READER RESPONSES--ARTICLES--PRESS RELEASE
"A delicious little book. . . . Honest and full of good moments. . . . Congratulations on a fine piece of work." C.W. Gusewelle, Kansas City Star.
"This makes me love my dog even more. I read a little, then go hug him, then read a little more. Thank you for writing this book." Naomi, Ottawa
"Not only does this writing have spirit--it has soul." Barbara, Lawrence
"You are an excellent writer." Mike, Kansas City
"I won't call this a 'little book' any more. It is profound." Dot, Lincoln (KS)
"I don't know if I laughed as much as I cried, but I love this book." Marian, Kansas City
"Reading this book is like having you here talking with me. It is so comfortable." Erma, Houston
"I just love it. I just love it." Beverly, Ottawa
"I'm on my third reading." Bill, Ottawa
"You made a bad mistake when you said I let my dog roam. Pancho was never free to roam. He was always chained or with me. And who are you to play God and say animals should be neutered?" my nephew--[And he is right to say I was wrong about his letting Pancho roam. The time that great, gentle dog got attacked, one of my nephew's friends let him out--which I did not know. My nephew loves his dog, takes splendid care of him, and is not irresponsible about him. I was mistaken to say that. We do, obviously, disagree strongly about whether companion animals should be neutered.]
"This book is making me think a lot more about people and animals. You know I'm not particularly an animal lover. I don't think I really knew anyone could love animals like this. I'm interested in what you say, and I like the book very much. I've ordered another copy so I won't have to loan mine out." Sherron, Lancaster (PA)
"It's all your fault that I didn't get any sleep last night! I couldn't put this book down. It's delightful. . . ." Margaret, Wichita
From March 22nd dinner/reading:
"Good food and good company combined with the joy of listening to Lora's prose. . . ." Mark Reichle, Southmoreland on the Plaza
"Lora is a true cultural entertainer. Her writing is not only professional, she reads so well and sets it up enjoyably. . . . I was telling Jenny about the "Cobra in the Cradle piece." [A sneak preview of the poetry book, "Snake in the Cradle."] [I was] apprehensive during the entire reading [but] the tension releases when innocence and perceived evil lay together. . unthreatened." Dennis Bryant, President, DF Bryant and Company
From The Ottawa Herald
'Animals have been among my best friends' Local author's new book has a furry focus--by Cleon Rickel, Senior Writer
Lora K. Reiter, Ottawa author and retired Ottawa University professor, knows about tomato juice, baking soda and skunks.
Her experience with tomato juice and skunks includes one skunked and panicked dog that jumped into a vehicle that Reiter had borrowed from a friend. The incident is a lot funnier now, she says. Over the years, Reiter has bought tomato juice by the gallons.
She relates the trials of some of her pets' run-ins with skunks in her newest book, Animals Galore and Love Unconditional: Essays Glad, Sad and Mad About Creatures Who Share the Earth.
In her essays, Reiter relates her llifelong love of animals ranging from horses to her "perfect dog," a little stray she named Miscellaneous, birds, and Caliban, a mean, cantankerous cat that lived up to its name. Maybe except for Caliban, "animals have been among my best friends," Reiter says. "...they give you unconditional love."
Many of her essays relate humorous or joyful tales involving animals. Others, though, aren't so cheery--those are the sad and mad parts of the book, she says. They include the death of animals and [address the fact] that too many people abuse and neglect their pets and animals. "Terrible things happen to animals," Reiter says.
Proceeds from the sale of the books will go to the Bea Martin Peck Animal Shelter in Ottawa. "I want to acknowledge the work they are doing," Reiter says. "It's work I couldn't begin to do. I'd just spend my days crying."
The book released in February, has drawn positive comments from many Ottawans [and others.] One of her favorites is a letter from C. W. Gusewelle, columnist for The Kansas City Star who calls the book "delicious."
Although Reiter has written extensively, Animals Galore is only her second book. [Her novel, One Was Annie, was released in 2006.] A third book, a collection of poetry, Snake in the Cradle, will be released later this year. The collection uses the title of one of her poems which is about a missionary in India who finds a king cobra in his baby's cradle.
