|Kinda hard to tell where one ends and the other begins|
Animals play a big role in The Spectraland Saga. When I first started working on Book One, I asked my kids what they wanted to see included in it. My son said "powers," meaning magic spells or superhero-type abilities, and my daughter said "cute animals." So, that's where the idea for Sammy the silvertail came from. And he's not just a token character - he ends up playing a pretty big role in the story, and I have even bigger things planned for him in the books to come.
The inspiration for the story about Nibbles the hamster in Chapter 16 came from a actual experience with one of our previous pets, Scampers the gerbil. Shortly after we got Scampers (and his brother, Midnight), he suddenly became very ill, late at night. It seemed like he wasn't going to make it. Instead of waiting until the next day (by which time it was probably going to be too late), we searched through emergency pet hospitals in the area until we found a 24-hour clinic that treated any kind of animal, including gerbils. We took him in, he got treatment and medicine, and he was eventually nursed back to health. He ended up living a long (for a gerbil, anyway) and comfortable life.