My Valentine Pet by Deborah Lytton

A few days ago, I heard on the radio that the second most popular recipients of Valentine's Day gifts (after significant others) are pets.  I think that if Valentine's Day is about telling someone you love them, then my dog really does deserve a Valentine.  She is by my side as my constant companion when I write--no matter if I am up all night finishing revisions or waking early in the morning to work on new manuscripts.  Usually she sits in the chair with me, almost as if she can read the words I am typing.  And she has inspired many animal characters in my books.  All of the dogs I have loved have featured in my work.  Because they have meant so much to me, I wanted to share that same love of pets with my readers.

So that brings me to my topic of today, using animals in writing. 
My Writing Buddy, Faith
In my first published book, JANE IN BLOOM, I use the relationship with a new puppy to help Jane overcome her grief.  The way she interacts with the dog is a reflection of her own emotions which change as she evolves throughout the book.

In my second published book, SILENCE, I have a stray cat with baby kittens that bonds with my main character Hayden through his calm and gentle demeanor. It is through the actions of a stray animal that trusts Hayden that I show the reader who Hayden is as a person. 

In my upcoming MG series release, RUBY STARR, I have introduced a pair of lovable but chaotic Labradoodles who cause a lot of mischief and create humor for the main character, Ruby.

I love animals, so writing about them is something that I greatly enjoy, but I also think relating to animals adds another dimension to the depiction of a character.  Interacting with pets demonstrates compassion or fear or perhaps even cruelty.  So in honor of my Valentine Faith, see what animals you can add into your work today.
Happy Valentine's Day!


  1. Love this Deborah. One of my current projects features an unusual pet.

  2. Love your writing buddy--and I love stories with animals, too.

  3. Love your writing buddy--and I love stories with animals, too.

  4. I never had a pet until I was 50. Now my books, which previously had been pet-free, are full of pets, and kids' favorite slides in my author presentation are of Tanky the dog and Snickers the cat!


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