Monday, October 21, 2013

'Climb That Fence & Take That Leap' by Philip Johnsey

Please welcome Philip Johnsey to the blog today!

What was the inspiration behind this book?
First off, thank you for the opportunity to share some more info. I enjoy connecting with the readers and sharing stories. The inspiration behind this book is two-fold. I really wanted to do something meaningful for the animals. Something to bring positive awareness, but in a fun way.

At the time, I was writing a lot of insightful stories and most of them involved animals. I seem to relate to them almost better than people at times. I wanted to put my stories out there and the book idea was born. The driving factor from day one has been 1) inspire people to make positive changes in their lives and 2) bring positive awareness for the animals.
What kind of feedback have you gotten from readers?
I love reader feedback, it’s so much fun! The feedback ranges from “I love the turtle story”, which seems to be a lot of people’s favorite. Other feedback is “you’re really a great writer and I like how you wrote it so easy to read”. My favorite one was when I gave a book to a lady to read while her husband and I went exploring. We were gone all day. When we returned she said “I read your book”. I wasn’t sure what to expect. I mean I’ve only know these people a week so it’s anything goes. She continued “a lady came up here all mean and such and I had just finished that part in your book. Instead of giving her what for, I just treated her respectfully and let her go her way”. Wow, I thought, that was powerful. I should re-read my own stuff. LOL!!

Whenever I talk with someone about my book, it’s always a half hour conversation and loads of fun. It’s amazing the stories people tell and how we can connect if we’d just give each other a chance. If I’d known how much fun this is, I’d done it a lot sooner.
I think my favorite story was the one about the turtle. Which story is your favorite?
My favorite story is the one about Keiko. That was the last story to go in the book. My book was technically done but I felt it was missing something. I had put it off to deal with some life challenges and then Keiko got cancer. Her ordeal, really made me look inward and face things I’d been ignoring for a long time. I wish I’d learned those lessons sooner. I particularly like the part about unconditional love because that really permeates everything, if we let it. I still re-read that story to remind me of what I need to do.
Do you have plans for any follow-up books?
Initially I did not, but now I think there might be. I’d really like to add a follow up from a different stage in my life. I might title it something like “Over the fence, now what?” Ha, that just came to me out of the blue. Hmmm…..I’d better start working on that while the inspiration is still here.
What drives you as a writer?
I’ve always wanted to be a teacher but didn’t see myself in a room full of kids or adults. I love to share stories as well as show people how to do tasks. My works include trip write ups, gear reviews, technical information (like configuring your wireless), or automotive (how to replace a valve cover gasket or timing belt). When I was growing up, I had to figure out most everything on my own. I enjoy sharing what I know so someone else can learn or save themselves some time.
What is something readers may be surprised to learn about you?
Hmmm……that’s a fun one. The one thing that tends to get people is that I can be very shy at times, especially in large groups of unfamiliar people. They’ll comment “you write, are on T.V. and you won’t go up and talk to that person?” It’s ironic, because when I’m working a story for a T.V. segment, I’ll call or talk to anyone.
Anything else you would like to add?
I read all kinds of articles about publishing a book and I almost didn’t do it because of all the things I read. Plenty of people say “it’s hard, you don’t make any money, marketing is tough, etc.” It sounded like a daunting process that didn’t have any rewards. I can say it wasn’t always easy, but it’s been incredibly rewarding because of what I’ve learned and the great people I’ve met. It’s been one of those positive, life changing experiences and I’m glad I did it.

Thank you for the opportunity to share a little about me. Have a great week!
Thank you so much for your time!

Climb That Fence and Take That Leap

by Philip Johnsey



Edmund blasts across the yard against my calls to come in. He gleely runs off and I chase him across the grass only to find a unique butterfly or a sky filled with stars. As soon as I stop and admire, Edmund promptly comes to my side and rubs against me.

