Picture of Vera Jane Cook

Vera Jane Cook

Jane And Her Pups

My dogs make me smile, especially Peanut, who is the baby. Well, actually Peanut is middle age but he’ll always be my baby. He’s the Chihuahua on my lap. That’s Carly at my side and Roxie, hanging off my shoulder like one of those old furs old ladies used to wear in the 1940s and 50s. All of my novels have dogs, not that I start out writing to include them but they just appear, sometimes with leading roles and other times with little minor roles. One novel I wrote had a cat named Spider in a pretty major role, I like cats too but I call myself a dog person, one of those weirdoes who stop people on the street to pet their adorable little pooches the way some women stop to coo at babies. Writing seems to be an unconscious process and what I mean by that is that I don’t start out writing a mystery, or a book with a dog charter, but after the book is written I realize that I’ve written a mystery and included a dog. Sometimes it will dawn on me years latter that the genre I seem to favor is mystery though I make no conscious choice to favor it or adopt it. My characters have no idea they are in a mystery at all and my childhood dog, Bobo, has no idea he has made it into a book. My unconscious choice of genre is sort of like how the dogs get in there, very organically.

I just finished a book that was probably influenced by the ‘Me Too” movement for it takes place in the 1970s when there was a politically incorrect man on every comer. Anyway, it is a love story so despite the predators, my main male character is a good guy. There are two dogs in it, one named Beasley and another at the end of the book named Ollie. There is nothing mysterious about it because two very obnoxious individuals ruin the relationship of two very nice individuals and I don’t keep that in the dark, they are viciously apparent. However, life does go on and when one has a dog in one’s life, or two or three, life can be full of smiles even when it is so terribly dark outside and the clouds are descending. Well, I will go pet my dogs, feed my cats and start a new novel, a mystery, and why not?