Q: First tell us something about yourself?
I reside in South Florida, USA, and I am the proud rescue dog dad of Scruffy. My background is in law, so writing a children’s book was a great challenge for me. I enjoy traveling, CrossFit, adventures, coffee shops, and spending time with friends, family, and Scruffy. I also volunteer with a children’s organization in Honduras, the AJC Children’s Foundation, and travel to Honduras to work with the children. The children will be translating a forthcoming Saving Scruffy e-book from English to Spanish, and I’m very excited to involve them in Scruffy’s story.
Q: How and when did your journey start as a writer?
I started drafting Saving Scruffy two years ago. It is a true story. I helped rescue him nearly four years ago from a fire station, where he was abandoned and badly injured as a puppy. Scruffy’s resilience and positive energy inspire me every day. They taught me life lessons about kindness, that everyone deserves a second chance, and that your past does not equal your future. I knew it was important to share his incredible story and the lessons I learned from it with the world.
Q: When did you write your first story? Is it published or not?
Saving Scruffy was my first story, and it has been a journey of learning and persistence. The publishers I worked with liked the idea, but hated the story’s first draft and told me it was unworkable. During the pandemic, I went back to the drawing board and rewrote the entire book twice to produce a fantastic story. Writing is hard work and I believe that frequent editing and honest critiques produce a great product. As a result, I’m enormously proud that Saving Scruffy was recently awarded a Moonbeam Children’s Book Medal.
Q: Tell us something more about your books?
Saving Scruffy, a true story, takes children on a journey to learn lessons about kindness, second chances, and that your past does not equal your future. I am proud that my book features diverse characters with compelling life lessons for children (and adults, too). I chose the illustrator, Edwin (Ed) Camacaro, very carefully and wanted the illustrator to reflect the values of the book. Ed is a refugee living in South America and is incredibly talented. He speaks Spanish, so I had to improve my Spanish language skills, and I am very proud to collaborate with him and showcase his brilliant work.
Q: Why do you choose kids as your reader ? is there any specific reason?
When he was a puppy, Scruffy was left abandoned and badly injured at a fire station. I knew Scruffy’s journey would resonate with children, and they could draw parallels with their own life and experiences. For example, Scruffy is different because of scars from his injuries and his fur did not grow back. The book teaches children that even if you are different, you are special, as well as easy-to-understand lessons about kindness, the importance of caring for others, and second chances.
Q: How did these stories and characters come to your mind?
Saving Scruffy is a true story. The events in the book actually happened and I saw Scruffy’s incredible story featured on the local television news station. I saw Scruffy on television and knew I wanted to be his dad, and the rest is history. I am grateful to the firefighters and everywhere and everyone who helped Scruffy.
Q: Do you want to leave any message for your readers?
Saving Scruffy teaches children essential life lessons and encourages children to look for opportunities to be kind. When he was a puppy, Scruffy was left abandoned and badly injured at a fire station. Scruffy inspires us all never to give up. He teaches us that everyone deserves a second chance. He encourages us to embrace our individuality. And most importantly, he shows us that love can do magical things. It remains my hope that Scruffy and his positive, uplifting, and unique story inspires children and adults everywhere to live their lives to the fullest and to embrace the joy that life brings through adversity and love.