Today, I’ve got my YA author friend Brinda Berry. While she’s here, I’m over at her blog, or I should say Dakota is. Let’s just say it’s a dog swapping day.
If Lindsay and I ever get to meet in person, we’re destined to be friends. Why? Hmm… Let me see. Besides being fellow writers, we have a mutual love for dogs. Although she has a collie and I have two cairn terriers, the breed doesn’t matter. Dogs bring people together.
I’m that nutty person who carries around pictures of my dogs on my mobile phone. I show these photos to people as soon as I find out they’re a dog person. If you attempt to show photos to the folks who care nothing for pets, they give you the funny look. You know the one. It’s the look that pities you for your quirky attachment for an animal.
But my dogs are more than animals. They are part of my family. Both add so much to my happiness. Therefore, it was natural for me to give a dog to my main character in my young adult series. Mia Taylor has a cairn terrier named Biscuit who is an important part of her life.
Biscuit is spunky and has loads of personality. After reading The Waiting Booth, a person will know Biscuit. He’s a dog who interacts with Mia’s friends and has his preferences. There are certain people that he “takes” to and others he distrusts. He senses danger and is protective of his loved one. Biscuit has as much character as the humans in my novel. While writing, I actually thought a lot about the behavior of Mia’s dog. If you’ve ever had dogs, you can attest to the fact that each has a unique personality.
My character sheet for Biscuit looked something like this:
Biscuit is a lovable, wheaten-colored cairn terrier. He is of average weight (14 lbs) and height (10 in) for the breed. Biscuit is food-driven, energetic, and devoted to his owner. He will also chase things as he is prey-driven. Biscuit is courageous and can be aggressive if threatened. He does love children, the outdoors, sleeping, and all food falling from dinner plates. He sleeps in Mia’s bed, but he will roam to other parts of the home.
Why worry about a dog’s characteristics? He’s a character in the book, not a prop. I know from reading about Emily Dahill and Dakota that Lindsey has a similar outlook about a dog’s role in a book. We both place importance on them in our lives, so why not in our books? A dog is truly a character’s best friend.
Have you ever had a dog as a best friend?
BLURB: The Waiting Booth
A missing boy, government agents, an interdimensional portal…Mia has one goal for her senior year at Whispering Woods High—find her missing older brother. But when her science project reveals a portal into another dimension, she learns that travelers are moving in and out of her woods in the most alarming way and government agents Regulus and Arizona are policing their immigration. Mia’s drawn to the mysterious, aloof Regulus, but it’s no time for a crush. She needs to find out what they know about her brother, while the agents fight to save the world from viral contamination. But when Regulus reveals that he knows Mia’s secrets, she begins to wonder if there’s more going on than she thought…and if she was wrong to trust him…
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BIO: Brinda lives in the southern US with her family and two spunky cairn terriers. She’s terribly fond of chocolate, coffee, and books that take her away from reality.