In the interests of full disclosure, I should admit that today's guest is the star of a novel by one of my fellow Red Adept Publishing stablemates. But considering I've never read a bad Red Adept book (and I can't say that about any other publisher) that's basically just a matter of semantics. Let's jump right in, shall we?
When I learned that I'd been asked to contribute a guest post to Manuscripts Burn, I thought....me? Moi? What could a cute and cuddly, five-pound Yorkshire terrier--practically a stuffed animal with a beating little heart inside--possibly contribute to a horror and sci-fi blog hosted by Stephen Kozeniewski, author of BRAINEATER JONES, and an avowed cat-lover, of all things!? Little, four-legged old me...sent into a lion's den promoting scary stories of zombies, ghoulishness, blood, and guts? Hey, wait a second—what's a nice dog like me doing in a place like this?
But hold your chewsticks a minute, folks! While I may not resemble the foaming-at-the-mouth likes of Cujo--once a good-natured St. Bernard-turned-vicious via the creativity of horror writer, Stephen King--I can be just as devious and damaging...minus the bravado of stellar attacks and rabid fangs. You see, my menace comes from my mind. It's not always about gut animal instinct/action-reaction. With me, it's often about insidiousness--dog-human head-games--like water slowly wearing upon a stone. Trust me, in the right paws, being emotionally exacerbating can be just as menacing as tearing into limbs!
You see, I'm a "Spirit Guide Dog," which means I get the best of both worlds. Yes, I'm a dog. I pant, poop and slobber, and I can also lift my leg on fire hydrants like the best of them. (Although I've been fixed, so those types of gymnastics aren't my speed anymore.) But at the same time, I have the unique intellectual and spiritual capacity to experience a fully human perspective--as well as having divine insight; I see into human souls--which allows me to devise ways to help some pitiful humans...those like Meredith Mancuso, a blocked romance writer who has no romance in her life (that's a horror story unto itself!) and who shares narrating duties with me in THE THING IS. My job is to light a fire (not literally, of course) that sparks some significant changes in Meredith's lonely, stagnant life. And who better than a lovable (often devious, yet completely unsuspecting) little dog to achieve that end? Believe me, I love Cujo--yes, he even scared me--but I bet I could've taught him a thing or two in the canine (reverse psychology) finesse department!
So, if you want to learn more about THE THING IS and bask in the spot-lit glow of 'yours truly' (after this post, how could you possibly resist?), then click here. Hope you'll pick up a copy of the novel soon, and we'll get to spend even more time together on the page... Happy Reading!!
About THE THING IS:
Meredith Mancuso is depressed. Ever since the death of her fiancé, she 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.
About Kathleen Gerard:
Kathleen Gerard is a writer whose work has been awarded The Perillo Prize, The Eric Hoffer Prose Award and nominated for Best New American Voices and Short Story America, all national prizes in literature. Kathleen writes across genres. Her short prose and poetry have been widely published in magazines, journals and anthologies. Her essays have been broadcast on National Public Radio (NPR). Kathleen's woman-in-jeopardy novel IN TRANSIT won The New York Book Festival - "Best Romantic Fiction" (2011). Kathleen is a book reviewer for and a contributor to Shelf Awareness and maintains the blog Reading Between the Lines.
You can find her on her website, Twitter, Facebook, and her Red Adept page.