But because I need to really have an image firmly in mind, one of the first things I do when I'm developing my story is start a pinterest board and begin pinning images that relate to the story - hero, heroine, significant secondary characters, homes, pets, etc. - anything that will help me really 'see' the people and elements of my story.
And I spend just as much time finding the images of the animals in my books as I do the people. For the last hour I've been searching for just the right images for the pets in my book - a dog for the hero and a cat for one of the children. It's one of those instances where I have only a vague idea of what I want but as soon as I see it there's an immediate connection.
For the last book I turned in (Second Chance Hero that will come out next May) I knew I wanted the hero, a real tough guy, to have a small, perky dog, an animal that seems totally at odds with who he appears to be. And I had the perfect animal in mind, my daughter's dog. This is his picture:
Besides setting up a board for each of my books, I've also set up a separate board for the animals that play major parts in my books. You can see it HERE.
My next book, Her Holiday Family, comes out in November and it features a different kind of dog, a stray that one of the children in the book rescues. The dog eventually worms his way into the hearts of the whole family (and it's a BIG family).
And because I just received my author copies of this book, I'd like to give one away to one of the lovely readers who leaves a comment today. So leave a comment and tell me, do you like books that include animals with strong supporting roles? And how important is it to you that the author provide a lot of description?
What happens when a straight-laced young widow’s home is invaded by ten rambunctious orphans and their handsome caretaker just in time for the holidays...
Reserved widow Eileen Pierce never considered herself the kind of woman who was cut out to be a mother. She wouldn't know what to do with one child, much less ten. But when handyman Simon Tucker is stranded in town with a group of young orphans just before Thanksgiving, she discovers she can't just turn them away.
Simon knows there's more to Eileen than meets the eye. Though his easygoing demeanor immediately clashes with her buttoned-up propriety, Simon's kindness soon melts Eileen's stern facade. Simon and the children already upended Eileen's quiet, orderly life. Will they do the same to her guarded heart?