Rhys Ella, lover of all furry four-leggers, grew up in small town West Virginia surrounded by cats who believed they were dogs and pint-sized dogs with personalities larger than life.
Today, Rhys lives in North Carolina with her husband, young son, and a fish named Hobo. An avid runner, the book's concept came to Rhys during an evening run but did not fully come to fruition until the passing of her fourteen-year-old pug, Prince "Kato" Chang.
Her latest book is the comedy/action/adventure/young adult, Kato and the Fountain of Wrinkles.
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About the Book:
For famous animal actor Kato Rhyan, being named "Cutest Pug Alive" by Pooch Magazine was cool (all right, really cool). But for him, acting isn't about fame, it's a part of him buried deep within his soul; and he's not about to let anything stand in his way of becoming the first animal to win an Oscar for Best Actor, even if it means taking on a role that requires a wrinkly dog's worst nightmare -- Botox injections.
But before the injection process begins, it's discovered that the Fountain of Wrinkles -- located in his beautiful hometown of Callia Rugas -- has been contaminated by Botox, jeopardizing the lives of crinkly canines everywhere and setting off a chain of events that force him to bid farewell to his dream and set foot on an adventure of a lifetime in search of the antidote to restore the Fountain.
But as with any good Hollywood tale, the story that seems so apparent is not always the one that unfolds. The twists and turns that follow are sure to keep you guessing and laughing.
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- Kato and the Fountain of Wrinkles is available at Amazon.
- Pick up your copy at Barnes & Noble.
- Visit Kato and the Fountain of Wrinkles at Goodreads.
- Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
- Watch the trailer at YouTube.
Q: Welcome to The Writer's Life! Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process. Can we begin by having you take us at the beginning? Where did you come up with the idea to write your book?
My two pugs, Prince “Kato” Chang and EJ the pug, served as my greatest inspiration. Thanks to their quirky traits, there was never a dull moment with those two, which made it very easy to morph their personalities into the eccentric celebrity persona and zany characters they portray in Kato and the Fountain of Wrinkles.
But, I also found inspiration in our society’s obsession with smooth skin. I mean, to me, I’ve always found it comical that we strive to be wrinkle free, but the second we see a wrinkly pooch it’s “Oh look how cute and wrinkly it is!” So, it made me think – what if wrinkly pooches were just as obsessed with wrinkly skin as humans are with smooth skin? From there the story quickly evolved into a wrinkly pooch who’s not about to let anything stand in his way of becoming the first animal to win an Oscar for Best Actor, even if it means taking on a role that requires a wrinkly dog's worst nightmare -- Botox injections.
Q: How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?
I think the hardest part of writing this book was allowing myself to be vulnerable. Every character represents an exaggerated piece of my personality, good and bad, or a person or a moment in my life that I twisted for the sole purpose of intertwining chaos and turmoil with humor. But that’s the funny thing about writing. One should never be afraid to embrace an obstacle, a sadness or a loss, for each is forever a part of you; a mere whisper in the wind waiting to fuel your imagination.
Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?
Kato and the Fountain of Wrinkles was published by Tate Publishing Enterprises, Inc. After Googling publishing companies who focused on young adult/teen books and first time authors, I submitted my manuscript online and well, the rest is history.
Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?
Kato and the Fountain of Wrinkles is my first book. So, as a first time writer, I thought finding a publisher would be a rather daunting task. Yet through the grace of God, four days after submitting to Tate Publishing Enterprises, Inc., I received an offer.
Q: What other books (if any) are you working on and when will they be published?
Kato and the Fountain of Wrinkles is a three-part series. I am currently in the process of writing part two. A title has not yet been determined, but it is expected to be released in 2016.
Q: What’s your favorite place to hang out online?
I can honestly say, I don’t have a special online hangout. However, my go to places for inspiration in writing Kato and the Fountain of Wrinkles involved sites regarding tabloid fodder, pugs and As Seen on TV products.
Q: Finally, what message (if any) are you trying to get across with your book?
Kato and the Fountain of Wrinkles is a fun, light read designed to perpetuate laughter and imagination, because there is absolutely no better medicine than laughter!
Q: Thank you again for this interview! Do you have any final words?
You will never look at As Seen on TV products the same way again after reading Kato and the Fountain of Wrinkles.