Rory Says Goodbye: Explaining Loss and Finding Comfort (Author Interview)

Rory Says Goodbye looks like a great book.  What can you tell us about it? 

This book is based on 2 of my cats, Gizmo and Rory. They were the absolute best of friends and Rory really struggled with losing his older sister. The story details their last day together and Rory learning to cope with his grief after Gizmo went to Heaven. I wrote it as a story to help younger children with learning how to cope with the loss of a pet or other family member.


Any plans to turn it into a series? 

This will definitely be the first in the series of children’s books. I have a few upcoming books about Rory’s journey getting a dad that he’s not thrilled about and 2 rambunctious little brothers. There’s also more beyond the first three that I’m working on writing, all inspired my my cats and all with a lesson to go with it.

That’s an amazing cover.  Can you tell us about it? 

Thank you so much! I was definitely wanting something bright and happy since it is a heavy subject. I decide that having their tails intertwining as hearts would be a cute symbol of the love between them. The illustrator did a wonderful job bringing my vision to life.

Can you tell us a little about Rory? 

Rory is 18 years old and solid black with just a small patch of white on his chest. I’ve had him since he was just weeks old and I was in middle school so we’ve really grown up together. He’s the sweetest, most gentle cat I’ve ever had. He’s also the biggest mamas boy. He’s currently learning how to share his mom with his two younger brothers Salem and Winston. They will be in some of the upcoming books.


What inspired the idea for the book? 

After getting the kittens, Salem and Winston, I realized that the antics the three get up to together would make for great children’s books. So I sat down to write and realized the story wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t tell Rory’s stories before we got the kittens.


How did you come up with the title for the book? 

I thought the the title really captures what the story is about. Rory has to say goodbye to his sister and to how his life was before she passed.


Did anything stick out as particularly challenging when writing Rory Says Goodbye

The most challenging part was writing about Gizmo’s passing. I got Gizmo around the age of two and had her until I was twenty three and she passed just weeks before my wedding. This book was my way of honoring her and what a bright light she was in my life and Rory’s.


What do you like to do when not writing? 

When I’m not writing I enjoy taking photos… mainly of my cats. I also enjoy binge watching tv shows and movies with my husband while curled up with all 3 cats.


Where can readers find out more about your work? 

They can check on my website and following me on Facebook at Emily Heckler Books and Instagram at emilyhecklerbooks.