Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Marla Press, Author of I'm a Dog, You're a Cat

relationships, communication, dating, humor, dogs, cats, personalities, pets and relationships, dogs and love, marla press, love lessons from animals,

Today we are interviewing Marla Press about her book, "I'm a Dog You're a Cat: Love Lessons From Our Furry Friends."

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up in Rock Island, Illinois. I had what you'd call a typical, wonderful small town experience. There were enough people to be interesting but small enough to run the streets. You know, like high school girl gangs. We were so not tough.

We always had dogs and cats so I guess it's natural that I understand their personalities. I went to college in Austin, Texas and ended up moving to Houston later and that's where I've been for the past 19 years.

Describe your book in a few sentences.
“I'm a Dog, You're a Cat: Love Lessons From Our Furry Friends” is a shorter version of “Mars and Venus” only with dogs and cats. It offers a quick, easy to understand method to access and understand people and their personalities with an added dose of humor.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?
Everyone can benefit from understanding other people's personalities. However, my inclination and observations are that dogs are more likely to care about how people are hard-wired. Ok, as a “dog,” I admit that I'm biased. I think that we care more about what people think of us, thus care about how we act towards them. While “cats” (we truly love you), really kind of have the world by the tail. They act the way they act and everyone needs to just deal with it!

Author Marla Press.
What inspired you to write a book about the personality traits of our feline and canine companions?
I started dating a wonderful man 71/2 years ago. I thought that he liked me but I didn't understand his actions. I would leave town for several days for work and not hear from him. What?! If you like someone you call that person 100 times a day, right? Okay, at least 3!

After consulting a good friend (who we discovered later happened to also be a “cat”), we determined he was a great guy, but he had the personality of a cat. Sometimes aloof, independent, a tad moody; he had most of the traits. It became apparent to me that I in turn was a “dog.” A big, needy, optimistic, overly friendly dog! The new dog/cat "language" helped us understand each other from the beginning. If I'm getting too needy, he'll hiss a bit but I remind him that he can't get mad, that's my DNA. By contrast, when he needs to be left alone for a time, I have to accept that this is his DNA. It works for us and I know it can help others.

Have you always been interested in the relationships people have with their dogs and cats?
I guess I have been collecting stories about people all my life. I'm an observer. The dog/cat tie in is something that really just came to me when I started dating my boyfriend (the cat).

What was the creative process like for you?
Believe it or it, this was the easy part. When I decided that I wanted to write a book and share the idea, I just started talking to people. Every story in the book is a real life story from someone I talked to. As for the illustrations, I wanted the book to be light, fun and cute.

In addition to the text, your book includes beautiful watercolor illustrations. What was the process of working with an illustrator like?
Jim Tweedy is such a talented illustrator/artist. I had bought some of Jim Tweedy’s work before and knew he was the artist I wanted to represent the idea. He understood the concept and I gave him free reign to draw what he saw. It was magical when he sent me a drawing based on a story I provided. I'm told from other authors it's not usually that seamless.
He and I were always on the same page.

How do you think reading your book will impact people?
My hope is that it has the same impact on readers as it has had on me in my relationships. It has allowed me to take a very quick inventory when I meet someone, and I can channel my inner cat if the situation demands. If it's a dog I meet, I can be my doggy self. It's really pretty simple and not intended to cause any angst.

Like any personality test (hard core scientific versus light-hearted), most people are a combination of traits. That's what makes people so interesting. However, if the individual is hard wired more one way than the other (cat vs. dog), it then becomes helpful in communicating.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
I believe that the people that love dog/cat will let me know what would help them the most. I've had people mention using dog/cat as a human resource training module. Also, there have been suggestions of utilizing the dog/cat concepts specifically for children. I've had therapists use the book in family discussions as a way to role-play. The idea has so many legs (8 at least) so I'm open to the next chapter.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
The next time that they have a party, get together, dinner, shower, etc., play the dog/cat game. It is so much fun to break the ice for those that don't know each other. For those that do, let everyone else vote and see where it goes. It's a blast! Go to the website and take the quiz. There are only 5 questions that will help you determine whether you are more a “cat” or a “dog,” and it will open up conversation for hours.

More Information

Visit the book website 
Buy the book on Amazon

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