April Upper Buck Free Press Column – Author Ruth Zavitsanos Interview


My April Upper Bucks Free Press Column was published April 3rd! The column is about local author, Ruth Zavitsanos! I did an interview with her for my  newspaper article. I hope you like it!

To see the original article click HERE and click on the April 2012 edition (page 13).

Here is a copy of it if you can’t get the link!

Author Ruth Zavitsanos grew up in No. White Plains, in Westchester County, NY but she now lives in Chester County PA. Ms. Zavitsanos writes for both adults and kids. I have read her three children’s books and liked them so much I wanted to tell others about them. Ms. Zavitsanos’ children’s books all have one thing in common, dogs! The books have a dog for a main character and are told from the dog’s perspective, which I think is pretty unique. “The Old Fortress Dog,” takes place in Greece and the main character is a German Sheppard named Leonidas who helps his master’s grandson gain more confidence in himself. Tuscany, Italy is the setting for “The Villa Dog.” Sole is a Golden Retriever who works at a Villa and his job is to make the visitors welcome, but he finds one sad little girl a real challenge! “The Kona Dog” is about a Weimaraner named Akela who works on a coffee plantation and pineapple grove in Hawaii. Akela finds out that the plantation she work on is in trouble and may close. Akela has to try to get the banker’s daughter to smile and maybe she can save the plantation.

All Ms. Zavitsanos’s children’s chapter books are great for age 7+ kids. I really like how you also learn about the places that the books are set in as you read the books too.

Ms. Zavitsanos also agreed to do an interview with me.

Can you tell us a little about how you got started writing?

I always found time to write. I can see myself at my bedroom window looking out on a snow fall and writing with little thought of the time that passed. When I was twelve I babysat for the neighbor next door. When the young children went to bed I would pull out my notebook and write. The stories varied but always had a happy ending. Then, when I was sixteen my high school English teacher asked me to read the class writing assignment I’d written aloud. I remember being very nervous but then I looked at the faces of my peers and they were not only paying attention but at the end they applauded. I received an A++ on that paper and the praise of my peers, too. That’s when I knew that not only did I want to write, but that others wanted me to write, too.

I really like how your stories are written from a dog’s point of view! Why did you choose to write about dogs and have it told from what the dog sees?

I have always had a dog and to this day cherish the memories of each and every one of my canine companions through the years. Presently, I have a border collie/black lab named Pebbles and a mini Australian shepherd, Rocky. They are sweet and caring, just like the dogs I give voice to in my stories. As a child, one of my favorite movies was Dr. Doolittle. I always thought it would be wonderful to be able to talk to the animals and have them talk back to me. In truth, I am constantly talking to my dogs and their expressions and reactions give voice to their thoughts.

I noticed that your books are from different parts of the world. Do you travel a lot and how does that help you in your writing?

Yes, I’ve always loved traveling. I enjoy experiencing different cultures and am pleased my writing gives me the opportunity to share my experiences in places like Tuscany, Greece, and Hawaii.

If you could go anywhere in the world and write about an experience there, where would you go?

I think Australia would be very different. Of course, it’s also very far. I’ve met people from Australia during my travels and they are very friendly.

Are you working on a project now that you can tell us about?

Actually, I’m hoping for something to be confirmed. But, until then I’ll have to just say that because of the popularity of my children’s books, the thought of the “next” one is always in the works.

 To learn more about Ms. Zavitsanos and her books, please visit her website at www.ruthzonline.com . To read a complete review of “The Old Fortress Dog” and more great reviews, please visit my website at www.thiskidreviewsbooks.com.

You can read a complete review I did of “The Old Fortress Dog” HERE.

Categories: Other Stuff Related to Books and Reading

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17 replies

  1. I remember your “Fortress Dog” review. As an incurable dog lover, these appeal to me. I think I’d really like Ms. Zavitsanos.

  2. What a great way to introduce new experiences. I love stories from the animal’s p.o.v.

  3. Terrific review and interview, Erik. You and Ms. Zavitsano make the books sound fascinating. It’s really neat that the books are told from the dog’s point of view. Thanks for including that fact.

  4. Great interview, Erik! I so appreciate learning more about authors through your interviews. You ask good questions!

    These books sound very good indeed. Thank you!

  5. Erik, Thanks again for this interview. I really enjoyed answering your questions and am glad I gave some insight to my books. I’m pleased my books are so well received. It’s very rewarding to hear what young readers have to say about my stories. Of course, each book is different but the readers always enjoy the dog’s voice and exotic setting.
    Keep up the great work at thiskidreviewsbooks.
    Ruth G. Zavitsanos

  6. Congratulations on a great review and interview, Ruth.

  7. Ruth, I enjoyed your interview and stories about babysitting. I have a pug who is getting quite old and I love. I absolutely love your book covers. Keep writing stories for children.

  8. Ruth,

    I enjoyed reading the stories about you babysitting. The book covers are great as well as your interview. I have a twelve-year-old pug who tries to talk like a human. His vocabulary is more than usual and we have to spell a lot of words. I can see him in one of your books.

  9. Wonderful interview, Ruth! I am quite biased about your books, but I am your publisher, after all. (grin) If you haven’t read them, you must. 🙂


  10. Great interview, as always! I loved books about dogs when I was your age too. Right now I am reading one of my favorites – Hurry Home Candy – to my kids. These books sound fabulous, and I am going to buy one and read it to my kids after we’re finished to continue our “dog” theme.

    Plus, I have a dog named Rocky too! 🙂

    • Thank you Ms. Hedlund! I am a dog fan. I will check out “Hurry Home Candy”. I had a dog named Bart, but he died.

      • Julie,
        One of the things I love about the internet is we can find any book at any time. And, to be able to retrieve one from our childhood that sparks special memories we want to share with our own children is truly a gift. Or, did you keep it over the years? Either way, nice that you are sharing it with your children now. I hope they enjoy one of my books. They are heartwarming stories and do not have to be read in any order-do you want to feel like your with the dog in Tuscany? Greece? Or, perhaps, Hawaii!
        Thanks for the support. And give your dog Rocky a nudge from my little guy, Rocky!
        Ruth G. Zavitsanos

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