Monday, February 11, 2013

Daniel Saynuk: The IAN Interview

Daniel Saynuk

Legally blind writer Daniel Saynuk has a special fondness for guide dogs. His own beloved guide dog helps him more easily live his life in his home town of Baltimore, Maryland. Daniel began writing stories while pursuing his Business Administration degree, and established his own company to bring the book Guide Doggie to life. He is passionate about educating others about the valuable services guide dogs provide to the visually impaired.

IAN. Please tell us about your latest book.

DS. Being visually impaired I had been around people who used guide dogs in order to gain more independence. Fairly recently I decided I would like one of these wonderful working animals for myself. After being accepted into a guide dog school and going through the process of learning how to work with my new guide dog, I began to see other people had questions and wanted to pet the dog while he was working on guiding me. This was a problem since the dog needs to concentrate on guiding while working not playing. In my opinion the guide dog schools do all they can to teach the public but to me people still have questions. I didn’t know anything about these dogs prior to being trained on how to use one so I know how people feel because I had many questions during training. I’d never even had a dog much less one that was trained to guide.

So as a result of all this I wanted to make a book that not only could teach people about what a guide dog does and things they should know when they see one, but also a book that was fun. So I added illustrations to make the book more entertaining.

Then I figured I may as well ad some word games too. And the illustrations should be able to be black line drawings so the reader can color in the pages how ever she or he wants. So as a result Guide Doggie was born.

Its Guide Doggie: Learn How Guide Dogs Help The Blind In This Coloring Book. It's a 8.5 by 11 inch paperback that tells the story of a dog becoming a guide dog and the chores he completes on a daily basis. Each page of the story can be colored in. There is also a fill-in-the-blank portion where you use the previous pages to see what words are missing for the blank spots. That section also has coloring pages as well. A crossword puzzle, word search, and word jumble word games are also there. The games use information on guide dogs for the clues and answers. If you don’t know the answer its no big deal because each word game has an answer page also to help answer the games.

The ebook version that is just the story of the dog with no word games or coloring pages but the ebook does have the same illustrations as the paperback and in full-color. That ebook is called Guide Doggie: Learn How Guide Dogs Help The Blind In This Brief Picture eBook.

IAN. Did you create the drawings and the puzzles?

DS. No, I had someone else do the drawings for me. The puzzles were created with software I purchased. I looked into using free options online but I preferred the puzzles produced from a software.

IAN. How long did it take to write Guide Doggie?

DS. The writing took maybe a week or so. I did a draft of a bunch of ideas. Then I had to decide how to weave it all together. For instance it the book starts with the dog as a puppy, moving through guide dog school, getting matched with a person the dog will guide etc.

IAN. Talk about the writing process. 

DS. I found it better to write down things in the evening. I think about what
I’ve got so far during the day. Then I try to add a little to it in the evening
while also rereading what I’d wrote already.

IAN. Did you use an outline or do you just wing the first draft?

DS. I just wrote down a bunch of ideas at first. Then I kept looking it over
thinking about what else could go in the story. I wrote some of the page titles
and wrote a description of what should be happening in the picture. Then I
wrote the sentence on each page under the headings of the pages based on
what I wanted to have in the picture for that page. That way the picture and
the heading of each page matched up perfectly.

IAN. How is your book different from others in your genre?

DS. As far as I’m aware there’s only been a few other books like Guide Doggie put out to teach the public about guide dogs. I don’t know of any that are told
from the dogs perspective that also include pages to color and activities other
than my Guide Doggie coloring book.

IAN. Is your book published in print, e-book or both?

DS. There is both a print and ebook version The print version is called Guide
Doggie: Learn How Guide Dogs Help The Blind In This Coloring Book. The
ebook is called Guide Doggie: Learn How Guide Dogs Help The Blind In This
Brief Picture eBook. The paperback has the activities and pages to color as
where the ebook is is the story of the dog only. But its pictures are in full-

IAN. What do you hope your readers come away with after reading Guide Doggie?

DS. I hope readers learn that interaction with a guide dog should be avoided
while the dog is working. Also know that when a guide dog is not working he
acts just like any other dog. There are some toys and treats that need to be
avoided but in general a guide dog acts like any other dog when it is not
guiding someone.

IAN. Where can we go to buy your book?

DS. The paperback can be purchased at Amazoncom

It is also for sale on Barnes and Noble’s website as well as can be ordered
through Ingram.

The ebook can be purchased on 

IAN. Tell us about your next book or a work in progress. Is it a sequel or a stand alone?

D.S. I’d like to write a fictional story. I began writing it a few years ago and have a few chapters of it already.

IAN. Any other links or info you'd like to share?

DS. You may visit my website at:

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