Every Dollar Goes To Save An Animal!

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

A Doggie's Tale by Berengaria Brown

Do you like your hero or heroine to have a pet or two? Does it make them more real to you if they cuddle a kitty after yelling at their true love? Or cry into their horse’s mane? Or maybe she owns a really clever pet bird that frightens away a would-be bad guy? Do you like the thought of your hunky hero going for a run with his dog?

I can think of one mystery author who always includes a cat or two in her books and the cats’ characters are every bit as vivid as that of the humans. And sometimes far more interesting to me, as a reader too.

I know of another author who adores animals and it shows in every line she writes about her shapeshifter wolves.

Then there are books I’ve read with a pet introduced in chapter one and never mentioned again in the book. I’m always left wondering, “What happened to the pet when the lovers hooked up? Is the pet going to get an HEA or not?”

There are a group of well-known authors who have written entire series of books where the hero or heroine is basically just a foil for the animal character that solves the mystery/ saves the world. That is another entire genre of book
According to the God of all Knowledge, WikiAnswers, 63% of American households have a pet, the vast majority of them either a dog and/or a cat. Hamsters, fish, mice, guinea pigs, birds, snakes, bunnies, iguanas and ferrets are all in the top ten pets depending on who you believe.

So this is where I came in. If so many people own pets do they want to read about them in their books? Because they have a pet do they feel better if the hero/heroine has a pet?
Or do they see pets as something a kid needs to grow up with, rather like a bike and a football? Or just another household chore to perform? Do the laundry, cook the supper, walk the dog?

Many animals offer their human endless love, trust and companionship. They don’t fuss about unwashed blankets or unironed clothing. They adore being petted and at least pretend to listen when you talk to them. But does this uncomplaining attitude then make the hero or heroine look bad when they are upset at how their lover is treating them?
So what do you think? Should book characters be pet-owners? Or is this likely to make them be less appealing to their lover? After all, it is hardly romantic for the heroine to say, “I can’t go out without you tonight. I have to clean out the bird cage.”

I think, for authors, it comes down to the old saying “write what you know”. If you adore animals it will show in how you write them and the reader will love to read about Spot and Fluffy. If you consider the horse as just something that needs to be brushed from bite to kick, it’s better to avoid putting that in your novel. And readers respond to this. They love to read about genuine animal characters and their relationship with the hero and heroine. But the heroine’s pet that only appears in chapter one as a quick-fix solution to move the plot along—the reader sees right through that and feels cheated.

Title: Intensity
Author: Berengaria Brown
Publisher: Siren Bookstrand

Blurb: [Menage Amour: Erotic Paranormal Menage a Trois Romance, M/M/F, public exhibition, sex toys]
Amos, Wesley and Keziah have been bed partners for a while. Amos and Wesley want Keziah to move in with them and become a permanent partner but she has refused, wanting to be independent. Then she stands up for her friend and loses her job.
Amos and Wesley convince her to move in with them and plan to screw her insensible to make her want to stay. But chaos erupts at the company board meeting as Amos’s incompetent father tries to use the ménage as a weapon to take control of the company from Amos, so Keziah decides the only solution is for her to leave. And the ghost has his own agenda…


  1. I have not included pets despite have two fuzzies almost constantly at my feet when hammering at the keyboard. Perhaps in the future. :) Space cats have already been done, though.

  2. I have an adorable Irish terrier, Reilly, who is a bit of a bed hog, but lovable anyway! I haven't published a story that included a strong pet element, but I want to. Pet's are such a large part of most people's live, a huge industry of goods sold just for them! You've encouraged me to expand a WIP and bring in the light of a pet...

  3. Hi MPax and Cherie
    Thank you for dropping by. I look forward to reading about your pets in the future.

  4. I love books with animals in them--I read them and I write them. Barbara Metzger writes some wonderful Regencies with animals, mostly dogs. Her animal-chaos scenes are the best ever. :)

    As for selling books, Socrates has sold more books for me than anything else. So yes, pet lovers do buy books that feature animals. (Socrates is a mule, so not just dogs and cats.)

    Good blog, well-written.

  5. I've had animals in the Mystic Valley books. And have a dog in a current book. So yeah, if they fit in, they can certainly make life more interesting.

  6. Hi Jacquie
    Thank you for the compliment. I just looked at your Socrates book trailer and it's awesome!
    Hi Anny
    I love your Mystic Valley books. But you already knew that!

  7. The first line of my latest print book is "Your dog ate your underwear." And, a pic of a Corgie is on the cover with the H&H. I enjoyed interspersing scenes with the dog throughout the book. And, I've got another book that needs LOTS of edits...that has a dog in it!
    Funny note: I just watched a Nat'l Geographic program tonight about "Strange Things Animals Eat" and they talked about a dog that ate underwear! All I could think of was...WOW...my dog actually DID that and that's how I came up with that first line for my book!
    NOTE: the underwear "came out" one way or the other...the dog actually did this twice!
    No damage to him...only to my wallet for trips to the vet!

  8. I'm not big on books with animals in them - same with kids - yes, how terrible of me but there it is. Thankfully there are so many books on the market choice is never an issue

  9. Wow! Good hook, April! I must go look at your book.
    And yes, Amarinda, the good thing about books is there are so many choices, likely there will be something for everyone's taste.

  10. Since I'm so fond of animals, yes, there are usually pets, and, yes, in my case, I also write shapeshifter love stories. It's part of my makeup as an author and will naturally be part of my books.

    It's terrible of me, too, but kids aren't all that appealing to me, either, in romance stories... I guess, I've read so many romances over the years with baby this, baby that, as the end all, be all... it all just became too much. Now there are exceptions, if the circumstance of the lovers story really calls for it naturally.

  11. Thanks for visiting, Savanna.
    I love shapeshifters!

  12. I love animals but haven't yet included a pet in any of my romance writing. I believe I'd create a pet character that would likely take over!