So some exciting book news in the aftermath of the Ram truck debacle.  FYI, Ram paid for everything, and I mean, everything on my truck.  The faulty alternator is now part of a nationwide recall and everything is nice and resolved.

Well, not totally.  There’s more to this story, and I can’t share the details right now, but let’s just say you need to keep a close eye on the news.  ????

So in other news, I have published my second book and this is a new direction for me.  “The Stories of Eric the Fox” has just hit the shelves, and it’s been two plus years in the making.  This is a children’s book, but it’s more in the spirit of longer books like Winnie the Pooh, The Five Little Peppers, and other, longer books that actually require reading, not like the one-to-two-sentence-per-page -book with computer generated illustrations.

My first book, Horse Vet, was written over five years ago, and mercifully I’m in a very different place than I was back then.  Life is not all about struggling along as an abused veterinarian, and I have branched out into other activities and interests, culled the client lists, and found a lot to delight in and be grateful for.  Writing autobiographical books doesn’t interest me right now, so I’ve started finding my way in fiction.

The inspiration for Eric came on a long road trip with my daughters.  They were bored and wanted a story, so I made up Eric on the spot and with their help, told long stories about Eric and his adventures.  They created other characters, named them, suggested story lines, and most importantly, remembered all of the tales when it was time for me to write them down.

I found the perfect illustrator to bring Eric to life.  If anyone remembers Cricket Magazine, it is a children’s publication, full of beautiful hand drawn illustrations, and well written stories.  When I met Natalie de Stefano, and saw her artwork, I was immediately reminded of the magazine I’d cherished as a kid.  I knew that she was the one to draw Eric, and when she showed me her first few pictures of him, it was an amazing moment.  Natalie understands Eric better than I do, and has captured his essence, his body language, his expressions and most importantly, his skinny, ropy tail.

Eric is a strange looking Samson Fox, born to a normal looking family of foxes.  He is the only one in the family with short fur and his tail looks like a piece of rope.  There’s a bit of the ugly duckling story in Eric, but it goes beyond that.  Eric is mistreated as a young kit, and falls in with Coyote, a wily thief who quickly leads him astray.  During this time, Eric learns a great deal about himself, makes some good friends, and embarks on an adventure which will change his life forever.

Samsons are real foxes, and we see them up in the Rocky Mountains, which seems to be a strange place for “hairless” foxes to live.  They have a genetic mutation which causes them to lack the long thick guard hairs and the thick plumed tails of normal foxes.  They are not truly hairless and if you look closely, you can see that they do have fur but it’s short and coarse.

You can find the book on Amazon, and it is in a few book stores already.  If you do pick up a copy, please let me know what you think!