We hope you enjoy these interviews with Flap and Dan!
When journalist Amber Foster from Style Magazine posed a few innocuous questions to Dan Cohen for the April edition, she didn’t know what she’d let herself in for. They’re not quite the answers one would normally expect. See for yourself and let us know if you agree.
Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve?
A: I don’t have a pet peeve and I resent those who do – peeves are meant to live in the wild.
Q: Are you high or low maintenance?
A: I’m more of a preventive maintenance kind of guy.
Q: Biggest life inspirations?
A: The beauty and power of nature and the compassionate souls who are all around us.
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: My navel lint collection.
Q: Favorite humanitarian cause?
A: Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign.
Q: Best words of wisdom you’ve received?
A: “Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog, it’s too dark to read.” – Groucho Marx
When asked for his “FAVORITES”, Dan replied:
Author/Writer: Stephen King
Guilty Pleasure: Rum raisin ice cream and diet soda.
Meal in town: Home, Fat’s Asia Bistro and Visconti’s
Memory: My dad’s unintentional humor
Movie: The Big Lebowski
Musician/band: Kris Delmhorst, Peter Yarrow
Local nonprofit: Noah’s Wish
Saying: “Worry is the dividend paid to disaster before it is due.
March 22, 2014
Hi Flap Fans!
You’ve all read interviews that were real dogs. So how about a dog who has a real interview? Published Indie Authors (PiA) asked me a few probing questions. Of course my responses were characteristically cogent and provocative. Read on my friends…
PIA: Please welcome author, Dan Cohen and his trusty sidekick, Flapjack, to PiA’s Interview an Author.
Q. Flapjack, you have publicly stated that, even though your human companion Dan Cohen has written two books thus far in The Adventures of Flapjack series, you are the actual author and Dan is just taking credit. Can you explain?
A. My ‘dad’ and I have a special bond. He is able to understand my thoughts. At first, this was highly disconcerting to me because he doesn’t seem to have the capacity to understand his own thoughts, much less those of a higher functioning being like myself. But I adapted. Over time, I mentally dictated a couple of stories to him, he wrote them down, and the rest is history. Characteristically, he took full credit for authoring the books, but I humbly allowed him to do so, because that is what dogs do.
Q. The first book, The Adventures of Flapjack – Finding Where I Belong, is about you being lost in a forest as a puppy. Was this true?
A. Absolutely…I think. Actually, I was too young to remember whether I was lost or abandoned, but I spent considerable time in the western Sierra foothills until I was captured by a forest ranger and eventually adopted by my new mom and dad (Dan and Kim). I made friends with many animals, but there was one special duck who took me under his wing and taught me the ways of the forest. The book is all about adaptation, and children relate to it because they are constantly adapting from one situation to the next.
Q. What’s the second book about?
A. It’s called The Adventures of Flapjack – The Collar of Courage, and it’s all about self-esteem. Yours truly is being bullied by a mean spirited dog and is desperately trying to work up the courage to confront him. With a little help, I was able to work things out. And again, the story speaks to issues which children face daily. And, of course, Dad makes Mom and himself look very wise…don’t get me started.
Q. I noticed that the books are written as narrative poems. Was that how you dictated them to Dan, or was that his idea?
A. Dad doesn’t know an adverb from an adlib, so he could no more write a poem independently than I could climb a tree. It is a little known fact that Australian Shepherds are fiercely poetic…rhyming and herding are our greatest attributes.
Q. Is there another book on the horizon?
A. I always envisioned a 3-book series. The last one will be about handling the loss of a loved one. This is a bit tricky, but Aussies are great with tricks and I think it will be no less than a literary classic (if Dad doesn’t mess it up).
Q. Can you tell us a little about Dan?
A. I’d be happy to, although I can’t for the life of me understand why his background would be of interest to anyone with half a brain. After being raised by wolves until he was kicked out of the pack when he was 18, he managed to achieve a B.A., M.A. and a law degree. His career spanned from State Park Ranger to environmental administrator to managing attorney. He’s worked as a pro tem judge, a dog handler and as a telephone counselor for the “Drive-Your-Dog-Crazy Hotline.” He’s written short stories, poems and songs for years, and thank heavens none of them has seen the light of day. If not for me, his writing aspirations would continue to be residing in the dumpster where they certainly belong.
