Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Vivian Zabel, Author and Publisher

It's VBT - Writers on the Move's September tour and it gives me great pleasure to present Vivian Gilbert Zabel. Vivian will be my guest today, and again on Thursday, September 3rd. Just as a note, Vivian also goes by V. Gilbert Zabel. Today, we’ll learn a little about Vivian with a short bio and we’ll also take a peek at one of her juvenile books, Prairie Dog Cowboy.

As with most women raising a family and working, Vivian put her writing career in slow gear until she retired. Then, after almost thirty years of teaching, she devoted her time to writing. It seems this is the trend of women in today’s society; one career ends and another is picked up. Ah, the power of us women! But, this is even more of an accomplishment for someone suffering with rheumatoid arthritis and Lupus. To steadily move forward while handling serious chronic illnesses is quite an achievement since at times just living with a chronic illness can be a full time job. Well, Vivian is not only a published author of short stories, poems, and novels, she also created and runs 4RV Publishing. Vivian is certainly a testament to determination, perseverance and strength.

Vivian has three juvenile books and one mystery/suspense (with a touch of thriller) novel under her belt and today we’ll take a look at one of the juvenile books: Prairie Dog Cowboy. Just the name alone sounds great; it makes you want to shout: Giddy Up! Here’s an impressive review:

Prairie Dog Cowboy by V. Gilbert Zabel

Time passes so quickly and history is getting rewritten all the time. So much of our heritage is lost with those changes. It is refreshing to see a slice of reality portraying the daily life of 1899 Oklahoma in V. Gilbert Zabel's latest literary work, "Prairie Dog Cowboy".

Buddy Roberts is but a small boy at the start of the story. It isn’t clear right away why his mother is set against the child. Although he has an older brother, he's tending to the cattle at the age of five, all alone with only his dog to keep him company. Buddy is a mindful child, doing what needs to be done, even at such a young age, hoping some day to grow up to be a cowboy. Instead of him and Patch doing the work on foot, he dreams of herding cattle on horseback someday.

Neighbor rancher Caleb Hyman is impressed with Buddy. He wonders, too, why the child works hard while his older brother, Jake, is doted on and spoiled. But, Caleb can see the man that Buddy will become, encourages him, and teaches him to rope. Once Buddy can rope a prairie dog, Caleb promises he'll give the boy a job on his ranch. Not an easy thing to do, but Buddy works hard to reach his appointed goal.

Through the years, Buddy becomes a part of Caleb's family, a friend of Caleb's twin sons, and the unknowing object of affection for their younger sister, Katie. Life begins to take a turn for the better as he approaches manhood.

"Prairie Dog Cowboy" is a testament of a time when life was hard, but people weren't afraid of hard work. The day-to-day occurrences represented are an accurate telling of the time, history that should not be lost. Teens and young adults can learn much from this story and I, for one, am thankful that Ms. Zabel has documented this slice of American history.

Reviewed by Jena' Galifany
Author, Editor, Reviewer

I love juvenile books that weave accurate history into their stories; it’s such a great way for children to learn without realizing they’re actually learning. And, as the reviewer, Jena Galifany, mentions, it’s a wonderful means of preserving our history.

Be sure to check the links below to get your own copy of Prairie Dog Cowboy today:
Amazon: http://tinyurl.com/5s4uqw

Talk to you soon,


Deborah Weed said...

Karen, thank you for your interview on Vivian. Not only did I get to know about Prairie Dog Cowboy, I also felt Vivian's courage through your words.

Prairie Dog Cowboy sounds like a story that celebrates tenacity, courage, family and a look at growing up in a simpler, more authentic time. You are right, this kind of history should not be lost!

Vivian, you are in inspiration for all of us!

Gayle said...

Vivian, I love your book cover!

Katie Hines said...

I really liked the interview. Like Vivian, I came to writing late, but I don't have four books under my belt! Hope you have lots of sales, Vivian.

Nancy Famolari said...

Excellent interview. I enjoyed the review of Prairie Dog Cowboy. It's a book well-worth reading, even if you're not a kid!

Vivian Zabel said...

Thanks, Karen, for the post about me and Prairie Dog Cowboy.

By the way, at book festivals I've had as many adults buy the book for themselves as for children.

Helena Harper said...

Karen and Vivian - you both inspire me with your determination to keep moving on and achieving, regardless of the obstacles you may encounter on your way. It is humbling to read what Vivian has achieved despite her physical ills. I would be very interested to know what inspired you, Vivian, to write your book. Are you interested in that period of history?


Vivian Zabel said...

I've always been interested in history, and when my husband kept sharing his experiences on the farm, as a cowboy, and while breaking horses, I knew I had to use them some time.

I did, by setting some of his experiences back in time. He was born over 50 years after Buddy, the main character in Prairie Dog Cowboy.

Harry Gilleland said...

Good post about Vivian! I have been friends with Vivian for years now. I was impressed with her writing when I first met her, and I still remain a fan of her writing today. Plus she is one busy, hard-working lady who is a good role model to emulate ... only I lack her energy!



Carolyn Howard-Johnson said...

Did you know that there is so much call for juvenile books that some of the big bookstore chains are starting marketing programs to promote them? Special sections, etc.

Carolyn Howard-Johnson
Tweeting writing tips at www.twitter.com/frugalbookpromo

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Hey, All,
Thanks for stopping by. Thursday we'll have the Q&A!


Vivian Zabel said...

Yes, thank you for visiting.

Do I know any of the answers?


kathy stemke said...

I've read "Praire Dog Cowboy" and I enjoyed it throughly. Vivian is a wonderful writer and an outstanding person.

Vivian Zabel said...

*blush* Thank you, Kathy.

I really enjoyed writing Prairie Dog Cowboy. I've heard that it isn't good to switch genres, that an author should stick to one. However, I have so many ideas for different types of books. I don't want to stick to only one.

Thanks, folks, for stopping by and leaving comments.

Stephen Tremp said...

I love books about the prarie as I read many when I was a kid growing up in Michigan (although we didn't have any praries). There's something about stories unfolding under the expanse of the big sky that engages and pulls me in. No city sky scrapers, no traffic jams, no back alleys. Just a lot of wide open space for stuff to happen.

Stephen Tremp

Dorothy Massey said...

Inspiring post. Thanks so much karen and Vivian. I also became a writer when I gave up teaching, although I now teach Creative Writing, which I love.
Dorothy Massey www.kidsbooksuk.blogspot.com

madcapmaggie said...

Always a pleasure to read more about Vivian. Thanks for the interesting interview.

Margaret Fieland

Vivian Zabel said...

I'm enjoying the comments for this post. Thanks, everyone.

Crystalee said...

Prarie Dog Cowboy is on my to-read list. Vivian is an excellent author and a great editor to work with!

Vivian Zabel said...

Thanks, Crys. It helps to be a good editor when working with a good writer.

Karen and Robyn - Writing for Children said...

Wow, this is the most comments I think I've ever received here.

Thanks, everyone for dropping on by.

Vivian, you certainly are a crowd pleaser! I'm thrilled your my quest this tour.