WHEN DOGS INSPIRE FICTION
by Kathleen Gerard
Some readers have asked why I decided to write a Romantic Comedy that features a dog in The Thing Is. Well, after having written a woman-in-jeopardy novel (In Transit) and a quiet story about old flames forced to reunite (Cold Comfort), I wanted to switch gears—I wanted to laugh a little. People who know me, know I love my dogs, and my four-legged furry friends–three Yorkshire terriers, which have ‘owned me’ one at a time–have been an integral part of my life since childhood. Each dog has offered me–a shy introvert–companionship and a sense of social connection. When you’re a writer, you spend a lot of time alone, working. So when I finally step away from my desk or my computer and take my dog for a walk–the poor thing suffering from boredom and deprived of playtime because I’ve been swept up in imaginary worlds–I never fail to meet people and make new friends. And it’s all because of the wagging tail and bright eyes of my four-legged sidekick who forces me out of my writing cocoon, out of my shell.
Recognizing this inspired me to create Prozac, a five-pound Yorkshire terrier, who is largely the star of The Thing Is. In the story, a blocked romance writer, Meredith–who is canine-averse–is suffering from prolonged grief. When Meredith is roped into pet-sitting Prozac–a Spirit Guide Dog with a very high IQ and an even higher opinion of himself–he upends her life. Through a comedy of errors, Prozac enlists the help of folks he visits weekly at an independent living facility to help propel Meredith (often unwillingly) into the next phase of her life…where a romantic prospect might even be on her horizon.
You’ll have to read the novel to learn more. But in the end, Prozac leads Meredith into new beginnings, just like Prozac led me to new beginnings in my writing. When you share your life with a dog, you meet people—people you might not meet otherwise. And while dogs can never replace human love, they can guide people to it. Therefore, it’s my hope that Prozac, the canine hero of The Thing Is, may brighten your reading life as much as he has brightened my writing life…Enjoy!
To spend more time with Prozac and Meredith, read The Thing Is by Kathleen Gerard. Also be sure to visit Kathleen’s website to learn more.
Synopsis: “A story brimming with humor and heart, and an ending that’s as unexpected as it is satisfying.” — Claire Ashby, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the novel, When You Make it Home
“Even though the story is tempered with a good dose of humor and tail-wagging cuteness, be prepared – it’s an emotional read with a capital E.” — Scranton Book Examiner
“The Thing Is reminds us of how intricate and interwoven relationships are–and Prozac teaches us about grace and unconditional love.” — Melody Carlson, author of Finding Alice
Ever since the death of her fiancé, Meredith Mancuso has shrunk from the world. Even with her successful writing career, she’s not motivated to work. When her sister, Monica, begs for a favor, Meredith wants nothing more than to say no. But she’s ultimately roped into pet-sitting an orphaned Yorkshire terrier named Prozac.
Blessed with spiritual wisdom and a high IQ, Prozac is an active pet therapy dog. To heal broken-hearted Meredith, he rallies his fan club at Evergreen Gardens, an independent living facility, where he visits each week.
Prozac and the community of resilient older folks challenged by losses of their own propel Meredith, often against her will, back into the land of the living. Meredith learns that most people carry some sort of burden, but it’s still possible to find meaning, purpose, and joy—and sometimes, even love—along the way.