From Kathryn Jean Lopez's interview with Mark Levin:
Kathryn Jean Lopez: How the heck does a successful talk-show host — who is known for being a cerebral constitutional lawyer and delivering fiery monologues — pitch a heartwarming story about his late dog Sprite to a publisher? If you’re Mark Levin, don’t they want more of the same?
Mark Levin: I wasn’t planning on writing Rescuing Sprite. As much as we try to plan our lives, life is unpredictable. I was thinking about writing a book that was more along the lines you mention — about philosophy and politics. We had actually begun the process of talking to several interested publishers about that project, but then Sprite passed away. It was a crushing blow to me, as I am sure other dog lovers can relate. I put in very long days. My radio show finishes at 8 P.M. ET, after which I eat dinner with my dogs every night; I take long walks with them; I talk with them at length. They give me enormous pleasure and enjoyment. They keep me company. They give me far more than I could ever give them and, in return, they ask for nothing more than something to eat and drink, a warm place to sleep, and some loving attention.
It never occurred to me to adopt a dog from a shelter. It was my wife’s and kids’ idea, and their persistence, that brought this wonderful dog, Sprite, into our family.
You know, I’d never been to a shelter before. I’d never given them a first thought, let alone a second thought. But I have since come to know that there are literally millions of dogs (and cats and other animals) who are living in crates or cages in thousands of shelters across the country who are in desperate need of loving families. They became lost from their families, or were turned in by their owners, or had been abused. When you go to a shelter, it’s a difficult experience — at least it was for me. The people there are truly remarkable. They do something I could never do. They care for an endless stream of needy animals, and their contributions to society are enormous. But to see those dogs and cats in those crates, who have to wonder what happened to their world, and who are surrounded by strangers and strange sounds, is heartbreaking. In most cases, just a few weeks earlier, they were in a loving home.
Anyway, back to your question. It never crossed my mind to write a book like this, until my Sprite passed away. Simon & Schuster and several other publishers wanted me to write a book for them — a political book. Well, this was the book I wanted to write. I had to write it. It was this or nothing.
There are many, many people like me, who have lost a dog and who are deeply affected by it. The day Sprite died, I wrote a short essay to myself and my family about our Sprite and the light he brought into our home. I decided to share the essay with the folks at Simon & Schuster. Obviously, I’m not known for writing about dogs. There are other authors who are experts. But I am a dog lover with emotions and passions, and in this I’m no different than millions of other people — except that I am blessed with the opportunity to write a book about it. Every dog lover has a dog story. This is my family’s story. And apparently a lot of people can identify with it, which is what I’d hoped.
Although they liked my original essay, I’m pretty sure Simon & Schuster wasn’t 100-percent certain what to expect. In March, three-and-a-half months after Sprite passed away, I submitted the manuscript. They loved it.
I wrote the book late at night, after my radio show; I wrote it on the weekends. And there were many occasions when writing it became so emotional that I had to stop. And there were times I didn’t think I could finish. This is the most important thing I’ve done in my career. That may seem odd to some. So be it.
It doesn't seem odd to me.
Rescuing Sprite would make a great Christmas gift. Order it from Amazon here.
Watching the promo for Levin's appearance on Hannity and Colmes I noticed he was wearing an Alabama cap and I wondered about that. He happened to mention on the show his daughter goes to the University of Alabama. Nice to know! Maybe he'll come down for a book signing.