Author Web site: www.jeanmfogle.com
When Molly, my Jack Russell Terrier, was six months old, I took her to the beach. From her first step in the sand till the moment I dragged her away, it was apparent that the beach was heaven on earth to my terrier. Seeing her spontaneity and joy liberated me. As she dashed headlong in to the waves, I felt the stress of the day melt away and laughter tumble from my throat. Together we met many friends and no strangers. Glancing out to sea, I noticed a surfer getting ready to put his golden retriever on his surfboard. Thrusting Molly into the arms of a new friend, I grabbed my camera and ran. Wading out as deep as I dared, I started taking pictures. As I clicked away, the surfer positioned his dog on the board and pushed him into a wave. With a huge canine grin, the golden rode the wave till it folded over him and only a nose showed through the surf. Wading back to shore I knew I had some good shots. After a full day of romping, it was time to go. After she refused to leave, I finally picked up the squirming Molly and headed for the car.
When I got the slides back, they showed how much fun dogs and owners have at the beach and the idea for Salty Dogs, a photo book of dogs at the beach, was born.
Before Molly, I worked at our garden center and did some freelance garden writing and photography. Once she squirmed her way into my heart, she inspired me to become a full-time photographer/writer, specializing in dogs. While my work appeared in calendars, magazines, and other people’s books, I continued to work on getting the images I needed to do Salty Dogs.
Fall of 2003 I went to a conference where I was able to propose Salty Dogs to several publishers. The comments always were the same: great concept, too expensive to produce. I kept plugging away, determined that Salty Dogs would become a reality.
In December of 2006, I was doing some work for the Dummies books when I thought to ask my editor if they would be interested in seeing my book proposal for Salty Dogs. She put me in touch with another department and by February I had a contract in hand. When Salty Dogs was taken to the acquisitions meeting, one of the editors remembered seeing Salty Dogs at the conference.
Moral of the story, keep trying! A proposal that was too expensive 3 years ago is now a book!