Browsed by
Category: Writing

My interview with the Australian Writers Centre

My interview with the Australian Writers Centre


Recently the Australian Writers’ Centre interviewed me about my travel memoir, Destination Dachshund: Three Months, Three Generations & Sixty Dachshunds. I am so excited to share the interview where I talk about the book, self-publishing and why I chose to do it, my book launch team, and how I became a best seller on Amazon.

Read the interview with the Australian Writers’ Centre below:

Lisa Fleetwood on self-publishing and dachshunds

Win a copy of Destination Dachshund on Goodreads #Giveaway

Win a copy of Destination Dachshund on Goodreads #Giveaway

Enter my Goodreads giveaway for your chance to win one of three signed paper back copies of my Amazon best-seller Destination Dachshund: Three Months, Three Generations, & Sixty Dachshunds. (Australia only)

It’s pretty simple – click below and enter the competition at Goodreads!

Merry Christmas!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Destination Dachshund by Lisa Fleetwood

Destination Dachshund

by Lisa Fleetwood

Giveaway ends December 20, 2016.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

My new venture: Bookends Publishing

My new venture: Bookends Publishing

I have decided to start an independent publishing house. It is small. It will be a big learning curve. But I’m doing it anyway! All things must start from somewhere no matter how small. 2017 will be a big year!

In publishing Destination Dachshund, I wanted to take my writing career into my own hands and with Bookends Publishing I want to be able to help other authors do the same thing. I also want to provide opportunities for new, emerging, and established writers.

‘Be a driving force in your own life. When you empower yourself to act on your ambitions, you create opportunities for growth, connections and self-improvement.’ – Louise Hay

In 2017 Bookends Publishing will be launching a step-by-step guide about publishing to make it easier for indie authors to get started. Some of the content will include:

  • Being brave and believing in yourself
  • How to set up your Amazon Publisher Account
  • How to become an Amazon Best Seller
  • Publishing your eBook in ten easy steps
  • How to obtain your EIN (US Tax ID)
  • Understanding Amazon’s Keywords & Categories
  • Formatting your manuscript for eBook
  • Ebook, Print Book, or both?
  • How to obtain your ISBN and barcode
  • How to set up expanded distribution of your book to hundreds of retailers
  • The importance of a Book Launch Team
  • The Bookends Publishing  ‘Self Publishing Dictionary’


A beginning…

Bookends Publishing will be assisting authors to self-publish and provide publication advice and in 2017/2018 my aim is to gather a great team at Bookends and be open for submission for full publication. So watch this space and the space over at Bookends. Watch all the spaces. 😉

Bookends Australian Writing Award

I am excited to announce that in mid-2017, the Bookends Australian Writing Award will be established to showcase Australian writers and their many talents. All winning and shortlisted entries will be published in an anthology in ebook format. More information coming soon!

Coming soon at Bookends Publishing….

The first wonderful writer I am providing some advice to is Robin Elizabeth with her heartfelt, moving, and funny memoir ‘Confessions of a Mad Mooer’: Postnatal Depression Sucks’ about her time in a psychiatric hospital after having gone through postnatal depression with both her daughter and her identical twin boys. The book will be available in ebook and print in December.

Visit Robin’s website for more information about the book and her commentary on postnatal depression (PND). It is Postnatal Depression Awareness Week right now and Robin is writing a daily blog on PND. If you or someone you know has been touched by PND then tune into to Robin’s blog here.

Destination Dachshund widely available for purchase = Happy author!

Destination Dachshund widely available for purchase = Happy author!

Screenshot 2016-08-20 12.17.33

I just found Destination Dachshund in another book shop and I am very excited about it! Thank you Tea House Books in Denmark Western Australia! It is also widely available in print and eBook at the following retailers:

Available in print at the following Australian book retailers:

Print USA Retailers:

ebook Retailers:

Readers’ Favorite #5Star Reviews for Destination Dachshund #ReadersFavorite

Readers’ Favorite #5Star Reviews for Destination Dachshund #ReadersFavorite

STS_DD Ebook In between light and dark V5.2_mini_miniI am really pleased to share that I have received the Readers’ Favorite 5 Star seal and three wonderful reviews for Destination Dachshund: Three Months, Three Generations & Sixty Dachshunds.


Reviewed By Tracy Slowiak for Readers’ Favorite

In a simply delightful memoir penned by author Lisa Fleetwood, Destination Dachshund: A Travel Memoir – Three Months, Three Generations and Sixty Dachshunds, readers will be treated to a fun, funny, heartwarming and even an educational retelling of the travels of the Fleetwood family through 15 countries. The family, with teenagers and in-laws participating in the journey, leave for their epic trip just days after their beloved dachshund, Coco, passes away. While in Russia, they spot two engaging dachshunds, both wearing winter coats, and that spurs a new family game. With the search on for dachshunds across their travels, the family experiences are recounted with humor and love, and a great deal of history thrown in as well.

