PICS_0009Pronunciations: Cyokiana = Si-o-key-anna; Aeglaeca = a-gl-a-sha; Esa = ehsa; Keyta = Keeta; Syla = S-eye-la

Why did I choose the Great Pyrenees breed to represent Keyta and Syla? When I was in the brainstorming phase of this book, I needed a breed that was massive in size and mighty in strength, but also one that could potentially appear representative of the Great Spirit Esa  – pure white and radiant. (Note: in the Bannock-Shoshone culture, Esa is often referenced as a white wolf). Additionally, I also needed a breed that could somewhat align with Collette’s unusual, white/silver features. The Great Pyrenees is the only breed that really fit with every facet of this story. However, Keyta and Syla’s individual personalities, interests and behavior(s) are an exact match of those of my beloved girls, Goldie (Keyta) and Aspen (Syla).

How did I choose the name ‘Collette?’ When I was in high school, my French teacher said that in French my name would be ‘Collette.’ When I was brainstorming for this book, that name just popped into my head, literally out of nowhere! That’s probably the only thing I remember from French class.

What motivated me to pursue getting 18th Winter published? I had watched a movie called “Walt Before Mickey,” (I often refer to it as “Walt Before Disney”), and that is what gave me the final motivational push to complete 18th Winter. Had I not watched that movie, I am uncertain what would’ve happened. Click for Trailer

Why did I choose Sun Valley, ID as the area to based 18th Winter upon? Being an Idaho native, I spent time in that area during my childhood, and at one point, had considered moving there. The other reason is because I wanted a place that was close to Redfish Lake in Stanley, ID, as that is also a place mentioned in the story – I had spent lots of happy summers there!

Where did the inspiration for 18th Winter come from? There are many things that inspired the creation of this story, including my love of nature and animals. But what’s most important for people to know about the creation of 18th Winter is that it is a living tribute to my Golden Retrievers, and the life that I’ve been blessed to share with them. Without Goldie and Aspen, the idea for 18th Winter never would have come about. It is because of them that I am able to share this story with the world…a story that can change the world!