Originally published on Me, My Muse and I in October 2008 to promote Devil Falls w/a Angelle Trieste.
Many people told me cuddly cute dogs are the way to go in romance novels. I’ve read numerous romance featuring adorable dogs myself. But I couldn’t write dog romance. Not that dogs were taboo the way musician heroes are, but because I was afraid of them.
Maybe dogs thought I was a treat or something, but for some reason I got bitten a lot as a child. Now if it had just been some big mean junkyard dog, I think I’d have been less traumatized. But a French poodle sinking its teeth into my hand hard enough to draw blood when I was seven finally sealed my relationship with dogs forever.
But one day, the Devil Falls hero Damien came to me. I think our conversation went something like this:
Damien: I have pets. Dogs.
Me: Dogs? Oh. Are they…small?
Damien: If you consider full-grown Dobermans small.
Me: Dobermans? Err…Are they by any chance vegetarian?
Me: You aren’t going to unleash them on Victoria (the heroine), right?
Damien wouldn’t give up his dogs, so they came with him into my story world. Surprisingly enough they really added some depth to the story. They sharpened Victoria’s sense of isolation and highlighted another side of Damien that nobody would’ve suspected after their first meeting.
So who says odd phobias can’t be overcome in the name of the Muse? ;)