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Writer, speaker, blogger, animal rescuer, coach, and biomedical engineer Jenny Pavlovic
Submitted by: akgmag.com interviews
Writer, speaker, blogger, animal rescuer, coach, and biomedical engineer Jenny Pavlovic lives in Minnesota with her dogs Bandit, Chase, and Cayenne. Her remarkable journey with rescued Katrina dog Kate, a tale of love, courage, and compassion, has been an inspiration to many. Jenny started writing the book because she didn’t want Kate to be forgotten.
She also hoped the story would help her find Kate’s original family. As her network grew, the book became something more, an opportunity to give something back. 50% of book profits go to the 8 State Kate Fund, providing financial relief for animals in desperate situations. Visit Jenny’s website at www.8StateKate.net and her blog at www.8StateKate.net/Wordpress.
8 State Hurricane Kate was a USA Book News Best Books 2009 finalist. Over $5,000 has now been donated to help animals in need by the 8 State Kate Fund. Jenny’s second book, the Not Without My Dog Resource & Record Book was released in June of 2010 and is now available at www.8StateKate.net.
Thank you Jenny for taking the time to answer some questions for us! To start, please tell us about the latest project you've worked on.
The latest project is my book 8 State Hurricane Kate: The Journey and Legacy of a Katrina Cattle Dog. After Hurricane Katrina, I went to Louisiana to help care for rescued animals. I spent about a week there before we had to evacuate for Hurricane Rita. I thought I would just go back to life as it had been before Katrina, but I ended up driving home to Minnesota with an old cattle dog to foster.
My journey with Kate and my search for her original family led me to a network of new friends from all over the country and even the world. As she adjusted to her new environment and healed from the trauma, Kate taught me a lot about life, love, and second chances. Not knowing anything about where she came from or what her life had been like before, I had to use all of my senses and intuition to tune in to her. I even consulted an animal communicator and received messages from Kate in dreams. Her story needed to be told, and it couldn't wait.
So I wrote and published the book 8 State Hurricane Kate: The Journey and Legacy of a Katrina Cattle Dog and started a fund in her honor. 50% of book profits go to the 8 State Kate Fund, providing financial relief for animals in desperate situations. The Fund provides financial assistance to animals who are running out of time and need to get to a safe place. Animals like Kate, who might have fallen through the cracks, get a second chance. So far, over $3,600 has been donated at critical times to help animals in need.
Have you received any awards for your work?
Yes. 8 State Hurricane Kate: The Journey and Legacy of a Katrina Cattle Dog is a 2009 Independent Publisher (IPPY) Book Awards Gold Medal Winner, a 2009 Indie Excellence Awards Finalist, 2008 ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Awards Bronze Medal Winner, 2008 Premier Book Award Winner and was nominated for the 2008 Dog Writers’ Association of America Merial Human-Animal Bond and Self-Published Awards. 8 State Hurricane Kate received favorable reviews in the fall 2009 issues of national magazines The Bark and Angels on Earth.
Do you also do speaking engagements, or seminars?
Yes. I spoke to over 200 people at a fundraiser for the Minnesota Valley Humane Society. I also speak about 8 Things I Learned from 8 State Hurricane Kate and am teaching a community education class this fall called How to Discover Your True Passions in Life: What I Learned from My Journey with 8 State Hurricane Kate. This fall I begin training to become a certified coach to help others find their true passions and purpose in life.
Is there any aspect to your profession that gets you in touch with your readers directly?
Yes. My writing career and the 8 State Kate Fund are closely tied to my passions for working with animals and rescuing animals in need. Speaking at the humane society, networking with readers to help rescue animals, and coaching people to find their true passions and purpose in life are all very interactive activities that keep me in touch with my readers. I love hearing from readers who were inspired by Kate’s story to get involved and make a contribution.
What will your next project be?
