July 25th Round Robin Blog Fest

Welcome back to the Round Robin Blog Fest! How do you like our new logo? 

I sure hope you're enjoying the glory days of summer, I know I am! Before we get into the question of the month, I'd like to announce that there will be a new book in my Gilda Wright Mystery series coming November 1st. I am currently knee deep in writing Life is Better Brunette for Gemma Halliday Publishing. How exciting!

Now on to this month's topic:
Have you used pets or other animals in your stories? What function do they perform in the story? Do they need to have a function? Can they be a character?

Up until recently, I have rarely used an animal in any of my books or stories. In a new book I'm working on a book for Gemma Halliday Publishing as part of their Danger Cove series, my main character, Laken, finds an Old English Sheepdog puppy and takes it in without realizing the downside of owning a teething dog. Not only does Sammy become her sidekick since she can't leave him alone without coming back to mass destruction, but he is also her ally in solving a murder. 

In the novella Death of a Christmas Witch I did for Cozy Christmas Capers, an anthology released only during December and January this year, I had another dog. A Golden Retriever-Husky mix much like a dog I grew up with. Drake, the dog, had a love/hate relationship with my main character Audra's husband Rex. For me, Sammy will be a recurring character, as was Drake, but that doesn't need to be the case in all books.

My favorite animal books belong to Lilian Jackson Braun's The Cat Who... series where the cats are major characters in crime solving capers. If you're looking for a great animal read, these are fabulous cozy mystery novels!
  1. The Cat Who... is a series of twenty-nine mystery novels and three related collections by Lilian Jackson Braun and published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, featuring a reporter named Jim Qwilleran and his Siamese cats, Kao K'o-Kung and Yum-Yum. Wikipedia
As far as being characters, I find the animals usually steal the scene they are in, Whether that's intentionally done by the author or just where my attention becomes fixated is debatable. But I do love a well written mystery with or without animals. Even Janet Evanovich uses animals in her books. Stephanie Plum has a hamster named Rex, a dog named Bob, and even ends up taking care of a monkey named Carl.

Look for more animals in my upcoming books and make sure you hop over to visit the fabulous Anne Stenhouse and see what she has to say regarding writing about animals. While you're at it, stop by and say hello to all our contributing authors:

Beverley Bateman http://beverleybateman.blogspot.ca/
Victoria Chatham http://victoriachatham.webs.com/
Connie Vines http://connievines.blogspot.com/
Margaret Fieland http://www.margaretfieland.com/blog1/
Rachael Kosinski http://rachaelkosinski.weebly.com/
Kay Sisk http://kaysisk.blogspot.com
Judith Copek http://lynx-sis.blogspot.com/
Marci Baun  http://www.marcibaun.com/
Diane Bator http://dbator.blogspot.ca/
Anne Stenhouse  http://annestenhousenovelist.wordpress.com/
Rhobin Courtright http://www.rhobinleecourtright.com/

Skye Taylor  http://skye-writer.com/blogging_at_the_beach


  1. Hi Diane and thanks for that 'fabulous' you just made my day. I found several of The Cat Who mysteries in a holiday cottage we used to rent and enjoyed them hugely. Anne

  2. My granddaughter is deep into the Warrior Cats series. by Erin Hunter. After your comment, I believe you are right, animals in scenes take over for me, too. Your book about Laken and her sheepdogs sounds interesting.

  3. Looks like all of us love our pets and appreciate animal characters too.

  4. Love the sheepdog.
    Good post. It looks like we're all animal people and mnay of us use animals in our book.
    And you're right - they usually steal the scene.

  5. It's never too late to add a pet or animal to the WIP or next book on the list.

  6. Hey, just checking in... sounds like you're productive and doing well!


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