I very much enjoyed Destination Dachshund: A Travel Memoir. Author Lisa Fleetwood has done a wonderful job in telling the story of her family’s amazing adventure in an engaging style that will keep readers turning the pages from the start all the way through until the very end. This book is full of history, and information is provided about each of the family’s stops on their trip that many will find informative and interesting. I highly recommend this book to any reader who enjoys memoirs, travelogues, history, who has a love for pets, or who is just looking for a great read in general. I certainly hope that author Lisa Fleetwood would consider writing another book in the future. With her obvious talent, it’s sure to be an excellent read!

Reviewed By Chris Fischer for Readers’ Favorite

What a fun book I just finished reading! Destination Dachshund: A Travel Memoir – Three Months, Three Generations and Sixty Dachshunds by author Lisa Fleetwood is the tale of an amazing family trip taken with both her in-laws and her teenagers across fifteen countries. What do dachshunds have to do with any of this? Well, unfortunately, the family suffered the loss of their very loved pet, dachshund Coco, just a few days before their epic trip. While on their trip, they begin to notice dachshunds while they were traveling, starting with two smartly outfitted little ones in Russia. They decided to make a game of spotting these engaging dogs for the rest of their journey. What ensues is a fun and adventurous ride through historical spots, with dachshunds, of course, around almost every bend.

This sweet story was simply a delight to read. To any reader who enjoys reading about other people’s adventures while traveling, who likes to learn about other places and historical spots, who loves pets, especially dogs (and maybe especially those who love dachshunds) or to anyone looking for just a fun read in general, Destination Dachshund: A Travel Memoir is the book for you. Author Lisa Fleetwood has done a wonderful job in putting down her family’s amazing experiences in such a way that will engage most readers and will leave them wanting to hear more about this interesting and heart warming family. I can confidently rate this book most highly, and certainly hope to read more from author Lisa Fleetwood in the future!

Reviewed By Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Destination Dachshund: A Travel Memoir – Three Months, Three Generations and Sixty Dachshunds is a non-fiction travel memoir written by Lisa Fleetwood. The author received a lot of puzzled looks when she told friends about the family’s upcoming travel adventure. Most wondered how adult children would handle travelling with their parents and in-laws, as well as their own children, and for three long months, but Fleetwood figured it had been done before by others. After her father’s passing, she knew that she wanted to spend some time with her mom and her husband’s parents while they still could travel, and while her own two children, now teens, were still living at home. What made eyebrows rise even higher was their itinerary. The Aussies would be travelling through Europe and Russia in wintertime, and then heading across the Atlantic to Boston, but it made perfect sense to the Fleetwoods. It coincided with their kids’ holidays, and a snowy Christmas abroad might indeed be a magical thing.

Lisa Fleetwood’s non-fiction travel memoir, Destination Dachshund: A Travel Memoir, covers quite a bit of traveling, and along the way I began to truly enjoy the company of the author and her family. Fleetwood shares the high points, and a few of the low points, of a most impressive grand tour. I loved exploring Eastern Europe with the Fleetwoods and found myself thinking a lot about food as they ate their way through some delectable sounding cuisine. She also touches on the family dynamics of a trip where they were in close proximity almost all of the time, especially with the added stress of her father’s death two years before and the recent death of their beloved dachshund, Coco, just before they left for the trip. Fleetwood writes in an easy conversational style that makes the reader instantly feel at home. She’s also the consummate travel guide, giving the reader an inspired itinerary for any number of travel adventures. Destination Dachshund: A Travel Memoir – Three Months, Three Generations and Sixty Dachshunds is most highly recommended.

Readers’ Favorite has become the fastest growing book review and award contest site on the Internet. They have earned the respect of renowned publishers like Random House, Simon & Schuster, and Harper Collins, and have received the Best Websites for Authors and Honoring Excellence awards from the Association of Independent Authors. 

In addition to reviewing for some of the biggest names in the industry, as well as the first time independent author, their award contest features entries by NYT best-sellers and celebrities, and includes an additional giveaway with tens of thousands of dollars in prizes.

Destination Dachshund: Three Months, Three Generations & Sixty Dachshunds

Destination Dachshund: Three Months, Three Generations & Sixty Dachshunds

Tags: Dachshunds, Destination Dachshund, Recommended Books, Travel
Publisher: Lisa Fleetwood
Publication Year: 2016
Length: 275
ISBN: 0994591403
Exploring the bond of family and the grieving of loved ones, both human and hound, Destination Dachshund offers a unique twist on the travel memoir with an often hilarious dachshund-spotting competition at the heart of one family’s extraordinary journey through Turkey, Russia, Europe and the USA....
About the Book

‘A likable author makes for a likable, dog-centric travel book.’ – Kirkus Review

With teenage children and in-laws in tow, the Fleetwood family embark on their 3 month adventure just days after the tragic loss of their beloved dachshund, Coco.

