guest blogger Judy Christie
Some people go to weddings and come home with party favors or photos. But I’m looking for dog names.
When my college roomie’s daughter married last summer, for example, I met Howie, the bride’s strong-willed pup, who wound up as a catalyst in “Magnolia Market,” my newest novel. The fictional Howie steals the show in one of my favorite scenes—all because the real Howie’s personality was enticing.
In my fiction with a Louisiana flavor, dogs always play a role—and naming them is a huge treat. Each dog and its moniker is chosen with great care: Sometimes I pull a name from those I’ve saved for years. My collection of dog names joins my collection of inexpensive, antique dogs, mostly chipped and full of personality. At other times, I offer a small salute to a friend by using her pet’s name.
Dogs inspire character development
While I confess that I don’t own a pet (unless one bonsai plant counts), I’ve found the dogs of friends and family to be creative sparks. In particular, I like the way animals draw people out and show the true core of a person.
Have you noticed how you can tell a lot about a character in a novel by how they treat animals? That detail helps me develop characters—many of whom first connect because of a dog.
It started with Mannix in “Gone to Green,” my debut novel. (I didn’t write my first novel until I turned 50, and I’d held onto the name Mannix, a TV detective, for decades.) Mannix helps the main character meet the love of her life, and he stars in a subplot in the third Green novel, “The Glory of Green.”
Somehow the names and animals come together and become a thread in stories, the same way they are woven into the lives of the people I love.
How about you? What’s your pet’s name? How’d you come up with it? Leave a comment for a chance to win a signed copy of “Magnolia Market,” where you’ll meet Howie, Willie and Fearless.
Here is an Amazon link to Judy’s book! Magnolia Market (Trumpet & Vine)
“The second installment in the Trumpet and Vine series stands alone well; however, fans of the series will enjoy catching up with familiar characters. The story moves at an even pace, but readers will keep the pages turning wanting to know what’s going to happen next. The message that helping others is therapeutic shines through.” – RT Book Reviews, 4 stars
“A delightful tale that entices readers with the aroma of biscuits, romance and new starts.” – Publishers Weekly
About the book: “There’s been a change in plans.” With that proclamation from her former mother-in-law, Avery Broussard watches her hopes for a new start collapse. Avery goes from running a ritzy boutique to filling in at a forlorn corner market–where the help of carpenter T.J. Aillet makes her believe in second chances at love.
About the author: Judy Christie’s first pet was a cat with the oh-so-original name of Boots; her fiercest pet was a Chihuahua named Taco, named by her brother. Library Journal has compared Judy’s novels to those of Jan Karon and Debbie Macomber. Visit with Judy on her green kitchen couch at www.judychristie.com.