Guest - Summer Wilde : Non-Human Characters

Today we have as our special guest, Summer Wilde. Welcome Summer!

Despite my name, my favorite season is actually spring, when nature comes alive again, the farmer’s market begins, and the horses can graze. I wanted to be a large animal vet, but never got around to going to vet school. When not writing, I can be found riding my horses, or driving my yellow convertible with the radio up loud.

Readers constantly comment on my characters. Not the human ones. The four-legged ones. They seem a little surprised that the animal characters have a personality and are more than just a ‘reason for the heroine to be in the park’.

I am both pleased and puzzled by the comments. Pleased, because I want readers to appreciate my furry characters. Puzzled, because they seem surprised that the animals have character. Don’t they have a pet? Why does it seem strange that the dogs, cats, and horses in my books are more than just ‘props’. Ever since I can remember, animals have been part of my life. I grew up on a farm. Being an only child, the barn cats and dogs were my playmates. Currently, I have three horses, three cats, and a dog.

If you are an animal lover like I am, I’m sure you have your own collection of anecdotes. For instance, when I was a teenager, we were having a rather formal dinner party when my cat strolled around the corner dragging my Dad’s ‘whitey-tighties’ into the dining room. Talk about embarrassing!

I had an Aussie puppy that dragged a bag of grass seed all over – inside my barn. We had grass growing in there for what seemed like years. I have had two cats that like to be draped over my shoulders while I do dishes, type, or even vacuum. One of my palomino geldings thinks it is funny to hold on to a mouthful of water, then dump it on me.

Weaving animals into my stories is just as natural to me as putting in dialog. In my Red Sage novel, Ojeria’s Journey, an erotic fantasy, the warrior women of Handor can communicate telepathically with their war horses.

As a reader, I enjoy the story more when I realize the author is an animal person like I am. I seek those authors out to read again. If you like animals, a hot hero in leather pants, a heroine with a sword, and sizzling sex scenes, then you might enjoy Ojeria’s Journey, an e-novel available from Red Sage.
Does anyone out there notice the lack of animals on television shows? On the channels I get there are a million doctor, cop, and lawyer shows mixed with sitcoms, but I can't think of a single dog, cat, bear, horse, or dolphin....can you?

Summer Wilde


Chris R said...

You are right. I think the reason you don't see more animals on shows is because animals are smarter than people. If they don't want to do something, they just refuse to do it. With television, time is money and they don't want to wait for the dog to be willing to do its thing.

Remember the dog on Frasier? He was the reason to watch the show in my opinion.

Summer said...

Thanks for commenting Chris! I think you're right! Time is money. Also, I know 'Eddie' on Frasier, whose real name was 'Moose' was played by the same dog all the time. But usually there is more than one animal, like the way they use twins for the role of one child. Still...I wish there were at least some people on TV that lived in the country, not in the city or a housing development.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I was never around dogs much because as I child I was bitten by a BIG one, but in the past 20 years we've had dogs and my daughter has two cats. It never ceases to amaze me at how cute their personalities are. They do have likes and dislikes and readily show them. One puppy we had loved to sit in a box on the front of my daughter's scooter with her. His ears would fly back as they would race down the steep driveway. When he got too big to ride, she had to give the scooter up because he would cry. I use my new found knowledge all the time in stories now. It seems to make the characters more human.

Nicole North said...

Welcome Summer! So glad you're visiting with us today! Two pets that come to mind are the duck and chicken on Friends. They provided some great comedic moments. For a while, there was a Lab on Lost and I think the dog is still supposedly on the island 3 years after the crash. He provided some good emotional moments and kept getting passed to different care-takers our of necessity. Just recently I watched Sherlock Holmes and he and Watson have a bulldog. But I saw no evidence of dog-walking going on. And they constantly experimented on him with sleeping potions. But the dog had a great personality.

misskallie2000 said...

I enjoy reading about pets in the books I read. I have 4 cats now but yrs ago I had dogs and cats along with ponies, pigs, goats, etc. I also had a hamster and bird forgot kind.
I enjoyed your post. Thanks

misskallie2000 at yahoo dot com

Summer said...

I see Friends on re-runs (I was working full-time, waitressing, and going to school during that time), but have never seen the duck or chicken. I have 16 chickens! And I've had 4 goats, and 2 pigs.
Love the story about the scooter!! I hope you have a video of that.
My son just bought a bulldog puppy, but he hasn't picked it up yet. That movie looks good, I have to get out more and see some movies. I haven't even seen Avatar. Sigh.
It was great talking with you all! I agree that the animal characters can bring out the human characters different sides, and of course, provide comic relief. :)

J K Maze said...

Just read your post - late - and loved it. I also love animals, and some years ago I had a German Shepherd dog who had 14 puppies (12 lived). I had to keep them in the house instead of on the big porch because a storm had blown off the door and I had to wait for the insurance money. I became so attached to those puppies they would all crowd around my feet as I did the dishes. When I went upstairs, they had to go with me. I'd carry them up - until they got so big I had to make two trips. Then, when I went down to get the second batch, the first would start down after me. I cried when I sold those puppies.