Today I’m thrilled to share an exclusive guest post from author T.A. Williams where he reflects on his canine obsession. Whether or not you’ve read his novels, you’ll know just by looking at the covers of his books that his women’s fiction stories all include dogs [see the below image for visual proof!] Read on for a fun guest post from the author, and check back tomorrow for my review of his latest novel, What Happens at the Beach…
So is this the last appearance of a Labrador?
TA (Trevor) Williams reflects on his canine obsession
What Happens at the Beach… is to be the last (or maybe the penultimate) in the What Happens… series. This book has a great canine character in it, in the form of Barney the black Labrador. Those of you familiar with my work will know that a black Lab is pretty much my trademark. But is that about to come to an end? My editor at Harper Collins believes it might be time to ditch the dog when I branch out into another series. I’m prepared to give it a go, but I’m not convinced.
As an author, I find that the dogs in my books actually serve a practical purpose. A page full of text can look intimidating, maybe potentially boring. Insert some dialogue and it breaks the whole thing up. When you’ve got a character all alone, it’s hard to insert dialogue unless you go for a phone call or have the poor soul talking to him or herself. That’s where the dog comes in. Tell me honestly, all you dog owners out there that you never speak to your dog. I don’t believe you. I’m not just talking about “sit, stay, good dog”, but actual chat. I used to do it all the time with dear old Merlin. Men are often described as poor listeners. You could never say that about a Lab. They listen, maintain eye contact and, apart from an unfortunate habit of interrupting the conversation to lick his genitals, Merlin proved to be an outstanding sounding block.
All right, they aren’t too hot at the responding part of a conversation, but my dogs could always be counted on to stretch out a friendly paw or offer a lick of the hand (depending where the dog’s tongue had just been, this often resulted in a trip to a wash basin, but I digress). So, as a writer, I find the dog a valuable tool.
My next book is set in Venice and, as such, offers less scope for a canine companion than in some of my other books. Dante the Tuscan dog and Barney in What Happens at the Beach… both have whole hillsides to roam around in. Venice has very little in the way of green space and, although a dog is the ultimate status symbol there, indicating to all and sundry that the owner is a local, not one of the millions of tourists who descend upon the city each year, there aren’t many about. Venice doesn’t really lend itself to dogs.
So, brace yourselves, the next book is going to be dog-free although I might just slip in a cameo appearance by a woofer or two for old time’s sake. I will be interested to get the feedback of the readers but, for now, I do hope you enjoy Barney the dog, the latest reincarnation of good old Merlin.
To all my T.A. Williams fans out there, are you ready for a novel without his signature dog? I’m on the fence, but either way, I’m sure his next novel will be wonderful regardless of the lack of a lovable four-legged character.
About the Author – T.A. Williams
Author Bio: Firstly, my name isn’t T A. It’s Trevor. I write under the androgynous name T A Williams because 65% of books are read by women. In my first book, “Dirty Minds” one of the (female) characters suggests the imbalance is due to the fact that men spend too much time getting drunk and watching football. I couldn’t possibly comment. Ask my wife…
I’ve written all sorts: thrillers, historical novels, short stories and now I’m enjoying myself hugely writing humour and romance. Romantic comedies are what we all need from time to time. Life isn’t always very fair. It isn’t always a lot of fun, but when it is, we need to embrace it. If my books can put a smile on your face and maybe give your heartstrings a tug, then I know I’ve done my job.
I‘ve lived all over Europe, but now I live in a little village in sleepy Devon, tucked away in south west England. I love the place. That’s why you’ll find leafy lanes and thatched cottages in most of my books. Oh, yes, and a black Labrador.
I’ve been writing since I was 14 and that is half a century ago. However, underneath this bald, wrinkly exterior, there beats the heart of a youngster. My wife is convinced I will never grow up. I hope she’s right.
Thank you to Karan Eleni PR Tours for organizing this guest post for Living Life With Joy!
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