Allison's Book Bag

Inteview with Toni Tusa Faber

Posted on: May 22, 2014

Two years ago, Toni Tuso Faber approached MindStir Media about picture book series. Since then, a dozen books in The Poodle Tales have been produced. Faber also launched an interactive website, built up a poodle-loving community of over 12,000 people on Facebook, and has attracted hundreds of Poodle Club members.

Faber’s ideas are based on her experience with Standard Poodles. Their actions, capabilities, and antics are her inspiration. She also fact-checks all details that are unfamiliar to her.

When not writing, Faber keeps very busy! She build homes, design clothing, and manages the family’s tenant inhabited real estate. Her work schedule revolves around the quantity of jobs she need to accomplish. Before 3:00 am seems to be her best creative time, but also always carries a pad and pen to note her thoughts.

Her family is her greatest supporters! They know how much she loves animals and children. The series is a natural extension.

Then & Now
If we were to see a photo album from your childhood, what might it tell us about you?

FABER: If you were able to view my childhood photo album you would surely notice my love for animals and nature in general. You would giggle at a tall skinny farm girl who more times than not would be a bit smudged while carrying a bunny, dog , cat or whatever wonderful animal treasure a small child might find hidden beneath a tree on a ranch in Riverside California.

ALLISON: Why did you become a model?

FABER: At twelve years of age I had already grown to a height of 5’ 7” although fully developed. I was thin and a bit awkward for my age, and all that being said, teased constantly by my schoolmates.

Thank goodness for the owner of a local modeling school who took a special interest in my situation! She taught me, encouraged me and promoted me locally out of my shy self-conscious self. It all made sense once I mastered the magic of a smile, the importance of stature, the art of competition, and the essential element of kindness and reliability.

It seems one person can really make a difference! Also, it proves, you can do anything, no matter who you are!

ALLISON: What was it like to publish a successful magazine?

FABER: In the beginning, and in one word, challenging.

The county magazine business is second in failure of businesses in the U.S.A.. When an ex-beauty queen took over the already failing “Orange Coast New Port Life Magazine,” there were few supporters.

With severe remodeling, hard work, great employees and the grace of God, the 32-page publication within eighteen months became the record-breaking 300 page plus glamorous, informative, high gloss star of the county! We left the competition in the dust. So, in the end…. Oh so gratifying!

ALLISON: You juggle many commitments. Describe an ideal day.

FABER: You’re right. I do juggle a bit, but whenever a plan comes together without a hitch, it is indeed ideal. The true best days are spent having extra time just to play and have a little fun with my husband and poodles.

ALLISON: Why are poodles your favorite dog?

FABER: I have met a lot of people I could take or leave, but I have never met a dog I could not fall in love with. Although I have shared my life with many breeds, I especially adore and appreciate poodles for their elegance, intelligence, social skills, and agility.

An added bonus is that poodles are hypoallergenic. This is a benefit when you are sporting dogs for therapy. All of our poodles are trained and certified for therapy.

ALLISON: What is the favorite experience you’d had with your poodles?

FABER: All of my poodles bring such immeasurable joy into my life daily, each in their own individual way. However, one experience shines in my life as an unforgettable, miracle memory. Book Twenty Two, London Returns To California, is based on this true to life story.

While in a search for a companion for my poodle at the local pet fair I fell in love with a six-month-old poodle puppy. Strangely enough, he fell in love with me as well. His then human was shocked, as this poodle always kept his distance from all people. In spite of my extreme efforts, this person would not allow me to adopt him. One year later, we rescued a broken, beaten and abused poodle. He was that same dog who called out to me, my London.

There is far more to this story, but after crossing a six lane highway and being over 600 miles away without food or water for an extended time in an already weak and injured state, the lost London was found! He was on his way home, to us. He is now ours forever! Some dogs just know who their sole mates are!

ALLISON: How easy or difficult was it to get your series idea accepted?

FABER: Actually, before I began searching for the perfect publishing company, I had written 24 books, produced an introduction cartoon to “The Poodle Tales”, developed a song, a dance, began a web site, designed a mascot, and more. Also, all the books include a simple positive life lesson, which I believe we all appreciate these days. So, to answer, it was not difficult, but it was very work intensive prior to the inquiries.

ALLISON: How involved are you with the development behind the interactive website for your series?

FABER: I am 100% of the creative plan. I however have the most wonderful people who take my every thought and transpose it to reality. I write every story, complete each storyboard, develop all lyrics, games, activity books, and cartoon scripts, but could not begin to have the talent behind every characters animation or note in each song. My team is amazing!

ALLISON: Why should young people get involved with animal rescue?

FABER: I have always believed that kindness and goodness generates the same. When you save an animal not only have you rescued an innocent sole filled with so much love and happiness to share, you have also fed your own sole!

ALLISON: What’s next?

FABER: If you notice, book eleven has not hit the market yet. It was delayed, as I felt these ambitious puppies surely deserved an outing after all their hard work on The Poodle Talent Show. It is the best of The Poodle Tales to date, and insightful to future books and activities.

Then, more poodley good fun awaits each child as this lively litter of poodles venture on to their new homes, lives and careers. Each character has a unique lifestyle in a variety of settings. As an assortment of new animal friends are introduced, the puppies experience the sights and activities their individual home offers. All the while, each puppy awaits his or her one-year reunion!

The Poodle Tales will continue to add to the fun with new cartoons, music, and activities coinciding with each book. Who knows, perhaps even a movie!

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