A Novel in Letters
by J. Wynn Rousuck
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Pub Date 07 Nov 2023 | Archive Date 11 Apr 2024
From the whimsical imagination of author J. Wynn Rousuck comes a quirky, heartwarming, and unforgettable tale. Written entirely in letters, Please Write chronicles the unlikely correspondence between two dogs and a human. The story that emerges is as profound as it is playful.
In the opening letter, Winslow, a noble Boston Terrier, writes to Grandma Vivienne complaining about the arrival of a muddy, mixed-breed puppy, rescued off the streets of Baltimore and dubbed “Zippy.” Despite personality clashes, the dogs gradually bond, offering each other — and their owners —joy when times are good and comfort when times are tough.
Winslow, a highly literate canine, painstakingly teaches spirited Zippy to read and write, using headlines in the newspapers that are spread on the kitchen floor. Zippy’s enthusiastic letters to Vivienne recount her antics and ambitions. Winslow’s letters express increasing concern about the dogs’ owners, Pamela and Frank, whose marriage is unraveling.
Writing from the Cleveland home where Pamela grew up, Vivienne sends unwavering support and affection, as well as greeting cards, recipes, and homemade gifts. Her letters also share the challenges facing Pamela’s mother, a recently widowed artist. And, if Vivienne bears a certain resemblance to Pamela’s mother … well, that might explain why the letters frequently say things mother and daughter cannot.
Combining the canine viewpoint of A Dog’s Purpose with the poignant epistolary style of The Guernsey Literary Potato Peel Pie Society, Please Write delivers a distinctive account of coping with heartbreak and loss through the power of imagination and love. With equal doses of wisdom and humor, Rousuck’s enchanting debut novel reminds us that, even in the darkest moments, there’s hope — especially when dogs are in our lives!
A Note From the Publisher
1. Innovative Storytelling: PLEASE WRITE presents a unique narrative style through the perspective of two canine protagonists, Winslow and Zippy. It opens the door to a fresh and unexpected lens on human lives and relationships, giving readers a different and delightful way to engage with a domestic drama.
2. Exploration of Emotional Depth: This book not only delivers a heartwarming tale but also delves into profound themes such as coping with loss, finding hope amid adversity, and the resilience of the spirit. The range of emotions expressed in this narrative will resonate deeply with many readers.
3. A Balanced Blend of Humor and Drama: J. Wynn Rousuck manages to deftly balance the charm of a classic coming-of-age tale with the humor of a modern-day comedy. The result is an engrossing story that's both whimsical and profound, offering readers an enchanting mix of laughter and tears.
4. Celebration of the Bond Between Humans and Pets: The book underscores the integral role pets play in human lives and celebrates the enduring bond between them. If you're an animal lover, this narrative will touch your heart with its depiction of the unyielding devotion pets have for their human family.
5. Praise from Renowned Authors and Critics: Celebrated authors and critics hail PLEASE WRITE as a triumph of love, laughter, and canine connection. With commendations from figures like Diane Cole, E.B. Bartels, Martha Teichner, Judy Klam, Linell Smith, and many more, the book has been acknowledged for its heartwarming, poignant storytelling and its innovative, unforgettable narrative style.
“This charming epistolary pup novel, Rousuck’s debut, celebrates dogs as family, with an emphasis on their love and idiosyncrasies… Sweet, hilarious novel of dogs as pen pals, told in their surprising letters… Comparable titles: Ann M. Martin’s A Dog’s Life, W. Bruce Cameron’s A Dog’s Purpose.”
