This appeared on the Creatively Green Write at Home Mom blog on July 20, 2016 http://creativelygreen.blogspot.com/
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I’ve always wanted a West Highland Terrier. My husband is fond of large dogs, and I’ve fallen in love with the homeless pups we’ve adopted, but I’m hoping someday…
One of the great things about being a writer? You can give your characters the pets you’ve always wanted. That’s how Scruffy ended up in Highland Yearning. I made him a Westie mix, with a torn ear and bedraggled fur, but his personality more than makes up for what he lacks in grooming.
Adding a dog as a character was a new experience for me as a writer. I always had to wonder, where was Scruffy while Caden was kissing Ariel? Then I had to consider who the dog liked, or didn’t. Animals are as particular as people, and you can always tell how they feel about a person. With this in mind, I thought it might be fun to “interview” Scruffy.
Today, I have Scruffy with me, one of the characters from my latest book.
Scruffy, you weren’t allowed to speak in Highland Yearning. (Barking doesn’t count.) So I thought I’d ask some questions about the story and get the answers from your point of view.
Scruffy’s whole body moved, even his backside followed his wagging tail. “Finally, I get to tell what really happened.”
And it was quite a story. Did you know you were going to be sent back in time with Ariel?
He settled down and stared at me. “No one ‘sent’ me back. I chose to go. A few days before we ended up in Scotland I was visited by one of the Ring of Belief’switches. The witches are okay. This one, Elspeth, is beautiful by human standards and unlike most humans, she had no trouble understanding me.
The witch asked, very politely, if I wanted to go back to 1775 with Ariel, or stay in this time. I told her I wanted to go back, Ariel needed me.” Scruffy raised his bushy eyebrows. “Actually, we needed each other.”
I had the feeling you weren’t over-fond of Caden, the hero in the story.
In spite of what some readers may believe, I want to state, for the record, I am not jealous of the hero. Human women are always sighing over Caden, but I consider him an acquired taste. Oh, he’s big, and can hold his own in a fight with other humans, but his sense of smell is terrible. It’s a good thing he doesn’t lose Ariel on a regular basis. I’m used to the Mackay, and Ariel loves him, so I have to make allowances.
A little bird told me you found your own ‘lassie’ in Scotland.
Birds talk too much. But yes, I met Ellie there. You won’t come across a finer West Highland Terrier this side of the Dornoch Firth. She likes to think she’s ‘domesticated’ me, but that’s only because I let her believe I’ve been tamed.
She must love you. I understand you have pups of your own.
“Aye.” Scruffy stuck out his chest. “They’re fine little lads and lassies. One of them, Scout, has huge paws for a little pup, but he’ll grow into them. No doubt, he’ll be bigger than his father.” He cocked his head. “My pups aren’t nearly as much trouble as Ariel and Caden’s. I don’t envy them their helpless offspring, they have to keep them around for years.
Is there anything else you’d like to say about Highland Yearningwhile you have the chance?
Scruffy’s eyebrows raised, and his liquid brown eyes twinkled. “I like what you did with our story. Now, will you write me back to the Highlands? My family’s waiting.
Excerpt From Highland Yearning:
“Are we done, lassie?” Caden’s voice sounded tight. Almost as if he were speaking through his teeth.
“I guess so.” She turned and leaned back against the rough stone. “We’ve searched all the rooms in this part of the tower.”
“And thanks to you, every person we came across thinks I’m bedding you.”
“Would you rather I let them know we were searching for what they consider to be an imaginary ring?” She inclined her head. “I had to come up with some reason for us to be alone in the upstairs bedrooms.”
“They’ll never truly believe I’d bed a Sutherland.”
Ariel reined in her anger. “Yes, they will. After all, your brother is about to marry a Sutherland.”
He came to within a foot of her. “Nay, he will not.” His tone softened. “Don’t you ken what other men will think of you, lassie?”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“They’ll believe they can take liberties, and you’ve no one to protect you.”
“You’re worried about my safety?”
When was the last time someone worried about her? Her heart did a little twist. “That’s sweet, but I can take care of myself.”
“But your reputation—”
“Isn’t a problem. After all, I’m not staying. If anything, you need to worry about your reputation.” She bit her lip to keep from laughing at the mixture of frustration and confusion on his face.
She shook her head. “We left some of those rooms in five or ten minutes. Word could get around that you are . . . shall we say, less than adequate.”
He smiled, amusement crinkling the corners of his eyes. “Then I’d have to prove otherwise to every lassie who questioned it.” His voice lowered and he studied her face. “Would you be wondering about my capabilities?”