Charlotte Mielziner is a mom, writer, speaker, dog trainer and member of The Society of Childrens Book Writers and Illustrators. She's also a premier writer at Helium and Animal Behavior College. The dog world knows her more as an AKC Rally judge, certified in canine behavior from Purdue University and creator of the Safety Sam dog bite prevention program. She's keeps a blog, Children's Dog Books and Reviews.
Thanks for the interview, Charlotte. Tell us a little about yourself and your blog. What made you decide to start Children's Dog Books and Reviews?
When I ran a search, there were potloads of book review blogs and some by moms, but none reviewing dog books from the aspect of a mom who also knows and trains dogs. It sounded like a good niche.
I’ve worked with animals for most of my life, both exotic and domestic and studied canine behavior on my own and at the college level. It is one of my pet peeves that kids today learn more about dinosaurs than the companion animals that can actually share and enrich their lives. A dog’s social construct so beautifully fits into our family unit like hand in glove. More and more dogs are one of the last connections to nature with which some kids interact.
So many of us grew up in with Lassie, Rin TinTin, Benjie, even Scoobie Doo that people today ascribe human characteristics to dog behavior. It has been the source of a lot of ignorance and even abuse. In the dog world, we even have a name for it, The Disney Dilemma, coined by Jean Donaldson in her wonderful book, The Culture Clash. I highly recommend it.
I see you're a member of The Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators. Have you published any books?
SCBWI has taught me so much. I’m shopping around a series of children’s dog books about dogs with various real world jobs, such as therapy dogs, search and rescue. I wrote a book on dog bite prevention that was published only to Visiting Nurses, I’m rewriting it for a larger audience. I used to be a contributor to a couple of newspapers and the editor of a nationally distributed credit management newsletter. I’m a premier writer on Helium.com and love doing that. So far, no traditionally published works, but I’m hopeful. My manuscripts have definitely improved.
Several of the books I’ve reviewed have been self or small press published. Some of them have been very well done; on a par with the big houses. With the publishing world changing so rapidly, self publishing may be an alternative, but it must be a quality production.
How may writers contact you for a review? Do you also review ebooks?
Writers of dog themed children’s books are quite welcome to contact me through the blog at www.childrensdogbooks.blogspot.com. I don’t mind in the least if an author sends me an ebook over a hard copy. Let’s save the trees. I like how ebooks are evolving, but there is something special about cuddling up with a child in your lap and turning pages. It’s good for the reader and the listener.