Don and Cathy Rush have written and self-published five illustrated storybooks including Robby’s Quest for Seed, Robby’s Quest: Ocean Bound, Robby’s Quest: Return of the Cat, Robby’s Quest: Thrills and Chills and Hershey Learns a lesson. They have two daughters, Rebecca and Tiffany and they live with their cats Nomi and Hershey in Arizona.
Both Cathy and Don are 62 years old. They met and married in Phoenix, Arizona in December 1985. At the time, Don was a Manufacturing Manager and Cathy was a Pharmacy Tech. Don also served as a Governing Board member in Phoenix, Arizona from January 1991 to September 1994.
NAW- When did your literary journey begin? At what age did you discover that you wanted to write?
In early 2000, I attempted to write a book about management styles. I thought maybe I had something to offer. At the time I was managing a Production Plant in Minnesota and had very little time to write so I decided to put this project on hold until a later date. I retired in May 2009 and found I needed a hobby. I began writing Robby’s Quest for Seed in 2010. The finished book sat on our computer hard drive for nearly a year before we were encouraged to publish our first book.
NAW-Tell us about your books. How did you get the idea for writing for the children?
Cathy and I often fed the birds in our backyard. We loved watching the birds sitting together on the block wall while waiting their turns at the birdfeeder. When larger Doves were too big to land on the birdfeeder, the smaller birds would kick seed to the ground for the larger birds to eat. It was very amusing. This gave us the idea to write a story about the birds. We wondered what the birds were thinking during their travels and adventures.
NAW- How many works have you completed till now? Which one was the most fun?
To date, we have written and published five illustrated storybooks. The first book was probably the most fun. At the same time, learning the process of writing, editing, illustrating, formatting and publishing a book has been an incredible experience. Also, learning about building a website or a video has been lots of fun.
NAW- What was your first writing assignment?
Robby’s Quest for Seed was my first assignment.
NAW- How difficult is it to write for children?
Personally, I think it is very difficult, and more expensive, to write for children. You have to keep the story interesting, not only for the child but also for the adult who may be reading the book to a younger child. You have to add lots of dialog exchanges between characters. Also, you have to use your imagination. The characters have to be endearing. The first thing children look for in a book is the pictures, so you have to find an illustrator that captures your story and keeps the reader interested in your book. Illustrating a children’s book in color is very expensive.
NAW- Writing is not looked upon as a full time vocation in many countries, were you aware that making a living solely out of writing is difficult when you first started out?
Since I’m retired, I only write part time. Most months, we do not make any money on our books or if anything, only a few dollars. We will probably never recoup our investment. Since the books cost so much to write, edit, illustrate, promote and publish, we have to slow down and be more selective on what we publish from here on. It’s a good thing we are not doing this for the money. We enjoy writing for the children. We like giving away books to the local children’s hospitals or for literacy events. We have three young grand children so we write for our grandchildren and their grandchildren. We hope our stories can last for generations.
NAW- Did you face any difficulties while self publishing your book?
We did not have any difficulty self publishing other than learning the process. All our eBooks are self-published at Amazon and the paperbacks are available at Createspace. Both Amazon and Createspace were very helpful teaching us how to format and upload our books. There are books you can download for free that are excellent formatting guides. I thought the last few books we published were very easy. We have learned a great deal about the business.
NAW- Where can readers buy your books?
Our eBooks are only available at Amazon. The paperback versions are available at Amazon or Createspace. We also have audio books and they can be purchased at either Amazon.com or Audible.com. The easiest way to purchase one of our books is to visit our website at www.dcrushbooks.com where you can find the purchasing links, read more about each book, watch our videos, view our illustration slide show or listen to an audio book sample.
NAW- Please name your 5 favourite books.
Jurassic Park, The Godfather, The Sicilian, Marathon Man, Jaws, and anything by D.C. Rush
NAW- What are your upcoming projects?
We are writing the sequel to Hershey Learns a Lesson titled “Hershey Pays it Forward”. In this story, Hershey and his cat friends form a club dedicated to helping other animals in the neighborhood. Also, we are wring a story about three dogs, a Dalmatian, a Golden Retriever and a Rotweiller, who bring down a dog fighting ring. This book will be titled “The Daring Dogs and the K9 Kennel Caper”. Both the new books are nearly completed and we will be sending the manuscript to the editor and illustrator very soon.