"Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have entertained angels without knowing it." - Hebrews 13:2

Monday, February 20, 2012

Writing Pets and Giveaway Winners...

I’ll start off the post with the winners of last week’s Birthday Blog Giveaway.

The winner of the $25 gift card *drumroll* is Rosslyn Elliott!

Congratulations Rosslyn! You have a choice of a $25~ Starbucks, Dunkin Donut, or Barnes and Noble gift card.

The 5 runner up winners of my favorite sweet treat – the Jelly Belly Chocolate Dips  - are :
Michelle Teacress
Sandra Orchard
Carol Riggs
Susan J. Reinhardt
Lynda Lee Schab

Congratulations to all the winners!

I’ll contact you by email this week for mailing addresses.

I send out a big thank you to everyone! Thanks for participating and for all the fun comments. I really enjoyed my first giveaway on the blog!

Writing Pets

Flysie - Photo by H. Huebner

In my latest WIP, I’m thinking of writing in a pet dog for my main character. I’ve only written a pet “character” once before, but the animal didn’t belong to my main character, the animal belonged to secondary characters.

I feel a dog would be very important to the main character, and the story itself.

Writers - have you written in pets for your characters? Dogs? Cats? Other pets?

Readers and writers – do you like to read stories where the characters own pets?

Question for all - do you think pets help reveal a character’s true personality through interactions with the animal?

I would love to hear from you on this.

Between you, me and the gatepost,



Keli Gwyn said...

Congratulations to the winners!

The hero of my debut novel had a cat in an early version of the story, but it had to go when my agent told me I needed to delete the final 3/4ths of the story and rewrite it. I was sad.

The heroine of the story I just finished has a unique pet: a horned toad. Got the idea from my hubby, who played with them when he was a boy.

Jessica R. Patch said...

Congrats everyone!
I've had pets in my stories, but never used them as main characters. I've read books that have and enjoyed them!

Sandra Orchard said...

Thanks, Loree. Yumm! I love writing about my naughty pup on my blog, but I haven't given any of my characters pets, yet. I like reading stories with pets and think the mc's interaction with them is a great way to reveal personalities.

Melissa Tagg said...

Yay, winners!

I love to add pets to my stories. I heard once it's worse to kill off a dog in a story than a character! :)

Victoria Lindstrom said...

Loree - Congratulations to all your winners! My WIP includes a Westie amongst its cast of characters - he is definitely an important link to my protagonist, and in revealing her character.

Gwendolyn Gage said...

Congrats, winners!

In the book I'm currently reading, a ship captain's cat plays a small role in the story, and yes, the cat did help me understand the characters a little better.

I tried to add a pet horse to my time travel romance, but it just didn't fit. The owner I chose for it is a navy helmsman and gone away at sea for months at a time. Even in "The Way of Impressions" -- John is visiting England, so the only person I could give a pet to is Louisa or one of her family members. Hmmm... :-)

J.L. Campbell said...

I always miss the good stuff. :( Congrats to the winners!

Come to think of it, I've never had a MC with a dog. I've had one with fish though. I do agree that interaction with a dog would show another side of your character, so go for it.

Jeanette Levellie said...

Congratulations to the winners! I am so happy for you all; aren't blog drawings fun?

YES, I include pets in several of my stories. Mostly cats, but once a story included a dog.

They add a spark of life and characterization you can't otherwise reveal in interaction with humans alone.

And I love reading books with pets.

Please add one into your book, Loree! It will sell better.

Melanie N. Brasher said...

Congratulations to the winners!

I'm not a pet lover {gasp}, so no I probably wouldn't include a pet, but I guess if it's essential to the character, I would. :)

Anyway, I'm probably in the minority when it comes to not loving animals. I try. I really do. :)

Brandi said...

Congratulations to the winners!

I write about characters who have pets, so to speak. My characters live in 1870s prairie and frontier, so I surround them with livestock. My cowhand has a stallion with a mind of his own. He snorts with disdain and neighs in fright. The animal even slaps the heroine across the back with his tail!

Sarah Forgrave said...

Congrats to the winners! And so far I've put a pet in each of my wips. I'm not a big dog person, so I'll need plenty of input from my CPs when they get to that m/s. :)

Julie Jarnagin said...

A dog showed up in my WIP unexpectedly, and I'm not sure what to do with her. LOL. She's a bulldog named Etta, and she's causing me all kinds of trouble.

Charlotte Sannazzaro said...

I agree pets can be very illuminating for characterisation. My last WIP had a cat in it, but the MC didn't like animals and her discomfort actually brought her closer to the hero. I have an idea for another book in which the MC is very close to her cat. As you can tell I'm a cat person - I'm not sure I could ever write a dog realistically.

