As a child, Robin Wiesneth adopted many strays that came her way.
"There were many dogs and cats, always strays, that wandered into our lives," she recalls.
As an adult she says she has owned "only" five rescue pets and they have all been cats. But the low number is mostly due to the fact that she and her husband travel so much. Tucker is their current cat and he has lived with them since he was a kitten. He will be four this fall.
Although Wiesneth doesn't feel she is currently in a position to offer a home to more strays because of her travels, she tries to help in other ways ... such as donating pieces of artwork to fundraising events to help raise money to help animals.
"I have a huge appreciation for animals at the shelter," she said.
Wiesneth has been painting for five years with acrylic paints. Most of her subject matter are animals, with some abstracts thrown in for good measure.
When Wiesneth paints animals she paints them as if they were enjoying fun adventures, such as riding in rocket ships, or driving automobiles with the wind blowing through their fur.
People began to comment that she should write a book about the adventures her subjects were enjoying.
"But I thought, 'I am not a writer,'" although she did do some writing while in high school and college. She even took a few courses in short story and creative writing. But when she chose a technical path, writing became a secondary business skill.
"I was still writing, but it was less creative and more descriptive. I wrote user's guides, technical references, software training material, that sort of thing," she said.
The artist has also been blogging for the last 8-10 years and has a pretty sizable collection of children's books mostly by Seuss and Silverstein, which she reads for fun. All of this helped her jump into the children's book writing arena.
"When I started painting the adventure animal paintings someone saw my artwork and called me a story teller," she said. "That's when I figured out that each painting was a tiny story and all I had to do to write a book was to tie all those stories together. So, I went back to my book collection and decided to write in a style that I enjoyed most — rhyming prose. So, I was not a children's book writer until I decided that I was."
Amazingly, 90 percent of her first book was completed in one night when she finally sat down sat down and put pen to paper and the stories all came together.
The stories making up "Tales of Imagination" are about a group of shelter pets that have adventures at night in their dreams, said Wiesneth.
"Then they wake up in the mornings and realize the best dream is finding their forever homes. The two cats and six dogs fly rockets, airplanes, cars, and ride motor bikes in the adventures," she said.
After the writing was conquered, Wiesneth found the hardest part was getting the illustrations just like she wanted them.
Proud of the completed project, the author says it's an awesome book.
"This is my first book, but it won't be my last," said Wiesneth. "I think this is truly what I want to do — write children's books."
With one down, Wiesneth is already working on two more and she says she has lots more in her head.
Wiesneth completed the little book last fall and published as an ebook in December. She just recently received the hard-cover copies and is excited to do book signings at all the area book stores.
The children's book sells for $21.95.
The book's cover image was chosen as the poster for ArtsQuest in 2012.
Check out www.talesofimagination.com for a list of places the author will be.