—BOOKLIFE-PUBLISHERS’ WEEKLY EDITOR’S PICK
“An intimate tale of coping with hardship and loss, threaded with hope and whimsy.” —DIANE COLE, AUTHOR OF AFTER GREAT PAIN: A NEW LIFE EMERGES (A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK)
“A brilliant, lovely book that’s also perfectly titled, shapely, wise, hilarious, true, and deeply satisfying.” —ELLEN PALL, AUTHOR OF MUST READ WELL
“A witty, charming epistolary delight that weaves a poignant and insightful tale of loss and love.” —ROB SIVAK, FORMER SENIOR PRODUCER, WYPR, BALTIMORE’S NPR AFFILIATE
“A beautiful celebration of the human-canine relationship.” —E.B. BARTELS, AUTHOR OF GOOD GRIEF: ON LOVING PETS, HERE AND HEREAFTER
“Poignant and unforgettable storytelling related through laugh-out-loud correspondence.”
—LINELL SMITH, AWARD-WINNING JOURNALIST AND SENIOR EDITOR/WRITER FOR JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE
“The perfect book for all those who’ve gone on trips and secretly wished they could phone their dogs.”
—MARTHA TEICHNER, CBS NEWS CORRESPONDENT AND AUTHOR OF THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WHEN HARRY MET MINNIE
“Grief comes in many forms. Please Write reminds us that comfort and healing do, too.”
—ELIZA FELLER, FUNERAL DIRECTOR, SOL LEVINSON & BROS., BALTIMORE, MD
“A charming, lovely, sometimes heartbreaking, often hilarious book about dogs and the people who love them. It is a gift to dog lovers everywhere.” — JULIE KLAM, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF YOU HAD ME AT WOOF
“A warm, insightful story.” —DIANE DONOVAN, SENIOR REVIEWER, MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
“Funny, endearing, heart wrenching. A must-read for dog lovers.” —DR. PATRICIA BRADLEY, DVM
Marketing Plan for "Please Write"
1. Pre-launch (May - September 2023):
a. Build anticipation:
• Create a visually appealing book cover that resonates with the target audience.
• Set up a pre-order campaign on various platforms such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and independent bookstores.
• Design promotional material such as bookmarks, posters, and postcards.
b. Establish an online presence:
• Create a dedicated website for the book with a blog, author bio, book synopsis, and excerpts.
• Set up social media accounts on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to engage with potential readers, share updates, and create a community around the book.
• Utilize targeted social media ads to reach potential readers who are interested in similar books or themes.
c. Network and outreach:
• Contact relevant book clubs, reading groups, and online forums to promote the book and facilitate discussions.
• Seek endorsements and testimonials from influential authors, journalists, and celebrities in the pet and literary niches.
• Coordinate with bookstores and libraries for book displays, signings, and events.
2. Launch (October - November 2023):
a. Promote the release:
• Organize a book launch event, inviting local press, bookstores, and influencers.
• Host giveaways and contests on social media platforms to generate buzz and engagement.
• Collaborate with book bloggers, podcasters, and YouTubers for reviews, interviews, and features.
b. Utilize media coverage:
• Reach out to local and national newspapers, magazines, and online publications for press releases, articles, and author interviews.
• Coordinate with pet-focused or literary radio shows and podcasts for author interviews and book discussions.
• Submit the book to relevant book awards and competitions to gain recognition and increase visibility.
3. Post-launch (December 2023 - February 2024):
a. Sustain momentum:
• Continue to engage with the online community through social media, author Q&As, and blog updates.
• Monitor and respond to reader reviews on platforms like Amazon and Goodreads.
• Share reader testimonials and media coverage on the book's website and social media accounts.
b. Leverage holidays and events:
• Create holiday-themed promotions and discounts to drive sales during the gift-giving season.
• Attend and participate in relevant literary events, book festivals, and conferences to promote the book and network with other authors and industry professionals.
4. Ongoing marketing (March 2024 onwards):
a. Expand the book's reach:
• Explore opportunities for translations, audiobook production, and special edition releases.
• Utilize targeted advertising on platforms like Amazon and Facebook to reach new readers.
b. Continue author engagement:
• Maintain an active online presence and continue participating in relevant events and discussions.
• Keep the book's website and social media accounts updated with news, events, and author projects.