When I asked Maxi Shelton (author of "Sold into Marriage"; AuthorHouse: ISBN: 9781467889568) to participate in my Friday Night Feature Author Blog, her response was, "I'm not confortable talking about myself." Little did she know, her Westie, Emma, is quite the talker and had no problem coming to Maxi's rescue. Here is Emma's telling of how Maxi Shelton became a published author.
I’m a Westie but my humans call me Emma. I like the name Emma, so Emma I will be. This is mystory of how I got Maxi Shelton to publish her book called Sold into Marriage.
Maxi is my dinner lady, owner and friend. She has these two kids that are yummy, particularly the boy: there is always something to eat on or around him.
Over the years they have both grown bigger but with my expert training they’ve also become very useful tools to have around the house. Custard creams, for instance. Maxi tells me I need to lose weight but I say, “I like custard creams and your daughter wants to share, so share we will.” There’s also this man, Maxi’s husband, he works at an office but I don’t like it there - how can you work without a sofa I ask you?
My life was perfect, or as near as can be for a Westie, until one day 5 years ago when Maxi went out to pick up the kids from school. I personally like walking them to school and seeing them off everyday. School-pick up time means dinnertime too, so it is extra exciting when my little humans come home.
But this particular day nobody came home.
I was sitting there on the stairs watching the door and nobody was opening it. Nobody had smiling faces and hello’s for me before filling my bowl with dinner.
I had been forgotten.
It was now dark and I was lonely and, I will admit, a little scared when the front door was finally opened. But it wasn’t Maxi or my little humans - it wasn’t even the man. It was a lady I kind of knew, as in I’d seen her about, she had yummy little humans too, she’d even had tea with Maxi and me a few times, but she wasn’t who I wanted to see.
She took me to her house, which was fun as I always like adventures and there I found my little humans sitting very quietly, still no smiles, so I did whatever any good four-legged friend would do. I sat with them and waited . . . and waited.
You know I never did get dinner that day, yes I helped all the little humans with theirs and was fed well, but not my own food in my bowl.
Then when it was very dark outside and I was thinking how I really needed to have my pre-bedtime nap before bed, or I’d never sleep, the lady we called Granny arrived. Now that was exciting, I knew her well and she would know where to find Maxi. But no, she packed me and my little humans off to her house and then put us all to bed.
I remember lying there in bed watching my sad little humans sleep thinking, am I on holiday? Did Maxi forget to tell me? And why was nobody smiling anymore?
Then a few days later we all went home again. Well, the first thing I did was sniff the air to find Maxi, then ran up stairs to give her a piece of my mind, fancy leaving me alone like that, what was she thinking? But when I found her, she was in bed, and not looking her normal self (I’m being polite, she was black and blue all over.)
I jumped on the bed and looked at her, but she didn’t wake up, smile or give me a biscuit, so I made myself comfortable on the other pillow and waited (I could never resist a pillow). The man woke Maxi up when she started making moaning noises then gave her these little white pills (which didn’t smell right if you ask me). Maxi smiled at me but she didn’t move. I kept hearing the words concussed but I had no idea what that meant.
Well this went on for days, soon into weeks. Maxi couldn’t move and when she did it sounded painful. From what I overheard while watching some humans make tea (waiting for the biscuit tin to be opened) Maxi was lucky to be alive and could have been paralyzed from the neck down.
Well, that made me forget about the biscuits.
I slowly walked back up stairs after that, jumped on the bed and took a really good look at Maxi. Did I nearly just lose my friend? She would still be able to take me out, right? She didn’t look any better than that first day - the black and blue marks were fading but she still didn’t move without help or pain and was swollen in places.
Slowly as the weeks turned into months, Maxi started going to something call physio. From what I understand she hated it and was always in pain afterwards. There were also a lot of doctor appointments that used to upset Maxi, ruining all my hardwork.
We did start going on short walks again, but my word she now walked slowly! And we never went very far.
I took it upon myself to help Maxi get better so I started encouraging longer walks: I would bounce around like a puppy and look so happy that she just couldn’t bring herself to take me home yet.
Now this is a secret, but Maxi and I talk about everything, you see I’m a very good listener. She kept telling me about odd dreams she had or little daydreams whilst sitting in her old armchair with a hot water bottle. I kept waggling my tail giving her all the encouragement needed but for some reason she just never got the message. Until one day we were sitting in a sunbeam talking when Maxi confessed she’d always wanted to write but was too scared. So of course it was down to me again to put things right.