My current WIP features horses (it's set in the regency) and I've recently discovered that the hero's relationship to horses has a symbolic part to play in his journey.

Animals rock :-)

Lynda R Young said...

Yes, I have give my main characters pets. I love reading about them in stories.

congrats to the lucky winners.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Loree -

Thank you! You know chocolate gets me every time. :)

There's a Golden Retriever in my first manuscript.


Loree Huebner said...

Keli: Wow - a horned toad? I can't wait to read this one!

Jessica: I enjoy the animals too.

Sandra: I'll be getting in touch with you so I can send you the Jelly Bellys...they are addicting!

Melissa: It would be worse to kill off a dog then a character...something to think about.

Victoria: I love Westies!

Gwen: A cat is perfect for a ship captain.

J. L.: So glad you popped in! Sorry you missed the giveaway. I think fish are interesting pets. I used to tap on the glass and talk to mine! lol

Jeanette: I agree, they do add a spark of life and characterization.

Melanie: It's funny, I would have never guessed you weren't a pet lover. When I see a picture of you and your boys, I also picture something like a beautiful golden retriever running around, keeping an eye on everyone...making sure everyone is safe.

Brandi: I love this stallion with a mind of his own - can't wait to read it.

Sarah: Yay! I love that you included a dog. Do your CP's have dogs?

Julie: Etta sounds adorable!

Charlotte: I adore both - cats and dogs. This WIP of yours with the horses sounds interesting!

Lynda: I do like to read stories with people and their pets too.

Susan: Congrats! I will be contacting you later this week. And have a Happy Birthday! I love Golden Retrievers!

Thanks for stopping in everyone! I love reading your comments.

Rosslyn Elliott said...

Thank you, Loree, I'm so excited! Sorry I'm just coming back around--my fingers are about to drop off from PR work for the book launch phase. I'm sure you will know this feeling soon. :-)

Starbucks! Hooray! Fuel those limp typing fingers!

I think some writers have a talent for portraying animals, just as some are good at writing men, or good at writing villains. Horses and dogs are easier, I think. Cats would be murderously hard.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Loree -

My email is susanjreinhardt AT gmail DOT com. I couldn't find your email address.

Susan :)

Carol Riggs said...

Cool, thanks for the unique-sounding treat! and for the giveaway. Fun. And I think it's good to have a character own a pet; it does tell a lot about them. Too often the characters are running around solo and isolated, and a pet can make them more real (as long as they don't take over the plot and add unnecessary tangents!).

Stacy Henrie said...

The only kind of "pets" my characters have had are horses. Maybe that's because I'm not an animal lover myself.

We do have bunnies and I've owned cats in the past, so maybe one of these times my characters could have one of those. :)

Loree Huebner said...

Rosslyn: Congratulations, Rosslyn! Starbucks it is!
I loved your singing Vlog! Congrats on the new novel. I look forward to reading it.

Susan: Got it! Thanks!

Carol: Congrats to you as a runner up! I agree that a pet can make a character more real.

Stacy: When I read your comment about horses, I remembered that I had written in a horse owned by a cavalry colonel. The horse did have a personality. He was a "war horse" but was only in one chapter in my first novel. I forgot about him.
I love bunnies!

Rosslyn, Susan, Carol, and Stacy, thanks for chiming in!

Deana said...

Congrats to all the winners!

I have never written a pet in myself, but I have to say when I read a book with a great pet, I love it! It does help me to relate better with the character and I find myself rooting for the character and the pet.
I say go for it!

Cynthia Chapman Willis said...

Hurray for the lucky winners!

Yes, I always write in pets for my characters. Yes, I love to read about animals and pets. And yes, I definitely think that pets and animals help to reveal characters by way of interaction.

Also, Flysie has quite the adorable face. ; )

Loree Huebner said...

Deana: I think I will go for it!

Cynthia: Flysie is an old border collie - 14 years old. She's a great dog and still very active.

Deana and Cynthia, thanks for your helpful comments. I enjoyed reading them.

MTeacress said...

1- YES! In fact, I just finished a picture book with a cat as one of the main characters.
2- Absolutely. I'm thinking of the Harry Potter series - owls, cats, rats, toads...
3- No question...yes.

Thanks again for the goodies. I'm so glad I won! I can't wait to get them.

Have a great weekend.

Loree Huebner said...

Michelle: I didn't think about Harry Potter. Great example!

I will be sending the goodies out today or tomorrow.

Thanks for chiming in!

Jessica Nelson said...

Wooohooo! Congrats to the winners. ;-)

Yep, I had a pet cat in one of my books. Miss Priss. She was fun to write. lol

Loree Huebner said...

Miss Priss does sound fun! lol

Thanks for popping in!