Reiter is also working on three other manuscripts, From Ash Creek to China and Back, a collection of essays; The Sail Buggy, a collection of short stories she hopes will be released in 2009, and Mother and Me. The last is a study of work by Reiter and her mother, Lora D. Reiter, also an essayist and poet.
From The Ottawa Herald:Remember pets you loved--by Lisa Farrar Wellman, librarian
I grew up on a farm in western Kansas with five dogs, three cats, a rabbit, two lizards, two hermit crabs, a couple parakeets and a hamster. When people dumped animals on our property, we hauled them in to the vet, had them spayed (with the exception of the hamster, all our pets were girls) and made them part of the family. Today, I share my home with two cats that are pleasantly plump, a tiny bit spoiled, and frighteningly clever.
Lora Reiter's latest book, Animals Galore and Love Unconditional, reminded me of my happy childhood and the animals that shared it with me. Lora's collection of essays introduces readers to a wide variety of God's creatures including an owl, several horses, dogs, cats, and the smartest mouse in the world.
I think the best part of Lora's book was the way it took me back to my own animal memories. It will make you feel the same way, I'm sure.
Using a conversational writing style, Lora leads readers through one touching animal story after another. She gives them all unique names. Readers of Shakespeare can imagine what a cat named Caliban is like. She attempts to properly train them (only to discover that often she's the one being trained). She rescues some from certain death and she finds unconditional love in the most unlikely housemates. Not every story has a happy ending, and in some of the essays, Lora is downright fuming mad. Her memorable characters made me laugh out loud more than a dozen times, and I cried at the plight of animals that desperately deserve our respect and care.
I saw animals I've known and loved in so many of Lora's essays, and I'm not the only one who thinks her little book is noteworthy. Another fan of Animals Galore is Kansas City Star columnist C. W. Gusewelle who writes, "It's a delicious little book--honest and full of good moments. Congratulations on a fine piece of work."
From 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. on April 2, Lora Reiter will sign books and speak about Animals Galore and Love Unconditional at the Ottawa Library. We'll meet in the circulation area to discuss the animals that inspired her, and you can talk about your favorite furry critters, as well. I know Lora will be delighted to hear about them. Please join us for this special evening.
A portion of the profits from this book will benefit the Bea Martin Peck Animal Shelter, so not only do you get a worthwhile book, your purchase supports a worthwhile cause. How can you refuse?
Sample Press Release
New Book by Lora K. Reiter
Released on February 10th, Animals Galore and Love Unconditional, subtitled "Essays Sad, Mad and Glad About Creatures Who Share the Earth, is a heartwarming and challenging collection by Ottawan Lora K. Reiter. Written from the 1960s through last summer, these essays introduce you to cats, dogs, horses, birds, mice and bugs whose true stories will make you laugh, rage and cry. You'll meet Tausie, world's orneriest Doberman; Babe, the bottle-fed filly who thinks people are her family; Caliban, world's meanest cat, and dozens of other companion animals.
These are stories, all non-fiction, Reiter says, about animals she has lived with, rescued, tried to rescue, and, some terrible times, had to kill. They include humorous pieces about getting skunked or trying to save a deer target from bow hunters; angry pieces about animals which have been neglected or abused; and a few educational pieces about neutering animals or providing adequate care for pets. Reiter says she tries to do for the animals, here, what she does for characters in her fiction: treat them with honesty, respect, and compassion. "I think it's a book animal lovers have to love," she says. "At least I hope so! And it appeals to a lot of people, teens to seniors. People are enjoying it a lot--and buying it as gifts for folks around the country."
C. W. Gusewell, columnists for The Kansas City Star, has called it "a delicious little book," and he congratulated Reiter for "a fine piece of work."
Although Reiter has published many poems and short stories, this is only her second book. Her novel, One Was Annie, a post-civil war work set in north central Kansas, was released in 2006. A third book will be released this summer, a collection of poetry entitled Snake in the Cradle. She will be traveling around Kansas much of 2008-2009 presenting programs on her work.
