Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Welcome Guest Blogger: Caroline Clemmons

Pets In Our Lives, Pets In Our Books

Rebecca, thanks for inviting me to be a guest on your blog!

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 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.

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! Don’t want to 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.

Pets don’t have to be cats or dogs. 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!” 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.

In my upcoming June 4th release, which is a time travel romance with suspense elements titled OUT OF THE BLUE, there are two pets. Deirdre Dougherty, the time traveling Irish clairvoyant healer heroine, has a cat named Cathbad. Brendan Hunter, the police detective hero, has a huge mutt named Prince. All my books have pets included—and I promise that none of them dies in the book!

Thanks so much to Rebecca Savage for letting me post on her blog! Please visit mine, A Writer’s Life, at http://carolineclemmons.blogspot.com or my website at www.carolineclemmons.com. I’m on Facebook under Caroline Clemmons (one of several) and Twitter as #lovesthewest. I’d love to hear from you.

Please visit my blog for frequent contests. All you have to do is comment.

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