I am a big animal lover, and so animals appear in all of my works in one way or another. Sometimes I throw them in on the side as a loyal pet or, like in The Hollywood Effect, kind of a device to make a harsh character (Gwen) a little more sympathetic, such as when she shows sympathy to a spider. Sometimes, like in The Partial Garden, they are featured more prominently.

When I was little all my stories had animals as the main characters, and books about people seemed so boring. We had an interesting discussion in my Montessori training course about children’s books that star animals. We wondered if children could sympathize more with animals because they were drawn to them in the first place (such as when my preschoolers all flock to the window every time a person walks a dog by). Young children have a hard enough time just identifying and expressing their own emotions that when they see them in other peers and adults they can be confusing and downright scary. Maybe children actually relate more to animals when they act like people than they would if people act like people…or it could just be that animals are cuter and funnier than people. Who knows?

Anyway, even in my adult targeted books, animals still jump in. They make the books more interesting for me to write.

2 thoughts on “Animals

  1. jpcabit says:

    Hmm…there weren’t any animals at all(?) in my recently-finished novel. But there’s going to be a pretty epic animal addition in its sequel…

    We’ll see how that goes. I’m not a my-dog-is-my-best-friend kind of person…quite frankly, I question whether my dog has a brain or not. I am more of a people-person, have been for quite a while. I find them fascinating!…More fascinating, I guess, than I find animals to be. Maybe because people in general are more complex than animals.

    But to each his/her own I suppose!

  2. I agree that now I find people more fascinating than animals–I mostly grew out of that “personifying animals” stage, though my imagination still does it. Animals occasionally spice things up to make books more interesting for me to write, but they no longer are the focus–at least they haven’t been yet.

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