My next project is the 8 State Hurricane Kate Not Without My Dog Book, a compact record book for dogs, to keep everything in one place for travel, quick evacuation, or a visit to the kennel. It was inspired by my experience with Hurricane Kate and other rescued Katrina animals who had no identification and became separated from their original families. It includes information that I learned about preventing your dog from getting lost and how to be prepared in case a disaster occurs in your area. I wanted a book like this that was fun yet functional, to have everything in order for each of my own dogs. I couldn’t find what I wanted, so I’m creating it myself and making it available to everyone. Look for it by the end of 2009, just in time for people to make and keep meaningful New Year’s resolutions! Check www.8StateKate.net for new information.
Who inspires you on a personal or business level?
I’m inspired by people who are authentic, trustworthy and follow their dreams. Animals and nature inspire me. The whales of Laguna San Ignacio inspire me. The stray mama snowshoe cat who had kittens in my outbuilding inspires me. My dogs inspire me. They are true and sincere and they tell it like it is. They get me away from the computer to play when I need it the most. They encourage me to spend more time outside. They are loyal and loving and plenty of fun. They inspire me to share their stories by writing about them.
What type of work is the most rewarding or satisfying for you?
That is shifting for me, or at least I’m finding more time to pursue my passions. I love to help and work with animals. I love to write, speak, and coach people, and help people network to find possibilities in their lives and to help animals in need. I feel called to understand animals better and to help other people understand animals better through my writing, speaking, and networking. I enjoy working with my dogs Bandit and Chase to herd cows, sheep and goats. A person can learn a lot about herself while trying to work in cooperation with groups of animals! I love networking, connecting people with people, and connecting people with animals. I see more coaching in my future too. I plan to begin an apprenticeship with the Wisdom Horse Coaching program in early 2010.
What can you recommend for writers who are just getting started and are trying to make a name for themselves?
Don’t focus on trying to make a name for yourself. Focus on crafting a great story. Do what you love and keep at it. You have a unique perspective with something valuable to share. Find your voice and use it.
How did you get started as a writer?
I decided to publish my first book myself. I wanted to make it available before the third anniversary of Hurricane Katrina and the clock was ticking. The story itself was partly reconstructed from e-mails that I had written. I received a lot of support and encouragement from other Katrina animal rescue volunteers and people from the cattle dog list. I also benefitted from coaching by local writer John Nemo who teaches the course How to Make Your Book a Reality and book design and marketing graphics by local designer Gregory Rohm.
My mom recently reminded me that I started creating my own books when I was very young. She showed me the beginning of a book that I wrote about “The puppy that couldn’t say roof!” Yes, “roof!” So it must have been in the back of my mind this whole time that I would write a book. Something about giving that dog a voice, I guess!
Have you ever had a mentor, or someone who sparked your passion for writing?
I have to say that Kate really brought it out of me because her story needed to be told. If not for Kate, I might have died without ever creating a real book. She is inspiring my next project too. The animals around me, including my three dogs, Bandit, Chase, and Cayenne, inspire me to write regularly in my blog.
Who is your favorite writer/author?
I love to read, so it’s hard to narrow this down. I love Jon Katz’ writing about his herding dogs and the menagerie of animals he lives with. I love the Angel Animals books by Allen and Linda Anderson. I have also recently been inspired by Barbara Techel’s books about Frankie the Walk ‘N Roll dog and Dawn Kairns’ book about her dog Maggie. I love Wayne Dyer’s writings, and when I want to relax I read Janet Evanovich’s books about Stephanie Plum.
Finally, a most important question: what was the last song you sang out loud when you were by yourself? :)
It was Chris Pierce’s song “What are the chances?”, the song in my YouTube video about Kate called “Do You Know This Dog?” youtube.com. This song fits Kate’s situation so perfectly and it’s such a beautiful song that I can’t get it out of my head. I hope it helps me find out where she came from and whether anyone still wonders what became of her after Katrina. Please watch this video and pass it on in case her family is still out there wondering. Thank you.
Thank you Jenny! Please keep us updated on Kate.
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