Friday, March 18, 2011

Ask Elnora--Pets??? Lenora Worth

Elnora has had a busy week. After a wonderful conference last weekend (where I was given a lovely minature shoe for contracting my fiftieth book (53 books when I'm finished with this entire contract), I came home with a nasty migraine and took to my bed. Then I was asked to do an interview for one of the local stations (again because of contracting for my fiftieth book and because last month one of my books made the NY Times list.) So ... with all that ... I agreed to the interview. But the reporter wanted to do it at my house. In my office. Hah, hah. Elnora's office is like a maze of danger. Not very tidy. Clusters of books in every corner. So once again I was cleaning house in a fast and furious way. Normally, Elnora prefers to sweep the room with a glance, but desperate measures were needed for this.

My darling Big Daddy helped and we got the whole house spic and span. But there was the little problem of Cujo Kitty. She gets overly excited when we have guests and tends to give them a little "love bite" to show her affection. Or lack thereof. And lately, she's been kind of old and tired (much like her keeper!) So when the nice reporter man arrived, she promptly tried to bite him. I had to toss her into the game room with a bowl of food and a prayer. Not a good idea.

The interview went great. I had a nice friend who writes for Superromance here with me and she did a lot of the talking so that helped. Elnora mostly smiled.
But I could hear the kitty's pitiful meows in the background. Along with the garbage truck, the recycling truck and later, the train. I'm not making this up.

So everyone but my nice Super friend left and I let the kitty out. She gave me a meaningful look and pranced past me. But ... she had left me a nice little present in the game room to show her distaste. Picture Elnora holding her nose and daintily trying to clear up this horrible pile of kitty rebellion. On my carpet. So the question of the day, my darlings, is--why do cats seem to own the house in which they live? There is room for only one diva in our house and it ain't Elnora!Questions. Answers. Meows??? Anybody???


  1. Elnora, we should all have problems like yours. Your life sounds like it has moments of fun. I liked your preferring to "sweep a room" with your eyes. :-)

    As for the kitty, I wish you luck. Cats are cats. I love them but they do not suffer indignity in silence.
    I loved the TV interview. Way to go!

  2. Thanks Lyn. Kitty is sleeping away right now. So innocent. Life around here is rarely dull. Elnora counts her blessings even when dealing with a diva kitty!

  3. Wow, best Elnora yet. I loved every word. And, like Lyn, my favorite was the line "Sweep a room with my eyes."

    Not everyone is blessed with a Cujo kitty. Only special people, which you are.

    50 books! I'm thinking we need to celebrate.

  4. First off, Whoohoo on 50 plus books!

    Second, on cats, not sure. My dear Princess Christmas Keturah, who is now 17 and older than my youngest daughter, has been the queen of this house for years. Try and move her from where she wants to be. Just try. And if I lock her out of my room because she insists on sitting ON my feet or in front of the monitor while I type away, she rebels outside the door with a maniacal whine that reminds me of a screeching owl, thereby making it impossible for me to concentrate on writing. I don't consider myself a diva (Two of my three teenage daughters fight for that title) so she's in competition with them. Let me tell you, it can get pretty ugly here!

  5. Now, Lisa, you have to improve your own Diva status. Don't let that kitty and three girls outdo you! Find your inner diva! It starts with wanting some really good chocolate and next thing you know, you're shopping for high heels online! We can all take lessons from cats on being divas, that's for sure. Whine until someone assists us, send out killer looks with slanted eyes, become finicky with food and family at the worst possible times, and show our distaste in the most imaginative ways. That is Diva 101! I'd love to hear about other pets? I know our dear readers have pets??? Meow, anybody listening???

  6. I don't have the privilege of having a cat adopt me, but when my son married, he got the cat. 'Lady' is a very mellow girl and my son's made peace with her. But you have never heard such howling as when he steps on kitty litter in the bathroom with his bare feet.

  7. Leann, that kitty litter is a messy part of owning an inside cat. Elnora grew up on a farm, where all cats were outside cats. But my dear mother did let my special kitty come inside and he promptly shredded the arm of her favorite chair! Cats--high maintenance and highly independent. Hmm, that sounds a lot like Elnora!!!

  8. Hi Elnora:

    After fifty books, you’re a diva, too.

    Also after reading many character interviews here I’ve notice that very few of the characters have pets. Yet pets are popular with readers. About half of Americans have a pet. (As a marketing guy, I like to see a pet on the cover.)

