Saturday, October 7, 2023

Revisiting Maximilian Sam

🥳My 18 month anniversary of Tweetables continues, as I revisit some of the authors who have featured on the blog so far, to find out what they've been up to!

I completed an interview with Max back in August 2022 and was keen to find out what had happened since our chat.

'It’s difficult to know where to start. It’s been crazy and filled with experiences I could never have imagined. When I look back to August 2022, I can’t believe how much has happened since.

First, “It’s A Stray Dog’s Life” became a multi-award winner at the Feed My Reads Awards including Best children’s Book, Best Comedy Book, and Best Book Cover Design. it made the whole thing perfect when Tweetables won an award too. Next stop, world

Aww, you got to love him! He continues,

'In November 2022, my second book, “It’s A Stray Dog’s Life 2” was published. You can now meet Mumsy as she tries to control her two puppies, Pitch and Putt; join Jasper in his new home in Izmir, and help Toby solve complex crimes.' (NOTE: You can see my review below).

'I’d gone from an unpublished author in February to an award-winning author of two children’s books in nine months. It really was crazy. I’m pretty certain I’m never going to have a year like 2022 again, but, in true James Bond fashion - Never Say Never Again.

I took some time out in January to plan what I intend to do with my writing over the next few years. It meant it was May before I published my next book, “Stories From A Stray”. It’s a series of 21 unconnected short stories for adults. It was great fun to write, as I could use random ideas to create stories which wouldn’t necessarily have enough substance to form a standalone novel. In it, you’ll meet a range of characters from a spy to a chef, from a rugby player to a man called Dave. You’ll win and lose the lottery, survive a global lockdown, sink a boat, and say an emotional farewell to an old friend. I couldn’t afford a model, so that is yours truly on the front cover. Fame at last!

In June, I launched the “Stray Army” brand. You can now buy merchandise ranging from t-shirts to mugs to baseball caps and much more besides. The solution to making it happen actually came from someone who’d seen the interview on Tweetables. They introduced me to a company who could handle all the printing and logistics with me left to only worry about the marketing. It’s been an amazing success. Well, I think so anyway, as I’ve sold some!

I also got lucky and have been able to team up with to create a shopfront of signed posters, photographs, and short stories to download. It means I can provide the files for people to print items in any way they want and still keep the prices lower than offering the finished article. WeTransfer is a great company to work with. There’ll be some interesting extra content coming soon which, if I’m honest, is terrifying. Then again, sometimes crazy ideas work.

On a personal level, it’s been a strange year too. Sadly, we lost Princess, the dog who gave me the idea for the first book. It broke my heart. She was 17 and I know she loved the final few years of her life. I’m just glad she’s been immortalised in the first book. When one life ends, another begins. I found a stray puppy on the beach and she’s become my soulmate. She’s the inspiration behind creating the “Stray Army” brand.

Answering this question has highlighted how crazy the year has been. I’ve even been able to return to my first love and become a journalist. I’ve spent my career working on “the dark side” in PR, so switching hats has been great. 

I’ve written several articles on Watford Football Club for I was also asked to write a couple of pieces for the local newspaper in Turkiye. The first was a write up on the village I live in and the beach a moments walk away. It has led to me meeting dozens of English people who saw the article and came to visit. I even managed to sneak in it was the home of award-winning author Maximilian Sam. Only a world class editor would have let me do that! The second article focussed on something close to my heart. I was fortunate to see a request for volunteers to help at the local animal shelter. The 1,000 word article and front-page photo is something I’m immensely proud of.

Things have been a little strange this summer as two turtles laid their eggs on our beach. There’s been too many sleepless nights recently as the first 100 turtles have hatched. There are pictures and videos on my Facebook page.

The best part of the last 18 months has been the friends I’ve made. The support, laughter, and care shown has been incredible. Amazingly, very little of it has been about books. I walked into an industry not knowing what to expect and found some of the most incredible people I could ever hope to meet.'

It has to be said, Max is so supportive of the #writingcommunity, I'm not surprised he's found many friend. So what's next for him?

'Too much! I’m currently working on a memoir of my travels around the World. Amazingly, it’s a request from a writer friend. It is very emotional to write, as it brings back so many memories.

There will also be more adventures from the “Stray Army”. There’s a slight twist in the next one, but you’ll have to wait until I’ve finished writing it to understand.

I’m also half-way through my first standalone thriller. I started it ten years ago, so there may be a bit of a wait.

The final WIP is the book I feel I was born to write. It brings out my inner Tom Sharpe. I’m not going to give too much away, but school and authority play a big role in it.

There’ll be more merchandise, downloads, and crazy ideas going forward. Even I don’t know what they’ll be yet, but that’s half the fun of it.

Finally, with a bit of luck and a following wind, I’ll be packing my bags again soon. For most people, that would mean moving house. For me, it means moving country. Who knows where I’ll end up this time? The only thing I can promise is I’m not coming home just yet. There are too many places to discover, amazing people to meet, and stories to write.'

Wow, what a brilliant follow-up - hasn't he achieved a lot! You can read our original interview here or follow Max on his regular blog, buy his books or merchandise, and download items from his website, The website also includes all his social media links with lots of photos and videos of baby turtles and stray animals. His other links are below too, and they're followed by my book review:





I loved ‘It’s a stray dog’s life’, which is a charming book for children, featuring three stray dogs and this second book is equally charming. This time we follow new strays, Mumsy and her puppies Pitch and Putt, Jasper and Toby. 

Just like the first book the chapters are short, just perfect for bedtime reading, and wonderful morale themes are woven into the stories. Maximilian has a lovely soft touch, knowing just how to pull the heart strings as well as having you giggling at the dogs’ antics.

The stories are well written and I can imagine children, and adults, falling in love with the characters. If you’re after a kid’s book with real heart, then I recommend both books in this series – they’re just lovely!

Enjoyed this post? Never miss out by following here