Dr. Metifunger’s Transdimensional Veterinary Clinic

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To say that Dr. Mabel Sassani’s first day on the job proved to be difficult was a severe understatement. Sure, she was a fully qualified veterinarian, trained to deal with any number of emergencies. But nothing had prepared her for a pug named Ernest Borgnine who’d swallowed a personal wormhole generator, a deca-dachshund with ten legs, or a weiner dog shaped like an actual penis.

But perhaps that’s the type of day she should expect from now on, given that she’d taken a job at Dr. Metifunger’s transdimensional veterinary clinic. Not her first choice, but she’d lost her veterinary license through no fault of her own, and she desperately needed a job.

However, dealing with five different Sandys (one for each dimension), was enough to make her question her now-fragile hold on events. Ordinarily, Mabel was a pretty good judge of people, but the overall level of weirdness in her job might be obscuring something she’d rather not be involved in.

Or it could just be that she didn’t want to wrestle another land shark to the floor.

A handsome man named Bryce complicated matters even more, especially considering that he had an interdimensional double who kept hitting on her. And what was Karen’s role in all this? She wasn’t a veterinarian, but she was a full partner with Dr. Metifunger, and when she wanted something done, everyone hopped to it.

But then Bryce starts lying to her, the FBI is on her case, her parents come to visit, and the interdimensional weirdness gets dangerous. Can she figure out this impenetrable tangle of conflicting events—in all the dimensions—before someone she loves gets hurt?

***

This book has it all. Great characters, believable dialogue, solid plot, and a level of worldbuilding that frankly leaves me in awe. (Think Men in Black or maybe Despicable Me.) It’s funny and yet it still has you concerned about the protag, since she has to hazard life and limb on multiple occasions. If that sounds like something you’d enjoy, I can’t recommend it highly enough.

And…that’s not all, folks. Since I happen to know the author personally, we have a chance to learn a little more. Dr. Strubbe comes by his worldbuilding honestly, as he’s a veterinarian himself, although true-to-life veterinary details are only the start.

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Welcome, Dennis. I’m so pleased to have you here. Great debut book–it’s quirky and well-thought-out and fun all at the same time, so go you. In fact, you have a lot of strengths as a writer, but your worldbuilding stands out in particular to me. A lot of it is completely your own invention, but some of it had to be research-based. What’s some of the most memorable research you’ve turned up?

Thanks, Cathleen. I’m not good at favorites, but I can list some things that stand out.

Sugar Jets, a long-discontinued breakfast cereal, was the first to include prizes in the box.

Octopuses (or octopi if you’re old school) are all venomous, though most have only a mild venom no more painful than a bee sting.

A taser will only shock the person being tased. Someone touching that person will be unaffected.

If wormholes exist, they may be all around us, just too tiny for anything but subatomic particles to navigate.

Sometimes I picture some poor artificial intelligence robot scratching its shiny head, trying to figure out why I research the odd things I do. I think every writer has a very eclectic group of interests, depending on what book they’re writing.

So, like I mentioned earlier, Dr. Metifunger is your first book. Congrats on sticking to it and getting it out there into the world. Do you have any advice to aspiring writers, trying to publish for the first time?

1) Read. A lot. Learn from those who went before you. What works. What doesn’t. Every book is a writer’s class if you want it to be.

2) Join writer groups. You’ll learn so much from your peers. You’ll develop lifelong friendships. And you’ll build a network of associates who can help you with everything from editing and publishing to cover designs and marketing. It’s an amazing community!

3) Start small. In my opinion, short stories are way harder to write than novels. You’ll learn so much about conservation of words, because you must pack an entire story arc into a ridiculously small space. And there are numerous opportunities for publishing with short stories, so you can build up a resume of publications and—hopefully—a following of readers along the way.

Do you have any basic writing tips?

