Author, Editor, Publisher
Dorothy Wills-Raftery is an award-winning writer, publisher, and photographer. She is the author of EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy; the FiveSibes™ Tales children’s books What’s Wrong With Gibson? Learning About K-9 Epilepsy and Getting Healthy With Harley: Learning About Health & Fitness; and Buddy, the Christmas Husky~Based On A True Holiday Miracle (ArcticHouse Publishing). She is the creator, writer, and photographer of the internationally recognized FiveSibes™ blog.
Dorothy worked 14 years as a writer, editor, and photographer in a public relations department for an educational institution, where her work received many national and state awards. She was also founder and editor of an elementary school newspaper for five years; the founder and past-president of a New York Chapter of the National Writers Club, a music columnist for a local newspaper, and a features writer and freelance photographer for a number of magazines and publications. She raised horses and dogs her entire life, and previously taught 4-H animal care classes and horseback riding lessons to youths.
Dorothy and her Siberian Huskies have been featured in American Dog Magazine, and her work has appeared in Kings River Life Magazine, American Pet Magazine (currently on hiatus), Ruff Drafts, and The Sled Dogger. She is a regular contributing author to the 4Knines blog and Hudson Valley Paw Print Magazine. Dorothy is the writer and host of a monthy show, “The Sibe Vibe,” which debuted on Dog Works Radio in August 2012, and the motto is, “If it’s about a Siberian Husky, we’ll chat about it!”
Dorothy was named a 2017 Finalist in the “Advocate” category for the Women in the Pet Industry’s Woman of the Year Award. Dorothy is a 5-time Dog Writers of America Association (DWAA) “Excellence” nominee, including a nod for “Excellence” for the “Talking Canine Epilepsy” episode of “The Sibe Vibe” featuring Dr. Karen Muñana and Julie Nettifee of North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. In 2016, DWAA awarded Dorothy the prestigious Maxwell Medallion for her blog article on rescue dogs in FiveSibes. Named “Best Author” in 2015 & 2016 by Hudson Valley Magazine, all four of her books were named “Best in Print” by American Pet Magazine, and her books were also named to Talent Hounds’ Best Dog Books & Best Dog Books for Kids list in 2015.
Dorothy focused her lifetime of skills as a writer, editor, and layout designer to launch ArcticHouse Publishing in 2011 in order to offer pet writers another option to self-publishing—a one-stop professional shop to help them transform their stories drafts into a high-quality finished book under the ArcticHouse Publishing label.
An official International Purple Day® for Epilepsy Ambassador since 2012 and a volunteer case manager for The Wally Foundation-Canine Epilepsy, Dorothy is the creator of the FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong K-9 Epilepsy Awareness campaign inspired by her own Epi-dog (now furangel), Siberian Husky, Gibson.
In addition to her Siberian Huskies, Dorothy shares her home with her husband, daughter, son-in-law, and new grandson. You can follow Dorothy and her FiveSibes on their website at www.FiveSibes.com, the FiveSibes blog, on Facebook at FiveSibes: Siberian Husky K9 News & Reviews, on Google + and Twitter (@FiveSibesMom).
Editor Jennifer Holmquist majored in Art, with a minor in English Literature and Criminal Justice. She specializes in writing, proofreading, and editing with over 12 years of experience. From 2005 to 2007, Jenn transcribed and proofed case recordings for court documents for a law office. From 2007 until 2015, she worked for a family-run business writing, editing, and proofreading copy for the company website and all office correspondence. In 2014, she began freelancing as a copy editor, and was one of the lead editors for ArcticHouse Publishing’s award winning book, EPIc Dog Tales: Heartfelt Stories About Amazing Dogs Living & Loving Life With Canine Epilepsy written by Dorothy Wills-Raftery.
Jenn’s strengths include supreme editing and proofing skills, combined with a genuine love for grammar and the English language. She says she prides herself on producing work with the utmost professionalism, speed, and proficiency, no matter the size of the project. When she’s not busy being a winning wordsmith, Jenn is a new mom and enjoys time with her son and husband, having coffee with her mom, and chilling with their Siberian Huskies!
Editor Judy Herron has enjoyed a lifelong fascination with the idiosyncrasies of the English language. The editing process can be time-consuming and tedious, but when the goal of greater understanding of the written word is met, it brings music to an editor's ears.
