An Interview with Michelle Caffrey, author of "Bring Jade Home"
Michelle Caffrey's book, "Bring Jade Home," tells the true story of a dog lost in the wilderness of Yellowstone and the people who work together to find her.
"Bring Jade Home" is published by Farcountry Press and has earned rave reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.
You recently completed a book tour. Where did you go? What was your favorite part of that experience?
My husband Paul and I drove almost 5,000 miles. The tour started with a three day signing at Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful Inn. I and her owners—and Jade!— signed over 400 books.
We then went on to book signings Missoula, Helena, Billings, and Bozeman, Montana. Along the way, I did radio and TV interviews.
My favorite part of the experience, other than being with “Team Jade” was visiting Farcountry Press, meeting the people there, and seeing pallets of the book being shipped. It made it very real for me.
How is Jade (the dog) doing?
All involved in the true story were in Yellowstone with me. Her owners, David Sowers and Laura Gillice, have recovered from the accident. Jade is physically fine, but is extremely protective of David, and lovingly clings to him.
What’s next for Jade (the book)?
We hope a film version of the book.
The reviews for Jade have been outstanding. What’s one memorable comment you have heard from your readers?
“This book should be a movie!”
What was the most difficult part of writing "Jade"?
I was sensitive that the book was about real people, and I had to balance details against the need to be entirely truthful. All of the people involved were given early copies of the book, so they could agree with the details and tone.
What major revision did you make that turned out great?
I was constantly revising the book for two and a half years. I am particularly pleased with the final last few chapters, as I struggled with exactly where to end the book.
Would you say your book has a lesson or moral?
Different readers have had diverse takeaways. Some say the book is a lesson in tenacity, others in our bond with nature and the animals in our lives. For me, it was about committed people who spent hundreds of hours searching for a stranger’s dog and demonstrating basic human goodness.
Tell us about your road to publication.
I originally self-published the book in November 2017. We had great success after building a strong platform on social media. That being said, when Farcountry offered to publish the book in March of 2018, we knew we had a distribution channel into Yellowstone National Park and the surrounding area. We’ve reached an entirely new audience of visitors from all over the world.
When writing, do you listen to music or do you prefer silence?
The TV on -- usually PBS, but muted.
Pen and paper or computer?
Computer. I used to write longhand, but long ago switched.
Morning or evening?
Do you use any writing software?
Coffee or tea?
Favorite writing snack?
Pantser or planner?
I planned "Bring Jade Home" because I had to have an outline for the book proposal. Plus, I knew the plot. I tend to be a pantser with my fiction.
Besides writing, what other creative activities do you enjoy?
Knitting and, of course, reading
What kinds of writing courses or workshops have you attended, and did you find them useful?
Yes, I found every one of them useful: Creative writing courses at University of Colorado, several online workshops, and conferences at Writer’s Institute of Wisconsin and Romance Writers of America. I’ve also read many books from "You Can’t Make This Stuff Up" (writing narrative nonfiction) to "Writing Fiction for Dummies."
What are the most useful traits for aspiring writers?
Tenacity and a willingness to take good critique.
Has the success of Jade changed how you write?
The success, no. The process, yes. I received a great deal of help from my writing group, North Naples and Bonita Springs Advance Writers’ Group (a mouthful, I know.)
What project are you working on now?
Several projects: A picture book about Jade and her adventure in Yellowstone, and two novels set in southeastern Wisconsin RV parks, "Dairyland Acres" and "Sconnie."