My Irish Dog
by Douglas Solvie
GENRE: Suspense (Psychological)
Spencer held on to the faintest of hope, but still he knew the trip to Ireland had almost no prospect of remedying his internal dilemma. Then again, he never imagined that a chance meeting with a lost and dying dog named Shandy would change his life forever.
Step into the small Irish village of Galbally, where the unwitting Spencer stumbles headfirst into a parallel world that will test his will, sanity, and even physical well-being.
Time and promise are running out. Will unnatural forces and events scare Spencer away before he can connect again with the mysterious dog? Will he find his way forward before Shandy meets her inevitable fate? Or will suspicious locals and a nefarious Dublin innkeeper force Spencer from the village before he completes his life-altering mission?
Follow Spencer as he races to save a little Irish dog named Shandy. If he only realized that it is Shandy who is trying to save him…
“You should not be here,” said the old man.
“What? What do you mean?”
“You should not be here,” the man repeated without the slightest emotion.
“What are you talking about? The sign over there clearly says that public fishing is allowed here.” Spencer set his fishing rod on the ground and pointed in the direction of village, not remembering exactly where he had read the information.
He studied the odd fellow. The man wore an old woolen trench coat that hung to the top of his thighs, and underneath a tattered brown sweater. Rubber boots extended to his knees, the kind of boots a farmer trudging through the mud would wear. His beard was an unruly mess of gray whiskers that encompassed the lower half of his weather-beaten face, and on his head sat a tweed cap. Everything about him was dirty and unkempt.
His dog didn’t look much better.
The man spoke again. “Everything you say is nothing. Everything you think is nothing. Everything you believe is nothing. You are just a bystander; you are just a voyeur. You do not belong. You must leave.”
Spencer took a quick look around the area, thinking this crazy man’s caretaker surely would soon be coming to the rescue. “What are you talking about, old man? Do you know me? What do you mean I must leave? You mean I must leave this area, this village? Why?”
“Can’t you see that it resides around you? It is there around you and inside you. It is shallow, and ugly, and hollow. You must leave.”
Where’s the Enthusiasm?
When I first decided to write a novel and actually began the writing process, I began telling friends and family and others of my new endeavor. Some people seemed mildly interested and offered the usual platitudes, but I doubt I was ever taken too seriously. After all, many people say they are going to write a book only to end up never doing it or taking years to write something they never end up publishing.
As time went by, I would be asked on occasion how the book was going. Only six months perhaps had passed, and others couldn’t understand why I hadn’t finished the thing. At the time even I had no concept of the work and time involved in finishing a story, rewriting countless drafts, hiring an editor and cover designer, settling on a finished manuscript, and then going through the process of self-publishing.
A couple of months before publishing, I asked various people who were close to me to read the manuscript, hoping not for critiques (I was too far along for that) but for a proofread of grammar/punctuation mistakes and for reviews that could be written once I hit the publish button on Amazon. I found that getting people to undertake this task was like pulling teeth – a few were to cooperate, for which I was and am thankful, but I didn’t hear back from most. As it became clear that my first crack at writing a noveI was important really only to me, I finally got to the point where I stopped bothering people with my little pet project.
My book is set in a small Irish village, an actual Irish village. I envisioned great enthusiasm from the residents there – you know, perhaps they would be proud that their little village was the centerpiece of an actual novel. I contacted the few local people I knew, telling them of the soon-to-be released book. I also contacted various local media outlets. The responses were underwhelming when I actually received some, but most of the time I didn’t hear a word back. I hit on a small online news service in another nearby village. They kindly responded and even ended up featuring a piece on the book. But even then I was asked to write the article myself. This created some short-term buzz on Facebook and increased visits to my website, but, again, it was short-lived, and I have no idea whether it resulted in any sales.
A magazine in my hometown did an interview with me and published the story just this month, and I’m hoping that added publicity will result in an increase in books sold.
I know I have to try harder at the marketing efforts and will do so. Sales have been fairly dismal in the one month since release, and, after so much work, it’s disheartening to say the least.
I suppose the lesson I have learned is that friends, family, and other acquaintances, while supportive to a degree, are certainly not as passionate about my book as I am. In fact, no one is. Inside you are so proud of yourself and only you know the amount of blood, sweat, and tears involved in writing and publishing a novel, but others have only a mild interest, if any interest at all. It’s natural, I guess, but it’s disappointing nevertheless.
At the end of the day, we have to write for ourselves, whether we sell any books or not. If I somehow produced a top-selling novel, I’m certain the enthusiasm from others would be off the charts, but until that day I can only count on myself to generate excitement about my book. I can only count on myself to give my book the love it deserves.
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
My Irish Dog is the debut novel by Douglas Solvie and was motivated by a trip taken to Ireland and the chance discovery of a lost dog there. After spending most of his adult life living and working in Japan, Douglas is currently living in his home state of Montana. He hopes to make a new career out of writing and to travel the world, looking for inspiration for that next book, perhaps another set in beautiful Ireland. My Irish Dog is, after all, a story with a lot of unanswered questions.
Douglas Solvie will be awarding $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js