Every time she told me another part of a story I sat up and listened with every part of my small white furry body. Until, finally, she got the message; well, I think she did because she pulled out her laptop and started clicking away at it.
Now as you know, I’m a Westie and Westies like technology - TVs and computers are great; I even know how to use them! So I sat on Maxi’s lap and read what she was writing. Surprisingly, it was good, somehow the story she was telling was coming to life on the screen better than when Maxi was telling me aloud. Although apparently it was too hard to type with my head in the way and there wasn’t enough room on the chair for both of us, and she kept telling me off when I added an extra letter or pressed enter (I was only trying to help). So I made Maxi get the beanbag so I could see the laptop but I was also out of the way.
Well as you can imagine, beanbags for a Westie are comfy, well once you get past the odd noise they make, but I find if you take the time to get the perfect position you don’t need to move for hours.
And there we were, me asleep on my beanbag and Maxi typing away. I reminded her when it was time to get some exercise and take me on nice long walks. I remember hearing on a program once that fresh air and exercise was good for you and helped develop new ideas, so I felt it was my job as Maxi’s new carer to ensure she had just that.
You know in no time at all Maxi said she had abook.
A dear friend of Maxi and mine came over one day. Ever since that horrid day our friend had popped into see us every week. Well that one day the laptop was sitting on the coffee table so I did what anyone would do - I nosed it and sat looking at the thing. My friend got the idea (Maxi was a little slow on the up take). Finally, Maxi confessed to what we had been secretly been doing. Well, my friend was so excited I had to kiss her all over; she even managed to convince Maxi to read some to her.
I sat down on my friends lap and listened, we both listened. I found myself closing my eyes and picturing the scenes. At one point I took a peek at my friend and she was doing just the same, smiling at the nice parts and frowning at the man called Sebastian.
Now being a dog you get to listen to a lot of things and bedtime stories are always good, not sure if its to do with the comfy duvet but I like stories, and I liked Maxi’s.
I was all ready to give my friend a little push to get Maxi to share the book with others, but she beat me too it. She was brilliant, I couldn’t have put it better myself. But still Maxi didn’t send it off until I whispered a little something into Granny’s ear. She also listened to the story until Maxi had no voice left. I remember moving from Granny’s lap to sit on Maxi’s (to make sure she was listening you understand). Since Maxi’s voice was hoarse, Granny did all the talking and she did it, she convinced Maxi to at least think about the idea of sending the book out.
Oh, but my Maxi is a stubborn one! She was scared, I could understand that, but by this point in time she had more stories on her laptop (and I was worried she was going to run out of room, I liked our little set up). So every time Maxi would talka bout whether she should send the book out, I would sit on her lap and give her lots of love and kisses.
Until finally, she did it. She just suddenly did it. She sent it out.
Maxi didn’t tell anyone. In fact, now I think about it hardly anyone knew Maxi was writing - as far as everyone else was concerned she was at home playing with me. Ha, day and night she was typing and her health was getting better with my walks, of course, and her general well being was . . . happy, she was smiling again, everyone was smiling again. I had begun to wonder if Maxi had forgotten how to smile after that dark day.
I remember when Maxi got the phone call. I couldn’t hear what was being said but now Maxi was really smiling. After the call she was bouncing around like one of the little humans smiling and laughing. Until finally I managed to work out what she was saying (you need to understand, I think she was so excited she’d forgotten how to form sentences). She was going to get the story we’d written published! Now I was excited, I jumped and danced like a puppy and got quite hungry, but it was all right because Maxi found this big chew bone for me to celebrate with. Which was a good thing really because her next few phone calls didn’t really make any sense either, but basically she was telling our man, my friend and granny her book was going to be published.
You know its funny Maxi still didn’t really tell anyone she’d been writing or even getting a book published until it was basically in the shops.
So there you go, that’s my story of how after one dark day I brought Maxi back to health by listening to her daydreams until she finally wrote them down and then the hard and very painful task of getting her to send the book anywhere. And yes, I have noticed my name is not on the front cover but my name and hard work is recognized in the author biography and my picture is on her website. So I’m happy - after all, I am only a Westie called Emma.
But don’t you worry, I’m still making her work hard and telling her off if she has too many tea breaks.
Maxi is only 32 but she is also a qualified interior designer - you should hear some of her scene descriptions…well, I’m not going to tell you, you’ll have to read her books! Lol!
Oops that’s her now, better go, she’s been to the shops. I needed more food.
Until next time,
Emma the Westie x