When I first published Raccoon Rescue — much less while I was writing it — I never dreamed of the reception it would get. Of course, every author hopes for amazing reviews — but Raccoon Rescue received them. Book sales remained fairly steady into the following year. I gave a few author talks.
Then there were the rehabbers.
The community of wildlife rehabilitation professionals is tightly knit. It has to be. Animal rehab can burn a caregiver out if they don’t have support, and sometimes even when they do.
Rehabbers have a keen nose for, well, crap. They don’t stand for any statement or practice that makes their job harder — that contributes to human misconceptions of wildlife and what it takes to survive in the wild.
They loved Raccoon Rescue.
Posting on a Facebook group designed to raise funds for a “rehabber of the month,” (it’s public; go join!) I soon found fans I’d never even spoken to. People like MaryEllen Schoeman, who offer Raccoon Rescue as a giveaway in their public outreach programs, who wanted to use the book for public education.
I had wanted to build out the Living Wild Side by Side curriculum for some time, write more books, do more events — but here was the validation I needed that it would be worth my time and effort.
The second book in the series, Raccoon Retreat, is complete and will be coming soon. I’m also working on building out lesson plans in addition to the material found in the back of Raccoon Rescue. And I’m planning future books, including additional species. If you’re a wildlife educator, rehabber, advocate, or other worker in the community, I’d love to hear from you — what’s important to you?