Author L.C. Hayden, photo courtesy of the author and used with her permission
Sometimes we rescue an animal, adopt it into our family, and think we’ve done it the favor by saving its life.
I’d like to share with you the following exchange I had with mystery, horror, and inspirational writer L.C. Hayden. (Her books include, Why Casey Had to Die, her newest release, What Others Know, which was a Left Coast Crime nominee for best mystery, When Colette Died, which was an Oprah On-Line Reading Café selection, and When Angels Touch You.) She’s had a lot of pets (and quite the variety of them) over the years, and, like many authors, from time to time they show up in her work. But her answer to my parting question is the one that resonated with me in particular, because I think this is how any of us with pets ultimately feels…
Courtney Mroch: Do you have any pets now? If yes, names, species, breeds, ages, etc please.
L.C. Hayden: Right now, I’m down to the bottom. I only have one dog, Killer. My son found him and the rest of the litter in a dimsey dumpster. He rescued them and found a home for all but two. Ginger died about four years ago and we still have Killer. Killer is now ten and since his tongue is part black, we feel he’s part chow. However, every place we go where people are familiar with dogs, they say he’s a Newfoundland. I tend to agree with them because he looks exactly like one, except that he’s not as big.
CM: You mentioned you’re starting a new series where one of your dogs (Chloe) will be featured. What will the series be about?
LCH: The book centers around a reporter who lives in South Lake Tahoe. She’s given a puppy as a gift and she names the dog Chloe. Unfortunately, [the real] Chloe passed away last November. She was nine years old.
In the current series that I’m writing, the Harry Bronson Mystery Series, Killer is going to make an appearance. Who knows, Bronson might just adopt Killer. What would be more appropriate than to have an ex-cop owning a dog named Killer?
CM: What kind of dog was Chloe? What will the dog be (breed-wise) in the series and what will he/she do?
LCH: My Chloe was part German Shepherd and so will Amie’s (the reporter.) Chloe was a mischievous dog and extremely smart. Some of the capers she pulled will end up in the book, but at one time or the other, Chloe will save Amie’s life.
CM: How many different kinds of animals have you had at one time? (You mentioned you’ve had hamsters, dogs, birds…)
LCH: We’re animal lovers. At one time we had twelve dogs, two hamsters, a Conure, two parakeets, and an aquarium filled with fish. We also had two kids and sometimes they behaved like animals! They’re all grown now and have pets of their own.
CM: How do (or how have) your animals affected your writing and your life?
LCH: As far as they’ve affecting my writing, I like to incorporate their misadventures into my writings. As far as they’ve affected my life, they’ve enriched it. People who have no animals miss a big part of life–the warmth, the love, the joy they give can never be fully described. It’s something that must be experienced in order to be understood.
L.C. Hayden’s Killer, photo courtesy of the author and used with her permission