Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Teen Book Scene: Guest Post with W. Bruce Cameron

Introducing author of A Dog's Purpose, W. Bruce Cameron...

I’ve been a writer my whole life, but never have I ever written anything as important as A Dog’s Purpose.

I can’t promise you that A Dog’s Purpose will make you love your dog more—how could it do that? But I’ll tell you what a lot of people have told me: after reading A Dog’s Purpose, you’ll never look at your dog the same way again.
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Onto the guest post...

"His First Dog and Inspiration for A Dogs Purpose"

When I was eight years old, my parents would watch me go off to school each day hoping I would get lost on the way back. Well, not really, but looking back on it I can see just how exhausting I was for them. My father was just starting his career as a doctor and was working double shifts at the hospital. My mother had ignored my petition to remain an only child and had cranked out two sisters; Amy, who was five, and Julie, who was three. They were, as young parents often are, tired all the time, working all the time, questioning their choices all the time.

And then there was Bruce. What little energy my parents possessed went into trying to control and contain this creature they had brought into the world, the boy who did everything in the world at a dead run. If I wasn’t trying to climb into the clothes chute I was throwing rocks at the side of the house or spraying the hose at passing cars. I rolled hedge apples down the street and into traffic, occasioning a visit by the police department. I was just trouble, pure and simple.

They couldn’t afford boarding school so, in a burst of genius, they bought me a puppy.

I was in the back yard, trying to open a can of paint so I could permanently place my handprints on the back patio, when the gate swung open and my father walked in with a 10 week old puppy. It was a little black Labrador we named Cammie, and we ran to each other and rolled together in the grass.

From that moment on, Cammie and I were inseparable. Where I went, Cammie went, a true and real companion. I was so involved in the life of that dog that I didn’t have time to throw my sister’s shoes on the roof anymore, didn’t have time to do pudding art on the refrigerator. Cammie and I explored, and fought against imaginary invaders, and hunted for crocodiles.

She had this way of looking at me, sort of tilting her head.

Years and years later, I was riding my mountain bike in Colorado and I met a spotted dog along a dirt road. I love dogs, so I stopped to say hello, and the way the dog reacted—excited to see me, even overjoyed—and the way she tilted her head, made me feel as if I were meeting my old friend Cammie again after all these years.

It made me wonder, what if?

What if I had really just encountered Cammie, my best friend from boyhood? What if dogs never die, but rather are reborn, remembering their lives? What would that look like from the dog’s perspective?

That’s how I came up with the idea for A Dog’s Purpose, the story of a dog who is reincarnated. That dog, that day, gave me a real gift, and now I’ve shared that gift with the world.

This is the remarkable story of one endearing dog’s search for his purpose over the course of several lives. More than just another charming dog story, A Dog’s Purpose touches on the universal quest for an answer to life's most basic question: Why are we here?

Surprised to find himself reborn as a rambunctious golden-haired puppy after a tragically short life as a stray mutt, Bailey’s search for his new life’s meaning leads him into the loving arms of 8-year-old Ethan. During their countless adventures Bailey joyously discovers how to be a good dog.

But this life as a beloved family pet is not the end of Bailey’s journey. Reborn as a puppy yet again, Bailey wonders—will he ever find his purpose?

Heartwarming, insightful, and often laugh-out-loud funny, A Dog's Purpose is not only the emotional and hilarious story of a dog's many lives, but also a dog's-eye commentary on human relationships and the unbreakable bonds between man and man's best friend. This moving and beautifully crafted story teaches us that love never dies, that our true friends are always with us, and that every creature on earth is born with a purpose.
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Thanks to Bruce and Teen Book Scene!


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