My first book was an accident. My mother tossed a crossword puzzle book into a box of Christmas gifts. None of the puzzles even mentioned goats. I decided to make up some puzzles about goats.
My best friend for making up word puzzles is an old Scrabble game with a triple set of letters. The board size is about right for most word skeletons or word searches. It makes organizing letters for anacrostics and similar puzzles much easier as well.
Puzzle topics were centered around goat care to begin with. Then I looked up some sayings about goats and found piles of trivia. The stash of puzzles kept growing.
Anacrostics are challenging as each letter is used only once in the word clue answers. I wanted some theme to make choosing these clues easier and came up with the National Parks. I had visited many of them and had always loved to go camping.
My favorite puzzles were number puzzles so I made up some of them. The stash was now over sixty. What was I going to do with all these goat puzzles? The obvious answer was to make up a puzzle book.
I looked up similar books and found one on horses published by Storey Publishing. It included pages about various breeds. My first book suddenly became more than a puzzle book.
I raise Nubians and am a member of the American Dairy Goat Association (ADGA). Each year ADGA puts out a membership book listing goat owners. I looked up owners of major dairy breeds living in my area. Most were thrilled to let me visit, interview them and take pictures.
Goats are used for meat and fiber as well as milk. I looked up owners of these goats and added them to the book. Extra pages were added about using milk, meat and fiber.
The result was “Goat Games”. My first book hooked me on writing.