Monday, September 22, 2014

Guest Post with Katya Armock : Animals and Writing...Put Them Together and Watch the Fur Fly!

I love animals, so there are always some wily cats or goofy dogs in my stories. In my current work in progress, there are even a few comical cows. In my Hidden Lines trilogy, the heroine is an animal psychic, so I even got to write dialogue for a number of animals.

A lot of the situations that show up in my stories are based on my real life experiences with my own brood and those I work with. When I’m not writing, I work as a pet sitter and I also foster kittens and volunteer at a local shelter. I used to be a Veterinary Technician. All my training and experience has taught me a lot about animal behavior—including those comical cows. Honestly, you don’t see pets at their best when they’re at the vet, but it sure tells you about how animals act under stress!

Here are some of my rules for writing about pets:

1.       Just like no human is the same, no animal is the same either. There are certain behaviors that are more common to dogs or cats or rabbits or horses, but every animal I’ve met has its own personality.

2.       You don’t want your human characters to be stereotypes, and neither should your animal characters be typecast. Some cats are snooty, but so are some dogs. Some dogs will follow you everywhere, and so will some cats. Some animals are highly intelligent and some, well, they’re special.

3.       LOL Cats are funny, but it would get old pretty fast if a cat talked that way all the time in a story.

4.       There’s a fine line between acknowledging that animals have emotions and anthropomorphizing them. I try to walk that line and not go too far over.  Also, some people don’t believe animals have emotions or souls or a handful of other “human” traits. I’m not one of those people, so be warned. J

5.       Animals make us laugh, but they also get humans in a way that other humans don’t and have a wisdom all their own.

I hope you enjoy the quote cards that feature some of the animals in the Hidden Lines trilogy.

Blurb for To Hiss or to Kiss, Hidden Lines book 1:

Chloe can “talk” to animals…so why can she hear the thoughts of this hot, green-eyed man?

Abandoned by her mother and raised by a father who’d given up on life, Chloe doesn’t let anyone get close. Lucky for her, she can communicate with animals—telepathically. Animals are the only people she needs. When a suspected dogfighting ring comes to her attention, Chloe decides to do a little spying. In her rush to win the dogs’ trust, she almost gets caught.

Until a sexy stranger intervenes, and she finds she can overhear his thoughts. She’s never been able to hear people, and this man’s about as sexy as she’s ever seen. It’s more than intellectual curiosity that drives her to discover his secret: he’s a jaguar shape-shifter, and the presence of this cat among the dogs might be a bit too much to handle. But the animal attraction is just too hot to resist, and the passion between them makes both the sparks—and the fur—fly…

More info on the Hidden Lines trilogy can be found here.

Buy links (on sale for 99 cents!)

Connect with Katya


  1. Welcome Katya! I love the sound of this book. On sale? What a great time to try it!

    What a great ability you have, to create animal characters as real and individual as human. I've read some books with animals, but disappointingly, they're used more as props. Yours come alive!

  2. Thanks, Mary, for hosting me on Lust with a Laugh. And to Roxy for setting up the post for me! I'm glad you can see the animals' personalities coming through.

    1. Thanks again for blogging with us, Katya! And I completely agree that we can learn a lot from animals. :D