As some of you may have already guessed, many authors use their imagination to come up with characters for their stories like I did with Jillian's companion, Teddy. Here's how it happened.
Since living in the Bay Area of California has always been one of the most expensive places to buy a house, we rented for the first twelve years of our daughter's life. Like most children, Holly wanted a dog in the worst way and begged us to get her one. We promised when we bought a house we'd buy her a puppy.
The very week we moved into our new home, Holly began her search online for the perfect puppy, and soon found one - a female Maltese in Florida. After two flights, Chloe arrived in Oakland where we picked her up in Cargo at the airport. She pranced out of her crate and into our hearts.
But there was a problem - Chloe's food did not arrive with her. She wouldn't eat any dog food we bought, began to lose weigh and grew lethargic. The vet suggested Pedialite to keep our precious puppy hydrated and wished us luck.
That night our luck changed when my husband brought home Taco Bell for dinner. Our son, Michael, offered Chloe a bit of cheese from his Cheesy Gordita Crunch, and Chloe ate it. Then he offered her bits of lettuce, meat, and tortilla, and she liked that too and began to perk up. From that day forward, we fed Chloe a diet of ground meat, veggies, fruit and grains which she eats to this day.
When I created the character of Teddy, I modeled his diet after Chloe's. The tricks and commands Jillian teaches her little companion are the ones I taught Chloe.
When readers ask why I don't use a Maltese for his character, I tell them that Chloe was simply too heavy for the tote -- too much good food, I guess. Fortunately, my neighbor had a handsome little Yorkie the entire neighborhood loves. When it came time to make my author photo, I borrowed Romeo (and his owner to care for him) for the shoot.
He was such a good boy! The little fella posed for so many shots, at one point he fell asleep in my arms. My friend rewarded him for his good behavior with a peanut butter flavored chew toy which he got stuck in his fur.
And so the antics of Teddy began. You can start following Jillian and Teddy's adventures by reading Book 1 Murder in Half Moon Bay - my free ebook gift to you.
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Have a wonderful week, dear readers.