Q. What if these books become big sellers? I’m sure you will benefit in some way.
A. I’ve already achieved enough fame for one dog. But if you’re referring to monetary gain, Mom and Dad have decided to donate all their net proceeds to a worthy organization called . This entity aims to eradicate child hunger in the U.S. As nice as this gesture is, it also means that I won’t be seeing any doghouse renovations, weekly massages, or gold plated collars as a result of book sales. And that’s fine because Aussies are not much into materialism, much less ostentatious displays. Still, would it have killed them to keep a few dollars and provide me with a little steak now and then?
Q. Who illustrated the books?
A. The first one was illustrated by renowned artist Mark Anderson who resides in Indiana. The second was illustrated by an amazing young talent, Lisa Norman who lives in southern California. It must be mentioned that, if I had opposable thumbs, I could have done amazing illustrations, and would have charged Dad accordingly.
Q. Any final thoughts?
A. Yes. I’d just like to thank you for awarding me the Pulitzer Pooch for these books. I’ll try to live up to the honor you have bestowed upon me.
Q. I’m afraid there must be some misunderstanding…this is just an interview. There is no prize being awarded.
A. Uh, I see. Well, Dad told me… oh, forget it. I can’t wait to get my paws on him!
The Adventures of Flapjack – The Collar of Courage is the second in a series of illustrated narrative poems written by Flapjack, an intrepid Australian Shepherd (and dictated to me). The books focus on our hero facing the same types of issues children typically encounter, and invite the readers (or those to whom the books are read) to help Flapjack work his way through the challenges. All author’s net proceeds are being donated to No Kid Hungry, an organization endeavoring to end childhood hunger in the U.S.
The author can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
PIA: This was a pure delight to interview you today, Flapjack. Please stop by again to share any new projects you have with PiA readers. Thank you, Dan, for bringing Flapjack here and sharing him with us. Dan, you have a marvelous sense of humor. Also, I have to commend you on your generosity with all your proceeds going to the organization, No Kid Hungry.
Thank you to our PiA readers and supporters for stopping by today to read about Dan Cohen and his delightful dog, Flapjack. I hope you enjoyed this amusing interview as much as I did. I found I was laughing out loud at some of Flapjacks replies.
Please support Indie Authors by purchasing their wonderful books and posting a kind review. Your support is greatly appreciated by all of us here at PiA.
– Posted on PiA by Janice Spina
June 24, 2013
The editors from Mom-Spot.com recently conducted an interview with Dan that Flapjack thought you might enjoy. To learn more about the Mom-Spot.com network, a trusted resource for moms, please visit their site. Yes…you guessed it…at http://mom-spot.com To read the interview on their site, review other readers’ comments and/or add to them yourself, please visit:
And now for the interview.
Rumor has it you were raised by wolves. What was that like?
- No TV, no ice cream, no summers at the beach…but on the other hand, I could wolf my food down without being admonished, didn’t have to pick out what to wear each day, and NO CLASSROOMS.
What is your professional background?
- After being expelled from my wolf pack for conduct unbecoming to a wild canine, I entered human society and earned a B.A. in humorous chemical reactions, M.A. in memory enhancement and..um, I forgot the rest of it, and a law degree. I’ve been a state park ranger and dog patrol handler, an environmental administrator, an attorney for California Department of Social Services, an Assistant Chief Counsel for that department, and a pro tem judge. In my capacity as counsel for the state agency that protects vulnerable populations, I worked extensively with foster and group home children, many of whom were abused.
How did you get interested in writing children’s books?
- I’ve always enjoyed writing…everything from poems to songs to short stories to screen plays. However, I never intended to write a children’s book until Flapjack came into our lives. Then I pulled from my personal experiences with troubled kids and Flapjack’s character in creating the series.
Is Flapjack real? If so, tell us how you met and how he inspired you for your first book.
- Nine years ago, shortly after we lost our beloved Australian Shepherd, Sydney, Flapjack emerged. We were not looking for another dog, but we instantly bonded with him when we passed an adoption event at Petsmart. He had been lost in the forest, just as the book relates. Over time, we marveled at Flapjack’s personality. He has a joy of life from which we can all learn, and a non-aggressive attitude toward every creature he encounters. A particular duck repeatedly flew in and landed a few paces from Flapjack on our daily walks. It was as if they knew each other. This was the germination of the story.
Does he meet readers? Does he do interviews?
- Yes and yes. Flapjack has a book signing and readings scheduled locally in coming weeks, with more to follow. Although I understand his vocalizations, most people don’t, so interviews with him are usually in writing. Folks can communicate with him at http://www.theadventuresofflapjack.com/connect-with-flap.
Does he have a fan club and/or answer email?
- Organization of his fan club is in progress. But he is definitely connectable: