Why do I have animals in my books? I often ask myself.
I don’t consciously think, ‘I know, I’ll put a cute animal in the book for the animal lovers amongst my readers.’ It’s just that animals are part of many lives and communities, families and friends so they earn their places in my stories now and then … and I like cute ones.
A fictitious animal sometimes seems to take every bit as much effort to look after as would a real one. The creates of my imagination can’t be abandoned while the owner does something elsewhere in the book, not unless I make arrangements for their care.
In A Summer to Remember there’s a big rescue dog called Nelson. (What else could I call a one-eyed dog who lives in a village called Nelson’s Bar?) He’s a happy, friendly dog who greets hero Aaron – and pretty much everyone else – with joy whenever they meet.
Aaron found poor injured Nelson at the side of the road and adopted him. From the way Aaron cares for Nelson and panics when he thinks he’s going to be hurt we understand his capacity to love and be loved. Dogs are good judges of people.
Nelson’s big and playful enough to be described as a cross between a dog and a bear cub. He drinks coffee and stands up on his hind legs to give hugs – though this last attribute isn’t universally appreciated. Imagine if you’re closing in on someone for a first kiss and a whiff of doggy breath accompanies the appearance of a grinning canine face next to yours …? Nelson wants to join in any activity, even if that’s cliff jumping – when disaster is narrowly averted. He brings Aaron and Clancy closer as she offers to walk him though relations between her and Aaron are under strain. Everyone loves Nelson and he loves anyone, even missing Genevieve when she and Aaron split up. (She used to give him a lot of coffee.) He’s really a well brought up dog unless you shout at one of his humans.
If you’d like to meet Nelson and his humans, here are some buy links:
Apple iBook: buy
Amazon UK: buy