Monday, July 16, 2007

Animals in Life and Books

We've always had animals. We raised three kids and lots of animals: cats, dogs, chickens, ducks, snakes, guinea pigs, and that was when we lived in the city. We have plenty of animals in our life these days. Three inside cats, Sundance (looks Siamese), Butch (gray and white tuxedo), and Shirley, multi-colored and mother of the boys. Outside are a bunch of feral cats, where they come from we don't have a clue. Hubby feeds them along with a gangling mixed breed dog named Beau who loves the cats.

In my Deputy Tempe Crabtree series I have yet to include an animal. Why, I don't know. Perhaps it's because I haven't taken much from my own life experiences for these books. It's a different story in my Rocky Bluff P.D. series. The idea for that series came directly from my friendships and acquaintances with the police officers who lived in our neighborhood though not at the time we were living there. When my daughter married a police officer, his story telling added to what was becoming more than an idea. He came to the house every morning after his shift, had coffee and told me what had transpired while he was working. One night he took me on a ride-along after making me promise I would not let anyone know I was his mother-in-law.

When I began writing the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, beginning with Final Respects, I borrowed liberally from my life experiences. In that series I wanted to show how the police officer's family life affected his job and vice versa. Also in that book, there is a family who runs a mortuary and their children use it as a playground--and important factor in the story. My youngest daughter had spent a lot of time with a girlfriend whose family ran a mortuary and the children always played hide 'n seek among the caskets. In that book there is a pit bull. My youngest son had several pitbulls, and we had a wonderful one for awhile.

We've had other Siamese cats and I put an incident with a Siamese cat that actually happened in the second book in that series, Bad Tidings. It isn't an important scene except to show more sides of one of the characters.

So, now I'm wondering if I should incoporate a cat or a dog in my next Tempe book. Any thoughts or suggestions?

Marilyn

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