When two miniature dachshunds in smart winter coats are spotted in Moscow, it’s game on! A riotous, often hilarious dachshund spotting competition for the lovable, long-bodied dog ensues across 15 countries.

Filled with love, laughter, and sadness at times, Destination Dachshund offers a unique twist on the travel memoir with remembrance for those who have been loved and lost, at the heart of one family’s extraordinary adventure through Turkey, Russia, the Baltics, Europe and the United States.

Through the wonder of travel, this remarkable travelogue explores the bond of extended family, the abiding love we have for our pets and the grieving for loved ones, both human and hound.

…’This is a fabulous read with so much to enjoy – a travel journal with real heart. ‘
…’Lisa has such an engaging way of writing that pulls you in. It’s hard to stop reading.’

‘Fleetwood’s resulting chronicle of a multigenerational family trip—86 days, 15 countries, and 60 dachshund spottings—has an invitingly chatty tone that makes one feel like one is traveling with her.’ – Kirkus Review

‘What a wonderfully captivating read! Destination Dachshund is a humorous, yet moving memoir of a three generational family’s journey through Europe and the USA.’ — 5 stars, Melissa, Sydney

‘Destination Dachshund is a truly delightful read with many laugh out loud moments. And it isn’t just a book about travel – even though the extraordinary array of travel experiences captured between the pages is epic. The author unpacks with warmth and humour the intricacies of family relationships, our love of pets, and the joys of travelling with dodgy-kneed grandparents. And then there’s the hilarious dachshund spotting competition. I now find myself scanning walkways and parks for these spunky little dogs.’ — 5 stars, Vanessa, Sydney

‘As a traveler, animal lover, mom, journalist, and voracious reader DESTINATION DACHSHUND really captivated my interest. Lisa’s accounts of her family’s travels, experiences, interactions, and feelings were all relatable. Sometimes humorous, sometimes sad, we as readers were introduced to all the family dynamics and the places traveled with a very descriptive, relatable writing style. Recommend the book to all who travel or who just like to read of travels.’ — 5 stars, Terri from San Diego

Look Inside
Do you want to be an author? What are you waiting for? Part 1

Do you want to be an author? What are you waiting for? Part 1

Over the next couple of months I will be sharing a series of blog posts on writing, self-publishing and becoming an Amazon Best Selling author.

Part 1: Being brave

Have you always wanted to be an author? Been writing for years? Do you have a file full of stories, been rejected a gazillion times, (or ignored – my least favourite part of submitting to publishers) – or are you just starting out and your desire to be an author is a new thing?

Whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, memoir, self-help, poetry, short stories, or young adult fiction, if you have a story to share then I hope I can help in some way. I plan for this series of posts, Do you want to be an author? What are you waiting for? to chronicle my journey from going from ‘writer’ to ‘author’, to share hints about the self-publishing process, and to highlight the fact that your artistic endeavours – yes, you are an artist – are yours to share if you have the courage – author Elizabeth Gilbert says so, and so do I.

So what are you waiting for?

I’ve mentioned a few times on my blog about not wanting to wait forever for someone else to make me an author. Here is an excerpt from my last blog post Author love. Did you like their book? Then tell them. 

‘I could have sat around for years waiting to be picked up by a traditional publisher but I didn’t want to – not with this story.’

Why should I have to sit around for years waiting for someone to accept me? And I didn’t want to wait years – not with Destination Dachshund. And trust me, it can take years. For all the authors out there who have received a publishing deal and the backing of a publishing house – I wish you well and success for years to come. And in some ways I would still like to have that one day, but it hasn’t happened and I didn’t want to wait anymore.

I’d experienced a journey of loss, love, adventure, seeing the world and family connection and writing that story, for me, was something that wouldn’t go away. I think if I hadn’t published Destination Dachshund, it would have been something I would have regretted not doing in my life. So I decided to do it myself.

I’m not saying I’ve given up on the traditional publishing industry – in fact I have stories out on submission now. There are literally thousands of places in many different genres to have your writing published, so don’t limit yourself and be diverse with your writing – you can have it all! Here is a big list I compiled recently of writing competitions and publishers with open submission right now. Submit it!

