Does your protagonist need a pet? The value of animals in writing.

Most of us have heard about the health benefits animals can have for those who care for them.  Scholarly articles round up studies that show that pets offer therapeutic value for people struggling with depression or chronic illness, as well as soothing loneliness and isolation.  Ask any pet lover and they’ll tell you how much they treasure their companions, or tell tales of animals that simply “know” when they’re hurting.

As the owner of three cats, I can tell you about many times where they offered comfort in difficult times.  Recovering from abdominal surgery a few years back, I was bedridden and in pain.  My oldest cat, Gravity — never a lap cat, but affectionate — gently walked up to me and laid down, resting her head perfectly between my incisions so as not to cause pain, one paw stretched to gently cover the sorest spot.  A second cat took residence between my feet.  Their love was of great comfort.

We know about the power of the bond with a pet.  So why do pets seldom come up in the discussion of supporting characters?  With their lack of human language and their honesty, animals can serve several critical roles in a book.
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Collide Is Now Available!

Happy Halloween and Merry Samhain!  On this, my favourite night of the year, may I introduce you to my second novel, Collide.

Collide is a different sort of tale from Change Of Season on its surface:  a brisk-paced action-suspense story is its shell, a far cry from the paranormal psychological thriller genre.  That said, beyond the surface are elements of the unexplained, particularly the concept of fate or coincidence.  Is coincidence merely that, or something much more?  Collide begs the question and posits that perhaps coincidence is something much more complex.

Collide also examines morality, and the notion of a greater good versus the individual case.  It’s something I think is perhaps hardest for us to truly contemplate most of the time, likely because such cases are emotional, not merely rational.

Last, but certainly not least, Collide is a study in characters, and herein lies its core kindred spirit with Change Of Season.  The nine hostages within the bank are about to reveal their secrets within a claustrophobic cell.  That understanding of motive, of how history shapes us all until we choose to evolve or stagnate, is as important to understanding and enjoying Collide as is the crime drama itself.

Collide is currently available on Smashwords and, for the month of November, is only 99 cents!  (Print is forthcoming in the next few days via Amazon and Createspace).  Other major ebook retailers will have the book in the next few weeks.

Click here to purchase your ebook copy of Collide!  Thanks for your support.

Prefer print?  Gotcha covered via Createspace.  Click here!

Stay tuned also for the Change Of Season blog tour in the next few days, including giveaways!