By Samantha Tatro
Carmel Valley authors and best friends Kari Sherman and Carey Laubenberg owe their first book to their dogs.
“We just sort of casually met each other, idly chit-chatted at the dog park and as we got to know each other, and we just started sharing dog stories, just stories from the dog park, and we’d just sit there and laugh and giggle and stuff,” Laubenberg said. “Then we were joking around, ‘Oh my God, this would make a good book.’”
The two met more than a year ago when their dogs, Max and Luther, became best friends at the dog park. The two friends are regulars at the Del Mar Dog Beach, the Torrey Pines Dog Park and the Torrey Hills Dog Park. Though they had thrown around the idea of a book before, Laubenberg finally decided that the book they always discussed as a hypothetical should become a reality -— and that it would be released by Christmas of this year.
Laubenberg found a publisher and illustrator for their book and told her friend at the dog park in July.
“She literally came to the dog park one day … and said, ‘I found ourselves a publisher for our book,’” Sherman said. “And I was like, ‘What?’ She’s like, ‘Yeah, we have a meeting with her and the illustrator.’ And I was like, ‘Oh, I guess we have to write it then.’”
To accompany the release of their book, “True Tails From the Dog Park,” the first-time authors founded Max and Luther publications, named after their dogs, a puggle named Max and an Old English bulldog named Luther. The website will become a launch pad for their next two books and a place for the authors to continue writing funny stories from their own point of view.
The entire process took two months to complete and the authors are working on their second book. When writing, each woman will write a story on her own before sending it to the other and letting her edit it and put her own twists on it.
“We basically say, ‘Individually it would be tough, but together we make one great person,’” Laubenberg said. “We each have different strengths and weaknesses, but it’s been really good — we’ve each delegated responsibilities.”
To some, writing a book would be a daunting task, but the authors said they tackled it by breaking their work into pieces.
“We had an idea right from the start about how we wanted this book to lay out,” Laubenberg said, adding that they had months of conversations and stories in the park to draw from when writing. “We knew it was going to be a series and collection of stories.”
Both authors said their dogs, Max and Luther, have made their lives a better place. They hope the book will be light-hearted and funny for dog lovers everywhere.
“It’s a quick read — it’s something you can pick up, read, laugh, put down and pick up again the next day,” Sherman said. “You can read one story at a time. It’ll make you laugh and it’ll make you smile.”
The authors will be signing copies of their book at the Unleashed by Petco store in the Del Mar Highlands Town Center on Saturday, Oct. 25.
“True Tails From the Dog Park,” by Max and Luther and published by Dog Ear Publishing, is available at Barnes and Nobles and Amazon, and at MaxAndLuther.Com.