My April Upper Bucks Free Press Column was published April 3rd! The column is about local author, Ruth Zavitsanos! I did an interview with her for my newspaper article. I hope you like it!
To see the original article click HERE and click on the April 2012 edition (page 13).
Here is a copy of it if you can’t get the link!
Author Ruth Zavitsanos grew up in No. White Plains, in Westchester County, NY but she now lives in Chester County PA. Ms. Zavitsanos writes for both adults and kids. I have read her three children’s books and liked them so much I wanted to tell others about them. Ms. Zavitsanos’ children’s books all have one thing in common, dogs! The books have a dog for a main character and are told from the dog’s perspective, which I think is pretty unique. “The Old Fortress Dog,” takes place in Greece and the main character is a German Sheppard named Leonidas who helps his master’s grandson gain more confidence in himself. Tuscany, Italy is the setting for “The Villa Dog.” Sole is a Golden Retriever who works at a Villa and his job is to make the visitors welcome, but he finds one sad little girl a real challenge! “The Kona Dog” is about a Weimaraner named Akela who works on a coffee plantation and pineapple grove in Hawaii. Akela finds out that the plantation she work on is in trouble and may close. Akela has to try to get the banker’s daughter to smile and maybe she can save the plantation.
All Ms. Zavitsanos’s children’s chapter books are great for age 7+ kids. I really like how you also learn about the places that the books are set in as you read the books too.
Ms. Zavitsanos also agreed to do an interview with me.
Can you tell us a little about how you got started writing?
I always found time to write. I can see myself at my bedroom window looking out on a snow fall and writing with little thought of the time that passed. When I was twelve I babysat for the neighbor next door. When the young children went to bed I would pull out my notebook and write. The stories varied but always had a happy ending. Then, when I was sixteen my high school English teacher asked me to read the class writing assignment I’d written aloud. I remember being very nervous but then I looked at the faces of my peers and they were not only paying attention but at the end they applauded. I received an A++ on that paper and the praise of my peers, too. That’s when I knew that not only did I want to write, but that others wanted me to write, too.
I really like how your stories are written from a dog’s point of view! Why did you choose to write about dogs and have it told from what the dog sees?
I have always had a dog and to this day cherish the memories of each and every one of my canine companions through the years. Presently, I have a border collie/black lab named Pebbles and a mini Australian shepherd, Rocky. They are sweet and caring, just like the dogs I give voice to in my stories. As a child, one of my favorite movies was Dr. Doolittle. I always thought it would be wonderful to be able to talk to the animals and have them talk back to me. In truth, I am constantly talking to my dogs and their expressions and reactions give voice to their thoughts.
I noticed that your books are from different parts of the world. Do you travel a lot and how does that help you in your writing?
Yes, I’ve always loved traveling. I enjoy experiencing different cultures and am pleased my writing gives me the opportunity to share my experiences in places like Tuscany, Greece, and Hawaii.
If you could go anywhere in the world and write about an experience there, where would you go?
I think Australia would be very different. Of course, it’s also very far. I’ve met people from Australia during my travels and they are very friendly.
Are you working on a project now that you can tell us about?
Actually, I’m hoping for something to be confirmed. But, until then I’ll have to just say that because of the popularity of my children’s books, the thought of the “next” one is always in the works.
To learn more about Ms. Zavitsanos and her books, please visit her website at www.ruthzonline.com . To read a complete review of “The Old Fortress Dog” and more great reviews, please visit my website at www.thiskidreviewsbooks.com.
You can read a complete review I did of “The Old Fortress Dog” HERE.
Categories: Other Stuff Related to Books and Reading