Thursday, September 16, 2010

Auditioning Animals : : Anne McAllister

I’m a good way through writing a book at the moment.  I know where I’m going.  I know how to get there.  But I’ve just discovered that something is missing.

Or someone.

No, fortunatelymitt not the hero.  But I’ve discovered that the heroine needs a sidekick. Or two.  She lives alone – in the caretaker’s cottage of her mother’s house.  And when her mother and the younger family members are there, she has lots of people around to talk to.

Unfortunately – or perhaps fortunately for the hero – none of them are there at the moment. My heroine is alone. 

But in this book at least, it’s not good for the heroine to be alone. She needs to have a strong connection to someone -- besides the hero.  Not a girlfriend. Not a neighbor (there aren’t any).  Someone she can talk to. Someone she can care about. Someone she loves and shares things with.

She needs a four-footed family member.  So I’m auditioning – animals.sidupsidedown

This is not a major role (Sid, are you listening? Kate Walker’s cat, who has had several supporting roles in my books, has recently been angling for a bigger part. I’m afraid, Sid, that this is not the book).  But it is a pivotal role. 

While my four-footed family member is important to the heroine, he – or she – is going to be even more important to the hero.  My hero is a loner.  He has no baggage at all.  Doesn’t want any. Doesn’t want any ties. 

Or so he thinks.  Of course the heroine will undermine that resolution. But the four-footed family member will have a part in that, too.

rabbit But who is this important character?  That’s where you come in.  I have borrowed and stolen almost all the animals I know – or have ever owned.  And I could, of course, do a variation on one or two of them. No doubt I will.

But I’m open to suggestion. In fact I’m begging for them.  Do you have a favorite pet you can share with me?  Antics?  Ideas?  Species?  Preferably not ones t hat my heroine will have to catch mice or crickets to feed.  I’m sort of squeamish that way and I’m afraid she will be, too.

Someone suggested a ginger-colored Maine Coon cat – in a very small role, a walk-on, in fact, so he doesn’t get too big a head. (Thank you, Sid. I’ll consider that).  And another particularly princessy sort of cat – a floozie of a feline, really, is lobbying as well (yes, Flora, I hear you). ginger maine coon

But before I cave in to the importuning of Kate Walker cats (and cats-to-be), I’d appreciate some other ideas.

No, dear editor, I promise: no menageries. Been there, done that (see Savas’ Defiant Mistress).  But animals make people more human.  And they always bring out the best in a hero.

Got a favorite furry friend you’d like to suggest?  I’m looking to audtion!

thevirginsproposition_us In the meantime, for those of you who have time to read (not me, I’m under deadline), if you are in the mood for royalty, please check out my latest Presents The Virgin’s Proposition, which is out now in the States.

If you are in the UK, please watch for Hired By Her Husband, a Mills & Boon Modern, coming in October. No royalty at all in this one, but George Savas is a very sexy physicist and, literally, a wounded hero. Most importantfor his emotional well-being, he has a dog – my own dear Gunnar.


gigi said...

How about an English Springer Spaniel named Bridgette. She is smart as a whip and spoiled rotten.
From a great distance Bridgette can hear the opening of the sandwich ham packages when I get it out of the refrigerator. Bridgette has her own cabinet full of doggie cookies and Beggin strips and lets you know that she wants a treat by knocking on the cabinet door. She is hot house flower and would rather stay inside on a hot day and enjoy the air conditioning. She loves her toys and stuffed animals. Since Bridgette never has been a mother she mothers her favorite stuffed animals.

Anne McAllister said...

Bridgette sounds like a contender, indeed. She also sounds like a dog after my own heart (and very like the two who live here). What a sweetheart. I suspect there will be at least some of Bridgette in Edie's new friend. Thank you!

practimom said...

well i have a mini daschund named Sophie Ginger. She got hit by a car and had to have one of her legs amputated, but that does not stop her at all! She runs just as fast as she did when she had all four legs. Like a little black and brown streak of lightning running around.

or maybe a black pot bellie pig named Philbert!!

Anne McAllister said...

A potbellied pig! Wow, what an interesting thought. I'll give it some consideration. In the meantime, I think Sophie Ginger sounds like a terrific dog. I'm glad she's come back from her car accident so well. When our Golden Retriever, Mitch, was a pup he went to obedience classes with three mini-dachshunds. He thought they were so much fun to play with, even though he simply TOWERED over them! And it was really fun to watch them all cavorting around during 'free time.' Thanks for sharing Sophie Ginger and the idea of the pb pig!

Pat Cochran said...

Hi, Anne,

Gerald, our late but much loved
orange tabby cat, was born of a
feral mother in a box of pompoms
in a storage room in the Band
Hall on the U. of Houston campus.
He was transported home in a uni-
form hat box. As a 3-mo-old, his
favorite place to sleep was in our
Christmas tree. He was named for
a goofy(their term)friend of my
children for goofy behavior. He
tried to nurse on his mom's paw
while the litter mates attached
themselves to the appropriate
site! As a kitten, he enjoyed
riding about on DD2's head and,
strangely enough, she seemed to
think it was funny too! He was
with us for nine years, even
after his "owners" left home! (Enough incidents? I have more!!)

Pat Cochran

Anne McAllister said...

Oh, Pat, don't leave us there. Gerald sounds like a stunning cat. I'm sorry -- nine years is not nearly long enough. I love the pompoms and the hat box. I can see that! Love the details! Thank you. Gerald may have a future as a Harlequin [feline] hero!