Thursday, 3 October 2013

Amy Peterson's "Something Furry Underfoot"

Today I'd like welcome Amy Peterson, author of "Something Furry Underfoot" to the Thursday interview. Before we get started, a quick intro!


Amy L. Peterson became a stepmother in 1994 after unwittingly falling for a guy with four great kids, ages three, five 13 and 15. Since other stories about step motherhood were as uplifting as lead balloons, Amy wrote From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds, a humorous memoir with over 50 tips. At the same time Amy was getting used to becoming a stepmother, her husband, Mark, was bringing home one pet after another. Something Furry Underfoot is Amy's humorous, heart-warming memoir about frogs, iguanas, hedgehogs, ferrets, hamsters, guinea pigs, dogs, mynah birds, tropical fish, a stray cat, a domestic duck, and a rabbit. As with her first book, Something Furry Underfoot includes lots of tips. Consider: Tip #9: Breeding pets to make money doesn’t always work out so well. And Tip #47: Your spouse’s definition of a "full house" may be different than yours. Amy also created four animal photo e-books for kids, each of which rhyme and are told from the animal's perspective: Purrkins, the Cat; Dusty, the Angel Pup; Goodnight, Big Wuzzy (about a ferret) and Bumpkin Gets Big (about a domestic duck).
OK - Here we go !.
No.1 Would you break the law to save a loved one? .. why?
Well, I’ve broken the law for lesser things than love, so I’d have to say yes. See, I might have "borrowed" a few milk crates from fast-food restaurants when I was a juvenile delinquent, and might have gone pool hopping during the same time period. So the good thing about breaking the law for a loved one is that it would have more meaning than just plain breaking the law.
No.2 What is the difference between being alive and truly living?
Being alive means breathing in and out, and in and out. Most people can do that for 70-some years on average. Truly living means not being afraid to take risks and not being afraid of experiencing new things, like taking on new pets and doing fun things like peacock bass fishing on the Amazon River, which I was lucky enough to do in February this year.
No.3 What motivates you to write?
In the case of my first book, From Zero to Four Kids in Thirty Seconds, I was motivated by the desire to show that with the right guy, becoming a stepmother can be quite a fun, rewarding experience. In the case of my new book Something Furry Underfoot, I was motivated to show what life is like in a house ruled by animals and how important our role is as pet owners to make our pets’ lives as good as possible. I’m also motivated by humor, because in both the case of becoming a new stepmother and taking in a whole bunch of animals, I had no idea what I was doing, and some it was really quite humorous.
No.4 Why do humans want children?
Funny thing, I never did want children, so I can’t really answer this question very well. As an oddball eight grader I remember watching a movie about world population growth and how crowded things were getting. Right then and there I decided I didn’t need to add to the growing population. So imagine how cool it was for me to find a divorcee with four kids—I got great kids without adding to the population.
No.5 What was the biggest challenge in creating your book "Something Furry Underfoot" ?
My second book, Something Furry Underfoot, is about pets, and it covers 18 years, during which time some pets die. I didn’t want the book to be a bummer, but I also didn’t want to completely gloss over that issue and pretend animals don’t die. So I settled on covering the departure of two of the pets. The hardest part was that while editing and re-editing the book, I felt myself re-living those scenes over and over again.
No.6 What is the most important thing you have learned in life so far?
That it’s quite short. Three years ago, my father learned he had lung cancer, and from the moment we learned that, until his death in August 2012, we spent a lot of time playing—playing croquet, playing card games, even making up games and contests as we raked his yard. He’s the origin of my sense of humor and taught me that it’s important to have some fun and not take things too seriously. I dedicated Something Furry Underfoot to him.
No.7 How did you come up with the title "Something Furry Underfoot" ?
I tossed out a few titles with my friends, they "Boo"ed them, until I settled on Something Furry Underfoot.
No.8 How do you handle personal criticism?
Why, didn’t you like my book? Oh no! Seriously, personal criticism, like "You’re having a bad hair day" just bounces off me because I usually have bad hair days. And when my husband says, "You don’t pay any attention to what I’m saying," well, sometimes he’s right, especially when I writing. The hardest criticisms to handle are the ones that put the brakes on something I’m working on. As an example, I mentioned in my biography that I wrote four rhyming photo e-books to help market Something Furry Underfoot. I had one friend comment that those four books might detract from the very professional looking Something Furry Underfoot and might harm sales of Something Furry Underfoot. After panicking and freaking out momentarily, I took the criticism to heart and sought input from a professional book promoter, who, thankfully, happened to disagree with my friend.
No.9 Why should people read your book?
I can think of three reasons: 1) Because it’s funny and heart-warming, and my writing style is so conversational readers will know what it’s like being in a house where pets are top priority. 2) Since my book contains 50 tips about pets and the people that love them, I’m betting everyone will learn something they never knew about at least one of the pets in my book: frogs, iguanas, hedgehogs, ferrets, hamsters, gerbils, mice, guinea pigs, dogs, cats, rabbits, domestic ducks, mynah birds and tropical fish. 3) Best of all, some proceeds of my book will benefit animal rescue organizations.
No.10 Why is there something rather than nothing?
There is something so that everyone has something to look forward to; nobody wants nothing to look forward to. (That was really something, wasn’t it?)

Thanks Amy for taking the time to answer my questions & the best of luck with your new book!Check out her new book "Something Furry Underfoot" on

"Want to know what it’s like living with a houseful of pets while still holding onto your sanity? Then you’ve got to read Something Furry Underfoot, Amy Peterson’s warm and funny book about her experiences coping with and caring for all manner of animals. Not only will you get a lot of laughs but you’ll also pick up some valuable tips about co-existing with your own critters!" - Bob Tarte, author of Enslaved by Ducks, Kitty Cornered, and Fowl Weather. Along with two dogs and endless numbers of hamsters, mice and gerbils, readers will meet: Louie, the male hedgehog who fathered several unplanned litters of baby hedgehogs; Chunky, a charming little ferret that cost $1,200 in vet bills; Purrkins, a stray cat with fleas and lice; Magic, a rabbit with fleas and ticks; and Bumpkin, a domestic duck. The book’s 50 tips also make this a primer for pet owners. Some proceeds will benefit animal rescue organizations.


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