HINT: Find your writing tribe

I have several writing tribes and I don’t think I would gotten through the process so well without them (including my fantastic book launch team) but as I look back on my self-publishing journey it was very important to also have a connection to others who were also self publishing, or had self-published. I didn’t realise it until I was almost at the end, but becoming an indie author is an unknown path with overhanging trees and swirling mist obscuring the way ahead. There may a monster at the end of this path too. One with big teeth who posts bad reviews. Who knows? But you walk the path anyway. And someone who hasn’t been on that path, or doesn’t ever want go down that path may still be very encouraging, but won’t quite understand what you’re trying to do, or why. → More on this in later posts. 

Writing and publishing a book isn’t life or death, don’t get me wrong. I’m not overcoming hardship, but overcoming the fear of the unknown.



There is sometimes an assumption by writers, I think, (well me anyway for many years) that to be accepted by a publisher means:

  • I am good enough
  • I can write – see I TOLD YOU!
  • All the late nights, bottles of wine, coffee, demented behaviour was worth it.
  • I am good enough

But not being accepted by a publisher means:

  • I will never be good enough
  • I can’t write
  • It’s shit – I may as well just burn it and dance around the fire naked.
  • I will never be good enough.

So, to self-publish means that YOU are deciding you are good enough, you are deciding you can write, it is worth it and you are good enough. This was my light bulb moment. This was when I had a shift in my thinking. I don’t need a publisher to tell me I am good enough.

Self-publishing isn’t easy, and if you want to be taken seriously in the industry then you have to do it properly – there are no half measures, but it is achievable, as is becoming an Amazon Best Seller.

I did it and so can YOU.


Coming up next:  

For each writing project there is a seed, an idea, an outcome, or a reason WHY you are creating it. I’ll talk about this more in my next blog post Do you want to be an author? What are you waiting for? 2 – The ‘WHY’ Behind Your Writing.

Want to discuss writing or self publishing? Then fill in the form below 🙂



Author love. Did you like their book? Then tell them. #auslitlove

Author love. Did you like their book? Then tell them. #auslitlove

After becoming an author, finally, after years of writing, it has come to my attention that it is pretty bloody wonderful to be contacted by a reader to tell you that they enjoyed your book. 


And more, to tell you they loved your book, have recommended your book to others, to let you know that their book club is now reading it, they are now spotting dachshunds and have felt that same grief about losing a beloved pet. I have message from people who have never thought they could travel with family but now they think they could give it go, that my book reminded them of the gift that their family is and to ‘hug them tight’, that it inspired travel ideas and that basically it was a nice, heartwarming, sometimes funny, sometimes sad read.

They have gone to the effort of tracking me down on Twitter or Facebook, or through my website. Or I have come across lovely comments written about Destination Dachshund in forums. It’s nice to read after all the pain and suffering that is not only writing a book, but self-publishing a book.

I have rarely contacted an author directly. Why?

I didn’t really think about the author sitting there at home after releasing their creation out into the world, doubt eating away at their fragile self-esteem as they chugged down a bottle of wine. Now I am thinking about it. Now I am going to send people messages on Twitter or Facebook, or a quick email when I love their book.

A book review is the ultimate thing for an author – but the nicest thing of all is to receive a  message from someone to let you know they liked your book. I cannot tell you how much it means to me, and I would think to most authors, whether they are NY Times Best Sellers or a self-published author from Western Sydney, like me.

This blog post was mostly inspired by all the wonderful messages I have received from readers, but also inspired by a snobby negative comment I recently heard about self publishing, (it’s self-published so it must be crap, right?). It’s not crap, it may not be something everyone wants to read, but enough people do want to read it.

I could have sat around for another ten years waiting to be picked up by a traditional publisher but I didn’t want to – not with this story. I created it and it’s scary to put writing out into the world to be judged. There will be negative comments, but there is also the wonderful comments, and these are the comments that make it all worth it.

So – what am I going to do now?

I am going to let authors know when I loved their book. I will do a review – it doesn’t need to be long – everyone is short on time and so am I. But also, if I loved it I will contact the author, whether it be a quick tweet, a Facebook message, or sharing the author love and letting the world know of a great book or author.

I am inspired by this by my good friend Robin Riedstra over at Write or Wrong who is always sharing the author love around and spreading the word about great authors and books. Robin was inspired Walter Mason, author of Destination Cambodia and Destination Saigon. She says in her post about author love, Let me Love You! that ‘…Walter gave me the inspiration to give Australian authors a shout out, loudly and often. He said to the audience, “bring the spirit of fandom to Australian literature.” This resonated with Robin, and now with me. Robin’s wonderful memoir Confessions of a Mad Mooer is out soon, so you can be assured I will be sharing the author love about her book when the time comes. ♥


Author love. Did you like their book? Then tell them.


%d bloggers like this: