Movie animal trainer Julie Tottman has signed with Sphere to author two books, about two of the deserving animals she has rescued, loved and trained to appear in films over the past 20 years.
Emily Barrett, editorial director, Sphere, Little, Brown Book Group, acquired world rights and dramatisation rights to the books, which will be part of a series called Paws of Fame. It also charts the twists and turns of Tottman's career in film and TV.
The first book, Will You Take Me Home? (September 2020) tells the "heartbreaking" story of Pickles the Yorkshire Terrier, who had been overbred on a puppy farm. After rescuing Pickles, Tottman nursed her back to health and Pickles later perfomed opposite Colin Firth and Amanda Bynes in "What a Girl Wants".
The second book, Rescue Me (February 2021) is about Monkey the Neapolitan Mastiff who was starved and abandoned by his owners, but who – with the right care and attention from Tottman—made it into the Harry Potter franchise as Hagrid’s dog, Fang.
Barrett said: "What runs through each of Julie’s books is the incredible devotion she feels for the animals she takes into her care and the wonderful effects they have on her personal life; it’s this that readers of books like A Street Cat named Bob and Max the Miracle Dog will fall in love with. On top of this, Julie is one of the leading animal trainers for movies in the world meaning readers can glimpse backstage into the world of entertainment in a new and exciting way. The ‘Paws of Fame’ books will make perfect cosy and comforting escapism for animal lovers everywhere in these difficult and uncertain times."
Tottman's credits, having been rescuing and training animals for the movies for over 20 years, also include "Game of Thrones", "Skfyall", "Chernobyl", "Star Wars" and "Mamma Mia", among many others. She said: "I am so excited to share my experiences with readers, and it’s a personal thrill for me as it gives my Pickles and Monkey another chance to live on. I am also so grateful to have the opportunity to show that rescue dogs deserve a second chance and I have my fingers crossed that it will encourage people to think about rescuing dogs in the future. I hope readers enjoy finding out about the ups and downs of saving these precious lives and enjoy hearing about them thriving as much as I enjoyed the real thing."