Add Cats or Dogs or Highland Cows to Your Novel
by Nancy Lee Badger
As I scroll through the bookstore or shop for books on-line, I have noticed many more book covers that include an animal. There are Regency romances with little dogs sharing the cover with a gowned beauty; science fiction sporting space-traveling cats; and werewolves with…wolves. The visual effect can catch a reader’s eye, but adding animals in your storyline-whether as pets or as wild creatures-can create a whole, new level of interest for readers. Isn’t this what an author wants?
A pet, or any domesticated animal, can be easily woven into your story and might keep your readers reading. Do you realize how many pet lovers live in the United States alone? Even with America’s population of approximately 319,000,000 residents, pets outnumber children four to one. People with pets might want to read stories that include animals.
However, there are even a larger group of people who do not own pets, for whatever reason, and reading a novel that includes an animal offers them a taste of animal ownership…without the mess!
In my Scottish time travel romance, My Dark Highlander (releasing November 1st) my heroine is a veterinarian. This opened several doors for me, and I could not help including my favorite Scottish Highland cows in one of the chapters. Although they are big and hairy, who can resist a bright orange cow? They also come in red, black, and beige, but most people recognize the orange cows. Many states in America breed the Highland steer.
I did not choose to include a photo of these big animals on the front cover of my book, but the print books will carry a photo on the back cover. I recently attended Scottish Highland games in North Carolina and took photos of the Highland steer on display. I have to assume many people have never seen
a Highland cow, so I will include the photo on my blog and will share it on Facebook and Twitter. Hopefully, sharing this while reminding readers that my heroine is a veterinarian will gain me even more readers.
Take a chance and add an animal, as long as you make them an integral part of the plot. I was also told long ago that you should try your best never to kill a pet in your book, unless it’s a werewolf!
Book Blurb of My Dark Highlander
Stranded in 1603 Scotland, veterinarian Jenny Morgan is eager to get home to New England. Hiding her ability to read auras, a powerful witch comes to her aid. All Jenny will miss is the man who stole her heart, one dark night.
Laird Gavin Sinclair has a missing brother, a murderous father, and a dark-eyed beauty on his mind. When Jenny returns to a dangerous future, he sets aside his obligations and searches for her at the New England Highland Games. Jealousy and lust ravage his dark soul, until he and Jenny fight evil together.
More About Nancy Lee Badger
Nancy Lee Badger loves chocolate-chip shortbread and wool plaids wrapped around the trim waist of a Scottish Highlander. Her stories tempt you with the clang of broadswords, the sound of bagpipes in the air, and possibly a dragon or two. After growing up in Huntington, New York, and raising two handsome sons in New Hampshire, she moved to North Carolina where she writes full-time. Nancy is a member of Romance Writers of America, Heart of Carolina Romance Writers, Fantasy-Futuristic & Paranormal Romance Writers, Triangle Area Freelancers, and the Celtic Heart Romance Writers.
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