First, I’m going to tell you how I connected with Charmaine English.
It was in 2016 when I came across the synopsis of Affairytale ~ a forbidden affair which turned into a true love story.
Now, you’ve read my articles – they are mostly about stuffs that the society does not want to talk about it.
I love real stuffs.
love when people come out so genuine, without giving a f*ck about what others think.
This is the reason why Affairytale immediately caught my attention. I could not put that book down and all I could think of was – how brave CJ must be to write her personal story in a book.
I had to share my greatest appreciations with her – which I did !
Though a big fan of Affairytale & CJ, I did not expect that she would respond to my positive appraisals – but, she did!
I was mesmerized and inspired by her authenticity in writing up Affairytale.
The aftermath of this – you already know! I was so touched by her real life story that I had to interview CJ on my blog!
CJ never stopped showing her original self in her other books which came out after Affairytale. That’s why she’s one of my favorite author!
Hence, it was no surprise to me when CJ published Rescue Matters – another true story filled with love, compassion, empathy and tears!
CJ. English is an Amazon Kindle Best Selling Author in love and romance. Her breakout memoir AFFAIRYTALE, debuted at #1 in diaries and journals.
When she began to write seriously in 2015 it became clear that crafting unputdownable books was a skill she was born to do. She has since been inseparable from her laptop, coffee mug and yoga pants. Whether writing about weight loss, sex or rescuing dogs, C.J. is committed to writing books that will keep you awake late into the night.
About Rescue Matters !
Four Thousand Dogs.
An incredible true story of rescue and redemption.
In a forgotten land where lives are lost…souls are sometimes found.
When Keith Benning accepted the job as a deputy in a small North Dakota county, he had no idea he was about to face the biggest challenge of his life. Four years and four thousand dogs later, he lost his marriage, a fellow officer and nearly his own life.
By rescuing seventy starving and unwanted animals out of his garage each month, Keith and a small team of volunteers have changed the world for thousands of dogs, and tens of thousands more to come. Woven with riveting and inspiring real-life rescue stories, Rescue Matters tells a larger tale of tragedy-meets-redemption. A gripping account of how a garage rescue grew into a mighty force that inspired a nation.
C.J. English shares her personal experience inside the emotional and bittersweet world of dog rescue, delivering a heart-wrenching and deeply moving story that has much to teach us about responsibility and compassion.
Rescue Matters is alive with meaning and purpose, proving that that it doesn’t take a law or government to change the world, all it takes is a few people trying to make a difference to start a revolution.
Let's have a long chat with CJ !
I want to know the story behind Rescue Matters. Why did you write this book? How did it start?
I began writing Rescue Matters about 18 months prior to its release. I was working on 3 other projects at the time, completely unrelated and I had just released Forever After, a sequel to a previous work. I was eyeballs deep in other projects, cleaning up my website, working on some upcoming author branding and trying to figure out how to jump from non-fiction to writing and releasing fiction. I write from home 2-3 days a week and during those days I also help with dog rescue. I’d been a part of a team for a few years, we’d saved a lot of dogs and come a long way out of nowhere, support for our little rescue team was gaining momentum BUT we were on the brink of collapse each day.
It seemed like there was always a new crisis that threatened to shut us down and if we shut down, dogs die. Thousands of dogs, tens of thousands more over the next decade and we were in a position to stop a long cycle of suffering, if we could stay afloat. I was desperate to keep us operating. Desperate to get our operation out of one garage and into a real shelter where we could make a long term impact. I did the only thing I knew how to do to get the word out farther about what we were doing. Write. I knew it was a gamble, it still is a gamble, non-fiction self-published authors don’t generally go very far, which means all the time if took to write and publish Rescue Matters might not pay off if I couldn’t get it out there far and wide and if it didn’t sell well, it would be all for nothing. I didn’t know what was going to happen, but I knew I had to give it a shot.
Rescue Matters is not like any of your other books. What was your intention behind writing and publishing this book?
My intention was simple actually, it was what I had been doing at the rescue from day one already. Getting the word out about what we were doing, raising awareness surrounding the issues that we faced in our state and across the U.S. And, raising money to we could build a shelter.
How did you meet Keith Benning at the Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue?
The long version of this is outlined in Rescue Matters as it takes the reader though my personal experience in dog rescue, including how I got involved, which really amps up when I met Keith. I met Keith at an event where individuals can surrender stray animals or animals they can no longer take care of, no questions asked. He was helping to facilitate the event that day and I knew right away what he was doing was a monumental undertaking. If we could drive away with 75 dogs in just a few hours, how many more were out there that needed help? And he would need help making it happen. I didn’t know how at the time, but I knew I had to reach out to him to see if I could help.
If you had to nominate 3 people who helped, encouraged and inspired you to write the book, who would they be?
In no particular order, Aliah Chappell. Whose story is also included in Rescue Matters. From day one when I mentioned that writing a book about the rescue was something I was considering, she was there with me 100% supprotive from the start but more importantly, all the way through writing and releasing it, which was no easy task. As all writers do, I felt defeated at many turns and thought about throwing in the towel, she kept me going several times.
Brenda-Olson-Wray, who is also outlined in the book and who is a true rescue warrior. I have though so many times that if she can do what she’s doing, sacrificing so much of her life to save animals each day, letting them into her home at all hours of the day and night for sometimes months on end, if she could do what she was doing, then surely I could write about it and help to raise awareness on some of these issues.
My husband, who is forever my biggest support. It seems that no matter what I do, no matter how seemingly crazy it might be, he is on board 110% with me throughout. Without his encouragement of me as a writer for not only this book but any others I want to write, the whole isolating, sometimes self-defeating process of writing and publishing would be overwhelming to the point of giving up.
How long did it take to write Rescue Matters?
I figure about 18 months from start to finish. Which is super fast for me. I’m not a fast writer. Near the end, I felt like I’d really pushed it and that it wasn’t ready but I just did as many editing drafts as time allowed and pushed it out. In the end I was happy with how it turned out although of course, there are always things that could be better. But I know myself, if I don’t eventually just stop, even if it’s not perfect, it’ll never get done.
What do you want to say to people who are going to read the book for the first time?
That if you’re not sure if you want to read it because you think it might be too sad, it’s not. It’s more happy than sad. It’s more inspirational than defeating. I refuse to write a “downer” and although some of the issues presented are heavy and emotionally difficult to read about, and write about, we are all better off knowing and not turning a blind eye. I can promise at the outset you’ll be happy that you gave it a try and that it just might not be what you’d expect.
Do you believe that humans can make the world a better place to live in for animals?
Well I know plenty of people who are already making that happen. But it’s still not enough. There is widespread suffering across the globe for humans and animals. And if you love animals and want to help them have a better life, much of what needs to be done is alleviate the suffering of the human population around them. Where people are suffering, animals are suffering. So, in some ways I’m volunteering in the wrong cause. To help animals and actually solve the problems they face, we must first help the communities with those problems. Which is what the team at TMAR is working toward, and which is why I’m very much on board with the mission. Rescuing dogs saves dogs and alleviates suffering for those dogs but it doesn’t go far enough to stop it from happening in the future. Being a rescue pipeline is a good thing, but solving the problem before the dogs are born has to be worked at equally as hard.
What are you waiting for? Grab a copy of Rescue Matters!
*50% of the profits from the sale of this book will go directly back to Keith Benning and his team at Turtle Mountain Animal Rescue!