A New Adventure for Local Author
Theresa-Marie Wilson 11/8/2007
Inspired by her love of two furry, four-legged friends, Pismo Beach resident Destry Ramey has beaten cancer and written a series of books offering life-lessons to children.
As a pediatric nurse practitioner for 30 years, Ramey spent her life caring for the needs of children. In 2006 when she was told for the third time in her life that she had cancer, Ramey had to put her own health first and underwent six months of chemotherapy and major surgery.
It was while staying in Seattle to undergo treatments for ovarian and abominable cancer, having already beaten breast and cervical cancers, that Ramey bonded with her son’s dogs, Hunter and Ramona. In the little black pugs, Ramey found the energy and love she needed.
“They were just a little Godsend,” Ramey said. “They never left my side. They were a constant healing energy for me. They absolutely helped save my life.”
It was during her ordeal that Ramey decided to pen the first in a series of children’s books thereby allowing her to continue her life work of helping kids. What About Me? is the first in The Adventures of Hunter and Ramona Pug series, which deals with contemporary, real-life issues such as abandonment, adoption and fitting in.
The book tells the story of a young man, a character Ramey based on her son, who, while in Spain, decides to adopt two female pug puppies to take back home with him. Hunter, a male pug fearing separation from his sister and best friend, pours on the charm. Through a series of furry antics, Hunter convinces the young man that his rightful place is with his sister Ramona.
In future books Ramey’s playful pugs along with their siblings Kippy and Egress tackle issues like self-esteem, race, learning disabilities, obesity, abuse and neglect.
“I wanted to deal with some of the problems that children face,” Ramey said. “If it happens to the pugs, the children realize they aren’t the only ones dealing with the problem.”
Celebrating a year of being cancer free, Ramey recently returned to work as a flight attendant for Sky West Airlines. Her new career will allow her to continue writing what she hopes will be a 10-part series.
“Basically, I wanted to help the children understand things in a non-threatening way,” Ramey said. “At the same time this is Hunter, Ramona and my way of paying it forward for the blessings we have.”
A percentage of all book sales are donated to the Pug Rescue Network. Subsequent books in the series will also benefit children’s charities.
What About Me? was initially self-published through BookSurge LLC, a subsidiary of Amazon.com. The new edition, published by Central Coast Press, is a soft cover with additional artwork and a slightly different story.
Illustrated by Akasla, copies of What About Me? are available on Ramey’s Web site www.pugadventureseries.com, Borders, Barnes and Noble and other locally owned stores on the Central Coast.