Interview with Charmaine Hammond 

Toby the Pet Therapy Dog Says Be a Buddy Not a Bully

Toby is a big, brown, happy dog. Every week, his owner, Miss Charmaine takes him to visit and comfort children who are in the hospital. Follow Toby the service dog for a day, and see how he makes friends with the children, helps make them happy and forget that they are sick and away from home. * Beautifully illustrated, Toby, the Pet Therapy Dog teaches young readers the wonders of being of service to others. * A happy story that also sends a positive message about community, as well as the importance of kindness to pets.

Charmaine Hammond is a professional speaker and best-selling author having written GPS Your Best Life, On Toby’s Terms, Toby the Pet Therapy Dog Says Be a Buddy Not a Bully, and Toby the Pet Therapy Dog and His Hospital Friends.

How long have you been an author and what inspired you to start writing?

I have always enjoyed writing. As a teenager I wrote poetry.  My writing career began in 2009 with my story about our dog Toby which was published in Chicken Soup for the Soul, what I learned from the dog.

What is a book that impacted you as a child?

There were so many…. Jonathan Livingstone Seagull, The Velveteen Rabbit are two that had an impact on me.

Favourite book now?

One of my favorite books, even though it is a children’s book, is Oh The Places We Will Go by Dr. Seuss.

What is your favourite thing about being an author?

I love that our words can touch others.  Stories connect people. I also love the impact writing has on the author.  When I write, my mind is cleared of other distractions and stresses. I learn about myself as I write.

Any tips for aspiring authors out there?

Write every day… even if you don’t have much to write about.

Write about what you are passionate about.

Know who your reader is… write specifically to them.

Don’t over edit in the beginning.

What are you working on next?

I am now writing a book about our recent 14,000 km Kindness Tour… a Million Acts of Kindness.  I’ll be releasing this book in 2016.

How can our readers find you?

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