Sunday, June 10, 2012

Why Mister Marmee And Why a Cat?

Any good writer worth their salt knows the single most important decision that can be made when it comes to weaving a truly worthy tale is the careful selection of the main characters. They are the foundation upon which everything else related to the tale is built. If the characters are weak, the story will crumble, unable to bear the burden of whatever action, drama, or comedic relief the writer attempts to add later on. It is, in my humble opinion, the elementary law of writing physics. If you start with a strong character, everything becomes possible.

You know the quintessential riddle - which came first, the chicken or the egg? The underlying principle behind it is, you must have one to have the other. The real challenge is determining which one of the two was responsible for creating or "hatching" the other. In the case of a story, it is often difficult to determine whether a story inspired a character or a character inspired a story. In the case of Mister Marmee, it was as though he sprang from my mind and heart completely formed into what he is, with neither story nor character creating the other. He was simply complete. I could see and hear him so clearly - his face, his mannerisms, his walk, his gentlemanly sensibilities, his particular accent, the way he gestured when he talked. Every detail was as clear to me as if I had observed him my entire life. I knew his heart and what motivated him. And I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that Mister Marmee was without question a marmalade colored cat.

Animals are amazing if you give them a moment of your time as a human being. They resonate to us, and if we allow them, they teach us a great deal about nobility, loyalty, trust, and unconditional love. Think about it. They can see and experience first hand the worst humanity has to offer and yet still find the capacity to love again when given half a chance. Look at the ways in which they serve humankind. Without degrees or training, they have the innate ability to heal the brokenness within us. They see into the very centers of our being, penetrate into our very souls, and love us in spite of what they find there.

I know there are those of you who are looking at your favorite cat or dog right now trying to see what I am talking about. You are most likely shaking your head because your precious pet is doing something embarrassing like licking their butt or some other wonderful thing they love to do when company comes over. My Pom loves to dig in her ear with her back paw and then sniff it like she is checking for infection. It makes me laugh every single time but it is not exactly the most glamorous maneuver. But before you poo-poo the idea of your precious pet being amazing in the way I just described, think about this.

When was the last time it felt as though your life was falling apart? Now, ask yourself....where was your beloved pet? Chances are, they were right there in your face, loving you, and letting you know that everything was going to be okay. Oh sure, they probably laid in your lap later on when you were feeling better and licked their butts because all was fine, but they were there for you when things weren't. And how many times have you found yourself saying "It's like <insert pet name here> knew what was happening." I am here to tell you........they did. Animals observe more than we realize.

Besides, what cat or dog doesn't get into everything? It's part of their nature, right? It's just what they do. What a perfect foil for two consulting detectives like Mister Marmee and his famous dachshund detective friend Sir Happy. It absolutely ensures that they will be forever unhindered and underestimated by the people they investigate. After all, who would ever suspect a cat rummaging through the trash? Or a dog sniffing through someone's belongings?

So now you know why Mister Marmee is who he is and why he is a cat. Because in real life, some of the greatest characters we know are the pets we live with each day.

To purchase your eBook copy of "The Chronicles of Mister Marmee ~ The Case of Jack the Nipper" for Kindle readers and Kindle apps through Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Chronicles-Mister-Marmee-Nipper-ebook/dp/B0088TEIV2/ref=la_B0088YA1KE_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1339344550&sr=1-1.

To purchase your eBook copy of "The Chronicles of Mister Marmee ~ The Case of Jack the Nipper" for most other eBook readers (Apple iPad/iBooks, Nook, Sony Reader, Kobo, and most e-reading apps including Stanza, Aldiko, Adobe Digital Editions, others) through Smashwords.com, https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/168569.

Samples are downloadable from both locations. Happy reading!