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Animal Wisdom - Interview with author & vet Dr Michael Archinal

Posted in Guest Blogger @ Oct 3rd 2013 - By Judy Gillespie interviewing Dr Michael Archinal, Veterinarian & Author
Animal Wisdom Blog

Dr Michael Archinal, veterinarian and now published author with the release of Animal Wisdom has kindly taken the time to answer some questions about his new book.  Michael is a passionate animal lover who believes animals have much to teach us about how to become better humans. Animal Wisdom is a fascinating mix of scientific research and stories from his own veterinary practice, all with the strong underlying message that animals are capable of enriching our lives in every way.

JG: What lead you to writing a book?  

MA: I have always been passionate about communicating the mutual benefits of pet ownership to whoever would listen – and even to those who won’t!  I have been very fortunate to be on National television for 12 years as well as having regular radio and print media positions. During this time, I have seen so many changes over the 26 years of me being a vet and what pets now mean to us, and the position of them in our lives.

JG: How long did it take you to write?

MA: The whole process took over 18 months. The publisher, PanMacMillan, realised that like most, I am a very busy person and would struggle to find the time to devote solely to the book. I am also aware of what a good book reads like, and I didn’t want to produce a poor one with such an important message to convey. So the publisher arranged for a writer to help me construct the first draft. I met with her over coffee and would tell stories of my career and provide the scientific research to substantiate and support the stories. The manuscript in its raw form then went to an editor who enlists magic elves to help produce the final copy.

JG: How did you go about finding a publisher?

MA: I had various contacts through my media profile and had come up on their radar. A meeting again over coffee with the publisher to make sure we were aligned on the message we wanted to portray saw me sitting in their boardroom overlooking Darling Harbour the following week and agreeing to give the book a red hot go.

JG: Have you always wanted to write a book or was this a recent goal?

MA: Any chance and opportunity to expound the virtues of pet ownership I jump at. Whether it is talking to retirement villages about having a pet in the village, to lecturing around the world to veterinarians from America to Japan. A book was a natural extension of this for me. Especially since I have many overseas contacts, the electronic version is easy to access (although I still prefer a hard copy as I am a traditionalist)

JG:  Who are your target readers?

MA: You may think it is just pet owners, but that is like preaching to the converted. One media commentator has gone so far to say that he felt every person should read this book before they seek help for mental issues as the answers may just lie in what animals are trying to tell us. There are many great stories and anecdotes from the years about our amazing pets, but anyone who realises there is a social disconnect in our society will appreciate it.

JA: It’s such a large topic - how did you decide what content was to be included?

MA: The original manuscript was actually much larger and there were many more stories and potential chapters. You need to be led by experts here as to what will work, I am a trained vet, not a professional book publisher.

JG: What are you hoping to achieve with your book?

MA: It’s all about spreading the word on the human-animal bond. Getting the message out that we have a lot to gain and learn from animals and we need these lessons even more now than ever due to our social disconnect

JG: Are you planning on writing more?

MA: Depends how many copies are sold! However, as I mentioned earlier, there are so many more stories and studies that weren’t able to be included in this book that there is enough material for another book to follow. That, together with the feedback that I have had so far could make it a real possibility.

JG: What question do you wish I had asked you?

MA: Why haven’t we learnt these lessons already, and why is now so important.

JG: Ok...so why haven't we learnt these lessons already.....

MA: I suppose we have been caught up in all the trappings of life and pursuing things that don't amount to much. We think that fulfilment  lies in technology or the pursuit of the material and we have forgotten who we are. With so many people in the Western world stressed and anxious and looking for "the next thing" perhaps one of the best examples have always been there, sitting on our laps or at the foot of the bed.

Dr Michael Archinal is a vet with over 26 years' experience.  He is the director of four veterinary hospitals in Canberra and has a national media profile due to his print, radio and television contributions.  Michael has been a weekly guest presenter for 13 years on Channel Nine's Mornings, a guest on ABC radio talkback for 14 years, a columnist for Dog's Life magazine for 9 years and he contributes to national ABV afternoon radio.

Michael is also a qualified acupuncturist, having been awarded the IVAS diploma in acupuncture and has undertaken postgraduate training in dermatology and animal behaviour.

You can purchase Animal Wisdom from Bookworld with free shipping - click here

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