Do you ever wonder if there is more to your pet's behavior than meets the eye? Sometimes their antics are more than just random behavior. Can we learn something about ourselves by watching them?

I believe so and Climb that Fence take that Leap is a compilation of personal, inspirational animal stories and the life lessons I gleaned from them.

After enjoying these stories, hopefully you'll enjoy more quality time with your furry friend and know what it takes to Climb that Fence and Take that Leap!

Read an excerpt:

Take Action:

Ben knew what the grass felt like and tasted like, and he knew the joy of being free. That was enough motivation for him to take action. The first thing he tried was to sit by the gate and “run” out each time I opened it. A turtle can move faster than you expect when it wants something.

One memorable time, I opened the gate and he went for the escape. Just as I was getting ready to lean down to bring him in, two cats ran right over the top of him on their way out. As I dodged out of the way, I thought, “What is this, a jailbreak?” Animals: they stick together.

Sometimes he’d “protest” and sit in front of the gate so I couldn’t open it. That wasn’t a problem when I was inside the patio. When I was outside and wanted to come in, it became difficult. I’d push on the gate and he’d just climb into his shell, which made it almost impossible to move him. It was like there was a big rock on the other side of the door. I’d have to firmly push on the gate and slide him out of the way. He’d hiss and grunt about it, but he wasn’t about to get up and move.

These actions let me know what he wanted, but to achieve his goal, he really needed something different. That’s when he began to dig the hole. Even though digging a hole was second nature to Ben, there were a lot of unknowns. He didn’t know how deep he’d have to dig to get under the fence. He didn’t know if there was a root system or other barrier that would prevent him from his escape.

Book links

Also available on CreateSpace

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Raised on a farm and having been a volunteer at different animal rescues, it’s no surprise that his first two published articles were about animals. So it’s only fitting that Phil’s first book is about animals and the connections we share.

From Phil’s first high school job to present, he’s spent his career working with clients, explaining complex ideas in an easy to understand manner. In addition Phil enjoys exploring the world and sharing those adventures via writing, photography, and videography.

Phil’s credits include, multiple certifications, Reiki master, photographer, author of two blogs, author of a travel column, creates short segments for a local T.V. station and whatever else he can get into.

Kirkus Review:

Philip will be awarding a $50 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Follow the tour for more chances to win!


  1. I take it that those kittays are part of the motivation for your story :) Tell us about them!!

    andralynn7 AT gmail DOT com

    1. Those little, okay not so little, fur balls are great to have around. Edmund is a siamese mix named for Sir Edmund Hillary. Amanda is a Maine Coon that I adopted from a shelter. Puff was a Persian who was really great, just don't brush him. Keiko was also a Siamese mix who had the kindest personality. She just like to sit on your lap.

    2. Edmund is the big bruiser around the house at 17 pounds. He's named for Sir Edmund Hillary. He's the one who always climbs the fence and escapes. When I first got him, I decided to just let him be a cat. No training at all; well I think he trained me. LOL. Amanda is a Maine Coon mix I adopted from a shelter I used to volunteer. She's very affectionate to people, but loves to tackle other cats. She'll jump on Edmund and try to pin him down. Puff, was a Persian who very handsome, but don't try to brush him. He hated that! Keiko was a Siamese mix who had the kindest personality. She loved to ride in the car, take baths (ok, she tolerated them) and just wanted to be with you. Some great memories from all of them:)

  2. This sounds like such a fun and informative book. I really think it is a winner.

  3. Love the excerpt, thank you.


  4. Your book sounds like a good read. It'll be fun following your tour to get to know more about you and your books.

    kareninnc at gmail dot com

  5. Sounds like a fun one!


  6. Thanks for sharing the excerpt and the giveaway. Sounds like a cute & fun book. evamillien at gmail dot com

  7. Thanks for the excerpt and the chance to win!
    Sounds like a great, fun read!!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  8. Nice excerpt

    bn100candg at hotmail dot com

  9. I'm going to enjoy this.