Research. Research. Research. Even if you’re writing fantasy, you need your story to be grounded in facts so the reader can more easily accept the fiction. You may only use a fraction of what you learn, but all the knowledge gained will enrich you as a writer and may help you in future projects. Besides, it’s fun to learn things as a reader, so why not give your audience as much as you possibly can?

How much do you structure your stories before you write them?

I come up with an overriding arc, and then I totally wing it from there. It’s boring to me as a writer to outline everything first. I like to be as surprised as the reader, so I let the story take me where it will. It’s a far longer process, because I inevitably end up rethinking plot lines and editing out entire chapters. But by building on ideas in the moment rather than laying everything out ahead of time, I find that I can be more spontaneous, which is pretty much how life works anyway, right? I mean, you can plan all you want, but I doubt a plan has ever been made that Entropy couldn’t topple with a swift kick to the crotch.

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What do you do when you get stuck writing your story?

I stare at it until I fall asleep. Then I wake up on the couch at 2 in the morning, curse myself and go to bed. Super unproductive. I don’t recommend it to anyone.

I have so been there. I think we all face that sort of thing at one time or another. What about other books? What is the single most important quality in a novel; what must an author do to win you over?

Surprise me. Don’t get me wrong. I love when I occasionally guess where something is going, but the key is the word “guess.” I don’t want to know for certain, and I at least want the journey there to be unexpected.

What’s something most readers would never guess about you?

I occasionally use the CO2 laser at work to draw pictures on tongue depressors.

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That’s not something you see every day. How did that happen?

When we first got the laser, the salesperson suggested I test it out on a tongue depressor. So I drew Tommy from the Rugrats. Everyone was so impressed..I just kept drawing things until I was eventually doing entire scenes for the other veterinarians next door.

That’s definitely an unusual hobby. On that note, besides writing, what are your favorite things to do?

Surfing. Collecting Funko Pops. Reading. Watching Rick and Morty and Bob’s Burgers. Spending time with my family—which includes the dogs and the cats. Mostly the last one.

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Dennis Strubbe can be found online at TikTok here: https://www.tiktok.com/@strubbed. And check the Look Inside at Amazon.

Happy reading! : )

Avid writer and reader of Faerie tales and noblebright fantasy.

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18 comments on “Dr. Metifunger’s Transdimensional Veterinary Clinic
  1. I have a question: How did you ever come up with this story???? It is clever and appealing and like nothing out there!

    Liked by 3 people

    • Dennis Todd Strubbe says:

      Wow! That’s so kind! I guess I just took some good advice, which was “write what you know.” Then I added some things I like based on theoretical physics, comedy, paleontology, etc., and the story slowly fell into place. It was a lot of fun, and I’d like to think the fact that I enjoyed writing it so much shows through in the story.

      Liked by 1 person

    • I know–it’s one of the rare originals. Definitely worth the time of a whale reader. : )

      Liked by 3 people

    • strubbed says:

      Wow! That’s so nice to hear! I just followed some good advice, which was “write what you know” (i.e. veterinary medicine), and then I added some things I enjoy—theoretical physics, paleontology, humor, etc.—and a story quickly came together. It was super fun to write, and I hope that vibe shows in the final product. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s one of the most creative story hooks I’ve ever read. The book sounds awesome. Thanks so much for sharing, Cathleen, and introducing us to Dennis. Loved the interview too and all the wisdom. I also think that every book we read, regardless of quality, has something to teach us about writing. And writing groups are awesome. I guess I’m going to have to pick up this book. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Ann Coleman says:

    That sounds quite interesting!!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. D.L. Finn, Author says:

    Great interview and of course I had to pick up the book.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. balroop2013 says:

    Thanks for sharing this book and introducing us to Dennis. It sounds unique! Wishing him great success.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Hi Cathleen, this sounds like a most interesting book about a vet. Thanks for introducing Dennis and this book.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. What a wonderful thing to give the doctor the platform to introduce himself and his book. The Q&A itself was interesting. I can only imagine the madness this book is.

    Like

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