“The Odessa Chronicles”

Writing fiction can be a very interesting experience, particularly when the fictional characters start talking to you! As soon as I realized that there was a dialogue possibility between the characters and myself, I decided to take advantage of the situation and proceeded to arrange for two interviews with the namesake of the book … Odessa!

Back in 2018, I posted an excerpt from “The Odessa Chronicles”, being Interview No.1 with Odessa (link below):


This Post covers Interview No. 2.  If these interviews arouse your curiousity about Odessa,and her friends Jaxon, Dewey and (of course) the Man-Servant, then please explore the book further by clicking the book cover over to the right (may have to scroll to see it). Note that there are many reviews at amazon.com but, if you are tempted to purchase a copy, please check pricing with FriesenPress Bookstore who have it on sale.

Odessa Interview No.2

Colin: Today, Odessa, I want to talk about the whole group and what you think about them, how you met, and your reactions to the stories about all of you. Let’s start with Dewey. He’s a cat and you’re a bird, so there could be a problem there. What do you think?

Odessa: In different circumstances, I would keep well away from Dewey; however, given that I probably saved his life when he was much smaller, I think that gives me an advantage. Regardless of the fact that I am a bird, he knows that without my intervention he would probably not be here. I think that’s why he is quite happy with me being around. Good story-line on your part, Colin, as it solved a potential problem.

Colin: So that explains why Dewey relates to you the way he does, but how do you feel about sharing adventures with a cat?

Odessa: It’s really not a problem. To start with, I am bigger than Dewey and can fly. When he was smaller, I could have lifted him off the ground very easily, but now … well it takes a lot more effort. If he ever gave me a problem though, I have a wonderful set of claws that would keep him under control!

Colin: Jaxon?

Odessa: Well, Jaxon is unique, literally, isn’t he? I read your introduction of him, and he really is a “one of a kind” animal. His strength is his love of life, and of course, his magic, which by the way, neither you nor Carolyn have really explored. Surely there are some good potential stories there? I like the idea of Jaxon and me living in the barn together, because it gives us time away from the other two. I bet if you tried hard, you could come up with a story about us two!

Colin: Perhaps. How about the man-servant?

Odessa: Oh, I really do like him, because he is so sloppy with his questions, and I get to correct him often. I love it! Then, of course, he really is the focal point of the stories because without him, the farm as I know it would not exist … would it. I really cannot imagine living on an empty farm, even though I am very independent by nature. I love the other characters, and the invitations into the farmhouse in the evenings!

Colin: Do you have any thoughts about future stories?

Odessa: Well … remembering that my dad was hunting for food when the cliff collapsed and took away my family, perhaps somehow I could meet him, as he is presumably still alive. Then, of course, stories could include Hermione and her mom, Florence. Perhaps Jaxon and I could have an adventure on our own? I would really like that. Dewey could have an adventure by himself. Perhaps the man-servant would have a reason to leave the farm for a few days, and the story could be about us three taking care of things in his absence. Perhaps something exciting, or disastrous, could happen to the farm? There really are so many possibilities, but make sure that you look after us all!

Colin: Thanks, Odessa. It’s always a pleasure talking with you.

Odessa: No problem. I shall await some new adventures from you and Carolyn.

***  *****  ****

“The Odessa Chronicles” can be purchased world-wide from all the usual on-line book retailers, and is available in hard-copy, paperback and eBook formats. It is recommended for children within the age range of 4 to 104!

“So Long Ago”

“So long ago” was a Post from “long ago”, and considers how perceptions of time will vary with any given event. My subject for that Post was our beloved Ray, and how the time when our year was pre-occupied with his heart-worm treatment program seemed like only “yesterday”. Continue reading

Self educating!

It’s an interesting concept isn’t it? Forget the formal education process and simply self-educate!

Sadly, there are more issues with that concept than I have candles on my birthday cake … and that’s lots but, outside of our respective formal education systems, self-education is a very viable and rewarding habit to get into. Continue reading

Self Publishing/Marketing

One inherent and major challenge with self-publishing, is the marketing aspect. No book is going to sell if nobody knows it exists … and that is where the marketing comes in. If you happen to be a celebrity, then your marketing issues are quite possibly going to go away as some publishing and/or marketing company will happily take on those responsibilities but … for the rest of us? We tend to be on our own, developing our own strategies, and trying to come up with something that is financially feasible.

A professional publicist did offer to take on the marketing responsibilities for “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” for $18,000.00/year (if I recall correctly). To “break even” would dictate selling over 3500 copies per year however, as all net profits will be donated to the Oakville & Milton Humane Society (our local shelter who rescued Ray and worked with him to make him a feasible candidate for adoption), the questions all revolved around investing such a significant value into a high risk venture. Should I take the chance, and be prepared to write-off the $18,000.00 if necessary? My answer to myself was a decisive “No!”

The most economical method of reaching people is via the various social media platforms and, of course, through blogging. A local library here agreed to carry “Who Said I was up for Adoption?” in their inventory, and our local newspaper has promoted it on a number of occasions.

“Who Said I was up for Adoption?” is quite simply a tribute to our beloved Ray. It documents, in considerable  detail, the emotional roller coaster ride that was the first eighteen months of Ray living with us. He gave us many challenges, not the least of which was testing positive for heart-worm, and our first summer with him was subsequently dictated by his heart-worm treatment program. He was distrusting of all people and other dogs and would bark loudly to show his displeasure and “make them go away”! He would misread body language and react inappropriately. and would do so many other challenging things that we used a considerable amount of professional help in order to get him comfortable in his new environment. All of this is detailed in “Who Said I was up for Adoption?”

For marketing, I will simply say that it can be purchased in eBook, paperback and hardcover formats, and is available world-wide through all the usual on-line book retailers. It is currently on special pricing of $4.99, $11.99 and $19.99 (for the three formats respectively) if ordered direct from the FriesenPress Bookstore (link below):


Finally, there are numerous reviews on amazon.com. for anybody trying to decide whether Ray’s story is for them!

“Tuning My Guitar”

Following on from yesterday’s Post, there was a young lady who felt inspired to write about her frustrations with the music industry, and one song in particular (“What have they done to my song, Ma?”) would seem to be a parallel story to Gordon Giltrap’s experience.  i.e. What he wrote and how he visualized it being performed, was rather different from how it was ultimately published. Continue reading