned to channel this naughtiness into print.

And as anyone who routinely works with animals knows, naughtiness is never in short supply. What does a critter have to do all day except plot new pranks and then try them out on me to see how they will go? So rather than allow this to bother me, I go with the flow.

So it is no longer a blow to my ego when I get outwitted by an alpaca. If I can sooth my shattered nerves and entertain at the same time, what’s not to like?

About Tim Rowland:
Tim Rowland is an award-winning columnist at Herald-Mail Media in Hagerstown, Maryland. He has written for numerous history and outdoor magazines and news syndicates nationwide.
He has also authored several books, most recently Strange and Obscure Stories of the Civil War and including All Pets are Off: A Collection of Hairy Columns, Petrified Fact: Stories of Bizarre Behavior that Really Happened, Mostly, Earth to Hagerstown, High Peaks: A History of Hiking the Adirondacks from Noah to Neoprene and Maryland’s Appalachian Highlands: Massacres, Moonshine & Mountaineering
 Tim is also keeper and lackey for a wide assortment of mostly non-useful, freeloading critters, aided as always by his trusty (well, mostly trusty) companion Opie.
Tim Rowland’s Website:
Buy Tim Rowland’s Creature Features: Paperback Kindle
Tim Rowland’s Bookshelf

1 comment:

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Your Ad Here