Friday, November 15, 2013

PET CRAZY by Christine Lindsay

We’re a bit pet crazy in our house—two cats, a Sheltie dog, and we’re adopting another dog next summer, a little Welsh Springer Spaniel. 

So nothing warms my heart more than a book that includes an animal. 

And I’m not talking about those stories that are specifically about animals such as Black Beauty or Old Yeller.  
Christine Lindsay with Welsh Springer

But often a historical or a romance has that added dimension of scenes with a critter.

That’s one of the things I’ve appreciated about author MaryLu Tyndall. I get such a kick out her cats as they twitch their tails aboard the pirate vessels in her novels. 

One of my favorite old novels from the seventies was by Mary Stewart, an English author who wrote Romantic Suspense. Here’s a small excerpt from Madam Will You Talk by Mary Stewart.

“I even sang to myself as I put the car away, and when I found they had given me a room with a balcony overlooking the shaded courtyard, I was pleased.

And when, later on, the cat jumped on to my balcony, there was still nothing to indicate that this was the beginning of the whole strange, uneasy, tangled business. Or rather, not the beginning, but my own cue, the point where I came in.”

Later in that same book the author develops a sweet friendship between the main character, Charity, and a confused boy of fourteen who appears to be running away from his father (who ends up being Charity’s romantic interest). The scene where Charity, meets the boy David, he’s befriending a stray dog and putting a bit of string around his neck to keep him safe

I’ve never forgotten the way the author phrased that—a bit of string, not a leash, but something softer, something at hand. These scenes written in the 1950’s have never left my mind. The author had such a tender way of incorporating the innocence of animals into her stories that I could feel the heartbeat of the human characters.

Author Christine Lindsay's cat Scottie
When I first saw my cat Scottie, his color reminded me of a cream-sicle. Orange on the outside, vanilla on the inside of his belly. My husband and I were looking to adopt an abandoned pet, and in the corner of the shelter I found a little Noah’s ark basket. Inside that basket, trembling, was Scottie, the most frightened cat I had ever seen.  

Someone had to love this scared little guy. It took Scottie about four months to trust us, but these days Scottie is happiest lying on the couch with me as I write my books. In fact he’s been given the promotion of Chief Editor on all my work. 

Like my favorite author Mary Stewart, I always try to incorporate an animal into my novels. In Shadowed in Silk it was two war horses. But it’s my very own Scottie who made his debut in Book 2 of my British Raj series Captured by Moonlight.

However, I took my love for domestic Scottie one big paw-step further. I wrote Scotties personality into the role of Hector...the tiger cub.Watch the book trailer for Captured by Moonlight to get a glimpse of Hector the tiger cub. 

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