Monday, February 1, 2016

Why Dogs?

Hi, InkSpot fans,

My Inkspot blogs appear on the first Monday of each month.  How fun that the first Monday of this month is also the first day of the month!

I was motivated by Tracy Weber's recent InkSpot blog about her lifetime love of animals and how they inspired her writing to consider my own love of animals, especially dogs.  Yes, I know they inspire my writing.  Of the four mystery series I write or have written, every one of them features dogs. 

In my first mystery series, the Kendra Ballantyne Pet-Sitter Mysteries that I wrote for Berkley Prime Crime, Kendra was a lawyer who lived in the Hollywood Hills with her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Lexie.  At the time, I was a practicing lawyer, and I still live in the Hollywood Hills with my two Cavaliers, including Lexie.  I haven't tripped over murder victims, though--except in my mind.

My second series, the Pet Rescue Mysteries, were a spin-off from the Kendra books.  And now I'm writing two series simultaneously for Midnight Ink which both feature dogs: the Superstition Mysteries, where the protagonist runs a pet boutique, and the Barkery & Biscuits Mysteries, where the protagonist is a veterinary technician who bought a human bakery and turned half into a barkery where she sells healthy dog treats.

In addition, one of the other two series I write, romances for Harlequin, consists of paranormal romances for Nocturne, featuring Alpha Force, a covert military unit of shapeshifters.  Yes, many are werewolves and they happen to have cover dogs while they're in human form.

So why dogs?  I'm not sure why I started loving them, but I do know I convinced my grandfather to buy me my first puppy from a pet store when I was eight years old.  I learned a horrible lesson then about pet stores.  My mother took Cuddles to a vet when I was in school the next day, and she had distemper.  We returned her to the store and learned that all the dogs there had distemper.  In those days we couldn't even bring a dog into the house for a three-month quarantine period after that, and I used the time to research breeds.  My next puppy was a Boston Terrier from a qualified breeder, and I had Frisky for quite a while.

And then, years later, on my first trip to London I saw my first Cavalier King Charles Spaniel on the Underground.  The rest was my history.  I hunted for a Cavalier puppy when I returned to the States and have been owned by them ever since.

Dogs have inspired other aspects of my life, too, and I absolutely love writing about them.  In fact, I'm always dreaming up new story ideas but don't have time to follow up on all of them.  Someday, maybe...  But meantime, I love writing my current mysteries and hope to for a long time.

I actually could tell you more about my love of animals and how they inspired me--and that can be a topic for another blog!

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