Sunday, March 04, 2007

O'Malley . . . and friends

Every book doesn't require a dog -- or a cat -- but sometimes they help.

Ted, who was something of an alter ego to Theo in The Santorini Bride, is developing a bit of a fan club. He gets fan mail. And, just the other day, Liz Fielding wrote about the book (but mostly about Ted, he maintains, as she called him a "scene-stealing French bulldog!") on Leena Hyat's Tote Bags 'n' Blogs page. Ted was inspired by a friend's dog, Chuck, who definitely stole some scenes in his time.

Flynn and Sara do not have a French bulldog in their lives. They have a dog the size of a small horse. His name -- like his real life counterpart who belongs to friends of ours -- is O'Malley. He's an Irish wolfhound and he is just about to make a five year old boy very very happy.

He's going to make me very very happy, too, because I always like writing about dogs. They are infinitely easier to write about than heroes. For one thing, they are generally better behaved. They don't talk back, either (except in the case of Gunnar, and we won't talk about him). They provide a nice counterpoint to the angst that is usually occurring in books, they occasionally provide comic relief, and very often they keep their heads when all the characters -- and the author -- are losing theirs.

I'm looking forward to introducing Liam to O'Malley. I think they'll have a wonderful time together.

In fact, I thought they would be a perfect twosome. But it's beginning to look as if they might have company.

Wriggle is lobbying for a walk-on part and she's very persuasive. After all, she says, she has all that lovely garden she can show Liam.

And Archie is suggesting he might be persuaded to take a bit part, too, provided there is cheese available for snacks. Every boy needs a cat, he says.

Even Noodle has just said she doesn't see why she can't play O'Malley's mother -- after all she has a very similar coat. The fact that she is about three feet shorter than O'Malley seems to have escaped her notice.

This is what happens when secondary characters try to take over books. Fortunately Flynn seems to have pulled his socks up and got back on task again. He's made it into chapter two. About time.

Maybe he knew that if he didn't, I'd be tempted to toss him and let the animals take over!


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