AUTHOR INTERVIEW: JEFFYNE TELSON AUTHOR OF CAT TAILS: HEART-WARMING STORIES OF CATS AND KITTENS OF RESQCATS



Jeffyne Telson grew up in Dallas, Texas but has spent most of the last half of her life in California. Although she has Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design from Texas Tech University, she has devoted the last two decades to the pursuit of her real life’s passion…caring for stray and abandoned cats and kittens.

In 1997, Jeffyne founded RESQCATS, Inc, as a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, care and adoption of stray and abandoned cats and kittens.

In the ensuing 20 years, with the help of a small group of dedicated volunteers, Jeffyne has grown RESQCATS well beyond her dreams, into a highly respected rescue organization that has placed more than 2700 cats and kittens with qualified families and individuals.

Today, in addition to being the President of RESQCATS, Jeffyne and her husband, Mitch, share their Santa Barbara, California home with 14 unadoptable cats, 9 collies and 15 giant African sulcata tortoises…all rescued of course!

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About the Book:

Title: CAT TAILS: HEART_WARMING STORIES ABOUT THE CATS AND KITTENS OF RESQCATS
Author: Jeffyne Telson
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 332
Genre: Animals/Cat Rescue

BOOK BLURB:
In 1997, Jeffyne Telson founded RESQCATS, Inc, as a non-profit organization dedicated to the rescue, care and adoption of stray and abandoned cats and kittens.
In the ensuing 20 years, with the help of a small group of dedicated volunteers, Jeffyne has grown RESQCATS well beyond her dreams, into a highly respected rescue organization that has placed more than 2800 cats and kittens with qualified families and individuals.

And now, she has written a book about her journey of creating a cat rescue, the challenges and opportunities she has faced, and most important of all, the valuable life lessons the cats and kittens have taught her.

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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?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

I began writing newsletters for RESQCATS, Inc., a non-profit sanctuary dedicated to the rescue care and adoption of stray and abandoned cats and kittens in 1997 when I created the organization.

Originally, the newsletters were informative and their main objective was to raise money for the felines in our care.

As the years passed, I found that writing about the cats and kittens was a creative way for me to share my feelings about rescue and its many challenges. I began to realize the valuable lessons that the animals taught me about life. I also discovered that writing about the losses of some that could not be saved, as well as the grief I felt after losing my personal animals, was a path to healing. Putting pen to paper was a safe, less vulnerable way for me to express my feelings. Over they years, I became more comfortable sharing my views on  topics that pertained to my experiences with the animals and people. I wrote to educate others about all that it takes to get many of the kitties healthy, including expensive veterinary care and the emotional ups and downs that can occur before sending that nice, healthy fluffy little kitten home with a qualified adopter. Through the stories, donors began to realize the challenges I faced and to understand  my heartfelt commitment to the cats. Supporters started to feel like they were part of the organization in a personal way and to my surprise, they were more willing to donate to RESQCATS mission.

For many years, a close friend encouraged me to write a book about my experiences because she loved the stories in the newsletters. I resisted the idea for years, but I thought about her request often. One day, I accepted the challenge and spent my vacation time for the next four years working on the book.

I had no idea what I had committed to! First, I chose which cats and stories to include in the book...it was tough to choose!  I worked endlessly on every winter break to write, rewrite, edit, and re-edit until I was satisfied that my book was the very best it could be.
The book is called Cat Tails: Heart-Warming Stories about the Cats and Kittens of RESQCATS.


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?

In hindsight, it was one of the toughest challenges in my life. I think part of what made it difficult was reliving many of the heart-felt stories about the cats as some of those experiences were emotionally painful. I met that challenge by including humor and autobiographical information so that the book is uplifting and inspiring.

Q: Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My book is self-published.

Q: Is there anything that surprised you about getting your first book published?

The entire process of writing a book and publishing it was a challenge, but I am one who loves a challenge and doesn't give up!

Q: What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

None.

Q: What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

People probably expect a book that is a sad tale about rescued cats. Anyone who loves animals or has ever rescued an animal will love the book and relate to the emotional feelings that are expressed in it. But it is a book about life, commitment and passion. Perhaps some of the facts about my personal life, as well as, the humor in many of the chapters will surprise them. That makes this a book that will make one laugh, cry and be inspired to make a difference in the world.

Q: Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

It is my hope that this book will encourage people to expand their compassion for animals and discover a greater appreciation for the important life lessons they teach us. If I touch the heart of even a single reader, the I feel I will have accomplished that goal.
  
Q: Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

Enjoy the stories and be inspired!
And remember, 100% of the proceeds from the book goes to help the cats and kittens in our care at RESQCATS. We have placed over 2800 since we began in 1997!


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