Animals as Characters
BY COLLETTE CAMERON
Despite my best efforts, creatures of some sort creep in. Iâ€™ve used lots of dogs: dachshunds, boarhounds, spaniels, a one-eyed sheepdog, and other animals too: a three-legged cat, horses, a bad-tempered bull, blind mule, chickens, and an owl with deformed feet named Sophie, to mention a few.
I even named a dachshund, Kiki, in one of my books after a beloved pet that died from being poisoned by a chicken jerky treat two years ago.
I have a bunch of pets myself; too many to mention and not be considered a bit odd. I even write with a mini-dachshund on my lap. Occasionally, she inspires my prose. For instance, Ayva was having a rather gassy day, and before I knew it, Iâ€™d written a scene in which my heroâ€™s dog succeeded in embarrassing him with her unfortunate digestive troubles, much to the amusement of the heroine.
I adore pets in stories (not just my own). Animals add a depth of reality and connectedness to books, and they can have wonderfully fun personalities.
The way a character interacts and responds to animals tells readers much about that person, and naming a pet character is one of my favorite things to do. Iâ€™m thinking of a fat cat named Sir Pounce, a pair of King Charles Spaniels named Moll and Lasses (Think molasses. Their master owns sugar plantations) and a Dalmatian named Sir Freckleton.
I had a professor once who claimed a story wasnâ€™t complete unless it contained an animal of some sort. Iâ€™m not sure I agree with him, because Iâ€™ve read lots of great books that donâ€™t mention a single animal. On the other hand, some of my favorite tales, ones that stick in mind for a long time are stories that have featured an animal, even as a secondary character.
Animals bring love, devotion, sacrifice, and humor to the pages, and Iâ€™ve fallen in love with many characters when I read how they interact with their pets. Iâ€™ve also wanted to smack a few people upside the head for being unkind to animals in books. I can think of one book I threw across the room.
Have you read any adult books where an animal especially touched your heart? Have you ever considered why?
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Award winning, best-selling author, Collette Cameron, has a BS in Liberal Studies and a Master’s in Teaching. Author of the Castle Brides Series and Highland Heather Romancing a Scot Series, Collette writes Regency and Scottish historicals and makes her home in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and five mini-dachshunds. Mother to three and a self-proclaimed Cadbury Chocolate chocoholic, Collette loves a good joke, inspirational quotes, flowers, trivia, and all things shabby chic. You’ll always find dogs, birds, quirkyâ€”sometimes naughtyâ€”humor, and a dash of inspiration in her novels.
Her motto for life? You canâ€™t have too much chocolate, too many hugs, or too many flowers.
Sheâ€™s thinking about adding shoes to that list.
Blue Rose Romance Blog: http://blueroseromance.com