Meet Susi Pittman, Author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!
Norm Goldman, B.A. LL.L, is the
Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures, which he created in 2002.' Practicing law for over 35 years enabled Norm to transfer and apply to
book reviewing his many skills that he had perfected during his career in
the legal profession and as a result he became a prolific free lance
book reviewer & author interviewer. To read more about Norm Follow Here
Today, Norm Goldman Publisher & Editor of Bookpleasures.com is pleased to have as our guest Susi Pittman, author of Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!
Good day Susi and thanks for participating in our interview
Please tell our readers a little bit about your personal and professional background and why you became interested in saving animals?
Hi Norm, thank you. Some personal and professional background on myself, can be summed up in one word….”diversified.” On a personal level, I am a native Floridian, whose family arrived in Florida back in 1868 and settled to grow citrus. Ecology and love of animals you could say, is almost genetic. Growing up, we always had a dog in the house, cats and birds and family members had horses and farm animals, so to love my surroundings wasn’t hard…even though it required work. I had a gift to understand animals and they understood me…it was just an unseen “knowing” what each other was about. On a professional level I have worked most of my life in sales and communications, working as a feature writer and photographer, office manger in an insurance office, real estate agent and owner of a Travel Agency, thus the diversification. But, always number one with me was my family and my extended animal family. That has always been my vocation.
How did you decide you were ready to write Animals in Heaven? Catholics Want to Know!
This book had been on my mind and in my research box for years. My husband was my partner in all things and he loved our animal family very much. He was dying of cancer in January 2008, and he said to me; “Susi, you gotta write your book now. God needs you now, not in the way He needs me, He needs you to bring truth and peace to the souls of animal lovers. Promise me you will write and publish this book you have been wanting to write!” I promised and 1 year and eleven months later, the book debuted.
Could you briefly tell our readers something about your book? What is the underlying message or theme of the book?
The most important subject is, Does God really care about any of creation outside of humankind? Where and how is the answer to that question found? Will animals and all of creation be in heaven?
We delve into the sacred scriptures and traditions of the Church and also bring to light new emerging scientific studies, personal experiences, animal chronicles of the Saints, all of these bringing together a cohesive and authentic truth that says, “yes,” God has given creation and the animals order, purpose and an eternal destiny in Him.
What do you want your book to do and what was one of the most surprising things you learned in writing your book? As a follow up, whom do you believe will benefit from your book and why?
I would love for the book to comfort those who doubt that God will not provide an eternal reunion with their pets. I would hope the book would inspire ecologist and conservationist to a more inspired and spiritually directed response to creation. And for sure, that a renewed love of Our Creator might burn in souls because God in His goodness allows nothing that He created as “good” to ever slip away into nothingness.
Perhaps the most surprising thing I learned while writing the book, is that the Catholic Church truly has very little in print on the subject. Thanks to the Order of Franciscans, we certainly have more than we would have had, but, surprisingly, the last book in print from the Church with regards to animals was back in 1906.
How has the feedback been so far? As a
follow up, what do you say to those people who are skeptical about
the subject matter?
Feed back has been great! The title of the book
causes people to think… basically because it is addressed to
Catholics. But, many, many of the people who have bought the book are
from other faith denominations and the feedback from everyone thus
far has said that they are sharing the book with friends. You can get
national reviews of the book on our WEB SITE
As far as people that are skeptical, I try to enjoin them by listening to their objections and acknowledging them. They are the reason I wrote the book!
What kind of research did you do to write this book?
A great deal of scriptural and doctrinal based research from the perspective of Catholic theology. One of the new and emerging scientific studies that is finding its mainstream audience is authentic, documented Near Death Experiences….I find that fascinating. And I could have written a book entirely of the Saints and the animals and the incredible and extraordinary moments that only God could produced between two species of creation.
What challenges or obstacles did you encounter while writing your book? How did you overcome these challenges?
It had to be writers block. Every time it happened, I would load up my research materials and my Dalmatian, Buddy, and we would head out of town to a quiet place where I could hear again. Quiet and prayer works wonders and leaving the noise behind and taking sanctuary in the natural realm is medicinal for me.
Can you tell us how you found representation for your book? Did you pitch it to an agent, or query publishers who would most likely publish this type of book? Any rejections? Did you self-publish?
The Catholic Book arena is a very protected area. You just don’t “break-in” to being a recognized Catholic writer out of nowhere. Most recognized Catholic writers are clergy or are degreed individuals, professors, and the likes, that are highly visible in Church theology. I did not pursue a Catholic Publishing Company and I have no hard feelings about that. I understand the Church on that subject. I did instead connect with iUniverse where I was guided through a tremendously efficient editing process, very good editors….making the book a great book instead of just a good book. It was a little over a year from submitted manuscript to book debut.
Is there anything else you'd like to share with us and how can our readers find out more about you and your book?
I would like to invite your readers to find us on the WEB, where they can also find out more about the book. Our web site was designed to get people excited about being Stewards of Creation by engaging them in current ecological, animal advocacy and conservationist news. We have celebrity guest columnists and a place to share your pets, your tips, a story and many more things. We offer a Legislators page to write your state and national representatives. We want Stewards to be informed, entertained and connected. So come and visit us!
And, by the way, I am working on my next book. Suffice it to say that it intends to engage all people into a riveting and powerful study of life beyond this world.
Thanks once again and good luck with all of your future endeavors.