Carol’s “Next Big Thing”

Recently, Susanna Perkins, who may not know that she is my hero for picking up stakes in her “mature” years and starting over in another country, asked me to participate in The Next Big Thing online community feature.  Susanna is the author of a terrific free e-book titled “Untether Yourself:  5 Portable Careers to Support You Overseas.”  She also writes a blog, Future Expats Forum, which I read religiously.  Her blog is filled with helpful advice that is quickly becoming my online “bible” as my husband and I plan our own future “escape” to an adventure in another country.

What’s my Next Big Thing?

With all the news this year about dog and cat treats being recalled for various reasons, many pet owners are looking for alternatives to commercial treats for their furry friends.  Therefore, I’m working on a section on homemade dog and cat treats for this website.

What is the working title of your project?

Not very original but for now, it will be called Healthy Homemade Pet Treats.

Where did the idea come from for this subject?

Susanna Perkins and I met online during a course on website creation.  When I introduced this website and talked about how diet affects the overall health of dogs and cats – and mentioned that I would be reviewing commercial pet foods on the site – Susanna asked if I planned to include homemade dog food, because she can’t find good dog food and treats in Panama.  Right there, the light bulb turned on in my brain and my next “project” was born.

Eventually, I will add a section about homemade dog food and cat food, but I’m still researching that subject.  Dogs and cats have special dietary requirements, and I want to be certain that I cover it all before that category comes to life.

What genre does your blog fall under?

Raising healthy pets.

If it becomes a book and then a movie, which actors would you choose to play your characters?

Well, I think Lassie and Rin-Tin-Tin crossed over the Rainbow Bridge a long time ago.  Garfield and Marmaduke aren’t real.  I think my very own English Bullie, Maggie, would be “discovered,” and Lucy, her cohort in many crimes, would not be left behind.

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your blog series?

The treats you give your pet affects his overall health.

If it becomes a book, will it be self-published or represented by an agency?

Reality tells me it would be self-published.  But hey, I’m available, if agents are reading….

How long will you be working on this blog series?

Forever!  I hope to have it published on this website before Christmas, but whenever I find new recipes or suggestions for dog or cat treats, I’ll add them.

What other works would you compare this story to within your genre?

Ah, a chance to plug my e-books!  On my website, you’ll find links to e-books I’ve written on this very subject of dog and cat treats.  Many people don’t know exactly how dog and cat food are made – and trust me, it isn’t pretty.  My e-books, “Choosing Healthy Cat Treats,” and “Treats for Fido: A Short Guide to Choosing Healthy Dog Treats,” are available for a donation of your choosing at

Who or what inspired you to write this blog series?

Because the subject fits so well within the framework of this site, Susanna’s suggestion gave me the impetus to get started on it.

What else about your project might pique the reader’s interest?

I will open this category up to readers to submit their own recipes and suggestions for pet treats.  Hopefully, this opportunity for participation will encourage more pet owners to add their own choices.

At this point, I would like to pass this opportunity on to some fellow writers, so they can share information about their own Next Big Thing.

Maida W. Genser is a retired computer business analyst who started a non-profit organization, Citizens for Pets In Condos.  (  This is a public advocacy and educational organization dedicated to increasing acceptance of companion animals in condos and other types of association-run housing.  They educate the public about the health benefits of having animal companions and also advocate for responsible pet ownership/guardianship.

Maggie DiGiovanni has been writing since she first learned to put pen to paper. Her first full-length, three-page story was hand-printed at the age of ten.  She prefers children’s stories and horror as her favorite genres, but enjoys biographical memories as well.  “Henley, the Frozen Hedgehog” is her children’s book that teaches the joy of friendship and giving.  In addition, her stories have been printed in various magazines, and she has authored a story in a multi-author book, “Be The Star You Are!,” a teenager’s guide for living.  Currently, she has finished three novels and is seeking a publisher and/or agent.  Maggie looks at life as one huge opportunity to enjoy her chosen craft of writing.  Check out her blog at  Maggie’s Next Big Thing post will be about when and why to choose a pet.

Check both Maida’s and Maggie’s sites on Nov. 6 for their Next Big Thing posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *