I love the mind of dogs and I find them fascinating to watch. Sometimes I feel as if I can understand exactly what they are thinking!  I wrote my book, “A Dog Needs a Bone,” from  a dog’s point of view .  What goes on when your dog is left alone waiting for your return?  There’s a bit of mischief in this story, but when all is said and done,   a cosy spot is waiting for the hero to snuggle up and take a  nap on his Mistress’s bed! I bet you have a dog just like mine!

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Question: Did you have a dog growing up?

I love animals and we have several animal friends who share our lives  with us now (two goats, two pugs two geese and 21 chickens!). My animal friends are often  a source of inspiration for my stories.

Q: Did you have a dog growing up?

A. When I was growing up, I was lucky to have Freddie, a standard size Daschund (wiener dog) in my family. Freddie loved to lie on his back and balance soda cans between his two front paws. He would adroitly tilt the can into his mouth and slurp up any dregs that a human might have carelessly left behind. It was quite a trick! My sisters and I set up a little theatre in the basement of our house where we often put on plays. Admission for friends and family was a dime, which was quite a bit of money in those days. When my father saw our first production, he was so enthusiastic about Freddie’s intro that he threw a handful of coins onto our stage. The sound of coins raining down startled Freddie. He blamed the interruption on George, my cat, who was dressed in a baby doll’s costume. The chase around the basement temporarily shut down the production — but it got rave reviews for years!

Find out how my pugs inspired me to write my story, A Dog Needs A Bone

http://www.audreywood.com/books-written-by-audrey-wood/a-dog-needs-a-bone!/how-a-dog-needs-a-bone!-was-made

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The Circus Helped Me Become A writer

My first memories are of Sarasota, Florida in the winter quarters of the Ringling Brothers’ Circus. I was one year old and remember it vividly. My father, an art student, was making extra income by repainting circus murals.

Spanish became my second language.

Audrey

The people in the circus were my friends. I was bounced on the knee of the tallest man in the world and rocked in the arms of the fat lady who could not stand up. My first baby-sitters were a family of little people who lived in a trailer next to ours. They tAudrey2old me stories about the animals they worked with: Chi Chi the Chimpanzee, an elephant named Elder, and Gargantua the Gorilla.

My mother says I was a fast learner, always ahead of my age. My father taught me to swim before I could walk. I walked at seven months and climbed over a seven foot chain link fence when I was one year old. Everyone in the circus thought I was going to be a trapeze artist

More..   http://www.audreywood.com/audrey-wood,-don-wood,-and-bruce-wood/audrey-woods-biography

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What Really Happens When an Author and Illustrator Work Together?

As an author, I am fortunate to be able to work with a very inspiring editor. One day Bonnie Verburg called me and asked, “What would you think of retelling the Paul Bunyan tale?”I thought it was an interesting question. “Why do you want to know?” I asked. Bonnie then informed me that David Shannon, the illustrator (also a friend of mine) grew up in the Pacific Northwest and had a fondness for the Paul Bunyan folk tales.
Phone

I told Bonnie I would think about it. When I hung up the phone I did just that. I thought about the Paul Bunyan stories I had heard in my childhood. To tell the truth, writing about a giant lumberjack at first did not interest me.But as I pondered my editor’s request, I began to imagine the fabulous illustrations David would produce if I could just give him the right story.

I diIdeadn’t want to just retell the story; I wanted to write something new. So I went on a research quest. I read every version of the Bunyan tales I could find. I discovered many background details about the Paul Bunyan legend, but most important were the references about the giant man having a family.

Frankly, a lot of the scant history about the family was very rude. Paul’s wife, Carrie McKinte, ran their farm, was very strong, and cursed a lot. Their son, Little Jean, didn’t amount to a hill of beans, and their daughter, Teeny, was always the brunt of mean jokes.
Research

Well, I decided to change all that! I felt that the family should have a place in the genre that had meaning and dignity. I began by daydreaming. If the Bunyans wanted to have some recreation as a family, what would they do? How would the giant family change the landscape of America and Canada? Could it be that they used Niagara Falls as a shower? What about Old Faithful, the geyser? Could they use that giant hot water spout to clean their camp dishes? And was the continental divide erected to keep the giant Bunyan children from wandering off too far?

After I wrote the story, Bonnie sent it to David Shannon. He liked it and agreed to illustrate The Bunyans. When he finished drawing the sketches for the book, Bonnie sent them to me for a look, and was I surprised! David had added a new character that I had not even mentioned in the story. The new character was fantastic, a giant purple puma, a pet belonging to the giant kids. I loved David’s addition so much, I went back into the manuscript, added the cat to the story and gave it a name – “Slink.”

SlinkCreating picture books is a collaborative effort. Authors and illustrators can work together to inspire each other. My text inspired David; his art inspired me. And thanks to our editor, Bonnie, a perfect match was made and a new book born!

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“Yes!” to all of the above!

Fans who enjoy our books often ask if they can print out the pages on our site and use them in their classrooms, libraries, and homes. They want to know if they can copy our web pages for author or illustrator studies, handcraft little books from our website for their students, or just add a printed page from our site to their book at home.

“Yes!” to all of the above!

As long as you are not using our web pages in a business to make a profit you may print out as many pages for your own use (and for your classroom) as you please. We created The Clubhouse because we want to share with our fans as much information about us, and the books we create, as possible. http://www.audreywood.com/

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There are companies that sell teaching materials designed around our books, but all of our information is — Free! Free! Free! Have fun!

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