We know that you all have been anxiously awaiting the official release of Tootalina! We’ve also been counting down the days that the book will be launched! But here at Inner Rock, we’re different from others. We don’t just want to bring you a slice of the book-- we want to bring to you the whole pie!
Get the scoop on the inspiration behind Tootalina from the very best person to do so ever, Joni Swedlund, the author (and the amazingly talented owner and founder of Inner Rock)!
Victoria, our summer intern, sits down with Joni for a chat about Tootalina.
When did the idea for Tootalina come to you?
The idea of Tootalina came on a vacation with my girls while they were in the swimming pool and they were playing on the slides going up and down. This was during the holidays back in 2015. I was just watching them and got inspired and started writing. I remember my daughters asking why I had my computer at the pool, and if I was working. I mentioned to them that I was writing a story about a tooting dog, and that made them laugh. My girls actually helped me with the rhyming.
How did you decide on the name Tootalina?
Given that this is a female dog who toots, it just seemed appropriate to name her Tootalina.
What is your hope for this book?
My hope for this book is that it will inspire children to embrace self acceptance and to build more confidence to not live their life in fear. At the end of the day, if it makes them laugh, that makes me happy.
We heard there is a Tootalina workbook coming soon… Can you spill any deets about it?
Yes! We’re currently working on an activity book for children to engage them during this pandemic, as well as an opportunity to learn and grow around the world even in quarantine. It’s coming soon!!
What would you say to someone who’s thinking about buying a copy of Tootalina?
Just do it! It’s a fun adventure, and Tootalina is really meant for anyone from 0-99. Anyone who enjoys a good laugh!
What was your inspiration?
There are a few inspirations behind this book. We had two black labs, Hunter and Scout. The girls used to laugh and giggle every time these two dogs would toot. They thought it was hilarious. I thought if this brings them joy, it would make a good children’s story.
There was also a deeper meaning behind it. One of my daughters suffered from a medical condition where we had to see a specialist. She asked, “What’s wrong with me?” I responded, “You’re perfect the way God made you.” There should be no children that feel this way. The flaw needs to be embraced. This flaw is what makes you unique.
Why is this book not focused on female leadership – is that not your brand?
Well, it is. Tootalina is a female tooting dog. When we did the research into the farting dog niche, there was an absence of leading female dogs. Inner Rock is all for helping to bring balance into the world. It is also about building resilience, self-acceptance, and learning to live your life with confidence – all important leadership aspects. This is part of our innovation – how can we creatively get young girls to step into their leadership? Yes…a female tooting dog!
Come to our virtual book launch on Wed, July 22nd, at 7 PM EST on Facebook Live! Our FB is @innerrockgroup. You don't want to miss this fun launch! Bring your kids and listen to Joni read the book and do a Q&A.