Inside the Book:
Title: The Book of Barkley
Author: L.B. Johnson
Publisher: Outskirts Press
2015 Reader's Favorite International Book Award - Silver Winner.
Gripping Memoir, Hailed "An Instant Classic" by Critics, Shares Journey of Love & Life through the Inspirational Eyes of Man's Best Friend... Crafted from the heart and experiences of L.B. Johnson, 'The Book of Barkley: Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever' takes readers from the author's depths of grief and personal despair to an empowering new life chock-full of love. But Johnson's radical life change didn't come from finding God or attending a cookie-cutter support group, but instead from a black Labrador called Barkley who taught her the real, innate meaning of love. In a wholly-unique and uplifting new memoir, Johnson tells the deeply-personal story of her life and experiences with a rambunctious Labrador Retriever named Barkley. It's not just a story of one woman and her dog; but a bold journey to discover what love really is, and why learning to live like a dog gives humanity a powerful new meaning.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Can you tell us where you are from?
I was raised in
, in a little town
near the coast. Washington
Q: How did you come up with your title?
After Barkley passed away I was reading the Old Testament one evening, for words of comfort and I just thought “The Book of Barkley”. “Love and Life Through the Eyes of a Labrador Retriever” was something I added to convey how I changed as a person by viewing the world as my dog did. However I did have one reviewer be less than kind because he thought that the book was about a talking dog
Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover. Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?
I designed the cover with a little formatting help of my publisher. The cover photo is Barkley as he waits for a family member to come inside. Just looking at it makes me smile.
Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?
The Book of Barkley is more than a mere memoir it’s a journey through life that anyone who has ever lost sleep or tears of joy and sorrow over a beloved pet will relate to.
Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?
The book is a walk through faith not so much as in the literal type, but trusting that the lessons of our past will help us with future challenges.
Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?
The chapter where young Barkley escapes the house headed towards a busy road and I had to chase after him through this affluent subdivision wearing Wonder Woman Pajamas. Do this day, I can put myself back there and laugh until I cry. My neighbors however – probably needed eye bleach.
Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?
My Dad is 95, adopting my brother and I quite late in life. I wrote the book after losing both Barkley and my only brother at age 58 to sudden aggressive cancers. My story and Barkley’s story is OUR story, all of us and I wanted to capture it while Dad was still with us.
Q: Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?
I was once fired as an elf in Santa’s workshop because my very tall buxom shape did not QUITE fit into the little outfit, but they hired me for the red hair and green eyes. Think Hooters waitress look with pointy ears, not what they’d planned on. Some mothers complained that Santa was distracted and that was that.
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
I spent 20 years as an airline pilot – pure joy for me is to travel to the backyard with a grill and a six pack and hang out with my husband, but my favorite of all places I’ve flown to was
Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?
Morning – even on my days off I’m up by .
Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?
No. Just myself.
Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?
Yes, my Mom battled cancer more than once when I was a child and the house was kept quiet a lot so she could rest – that made for quiet hobbies and lots of dreams.
Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish. What would that be?
That all the dogs and cats in shelters across the country find forever homes that love them.
Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?
All of the proceeds for both of my books are donated to animals rescue non profits and Search Dog Foundation and we just added a senior lab mix to the household. Barkley would be pleased, I think.
Meet the Author
A former commercial pilot, LB Johnson grew up out West where she later received a doctorate in a Criminal Justice related field in order to pursue a career in federal service after hanging up her wings. She lives in Chicago with her husband and rescue dog Abby. Mrs. Johnson is active in animal rescue and donates 100% of her writing proceeds to animal rescue organizations across the United States as well as Search Dog Foundation.
Her books include the #1 Amazon Best Sellers "The Book of Barkley" and "Saving Grace - a Story of Adoption". She also has been awarded the Readers Favorite International Silver Book Award for Excellence in Writing.
Check out writing updates and news at her author's webpage http://lbjohnsonauthor.blogspot.com/