Last January in this space, we reported on Cambridge resident Christine Sullivan’s self-published book 44 Days Out of Kandahar, which told the story of her desperate search for a puppy lost halfway around the world. Sullivan’s Navy reservist brother, Mark Feffer, had befriended the flop-eared red mutt named Cinnamon in Afghanistan, but circumstances derailed his plan to bring her back to his Annapolis home.
Now Sullivan’s book, retitled Saving Cinnamon, has become a hardcover from St. Martin’s Press. Last Sunday, Cinnamon’s story appeared on Fox News. Sullivan’s agent has sold rights to publish the book in Australia and New Zealand, and the author is working on possible spin-offs — a version for kids, perhaps even a film.
In a phone interview, 47-year-old Sullivan says, “The book’s story parallels the story of finding Cinnamon — setting out to do something that was very improbable.” When it came to getting her book deal, she elaborates, “I did anything and everything I could think of. I didn’t take no for an answer.” Sullivan took the risk of turning down one publisher’s offer and holding out for a better one. She called up “big-name agents” directly and consulted with “a well-known Vermont author” whose connections eventually helped her get representation at New York’s Trident Media Group.
While Sullivan says Saving Cinnamon is “not a ton different” from the self-published version that’s been selling at local stores such as Pet Food Warehouse, it does contain color photos and an update on the dog who somehow made it out of a war zone. Sullivan writes moving tributes to farflung helpers in the quest, such as Yulia Ten, founder of the Animal Welfare Society of Kyrgyzstan.
A volunteer rescuer herself and founder of a fundraising partnership called New Hope for Animals, Sullivan notes that there are “three more rescues in Cinnamon’s household now: Elvis, Holly and Pete. They all have their place in the pack. Cinnamon is still hunting her critters in the yard.” And, she concludes, as “Cinnamon’s amazing journey continues, I’m on my own amazing journey.”