Skip to main content

Interview With W. Bruce Cameron, Author of A DOG'S PURPOSE and 8 SIMPLE RULES FOR DATING MY TEENAGE DAUGHTER

This interview is with W. Bruce Cameron, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of A DOG'S PURPOSE, which was bought by DreamWorks for a live-action film, with Cameron adapting the screenplay. Cameron is also the author of Emory’s Gift: A Novel, the NYT bestseller, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, which was turned into the hit ABC series that continues to run in syndication, and How to Remodel a Man (which was excerpted in O magazine and Cameron was a guest on Oprah). His latest novel, A Dog’s Journey, is the eagerly anticipated sequel to A Dog’s Purpose.

In celebration of my latest humor book, RED DOG / BLUE DOG: WHEN POOCHES GET POLITICAL (Running Press, August 2012), which features political humor and funny dogs, I am featuring interviews with other dog book writers. It's very exciting to shine light on books from other writers who also share a love for canines.

This week it's W. Bruce Cameron, New York Times & USA Today bestselling author of A DOG'S PURPOSE, which was bought by DreamWorks for a live-action film, with Cameron adapting the screenplay.

Cameron is also the author of Emory’s Gift: A Novel, the NYT bestseller, 8 Simple Rules for Dating My Teenage Daughter, which was turned into the hit ABC series that continues to run in syndication, andHow to Remodel a Man(which was excerpted in O Magazine and Cameron was a guest on Oprah). His latest novel, A Dog’s Journey, is the eagerly anticipated sequel to A Dog’s Purpose.

GIVEAWAY: Bruce is excited to give away a free copy of his book to a random reader of this post. Within 2 weeks, either comment below or, if you can't leave a comment, simply e-mail me at literaryagent [at] fwmedia.com with "Bruce" in the subject line and send your comment over email, which I will personally pass to Bruce. Both are legit ways to enter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: Wendy Greenley won.)

Image placeholder title
Image placeholder title

(Left photo credit: Ute Ville)

Do you currently own dogs? Tell us their names, breeds and one amusing fact per dog.

My dog's name is Tucker, and his DNA is unidentifiable and suspect. He just turned two years old, which meant he has spent two years attempting to dig the stereo cables out from under the carpet.

In one sentence, what is your most recent book about?

A Dog's Journey continues the life of Buddy, the dog we last met in A Dog's Purpose, who is a dog who is reincarnated and remembers each of his lives, learning lessons from each to help him with the next.

When did it come out? Publisher? Any notable awards or praise for it?

Tom Doherty, an imprint of Macmillan, published it in May 2012. It was a NY Times bestseller and my dog says it is "chewy."

(Pitch agents at a writers' conference.)

What inspired you to write A Dog’s Purpose and A Dog’s Journey?

I was riding my mountain bike in Colorado and I met a dog who reminded me so much of my very first dog, in the way she interacted with me, looked at me, and wagged her tail, that I rode away convinced I'd just very possibly met the reincarnated version of my long lost friend. This sense stuck with me for years, and I found myself wondering what it would be like if dogs never died -- what would that look like from the dog's perspective?

How did you go from writing comedy to writing about dogs?

I found out the dog was writing about me, so it was an act of self-defense. Actually, having a joyful and optimistic main character is an easy move for a humor writer, and there is a lot to laugh about in A Dog's Journey.

How did you find your agent?

More than ten years ago I was on the stairmaster and the woman next to me was a published author. She introduced me to my first agent, and then, after my book 8 Simple Rules for Dating my Teenage Daughter became a TV show, I found myself with agents and managers and lawyers and all sorts of helpful people who are delighted to take a percentage of my income.

Image placeholder title

This interview conducted by Stephanie Feldstein, animal advocate and writer.
You can find her campaigning at Change.org, tweeting @sfeldstein,
or catering to the whims of her quirky rescued animals. She's
represented by Barbara Poelle of the Irene Goodman Literary Agency.

What has been the biggest surprise or learning experience you’ve seen through the process of seeing your book(s) get published?

I am stunned by how much time and effort I must spend marketing my book and interacting with my readers. With social media, you don't just publish a book and figure you've done your part; your fans want to talk to you, have a conversation. It means, though, that you can connect with your readers like never before, so you don't have to guess what they like -- you can ask.

Tell me about a fun moment or proud experience you’ve had with your book and readers since the book was published.

