Archive for the day “September 5, 2013”

Writing Doggy Heroes Into Your Novel, or Don’t Leave Them Home Alone!

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Midget and Gidget (The one of the left is Midget)

As I retreat back into my writing cave to work on TRUE blue, the sequel to ICE blue, I thought I would repost some of the blogs I wrote for the ICE blue virtual tour.  This first one is dedicated to my best friend and the recent loss of a little Chihuahua named Midget who was very dear to her. 

             Oh, how we love our dogs.  Well, mostly.  Okay, I admit it, friends and family have often heard me say I am not a dog person.  So why do I have two of them?  Why do I take such good care of them? And why did I use one of them as a template (granted, given a sex change) for a key character in my new novel, ICE blue?  It’s because I just couldn’t resist the fluffy white ball of fur with the little black eyes when I met her.  She was so cute (and, yes, still is), that I thought she would make a perfect companion for Angela, my heroine, as she is trying to cope with loss and moving on with her life.   I also thought the little button-nosed puppy would make the most unlikely hero.Nikkie

Yes, Half-pint truly is a hero in ICE blue.  He gets to join the ranks of Lassie and Rin Tin Tin (who, by the way, was a real dog) and a contemporary children’s favorite, Bolt.

Dogs are our constant companions.  They love us without conditions, are loyal beyond reason, and often come to the rescue in the direst of times.  The internet is filled with stories of real life dog heroes.  But notice, I said constant companions.  Unlike a cat or a gerbil or a turtle or fish that you can leave for a couple of days and go about your business (you can get auto-feeders for such pets), dogs cannot be left alone for more than a few hours at a time.  You must feed them, let them out, or find someone who will, even if you’re going to be gone for just a day.  The same is true for the dogs in your novel.  And if you’re writing a romance novel, you have to figure out what you’re going to do with the insistent little pup when your hero and heroine want to make love.

So, if your heroine suddenly traipses off to solve a murder, or gets sequestered in a safe house, or works twenty-four hour shifts as a paramedic as Angela does, you need to figure out what to do with the dog while she’s gone.  I don’t know about you, but it drives me crazy when pets or even babies are brought into the story of a book or TV show, but then suddenly disappear for days or weeks on end with no mention of where they are or who’s taking care of them.

Fortunately, this is not a problem for Half-pint and Angela.  Half-pint, one of the unlikeliest little puppy heroes you will find in any novel, plays his full part in ICE blue and stays with the story to the end.  Here is a small sample of Half-pint’s role in the novel.  Dog lovers, enjoy!

Susan Rae    

Excerpt :  ICE blue by Susan Rae

Morning light peeked around the edges of her window blinds when next she opened her eyes. With a start, she realized she must have drifted off to sleep again. Glancing at her bedside clock, she feared the worst—the sun didn’t rise in mid-January in Chicago until almost eight. Read more…

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