Thursday, December 4, 2014

Boots and Mittens

As if there aren't enough cat-related things on the Internet already, today I'd like to introduce the two newest members of my family: Boots and Mittens.
Kinda hard to tell where one ends and the other begins
Brother (Boots) and sister (Mittens) from the same litter, they were adopted from Second Chance Companions, a very cool pet adoption organization located in my area. They were named by the girl who originally found them, and we decided to keep their names instead of changing them to something like, oh, Destiny and Dreamer (the names of Joel and Felicity's slimebacks from Book One, in case you haven't read it yet.)

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.
Anyway, it's very possible that you will see some new animal characters inspired by Boots and Mittens in an upcoming entry in the Saga. So stay tuned!

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