Augie the Therapy Doggie; A Tale of Becoming a Therapy Dog was the winner in the Children’s (Early to intermediate readers) category of the 2023 IndieReader Discovery Awards, where undiscovered talent meets people with the power to make a difference.
Following find an interview with author Heather Vina.
What is the name of the book and when was it published?
Augie the Therapy Doggie; A Tale of Becoming a Therapy Dog. Published: January of 2023
What’s the book’s first line?
I am Augie, and I’m a therapy doggie.
What’s the book about? Give us the “pitch”.
Augie the Therapy Doggie is the long awaited story of how one cuddly canine became a community celebrity. Written in the voice of Augie, we learn for the first time, all of the work he endured to earn the esteemed title of Certified Therapy dog. From leaving tasty treats alone, to resisting the urge to give kisses, Augie persevered and proved himself to be a top dog!
What inspired you to write the book? A particular person? An event?
During our therapy visits, the kids always ask for “Augie stories”. I started drafting outlines of different stories to tell the kids. I brainstormed with the librarian at one of our favorite elementary schools and decided to turn the stories into books for the kids to enjoy even when Augie was not around.
What’s the most distinctive thing about the main character? Who-real or fictional-would you say the character reminds you of?
The most distinctive thing about the main character is that he is a real dog. A local hero of sorts, not a made up story. Real pictures show his adventures, trials and shenanigans.
What’s the main reason someone should really read this book?
Who doesn’t love a cuddly dog? This story entertains both young and old alike with stories about a real dog; the love that he gives out as well as the challenges he faces. This book can be used to start classroom and family discussions as well as teach kindness.
Is this the first book you’ve written?
This is the first book in the Augie the Therapy Doggie series. The second book is very close to being published and the third is in the editing stage.