Oct 31, 2017

Dog Trouble Author Galia Oz ~ Guest Post & Exerpt from her newest book!


The capricious muse or Hermes, patron of thieves - who not to rely on when writing a book 
by Galia Oz

Looking forward to reading another positive post about fleeting inspiration that spawned a book? Not on my watch. People think that inspiration is like a good fairy; they wait for it to suddenly appear and tap them with her spark-emitting wand like in the movies, and suddenly they’ll know how to write a book. For me, however, it doesn’t work that way. For the most part, I sit down in front of the screen, grumpy
and reluctant, and tend to the text like a gardener a garden: cleaning and arranging and weeding, giving up and then pushing forward, all while constantly trying to woo the language, to persuade it to work with me.

My language, by the way, is Hebrew. I wrote the Dog Trouble series between 2007 and 2014, and all five books were bestsellers and some won awards in Israel. They have been translated and published in France, Spain, and Brazil before they were published here, in the United States, recently.

Extract from Dog Trouble:

Last night Mon was in a pretty good mood for a change and she asked me what I would want to be if I wasn't a girl named Julie. I said I didn't know, and she put her arms around me and said I wasn't a girl named Julie, but a sweet cake made totally out of chocolate. And she gave me a hug and tickled my stomach as if I was Max or Monty, and she said, "You see? All this is made out of chocolate!"

I'm not trying to say that this fairy with her wand never appears. She appears, capricious and unexpected, and in the most impossible of situations; like when I’m cooking one thing in a pot, frying something else in a pan and cutting vegetables at the same time. At that very moment, a funny situation or a crucial dialogue will pop into my head, and I’ll have to choose: do I run to write it down and let the food burn, or inversely, do I keep watching the pan and risk losing my inspiration?

And then I asked her what she'd like to be if she wasn't Mon, and she thought for a minute and said if she wasn't Mon who worked at the bank and had taken a long time off to stay home with the twins, she'd be an explorer or a sea captain. I tried to imagine her as a sea captain, holding Max in one hand, a pair of binoculars in the other, with a pacifier hanging around her neck, and I thought it was pretty funny.
"But I wouldn't do anything too serious", said Mon. "I'd let other people sail the ship. I'd just lie on the deck in the sun".
Mon looked really happy, as if the boat story was really happening. She kissed me in the place between my forehead and my nose, which was her favorite kissing spot, and said, "Now jump into bed. Did you brush your teeth?"

Not all writers are alike, each has a different mission. What’s mine? To refine that elusive moment when you can see the soul through words and deeds. So I have a little notebook and pencil next to the bed to write dreams, and pens and paper in every room, all to trick that wicked muse disguised as the good fairy.

But good fairies – if you have come this far you already understand – cannot be relied on. They represent an arbitrary form of creation, based on a stroke of genius of external origin.

I much prefer to count on Hermes, patron of writers, nomads, and thieves. It is no coincidence that thieves and writers are depicted as like professions. Every writer is a thief, by definition, and I am not talking about literary theft. Writers steal completely legally; they draw ideas from those close to them and complete strangers, from politics and the weather, from their dreams at night and from a joke thrown their way in a cafe. Writers are active and sophisticated thieves. They dig deep within their memories and even import from those of their parents.

At bedtime, I told her that only little kids could ever be happy. Then they got a bit older and went to school and that was when the trouble started. Later they turned into adults like her and Dad and suddenly they had little kids of their own and then they got annoyed all the time. Mon was rocking Max in her arms to help him fall asleep and then she said, "So what you're really saying is that only babies are happy people".
"Yes", I said angrily. "Only babies are happy people".
Mon didn't try to convince me that everything was going to be okay. She didn't say, "Of course grown-ups also know how to be happy." She just looked at me and didn't say a word. Then she hugged me real close and said I belonged to her and she belonged to me and that was the way it would always be, nothing would ever change that.

So, the next time this lazy fairy, this capricious muse, knocks on your window, let her in but beware. To rely on her is to go through life in passive anticipation. Better join forces with Hermes. You'll never burn your food again…

About the Author

Galia Oz was born in Kibbutz Hulda, Israel, in 1964. She studied film and Television in Tel Aviv University 1984-87.

Her award winning series of 5 books titled DOG TROUBLE was published in France, Spain and Brazil – and recently in the US by CROWN BOOKS Random House. The series is a steady seller in Israel for over 10 years (selling over 150,000 copies). 

Oz has directed several documentaries, all screened in international film festivals, and in Israeli leading television channels.

Over the years, Galia Oz has been meeting thousands of readers in Israeli elementary schools, and taught creative writing and classic children's literature to kids in public libraries.

Galia Oz is married and has two kids, a dog and a cat, and they all live in Ramat Hasharon, just outside Tel-Aviv.

Visit her Facebook page at #/profile.php?id=100009378865434.


About the Book:

Author: Galia Oz
Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Pages: 144
Genre: Children's book for young readers, ages 8-12

Readers who have graduated from Junie B. Jones and Ivy & Bean will fall head over heels for feisty Julie and her troublesome new dog.

Julie has only had her dog for two weeks, but she is already causing all sorts of problems. For starters, she is missing! Julie suspects the school bully Danny must be behind it. But it will take some detective work, the help of Julie’s friends, and maybe even her munchkin twin brothers to bring her new pet home.

Wonderfully sassy and endlessly entertaining, the escapades of Julie and her dog are just beginning!

Julie’s adventures have sold across the globe and been translated into five languages. Popular filmmaker and children’s author Galia Oz effortlessly captures the love of a girl and her dog.

"A funny exploration of schoolyard controversy and resolution.” –Kirkus Reviews 

"Will resonate with readers and have them waiting for more installments.” –Booklist  


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Disclosure:  I received free the item(s) mentioned in this post in exchange for my honest review. Regardless ~ All my reviews are my honest and personal opinion. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”.

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