Guest Post: Finding the Perfect Hero . . . in a Cat By Elf Ahearn + Giveaway
“Regency romance with a Gothic twist.”
As a kid I was a horse – usually a stallion—with a coat of either black or dapple gray. I thundered around the house on my hands and knees at a full gallop, leaping over bolster cushions like the finest jumpers at the National Horse Show. So when I wrote my first romance novel, A Rogue in Sheep’s Clothing, I used my experience as a dapple gray to create the character of Manifesto, a racer who helps the heroine escape a boatload of trouble.
For the hero of my latest novel, Lord Monroe’s Dark Tower, (Released today!), I tapped the personality of a cat who had a love affair with my sister. He was a dark tabby named Flavian, with a high squeaky voice and the gait of a rhinoceros. You could hear him stumping around upstairs, and when he jumped off a bed, the windows rattled. These are not the traits I reflect in the book’s hero, but I did name him Flavian. I also endowed him with the attributes my sister found so irresistible.
Brave is one adjective that could be applied to the cat; he was spotted once swimming across the stream that cut through our back yard.
Unflappable is another word that fits. The house I grew up in always had a ton of animals milling about, and we hosted actors in the summer. While the rest of the dogs and cats were disturbed by the loud laughter and poorly quoted Shakespeare, Flavian went about his business as if a crush of thespians were the most natural thing in the world. The clincher for my sister, though, was the cat’s devotion.
The heroine, Claire, in Lord Monroe’s Dark Tower is based on my sister; a woman who is not comfortable in a room full of strangers. During summer when actors stuffed every cranny in the house, Flavian allowed her to pick him up and carry him about as shield. Should she require purring to calm her nerves, he was happy to provide it, and on those occasions when a gift would cheer her shattered sense of peace, he would deposit a tidbit, like a mouse kidney, at her bedside.
As an author, my use of girl-based stallions and broad-shouldered cats would be termed, “anthropomorphizing,” “To ascribe human characteristics to things not human,” but I prefer to call it “writing what you know.”
Now, here’s the burning question of the day, have you ever had a four-legged friend who would have made a great human being?
About the author:
Elf (yes, that is her real name), is a professional writer and editor with twenty years of experience in journalism, corporate communications and now romance writing – her favorite job of all.
Visit her on her website | Free excerpts
Giveaway: ONE free download of Lord Monroe’s Dark Tower, comment below to win.
WINNER announced below – thank you!