April 17, 2012

Character Inspiration: Jack

As writers, many personal things inspire us. Dreams. Experiences. People. Stories.

In After The Ending, Dani has a pet German Shepard, Jack. It just so happens that Jack, the oh-so-happy and uber-protective puppy, is the literary incarnation of a very special little kitten I (LF) lost last summer.

WHAT? How did a little baby cat become a hulking German Shepard? Well...

My husband and I adopted Jack and Eva from a local pet shelter. The first night, Jack slept squished between us. Literally, he was smooshed like a pressed flower between book pages.

Eva was by far the more energetic and playful of the two kittens, though both were only a few months old. Jack had taken habit to claiming our laps whenever we sat down and sitting on our feet when we stood. We were his deterrent for the Eva-monster.

Jack, the kitten 

In the first three weeks, Jack went to the vet twice for his congestion and wheezing.

He continued to sleep, every night, squished between us.

A month after adopting the little gray tabby, I took him to the vet for the third time. His appointment was actually later that day, but we went in the morning instead. He'd declined quickly.

Jack died that afternoon. He had FIP (Feline Infectious Peritonitis), an always fatal condition.

And so, when faced with the opportunity to resurrect him with words, I did. I added a few more pounds, changed some elements of his genetic code, and gave him a ferocity he'd only shown on his good days, but deep down inside he's still my baby Jack.

Which of your characters have the most interesting and/or personal inspiration stories?

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