Tuesday, February 3, 2015 | By: Lynn

From the Heart

I have a very soft spot in my heart for animals. Animals of all kinds. When I read in my Facebook feed about yet another way humans abuse and neglect animals, I get sick inside. Lions being bred for shooting on private property devoted to hunting them. Dogs being skinned alive (!!!) for their meat. Cats being burned for entertainment. All of that and more makes me want to shake some sense into humans.

I have always shared my life with animals. My cats and dogs have been members of the family. I enjoy the interaction and entertainment of having pets and sharing their unconditional love. These days, I also get pleasure from offering support services for stray cats that pass through my backyard. During the last three or four years 17 cats have gotten food and water and a place out of the weather through help from my husband and me. Several were spayed or neutered. All of them were taken to a vet for vaccinations and a checkup. Most of them found a forever home through cat rescues and the local humane society. Relieving suffering of innocent animals makes my heart glow.

When I started brainstorming for Secrets, my first paranormal romance, I wanted to highlight this aspect of my life, my love of animals. The idea bloomed very readily into a story line. Secrets became the book of my heart because of the element of were-lynxes in the story and the heroine’s involvement in cat rescue. With my passion for helping animals it was very easy to write the story of Michelle, a young woman who no one rescued on the night she got raped, but who went the extra mile to rescue cats from neglect, poor living conditions, and hunger. With her hero, Casey, cast as a were-lynx, opportunities popped up for discussion about inhuman ways of humans, and that continues with the next book, Cravings. I love that the were-lynxes have opinions about humans. Here’s an excerpt from Cravings:

     Kennedy wiggled in her seat, refocusing her thoughts. The sensations gliding throughout her body made her shake her head. No. This wasn’t real. She turned to steal a glance at Asher, expecting to catch his gaze and confirm that his ability to nudge her was at the bottom of her swirling feelings. In which case she’d punch his face.
     But Asher was leaning forward, engaged in an earnest conversation about the growing population of big cats in the Midwest.
     “Humans decimated their numbers in the Midwest and now that a few cougars have been seen in parts of the Midwest, you can bet hunters will eliminate the strides that have been made.” Asher shook his head. “Or habitat intrusion will leave these animals with nowhere to go and nowhere to hunt. It makes me sick.”

I think it’s important that writers pay attention to book trends and if possible write for the market. But I agree with what guest blogger Sara Megibow posted on Nelson Literary Agency.

“So, if you are looking at publishing and are tempted to ask, ‘do you think XYZ is hot right now?’ stop. Take a deep breath. Yes the market is important but so is writing a book you believe in wholeheartedly,” Megibow wrote.

Investing in what is meaningful to you will infuse your writing with passion and create pleasure in your work.

At least it did for me.

Is every book you write a book of the heart?


Angela Adams said...

Great post, Lynn. Thanks for taking care of those 17 kitty cats! Animals -- and those who take care of them -- are special. You asked if any of your "writing followers" have written a book from the heart. There's always something, a thought or something I see, that touches my heart and "insists" I turn it into a story. Thanks for the post!

Lynn said...

Thanks for visiting, Angela. My experience is similar, that each book is important to me for different reasons.