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Check Out Janet Zappala’s Story

Today we’d like to introduce you to Janet Zappala.

Hi Janet, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
I’ve been an award-winning journalist; performing anchor, reporting, hosting, writing, editing and producing duties over many years. I’m also a certified nutritional consultant, cookbook author, and now a children’s book author. I love animals and have been a volunteer at the Coachella Valley Horse Rescue for the last nearly five years. And that’s where I discovered Guapo. His story is one of animal rescue, adventure, friendship, acceptance, diversity and kindness.

The director of the rescue, as I was mucking stalls one night, showed me a picture of Guapo spooning with his best friend Mabel. She proceeded to tell me the story about how he was rescued and how huge he got! Nearly 3000 pounds and over six feet tall!

I took it from there. As a reporter, that lightbulb went off and I felt it was a story that had to be in the hands of children.

his life messages are ones that every adult would want to instill in all children, including diversity, acceptance, love, and kindness. Guapo is one of the world’s largest steers, with one of the world’s largest hearts!

It’s heart-rending and heartwarming. Everybody, I believe, will fall in love with Guapo.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
The biggest challenge when trying to write a book, aside from executing well, is finding the right publisher. Thankfully, through a lot of hard work and passion, I found the perfect fit. Mascot Books has been with me every step of the way, they are consummate professionals and care deeply about the product. It was a team effort, one that I’m very grateful for.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I’ve devoted most of my adult life to being a Journalist. I have worked in television news, entertainment, magazines, and newspapers. I’m very proud of the fact that I’ve earned six Emmy awards, 14 Emmy nominations, a Golden Mike award, a First Place Associated Press award, and a Desert Health Wellness Award. It’s not so much the awards that make it fulfilling, as it is the sense of accomplishment. If nothing else, I believe I’m known for putting my nose to the grindstone and working as hard as I possibly can to achieve the best possible outcome.

I’ve always been a goal-oriented person and have many different interests. The news business is constant, stimulating, and always changing.

I’ve also felt that helping people with their health is another way I can be of service. So I became a certified nutritional consultant and served up cooking shows and demos featuring healthy, delicious recipes that are easy to prepare and do a body good! And can be seen on my cooking show, titled Good Food Matters.

Then there are the animals, I’m also on the Advisory Council for the Coachella Valley Horse Rescue. Working with the horses gives me great joy, caring for them even more joy, and helping the rescue with their nonprofit goals is also at the top of my list of important projects to be involved with.

I think what sets me apart from others is my unrelenting drive to continue doing good work and changing it up so it’s not just one thing but many things. I look for different areas where my skills are needed, and I try to fill those needs. I don’t think I’ll ever stop until I’m pushing up daisies!

What quality or characteristic do you feel is most important to your success?
Stick-to-it-ness! Never let those bumps in the road deter you from your goals. Once you get over, around, or through them, victory won’t be far behind!


  • My new Children’s picture book, Guapo’s Giant Heart, The True Story of the Calf Who Kept Growing Will be officially released on February 1. The price is $15.95, And can be found on Amazon and wherever books are sold.

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