October 05, 2012

Meet Carlene, author of Mind Echoes... and Ebony

     First of all, I want to thank Christine for allowing me to share her blog. Two of my very favorite things in life are dogs and writing, so I’ll be able to combine the two and hopefully entertain you all a couple times a month. Do post comments or email to me – I love feedback.
     Since I published my paranormal romantic suspense novel, Mind Echoes, people often ask me where I got the idea.

At the time I wrote the book, my husband and I were living in San Diego with three HUGE Labs. A friend recommended a house call veterinarian to me, to take care of our dog’s routine health and so much easier than hauling all three to the vets. I called Dr. Alice and made an appointment. She arrived with her tray of drugs and vaccines, proceeded to grab everything with four legs and check their heart, ears, and toes – you know, all that vet stuff. Over time, Alice and I became friends and I learned a lot from her. We were having a cup of coffee one day after she’d finished with the dogs and she mentioned a women she knew who could communicate with animals. Talk about a spark!
     The thought of an animal communicator kept buzzing around in my head until the title Mind Echoes rose to the surface. I knew I had to write a novel about the subject. Yup, I wrote an entire 75,000 word novel around the title only. I’d already had a lot of vet/pet experiences and started jotting them down. At that time, we had a holistic veterinarian who came to the house and gave Clarkie acupuncture treatments. He would put needles in Clarkie and I’d sit on the floor with my dog, petting him until his 15 minute treatment was finish. During that time, Doug the vet and I had many wonderful and enlightening conversations. When he finally asked me why I needed to know all the veterinarian treatments, I broke down and told him I was writing a novel about a pet communicator. He thought it was a great idea and gave me some things to think about. Then I pumped him for information!
     I can’t honestly tell you how long it took me to write the book, because I generally work on more than one project at a time. When I finished the first draft, I gave it to Alice to read. She found some inaccuracies and other bits of information she thought I needed to put in the book. I followed some of her suggestions, edited, read and edited the manuscript some more, then sent it to my beta reader for a final go.
Finally I sent the manuscript off to a publisher and sat down to wait! I was delighted when Whiskey Creek Press bought the book and I think they did a wonderful job with the cover. I’m happy to say, the book has done well and why not? Most people love dogs and animals in general and Mind Echoes has plenty of both. I wrote the book so it could have a sequel but….never got around to writing one! If you read the book, let me know if you’d like to read more adventures from Brody, J.T. and Boomer. I might just have to write a sequel.
     When Christine introduced me, she mentioned that my husband and I share our lives with two big Labs and we were looking for another, smaller dog. Well, we found one – or she found us! We volunteer as dog walkers at the local animal shelter and like to keep tabs on the dogs that come in. Now, keep in mind, I wanted a male yellow Lab, three or four years old. Well, you know that old saying, “Life is what happens while you’re making plans” ? I saw a photo of a small black part (very small part!) Lab that the shelter folks had named Angel. She’d been found wandering loose, starving, shivering and scared to death. She’d already had one litter of pups and God only knows what happened to them! Poor little Angel was grossly underweight, had a bladder infection, ear infection and shook with fear. She was taken to the veterinarian for spaying, given medication for all her other maladies and put in foster care to help socialize her.
When I saw her photo, I fell in love! My husband and I took our other two dogs and met Angel and her foster dad away from our house. We wanted to see how our two would interact with Angel. Neither of them was thrilled, but my husband and I decided to take her for a couple of days – just to see. Of course you know what happed! She has been romping with Duke, and snuggling with Tara and now she’s our dog! Yes, we gave her a forever home and re-named her Ebony. The first night she was with us, she decided that my side of the bed was preferable to her dog bed in the bedroom so….I now have a 30 lbs. bed warmer! Yes, yes, I know – she needs to sleep on her own bed and she will…..soon.
     I’ve uploaded a photo of  Ebony – what do you think?
     Hope to hear from you all. Tell next time, give your dog a big hug and tell him you love him. 
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