Herron, a summa cum laude graduate of the State University of New York at New Paltz journalism program, has had an award-winning career of working in the field of editing and writing, and lives on a farm in the Hudson Valley with her husband, Wynn. They have two children, three grandchildren, and a barn full of quirky critters, including two loving llamas.
Barbara K. Slocum is an artist and an award-winning graphic designer. As a child, she spent her summers with her grandparents on a small farm in Connecticut. There she formed her love of all creatures and began drawing and painting. This passion of art and design continued through college with a BA in Fine Arts from William Patterson University. She was a consultant Art/Designer for many years, but continued her interest in illustrating and painting. Barbara now lives in Upstate New York with her family and, of course, two dogs.
Artist Cameo Anderson says, “Hi! My name is Cameo and I share my home with 11 kitties, two Huskies (Gandalf and Mischief), and one Chameleon (Luke Cool). I love rock music, tacos, chocolate, coffee with fancy creamer, and making art. If you catch me at home alone I am most likely painting and singing loudly at the same time. I regularly donate my paintings to auctions that benefit animal rescue as this cause has become extremely important to me and I sleep a lot better when I think about all the hearts my paintings have warmed and food bowls my work has filled. Practical and fanciful and I am lucky enough to have good friends that keep me humble but motivated.”
One of Cameo’s latest projects was working with author Dorothy Wills-Raftery on a FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong Canine Epilepsy Awareness educational poster. Says Cameo, “While I don't have any pets with epilepsy, I fell in love with Gibson, and I like to work on any project that helps the helpless! Always an honor to work with the FiveSibes!”
You can follow Cameo on Facebook at: Cameo Anderson – Writer/Illustrator
Melinda Wills-Girnus is a graphic designer for over 20 years located in Long Island, NY. Currently, Melinda is busy designing many projects for her own company, MG Designs, “a one-stop shop for all your graphic design and printing services” established in 2002. She is a true one-woman success story, having started from the bottom and having worked her way up, going door-to-door marketing her company.
Melinda credits her expansion of her services at MG Designs to client companies who use her designs and refer her creative ability to others. Melinda says she enjoys designing and using her abilities to come up with different ways to promote companies. Thanks to drop shipping, her clients can be on Long Island, throughout New York, and beyond!
Some of the services Melinda provides through MG Designs include: ad design, brochures, book layout, business cards, stationery, banners, table covers, outdoor signs, and promotional items. She is currently working with FiveSibes #LiveGibStrong on a project for Canine Epilepsy Awareness.
Melinda says, “When I'm not designing and staring at my computer screen, I enjoy spending time with my two sons, Eric and Aidan, and my two Pomeranians, Loki and Roxy!”
Website: Coming Soon! www.MGDesignsAndPrint.com
Michelle Littler is a designer/illustrator who has been drawing since she was little and to be honest, she says, she really hasn't grown up since. She attended the Art Institute of Pittsburgh where she majored in Graphic Design with a focus on illustration and character design. Today she disguises herself as a grown up, and is a graphic design instructor, but then also gets to a chance to play with her own work, where she creates everything from original illustrations to unique one of a kind wedding invitations and greetings. Some of the projects that are closest to her heart, she says, are the ones that involve animals. Being the proud mom of two rescue kitties, Page Dharma and Zephyr, she is proud to create illustrations "for (FiveSibes) great story (even if there are no cats)!"
Robert and Michele Forto are co-authors of Team Ineka: A Musher’s Dream edited and published by ArcticHouse Publishing. The book was named “Best in Print” by American Pet Magazine. The Fortos say they “are mushin’ down a dream in the wilds of Alaska” with their two teenagers, Tyler and Nicole, and pack of 30+ sled dogs. The Fortos moved to Alaska in 2010 with the goal of running the Iditarod under the Team Ineka banner. Their daughter, Nicole, ran in the Jr. Iditarod in 2015 and 2016. When they are not running sled dogs, which is almost a 24-hour job, Robert and Michele own Alaska Dog Works, where they train dogs to be the best trained dogs in the world. They specialize in service dogs and have worked with clients all over North America. Robert is also the producer Dog Works Radio and its family of shows, including “The Sibe Vibe.”
“It is our goal to enrich the relationship between the human and our canine friends,” says Robert. “Dogs are our teachers, without them our world would be a much different place.”
Robert and Michele can be contacted through their website www.TeamIneka.com, and they say, “We look forward to you following us on the trail!”