Reiter, who retired from Ottawa University in 2004 as a Professor of English, has won many awards for her poetry and fiction including honorable mention in the New Letters 2007 Alexander Cappon short story competition. ("I was the only Kansan who placed," she said, "and in the top five of 1600 entries. It's a tough contest.") She hs a poem and short story in the current issue of Kansas City Voices. She was also recently honored by the Solomon Valley Heritage Association for her poetry and essays.
She is now working on three other manuscripts, From Ash Creek to China and Back, a collection of essays; The Sail Buggy, a collection of short stories; and Mother and Me, "a look at two generations of rural women who felt compelled to write when the odds were pretty much against both of them." Lora D. Reiter, essayist, poet, and long-time columnist ("Medley")for papers in Beloit, Kansas, was Reiter's mother.
Animals Galore is available from publishamerica.com or amazon.com. or barnesandnoble.com. For programs or signed copies, Reiter may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at her home: 1104 South Hickory in Ottawa, KS, 66067. You are invited to visit her web site: www.lorakreiter.com. Any bookstore can order for you.
The Bea Martin Peck Animal Shelter in Ottawa will benefit from sales of the book.
2nd Sample News Release (Edit according to your needs)
XXXX to Host Author Lora K. Reiter
Animals Galore and Love Unconditional and Snake in the Cradle, two new books by Lora K. Reiter, will be the subject of her presentation and signing on XXXX at XXXX.
The first, praised by C. W. Gusewelle of The Kansas City Star as "a delicious little book," is subtitled "Essays Glad, Sad, and Mad About Creatures Who Share the Earth." That pretty much sums it up, Reiter says, as she explains her purposes in writing the book. "Animals have always been among my best friends, and I have tried to honor here the dogs, cats, horses, birds, mice and bugs who have helped me recognize dimensions of my self I would never otherwise have known, who have given me tenderness, humor and pleasure I could not have found elsewhere, and who have taught me that the place of animals in this world is not less important than our own place--however dependent we may have made them. She says that the book is also an effort to help people be more responsible pet care-takers and to urge everyone to work to stop animal abuse and the "annual slaughter of more than eight million creatures who could have been loving companion animals." Profits from the book's sales will be shared with the Bea Martin Peck Animal Shelter in Ottawa where Reiter lives.
"Snake in the Cradle," Reiter says, "will not have as broad appeal as Animals because it is poetry, and I know that's not everyone's favorite!" The book is a selection of poems, some prize winning, many published before, some appearing here for the first time. " It is a serious attempt to write good poems," Reiter says, " and, for those who like American literature, it fits pretty squarely in the tradition of American poetry from Walt Whitman to Galway Kinnell." She adds, "This is not an 'academic' book, though, and some will enjoy it because of its language and some of its subject matter: cattle waking and drinking just at dawn, listening to music on a long road trip, the beauty of October colors." Editors and critics have called various poems "spooky" and "spiritual" and praised their style as clean, clear, spare, stark, unadorned, and rich.
Reiter's novel, One Was Annie, appeared in 2006. she is currently working on a second book of poems, a collection of short stories, and a second collection of essays. She is editing Poppies in the Wheat, a book of poetry by her mother, Lora D. Reiter who wrote a newspaper column, Medley, for more than three decades. She also wrote the Kansas Centennial poem.
Reiter's web site is www.lorakreiter.com.
Q. The book's subtitle is "Essays Glad, Sad, and Mad About Creatures Who Share the Earth." Would you say that's a good description of the contents?
A. I surely would. Animals have been among my best friends all my life, and ever since I've known how to write, I've written about them. In fact, my first poem was called "Poor Kitty"!
In this book, which is essays--true stories, that is, but not stories in the sense of fiction--in this book I try to tell about animals I've known or loved or tried to love, and so on, in such a way as to make their personalities and lives real and important.
