Thursday, September 11, 2008

Pets In Prose

I had no idea what to blog about today as I’m so wrapped up in my new story there’s not room for anything else in my brain. So I looked up at the wall in front of me for inspiration. I have a cute photo of a puppy and kitten cuddled together above my computer and it made me think about using pets in stories.

The heroine in my current wip has a pet cat, although as she’s a fairy witch the cat is more than a pet. She’s psychically bound to her cat and can see through its eyes. So it’s also a witch’s familiar. But it is also a very dear pet that satisfies her need for company until she meets the hero.

This is the first time I’ve used a pet in a story, although I love reading book that include pets, especially when the pet has a distinctive character that adds to the story. I always think people who like animals must be nice people, (very naive of me I expect) so I instinctively like characters who have pets.

Some of the memorable fictional pets for me are Stephanie Plum’s hamster Rex from Janet Evanovich’s books and Kate’s dog Newton in The Viscount Who Loved Me by Julia Quinn.

Do you have any favourite fictional pets?


Terry Odell said...

I like Rex, too. I've given heros in two of my books pets, and they played important roles in the book. I can't think of a lot of books off the top of my head, where a pet stands out -- which probably means it was there just to give the character something to do, or maybe someone to talk to to avoid a lot of interior monologue.

OK-- I glanced at my bookshelves and a few pets came to mind.

I'll remember more. Nevada Barr had a dog--Taco, I think -- that tickles the fringes of my memory. And Jonathan Kellerman's Alex Delaware dealt with a couple of bull dogs, and they definitely showed more about his character and his relationship with Robin. And Spenser and Susan had Pearl. What really put me off was that when Pearl died, they went and got a new dog, same kind, same color, etc., which was fine with me, but they named that one Pearl, too. That seemed sick. You can't replace anyone -- human or pet.

Savanna Kougar said...

Helen, love your cat pet for your fairy witch heroine.

Of course, one of my fave pets is Baby Aru in When a Good Angel Falls. The hero finds the stray pup and brings him back to the heroine.

Then, my heroine, Lady Sheridan, has her adored horses, one of them a fierce agile mare she rides in the war sports game of the Braverth.

I always love stories, whether novels or movies, that include pets and animals in meaningful ways. Not just for a cutsie hype appeal.

Terry, it is kind of a turn off, however having, at one time, sold pets as a breeder (an age ago), I know often, people who use the same name, simple mean it as a way to honor their former pet. Like a person might use the name of a grandparent for the name of their child, as a way of honoring them.

Terry Odell said...

Savannah, from the Spenser books, it really seemed like they expected the new puppy to be an exact duplicate of her predecessor. It just didn't play right for me. They could have at least called her "Pearl 2" or something.

Savanna Kougar said...

Terry, I see what you mean. Yeah, I have to agree. That is too on the ick side!

Mai Christy Thao said...

Helen, what a beautiful photo! Unfortunately, the only pets I use in my stories are horses. :-)