Mymcbooks's Blog

Keepsake that Educates!

Mymcbooks Interview Author Charmaine Hammond

Charmaine Hammond, MA, BA, is an international transformational speaker, helping people live inspired, resilient lives and is a leading trainer in corporate North America helping transform workplaces.

Charmaine is also an award winning and bestselling author of On Toby’s Terms (Bettie Youngs Books, Sept. 2010), Toby The Pet Therapy Dog – and his hospital friends (Bettie Youngs Books, Aug. 2011), and Bounce Forward (Hammond International Publishing, April 2011), and has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul- What I learned from the dog (Sept. 2009). She is also co-authoring a new book GPS Your Best Life. Her book On Toby’s Terms is currently in development to become a major motion picture! She has been featured on CBC, CTV, Global TV, 820 CHAM, Alberta Prime Time News, many major newspapers, and in various magazines.

You can find all that Charmaine offers at

Charmaine Hammond is the author of Toby and his Hospital Friends

I want to thank you for being my guest here on Mymcbooks Blog

What is the last book you read? The last book I read was The Ikea Edge!

What were your earliest memories of writing? I always had a diary, my first was in grade one. I loved writing poetry as a teenager, and my grade nine English teacher really inspired me to pursue my passion of writing.

What was your favorite children’s book? I had many, but the ones that stick out in my mind are The Velveteen Rabbit, Curious George and the Rupert series.

Were you encouraged to write or was it something that came natural? I think writing came natural to me, it was something I enjoyed, and I grew up in a family of storytellers. Listening to my family tell stories inspired me to do the same through writing. I always loved to be read to as a child.

Are you working on a new book? At this time I have several in the works. My children’s book Toby Says Be a Buddy Not a Bully (Bettie Youngs Books) will be released in 2012, as will my new co-authored book GPS Your Best Life (Bettie Youngs Books), and I am releasing a book to help authors sell and market their books, Your Book As a Business.

What inspired you to write Toby and his hospital friends and how did you come up with each character? Seeing how Toby inspired children in the schools he visited and in the hospital he volunteered, it seemed like the next step…to share his story. Toby’s story is rich with lessons of love, perseverance, patience, understanding and unconditional acceptance and kindness…so we made that the foundation of his children’s book. The characters are based on the patients he has met in the hospital and at schools.

I notice one of the characters in your book is named Miss Charmaine, could you tell us a little bit of Miss Charmaine’s part in the book? Miss Charmaine is me, Toby’s owner, and pet parent, and accompanies Toby to the hospital every Wednesday.

What do you hope that readers will take away from your book? I hope that readers will be inspired by the role a pet therapy dog can play in the lives of adults and children in the hospital. I also hope that readers will recognize the ways that kindness and unconditional acceptance can profoundly impact the lives of others.

What is the most difficult part of writing? Sometimes the challenge is finding the time to write.

Do you write full time or do you still have a day job? I am a professional speaker, I have my own business, and writing is also a significant element of my business now.

How do you react to a bad review and have you ever suffered from writer’s block? I certainly have had writer’s block from time to time.  Book reviews are an important part of our learning as an author. Not everyone will love your book. I find that being grateful for the feedback allows the author to have learning from the review and accept the feedback graciously.

What discipline do you impose on yourself regarding schedules, goals, etc.? To the best of my ability, I set goals, and deadlines.  I schedule in writing and project time into my daily schedule, and I review my goals. I also ask for help when needed.

Who are some of your favorite authors you would love to dine with? I would love to dine with authors Dr. Seuss, Jann Arden, Jack Canfield, Blake McCosky

What author inspires you the most and why? There are so many authors that inspire me… the ones I am inspired by are great story tellers, are authentic (you feel that you are in a conversation with them), and create the characters/develop the characters and story line so well that I feel I become a part of the story.

What advice would you give parents on selecting the right books for their children to read? Choose books that your child is interested in, they are more likely to read it. Choose books that offer discussion questions at the end, to foster conversation after reading the book.

What advice you would give to new writers? The work really begins when the book is written. Start building your platform and marketing your book early. Systematize everything you do… it will come in handy for your next book.

Is there anything else you would like to share with our readers?

Thank you for this interview.



March 23, 2012 - Posted by | Meet the Author | , , , , ,


  1. Charmaine,
    First I’d like to say Congratulations on your book being turned into a Motion Picture. That’s fantastic news for you. I think it is a wonderful thing you are doing with Toby. When my daughter spent almost a year in the hospital for Bone Cancer they brought in a therapy dog once a week. The children always opened up when he was there. It was an emotional and beautiful experience. Thank you for what you are doing. 🙂
    Carol L
    Lucky4750 (at) aol (dot) com

    Comment by carol L | March 23, 2012 | Reply

    • Carol, thank you for sharing your story and for your kind words! So appreciate.


      Comment by charmaine hammond | April 6, 2012 | Reply

  2. My children love Curious George too.

    Comment by jerylt | March 24, 2012 | Reply

  3. How exciting to have your book turned into a movie! I am looking forward to finding a copy of On Toby’s Terms to read so I can get to know Toby better. As I am both an animal lover, and one who works with the elderly in assisted living facilities, I have seen therapy animals in action and see first hand how they can impact the lives of those who are frightened, lonely, or ill.
    Thanks for your insight on how a published writer manages to stay on track and have a successful writing career!

    Comment by karenladd | March 24, 2012 | Reply

    • Thank you Karen! So appreciate your comments, Pet Therapy Dogs can offer so much! We treasured this time with our Toby.

      I love sharing my author tips with other authors, learning the book business is huge and we are so blessed to have an amazing publisher that has given us a Phd. in the book world. I have now created a new website and a program Your Book As a Business so that I can pay forward all the great learning I got, look forward to staying in touch.


      Comment by charmaine hammond | April 6, 2012 | Reply

  4. I hope the experience of having your book turned into a movie is rewarding. I’m looking forward to reading more about Toby and seeing his story in film.

    Comment by Teresa Young | March 25, 2012 | Reply

  5. I always enjoyed the Velveteen Rabbit when I was little too 🙂

    Comment by Kristie | March 27, 2012 | Reply

  6. It’s great that your book is also a movie. I’m defiantly going to see it. I love Curious George my daughter and I read those together all the time. I love the advie you give to writers. Thank so much for this interview.

    Comment by Tiff Pull | March 28, 2012 | Reply

  7. I’m a big fan of Dr. Seuss too. Great interview and with all the papers I have to write for college I appreciate your insight.

    Comment by cstironkat | March 30, 2012 | Reply

  8. I’m a big fan of Dr. Seuss too. I appreciate the advice for aspiring writers because I have to write so many paper for college.

    Comment by cstironkat | March 30, 2012 | Reply

  9. Thank you Ella for an awesome review!

    Comment by charmaine hammond | April 6, 2012 | Reply

  10. Congratulations on having your book being turned into a movie. I look forward to reading your books and watching the movie when it comes out.

    Comment by likwan | April 7, 2012 | Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: