Friday, April 17, 2009

Special Guest Jan Scarbrough


Do you own a pet? I have two dogs, both rescues, and four elderly cats. The fun part about being a writer is creating your own worlds. Often I put bits of my real world into my books by adding my family pets.

In my upcoming May release from Resplendence Publishing Kentucky Flame, I created a white English setter named Major after a dog I had rescued as a puppy from the Humane Society. The real dog, Flops, shared my life and my children’s lives for fifteen years. What better way to memorialize a faithful friend?

The first book in my Bluegrass Reunion series, Kentucky Cowboy, contains two of my current cats. Ginger, a tortoiseshell cat with a peculiar stripe down the bridge of her nose, in real life Gloria, the cat my daughter brought home from college one Thanksgiving. My husband’s cat Jester also stars in the book as Joker, the hero’s black cat. Our late Border collie, Binky, was my inspiration for the heroine’s pet. For Kentucky Woman, I borrowed my daughter’s orange tabby, and I gave the heroine’s son a big, bronze-colored fuzzy dog inspired by my current rescue, Red.

When I wrote Santa’s Kiss, I had fun giving the heroine a traveling companion named Little Bits who is the carbon copy of Lenny, my comical Pembroke Welsh Corgi.

I learned a lot about putting pets in books when I wrote Tangled Memories. Never kill a cat in a romance. I broke the rule! I’m pleased to report the gray cat Munster that met a sudden death in the book is really a domestic long-haired cat named Bugsy. This former blue ribbon winner is now seventeen and spends most of her time hiding in my office.

Do you like to read books with pets? How many family pets do you own? Are you a cat or a dog person? Leave a comment and maybe you’ll win an electronic copy of one of my books.

While you're waiting for Jan's upcoming release, Kentucky Flame, you can check out the other books in the series, including -- Kentucky Woman...available NOW! Click HERE for details.


Devon Matthews said...

Hi Jan! Very interesting post. I enjoy reading about pets. Your love for animals always comes through in your writing. But I'm surprised you didn't mention horses. I always think of you as a horse person first because they sometimes figure so prominently in your stories. I've always been an animal person. Currently, I only have one dog and one cat. Little Man is a gorgeous white Persian mix that wandered out of the woods one day and acted like this was his destination. He was in sorry shape when we took him in. Molly is our newest addition to the family. She's a Jack Russell-Chihuahua mix. We lost Sam the Shih-tzu back in Oct. He was 15. And Zeb, our big, adorable back and white short-hair cat, left us just a couple of months ago. I miss them terribly. I'm not sure if I'm a dog or cat person. I love them both.

Magdalena Scott said...

Hi, Jan! I always like reading about you and your pets. As you know, I have one pet, Spot the wonderblogger.

You don't have to enter me in the drawing. I'm just here for moral support.


Mary Ricksen said...

I do the same thing Jan. What a great way to immortalize our beloved friends.

Jan Scarbrough said...

Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by! I didn't mention horses because I blog enough about them. I just thought I'd blog about the furry creatures that might live IN our house with us. Lenny gave me a bath this morning before I even got out of bed!

Miriam Newman said...

Great post, Jan. I actually put two of my own pets in my first book and a book reviewer got it wrong (I had a dog and a cat, she mentioned two cats). And can you believe a reader emailed me to complain? She was nice enough to mention that she liked the book, but I could tell what really got her fired up was that reviewer messing around with the pets!

Teresa Reasor said...

Hey Jan:
I'd have to put a host of animals in my book, so I guess I'd better write one about a vet, or someone who runs a kennel. At present we have three dogs and two cats.A tank of fish And two grand-dogs.
I'm a sucker for lost critters. That's the reason our road is named Vagabond Lane. Everyone drops animals off at our road and I end up taking them in.
I feel we were put on the planet to care for the things that can't care for themselves. Sooo.

I agree that putting them in our books is a wonderful way of immortalizing the creatures that give us so much.

Thanks for blogging with us today.

Teresa R.

Anonymous said...

I love when authors include the furry ones. We have 2 Brittany Spaniels/they belong to my husband. I'm not much of a REAL furry fan but I love reading about them in books. Interesting!
Mary Morrow

River said...

I include dogs in my writing, esp. historical romance which led me to research how people dealt with fleas, how they took care of their hunting hounds (gave them oatmeal baths in the 19th c) and I found the phrase 'love me love my dog' in a book written in 1839! lol. I am very interested in how other writers utilize their pets in novels. This is a great blog entry!

signed in as my dog River because he has his own blog but really Stephanie Lilley (published under Spearman)

Jan Scarbrough said...

Thanks for stopping by Mary, Teresa and Miriam. Did I mention my daughter IS a vet? She came by the love of animals naturally, I guess. It was in the genes!

Charlene said...

We have an orange cat named Sassy who will bite your toes when she wants attention. Brodie, our black Cocker Spaniel, is the most intelligent dog we have ever had. He loves to explore. My eight year old daughter loves her Chichuhua named Skipito. He's very spoiled and has the cutest, fatest little face lol.

Julie Robinson said...


Pets are important to me and I like to read them in stories., though I can't say as of yet I've included one in my writing. I intend to though because I had a much loved cat that I would like to writ about. Although I have 3 cats now and 2 dogs, my Mr. Data was very special to me. Guess you could say he was my first 'baby' before my son was even a thought.

The neighbors used to call my house 'Animal Farm' because I couldn't resist any lost critter wandering around. I've gotten better. Honest!

Julie Robinson said...

At first, I thought that picture of Lenny was a little fox!
He is so cute.

To answer the question about whether or not I'm a cat or dog person---I took that Google test and scored 50/50 on it. Most people think I'm friendly like a dog. And I do like wolves. But I also love cats. Maybe because I want to be more like them?!


Tracy Preston - Romance Writer said...

The winner of Jan's book are Stephanie and her dog, River! :o)

Thanks to all those who commented.

Tracy Preston - Romance Writer said...


Since there are no email links listed on your blogger profile (or rather River's) if you could email me at:

I'll be sure and pass your email address along to Jan so she can send you a copy of her book. THANKS! :)

Julie Robinson said...

Congrats Stephanie and River!!

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