Sometimes their lives are happy insofar as they are well cared for and protected and loved. Those are the "glad" stories. But sometimes the animals don't have it so good, and that's where the "sad" and "mad" stuff comes in. I hope the book has more "glad" than anything else, but because I see so many problems in the way people and animals inter-relate, I have had to include some of the harsher material, too.
Q. Is that you on the cover of the book?
A. Yes, it is. My sister, Dot, took that picture when I was about ten years old. I was out riding my bike, and my dogs interrupted me for a little play session. The big one is Bo, and the little one is Pumpernickel. Her name's about bigger than she was.
Actually, I'd sent the publisher that picture to use as the author picture on the back of the book, but the designer created the cover around the picture. I think it turned out kind of dear.
Q. Does the book have a theme or purpose?
A. Well--it's a collection of separate essays written over a long period of time, probably from the 60s through last summer, so it isn't unified in theme the way a storyor novel would be.
I think it's uinified in tone, though, in sensibility, if that makes sense to you. You can certainly tell that all the pieces come from one pen because the point of view and the "voice" are the same throughout.
At the same time, the book treats a lot of different subjects and has a wide range of emotions. And I think some of the pieces are a little more complex than others.
Q. What do you mean by "complex"?
A. Well--the kinds of thoughts the pieces deal with. For instance, I have a ten year old great nephew who really loves those which deal with the actions of the animals, expecially when they're young or ornery. But I wouldn't expect him to read all of the essays, say, for instance, the one on starting a circle of compassionate friends to comfort those grieving for the loss of companion animals. Some of the subjects and emotions are more for the adult. In that one, I try to take a moral and a philosophical approach, for instance.
Q. So--what's the purpose or the book?
A. I think the purpose of the book is to share love and respect for animals with people who love them a lot. A secondary purpose is to provide information for people who may want to help others become better pet owners.
Q. Do you have a favorite essay in the book?
A. What a question! That's a little like asking someone if they have a favorite child! I'm not sure I do. I loved all the animals mentioned here: Tausie, who I call the world's orneriest Doberman; Babe, the little filly, the little horse who was raised on a bottle and thinks people are her family; Caliban, the world's meanest cat; or Miscellaneous, the little dog who I've always said was the only perfect "thing" I've ever had. There is such a variety of animals here. I love the essays about all of them because I loved all of them.
Q. So you think a variety of people will like this book?
A. Yes. I really do. I've had readers of all ages, from 10 to 94, who've enjoyed it very much. People say things like, "It just feels like you're talking to me. It's easy to read." Or "I really didn't know people could love animals this much." Or "This reminds me so much of how I felt about my dog or my cat or my horse." So many have remarked on how much they love the book, how much they enjoy reading it. A lot of people are buying it as gifts to send to friends around the country. Most animal lovers will identify with many of the "characters" in these pages. And Ithink some folks will be a little surprised at how much their sense of animals is deepened by what they experience in reading the book.
Q. I notice that the book sales will benefit the Bea Martin Peck Animal Shelter in Ottawa. Why did you do that?
A. I appreciate the shelter so deeply. Those folks work terribly hard to help anials in terrible need. They literally clean up after people have been careless or cruel or thoughtless about their animals. And the staff sees such awful need. They hurt a lot for the animals they care for. It's work I couldn't begin to do. I'd just spend my days crying. So I wanted to try to do something for them as well as for the animals they try to help. Besides, my most recent dog, a beautiful Great Dane, is alive only because they saved his life. I adopted him from the shelter. That's another good reason to try to help them through the sale of this book. I hope folks will remember that when they think about buying a copy--and incidentally, I think it would be a great gift for anyone from teen to senior--as a nice way to benefit the shelter.
Q. Is the book available here?
A. Yes. In Ottawa, you can....................
Any bookseller can order it for you. It is also available from publishamerica.com; from amazon.com; from barnesandnoble.com, and for signed copies or programs, contact me at 785.242.6167 or 1104 S. Hickory, Ottawa, KS, 66067. You might enjoy visiting my website, too: www.lorakreiter.com.