December 11, 2012

Terry O'Reilly on Second Thoughts

Guest post by Terry O'Reilly ...

Set in the cities of Chicago and Ann Arbor, Second Thoughts draws on my experiences of living in those two cities. Go Blue! It also tells the age-old tale of the grass seeming greener on the other side of the fence as well as the eternal love triangle -- hopefully with a new twist or two.

Jesse loves Denny; Denny loves Jesse but thinks he might do better. Nick loves Jesse but is too upright to break up a relationship. Jesse fights his growing feelings for Nick, unaware that Denny is doing him wrong.

Those of you who’ve read other stories of mine may have noticed many of them have a dog or two involved. So it is with Second Thoughts—Shelby, Jesse’s Bluetick Coonhound/Beagle mutt, and Clyde, Nick’s Bassett.

I love dogs. I have three of my own. So I like to include a furry friend or two in my books. Sometimes they play a pivotal role or just provide comic relief. However, they are there, faithful to their humans just as mine are to me, usually lying under my feet in the well of my computer desk as I write, or pestering me for a treat and interrupting my thoughts at crucial times. Like Shelby and Clyde, my three are rescues. I volunteer for the agency through which I got my dogs.

My partner is a dedicated cat-person and I have come to appreciate them as well, so much so I’ve included a couple of feline characters in some of my stories. Maybe I should write a story about a dog lover who meets a cat lover and ...

I said earlier my canine characters often prove pivotal to their humans getting together or act as comic relief. In second Thoughts the dogs manage to do both. I’m thinking of one scene in particular, which is drawn from real life.

If there’s a skunk within twenty yards, my three dogs unerringly find it. If you’ve never experienced the odor of skunk, you wouldn’t appreciate how it gets into everything. When Shelby is skunked, Jesse and Nick have to work together to neutralize the smell. Ultimately they end up sleeping outside side by side on an airbed. I have yet to figure out the upside of my own dogs seeking out skunk.

Terry O'Reilly

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