I have two Shih Tzu dogs and a burmilla cat who are a vital and much loved part of my family. I am so pet focused that I love novels containing animals. Furry creatures often feature in contemporary romance novels. Some paranormal romances also contain pets in the story, and in shape-shifter paranormals, the fur belongs to the main characters. (I have to admit my favorite shape shifters are big cats. I’m writing a novella at the moment with a fire elemental, black panther shape shifter djinn as the hero.)
I especially love animals in books if there is some kind of magical twist. I believe I have a special spiritual connection with my cat; that she was destined to be mine. In my latest book, The Phoenix Charm, my heroine, who is a fairy witch, has a cat familiar that she is bonded with at the level of mind and spirit. The cat, Tamsy, is an important character in the story. I loved writing her because she reminds me so much of my own cat.
The concept that the type of animal we identify with reveals something of our personality is embodied in many cultures. For me, the peculiar wisdom of animals gives a peek into a mysterious world that exists outside of our understanding. We think we know what goes on in their world, but we see everything through the lens of our human understanding and values. The rules of nature are both harsh and pure, a conflict that is elemental, but honest in its brutal demands. This has an almost paranormal quality that lends itself perfectly to the paranormal romance genre.
The Phoenix Charm is just out. To read a two chapter excerpt or for more information on my work go to www.helenscotttaylor.com