Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Lara Temple: On pets, humans and other animals

People ask me why animals show up so often in my books. My first answer is – I have no idea, they just do. My second, more considered answer is that animals often reveal who we really are underneath the layers life imposes on us.

I saw that clearly when I walked my kids to school yesterday with our new puppy (an adorable bundle of fur). Along the way I noticed something – the eyes of almost every child we passed lit up. Just that – they lit up. Widened and crinkled and downright sparkled. Even those who were afraid to approach the tiny addition to our household were charmed and softened.

Adults – not so much. Some did smile, a handful did gush, but often they just didn’t see or were lost in the chaos of their lives, trying to get the kids to school, themselves off to work, and tasks in a line. Life, the universe and everything. I completely understand, I am often the same. Even if I had wanted to stop and pet another person’s dog I often don’t allow myself that luxury, or that encroachment.

I realized that one day the majority of the children who were overcome with joy at the sight of a little bundle of fur would grow up to become those who couldn’t see/allow themselves/afford to stop and pet the puppy (that is not a euphemism!).
And I think this is why I write animals into my stories. Because in the contact between us and animals something else comes out of us, a deep childish loving, a connection to who we are under layers, a need to give and receive love. Animals help me explore that part of myself and in my heroes and heroines.

In my latest books horses and dogs have an important role. Nell, the heroine of Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Heiress, has found purpose, love and confidence in her dealings with horses that were denied her in her own home. In my next book, Lord Ravenscar’s Inconvenient Betrothal, a canine friendship from the past helps connect our hero to the better aspects of his childhood. It doesn’t always have to be a familiar animal, either – in that same book the heroine, Lily, who grew up on a secluded island, had a close friendship with a manatee. Now that I think about it, my daughter has had some interesting conversations with praying mantises living in our garden, so anything goes.
It doesn’t mean I always intend to write about animals, but they are a natural part of my life and I have a feeling they will keep sneaking, galloping, or creeping into my stories, planned or not.

Excerpt from Wild Lords book #1: Lord Hunter’s Cinderella Bride (November 2017)

Nell’s breath caught and a gentle flush warmed her full lips to a soft peach colour. Hunter watched, fascinated by this quite unique and very appealing transformation; then he looked up and met her eyes and was surprised to see that they were brimming with laughter.
‘I think I might actually enjoy this,’ she half-whispered.
‘What?’ he asked, confused.
‘Flirting. I think I’m starting to understand how it works.’
A slap might have been more painful, but no more sobering. For a moment he had actually forgotten why he was doing this.
‘That’s good. Feel free to experiment. Despite my name, I don’t mind being hunted.’
‘I’m not sure how. I don’t think I could ever do what Lady Melkinson does.’
He caught the hopelessness in her voice.
‘You won’t know until you try,’ he said lightly and this time her eyes were assessing. Then she half-lowered her long lashes so that the silver irises glimmered through them.
‘Like this?’ she asked huskily, leaning towards him, the tips of her fingers just making contact with the sleeve of his coat. Then her lips parted and the tip of her tongue touched her lower lip, drawing it in gently and letting it go. As far as seductions went it was very mild, as hesitant as a girl dressing in her mother’s finery. There was no reason it should have felt like the blood was reversing course in his veins.
‘A very good start,’ he managed and was rewarded with another smile.

Book Links:

Author Contact Links
Facebook Author Page:
Twitter: @laratemple1
Amazon author page:

1 comment:

dstoutholcomb said...

love the excerpt!