Friday, January 27, 2012

PETS IN OUR LIVES AND IN OUR BOOKS

First, the winner of a free e-book from our Amazing Authors Event is Becky. I've sent her an email.

Friends and I were talking recently, teasing one friend because in all her books either the hero or heroine has a dog. I like that, and books I write usually include pets. Showing a character that is sympathetic to cats or dogs adds a dimension to the person. A gruff man who befriends a scruffy dog lets the reader know that the tough guy is not as heartless as he wants others to believe. He has instantly become more sympathetic to readers. In the movie “Hang ‘Em High,” Clint Eastwood is introduced to the audience driving cattle across a river. He gets off his horse and wades back into the river (wearing chaps) to save a young calf. Fast on his heels is a posse ready to hang him. Because of his compassion, we know this man has to be a good guy. Good thing, because that's the extent of character development for this movie.



Our Shih Tzu, Webster
 A heroine with a pet comes across as kinder and more nurturing. This is, of course, if the pets are well cared for. I hate, hate, hate books where a pet dies! Remember THE YEARLING? OLD YELLER? No thanks! Won’t read it.

Our family’s pets are all rescued animals that have become family members. I know their life span is shorter than ours, but don’t want to be reminded when I’m reading for pleasure.


Sebastian, our
17 lb. baby
Pets don’t have to be cats or dogs or horses. At a critique meeting once, I told my cp’s (critique partners) about my neighbor who raises beautiful rare hens. Yes, they are beautiful! Called blue-reds, they are rusty red with soft bluish wing and tail feathers. My citygirl cp thinks I should move into the city, too, and said, “You have to get out of the country, now!”

Bailey, our shy tabby
The first “real” mystery I read was by Erle Stanley Gardner and featured a parrot. I was about nine and don’t remember the title of the book. Sad, because that novel changed my life by showing me mysteries didn’t have to include Nancy Drew. But I digress. Again.

Pets add substance to any story, just as they do to our lives.
 
Thanks for stopping by!

4 comments:

Indigo said...

I couldn't agree more about having animals in our books. I have several rescues of my own, so it comes natural to me to write a dog into a story-line. (Hugs)Indigo

Marianne said...

having a dog in the novel, will tip the scales from a maybe to a yes in my mind. i have rescue dogs, though maybe abit different than most as the ones i have now found me where i am instead of me going to find them. Thanks for the lovely post

Mary Campisi said...

Hi Caroline - great post! I love 'animal' people and love reading about them in books. It makes them very human. Most of my books have animals, usually dogs in them. I even wrote a blog about how my rescue dog, Cooper, taught me to write backstory. I think when animals are such a part of our lives, it's only natural they show up on the pages. When I read about an animal in a book, I know I've found a kindred spirit in the author!
Thanks again,

Mary
www.marycampisi.com

katsrus said...

I love pets in books. I have a couple strays I have taken in and have become a treasured member of our family. Lovely post.
Sue B