With my book How to Remodel a Man, I was on Oprah, Fox News, the Early Show, and Good Morning America. Oprah was the best, an hour long segment --TV is so short, you answer a few questions and then it's over. It feels like a hit-and-run with a camera.

(Literary agents share helpful advice for new writers.)

What are you doing to reach out to readers and dog enthusiasts?

We have a Facebook fan page with over 220,000 fans, and we post dog pictures, talk to readers, and give away free stuff -- every single day. I answer my emails, which sounds stupid except I get a lot of emails now, so it's not the "of course you do" sort of thing.

Back to the dogs...Think of your dog. If you could compare him to one celebrity, who would it be?

I think Tucker wants to go live with the Kardashians.

Where can people find you on the internet?

Facebook: look for "A Dog’s Purpose." My websites are adogspurpose.com and www.brucecameron.com. Tucker has a Facebook page, too. He's picky about who he accepts as friends, but he has a thing for Springer Spaniels.

What’s next up for you, writing-wise?

I have a book coming out fall 2013 called The Dogs of Christmas. I wrote and produced an independent movie this last spring that's in post-production right now, the name keeps changing on that one but right now we call it "40 is the New Dead." And now I need to propose a couple more books to my editor and see if I can talk her into letting me do some more dog stories!

GIVEAWAY: Bruce is excited to give away a free copy of his book to a random reader of this post. Within 2 weeks, either comment below or, if you can't leave a comment, simply e-mail me at literaryagent [at] fwmedia.com with "Bruce" in the subject line and send your comment over email, which I will personally pass to Bruce. Both are legit ways to enter. Comment within 2 weeks; winners must live in Canada/US to receive the book by mail. You can win a blog contest even if you’ve won before. (UPDATE: Wendy Greenley won.)

Image placeholder title

RED DOG / BLUE DOG is a humorous photo collection of
dogs doing stereotypical liberal and conservative things,
assembled all in good fun. It released in Aug. 2012 from
Running Press and has been featured by USA Today,
PoliticalWire.com, The Huffington Post, and more.
Visit www.reddog-bluedog.com.

Image placeholder title

Don't let your submission be rejected for
improper formatting. The third edition of
Formatting & Submitting Your Manuscript
has more than 100 examples of queries,
synopses, proposals, book text, and more.
Buy it online here at a discount.

Other dog author writing/publishing articles & links for you:

The Importance of Book Clubs for Writers: Hanging Out in, and With, Books

The Importance of Book Clubs for Writers: Hanging Out in, and With, Books

Reading is often an independent practice—but book clubs offer a chance to share the experience and learn something along the way. Here, author Sheila Liming discusses the importance of book clubs for writers.

Unknown Number

Unknown Number

Every writer needs a little inspiration once in a while. For today's prompt, a message from an unknown number has surprising consequences.

Kerri Schlottman: On Giving Literary Voice to Visual Art

Kerri Schlottman: On Giving Literary Voice to Visual Art

Award-winning author Kerri Schlottman discusses the real-life documentary photograph that helped inspire her literary novel, Tell Me One Thing.

From Script

The Secret as a Narrative Framing Element (From Script)

In this week’s roundup brought to us by Script magazine, read more filmmaker interviews from the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, including an exclusive interview with Sundance’s U.S. Dramatic Audience Award and Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award winning filmmaker Maryam Keshavarz.

How To Write a Protagonist Leading a Double Life

How To Write a Protagonist Leading a Double Life

Inspired by personal experiences, author Kyla Zhao discusses how to write a protagonist leading a double life.

writer's digest wd presents

WD Presents: Romance Writing Virtual Conference, 6 WDU Courses, and More!

This week, we're excited to announce the Romance Writing Virtual Conference, six WDU courses, and more!

Popular Fantasy Tropes for Writers

21 Popular Fantasy Tropes for Writers

Here are 21 examples of fantasy tropes for writers to consider and subvert when writing fantastical fiction.

Writing Goals and Intentions: 25 Prompts

Writing Goals and Intentions: 25 Prompts

Make this year your most successful writing year ever by considering the following questions to set your goals and intentions.

Is a Personal Essay Considered Journalism?

Is a Personal Essay Considered Journalism?

Journalist Alison Hill answers the question of whether or not the personal essay is considered journalism by defining the genre and offering examples. Plus, outlets for you to publish your own personal essay.