Today’s featured author shares with us a beautiful picture book about two of my favorite subjects: Christmas and dogs. (Not to mention that the illustrations of this adorable little pup certainly have a way of tugging at my heartstrings.) Please welcome the lovely Deborah Bence Boerema to the Reading Room. I know you’ll enjoy reading about The Innkeeper’s Dog, with its focus around the true story of Christmas.
Q. Hi Deborah! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your books.
A. I grew up in Ohio and graduated from Miami University with a degree in home economics education. I started my career in the middle school classroom, teaching what is now more commonly known as family and consumer sciences. I quickly moved from teaching to publishing and spent nearly two decades editing textbooks for Goodheart-Willcox Publisher in the Chicago area. While at G-W, I became the author of the Guide to Good Food teaching package, which consists of a textbook and numerous educational supplements used in food and nutrition classes throughout the United States.
After I left the corporate world to return to Ohio and focus on my role as a mom, I began writing stories for my son, Nathan.
Q. Can you tell us something about your latest success?
A. A few years ago, I was led to write a story to fill the drawers of a wooden Advent calendar for Nathan. I put one page, illustrated with clip art, in each drawer of the Advent calendar. By the day before Christmas, Nathan had a complete story. This story has now been refined, professionally illustrated, and released as The Innkeeper’s Dog, from Tate Publishing.
The Innkeeper’s Dog tells about Thaniel the Spaniel, the only animal in the stable to miss seeing Baby Jesus. Readers learn how Thaniel’s animal friends and the innkeeper’s son help him feel special and realize all he has to offer. Although it’s a Christmas story, it has a year-round message that reminds readers they were each created with unique gifts.
Q. What a wonderful message! What has been your biggest challenge as an author?
A. I enjoy the challenge of marketing. It’s fun to come up with creative new ways to spread the word about my books and connect with my readers. I just wish I could find a way to do it that didn’t cut into the time I spend getting to know my characters and discovering what adventures they are going to have on the pages of my next book.
Q. So true. What are your writing plans for the future?
A. I’m currently working on several new picture book concepts. I’m looking forward to pitching the completed stories to agents in the hopes of finding just the right fit. I’m also eager to do more classroom presentations. Meeting and encouraging young readers is one of my favorite parts of being an author.
The Innkeeper’s Dog
How would you feel if you were the only animal in the stable to have missed seeing Baby Jesus? Sad? Jealous? Angry? Unimportant? Thaniel the Spaniel has all these feelings. The Innkeeper’s Dog tenderly tells how Thaniel’s friends and the innkeeper’s son help him feel special and realize all the gifts he has to offer!
The paperback edition includes a coupon code for a FREE audiobook download.
Purchase Link for The Innkeeper’s Dog: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1625103239/
Follow Deb Bence Boerema on Social Media
I hope you enjoyed reading about Deborah and her beautiful picture book. Merry Christmas to you all!
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Warm wishes for the holidays,