“An enjoyable and exciting read about a thoroughly enchanting little dog.” —The Children’s Book Review. Nobody told Jake that dogs don’t talk. Or that he’d have to take on a sorcerer and his horrid raven…and stop a war between three kingdoms. Perfect for fans of C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia and S.D. Smith’s The Green Ember. “I loved reading A Leap Into Darkness; it is one of the best preteen children’s books I’ve read.” —Readers’ Favorite (5-star review)
Targeted Age Group:: Ages 10 and up
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Ray Petrolino didn't start writing until his dog told him to (and who then immediately instructed the slow-witted man not to end a sentence with a preposition). Up to that point, Ray had just been a guy walking around for some odd number of years with a lot of ideas in his head (some rather strange, admittedly).
But one day when this man was teaching his bichon a new trick, the animal became rather bored with the affair and began speaking. His first words were that his human was an "abject failure" and followed that up with "anyone can walk around and claim to have good ideas" (the quadruped then went on to explain that he himself had wonderful storylines and that it was only because he lacked opposable thumbs that he had not already put them to paper).
And so the dog struck up a partnership with his previously inert owner: the dog dictated and the man wrote.
The results have been surprisingly positive, with both the fantasy/family feature screenplay A Leap into Darkness and the horror/comedy TV pilot A Zombie in the Attic both placing in several screenwriting competitions.
A follow-up novel A Leap into Darkness finally came out in 2022 (not surprisingly, the hero of the story is…wait for it…a talking dog). The dog insisted that the book be released in no more than four months. The man balked, the dog bit the hand that feeds it, and the two finally compromised on four dog-months instead.
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