    Does Elnora know why there are not more pets in romances?


  9. Elnora congrats on the 50th book milestone!! I guess we'll be celebrating with you in New York at the Harlequin party this year, huh?! :)

    We have a cat who's very persnickety. She only allows the favored person to pet her without nipping. My oldest son was that favored person for years until he moved away to college. Now my middle child, who moved into big brothers room, gets the "joy" of having the cat sleep with him, etc. And no more bites--unless he pets her the wrong way or something. :)

    I love my dogs. I've decided after kitty rejection for years on end, I'll stay a dog lover. ;)

    Vince, I had a stray cat in my first book and will have a dog in my Feb. 2012 book! :)

  10. Hi Missy:

    That's good news. Be sure the dog gets on the cover! : )


  11. Vince, a lot if my lovely Craftie ladies put pets in their books. Val Hansen comes to mind. In my " Body of Evidence" the dog becomes a hero too. And my "Risky Reunion" had a dog on the cover with the heroine. Maybe our characters just don't think to mention pets in those interviews. I think my ladies do a fabulous job portraying pets. Speak up, ladies!!

  12. Vince, one of the cover ideas I gave then had the dog included. We'll see if they choose it! :)

  13. Hi Lenora:

    I mentioned pets because that question is always asked on these character interviews. So I did some checking. Of the 42 Love Inspired books now available on eHarlequin here is what I found:

    17 books had animals on the cover. Mostly horses and ducks.

    Of these 17 books with animals:

    1 cover only had 3 horses on the cover. No hero or heroine! (How do you like that as an author?)

    5 had a cat or a dog.

    In a way, there are only 5 real pets out of 42 books.

    This was about what I thought I would find. Now let's see if the new books, like Missy's, with pets make the covers.

    I would fully expect romance readers to own a higher percentage of pets than the general population.


  14. Vince, I've included pets in the past and love writing about them. They are fabulous for comic relief and I love their little personalities coming out.

    In Gypsy Hearts, I had Dexter the cat, who toured with the band on the bus. All I Want for Christmas had Max the stray St. Bernard. In The Marriage Contract there was a stray dog as well. (That was so long ago that I can't recall the name they used for him.) Lots and lots of horses in my Texas Hearts series for Avalon. The More I See had a seeing eye dog named Otis, based on a real-life Otis. Loved writing about him. Fresh-Start Family was on a farm and had pigglets that the little boy was always letting out of the pen. There is SO much you can do with an animal as a character. Match them up with a kid and it's so much fun! Their personalities can be so fabulously entertaining.

  15. Hi Lisa:

    I just ordered “The More I See” from Amazon. I grew up in Morristown, NJ where they train the Seeing-Eye dogs. Blindfolded adults were always walking around town training the dogs. I used to love to go to the kennels and see the dogs. I just have to read this book!

    I like pets because the character can tell her secrets to the pet realistically. If it is a male pet the heroine can attribute faults to him that she really feels towards the hero. I like that.

    I checked some of your covers and the publishers have not been good at putting pets on the cover!

    “In A Doctor’s Arms” – no pets.
    “Her Only Protector” – no pets but a baby trumps a pet.
    “Fresh Start Family” – no pets.
    “Yuletide Protector” – no pets.
    “Cradle of Secrets” – no pets.
    “The More I See” -- has a horse.
    “His Heart for the Trusting” -- has 2 horses.
    “All I Want for Christmas is You” – no pets.
    “Gypsy Hearts” -- just has guitars – no pets.
    “Her Heart for the Asking” -- no people -- no animals – no pets
    ‘The Marriage Contract’ -- no picture

    Maybe you should talk to the art department. : )

    BTW: I will order “In A Doctor’s Arms” for the Kindle. A covered bridge is worth three pets. A lighthouse, two pets.


    P.S. I’ve been editing all day long and this post has been my reward. : )

  16. Good for you for working on your book, Vince! (At least, I'm assuming that's what you're editing.)

  17. Hi Lisa;

    To be fair to art departments: some have a look they have to maintain for the line. Others will feel that the best way to attract the best prospects for the book is with artwork that is not conducive to showing people or pets. My pet idea applies most when the existing style of cover is conducive of having pets on the cover but does not do so. Love Inspired is pet friendly.


  18. Hi Missy:

    Yes! I have been working all day on my WIP, "Characters in a Romance" and do you know what? I had to take the pet out!!!

    The pet caused too many complications for the rest of the story.

    Is that poetic justice or what?



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