If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.


Our reason for creating WWK originated as an outlet for our love of reading and writing mystery fiction. We hope you love it, too, and will enjoy our holiday gifts to our readers with original short stories to celebrate the season. Starting on 11/16 stories by Warren Bull, Margaret S. Hamilton, Paula Gail Benson, Linda Rodriguez, KM Rockwood, Gloria Alden, and E. B. Davis will appear every Thursday into the New Year.


Our November Author Interviews: 11/8--Ellen Byron, and 11/15--Sujata Massey. Please join us in welcoming these authors to WWK.


November Saturday Bloggers: 11/4 Margaret S. Hamilton and 11/11 Cheryl Hollon.


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Shari Randall's "Pets" will be included in Chesapeake Crimes: Fur, Feathers, and Felonies anthology, which will be published in 2018. In the same anthology "Rasputin," KM Rockwood's short story, will also be published. Her short story "Goldie" will be published in the Busted anthology, which will be released by Level Best Books on April 25th.


In addition, our prolific KM will have the following shorts published as well: "Making Tracks" in Passport to Murder, Bouchercon anthology, October 2017 and "Turkey Underfoot," just published, will appear in the anthology The Killer Wore Cranberry: a Fifth Course of Chaos.


James M. Jackson's 4th book in the Seamus McCree series, Doubtful Relations, is now available. His novella "Low Tide at Tybee" appears February 7 as part of Lowcountry Crimes: Four Novellas, which is available for order.

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Saturday, May 9, 2015

The Real Truth About Cats and Dogs by Wendy Tyson


I’ll admit it: I’m a dog person. That’s not to say I’m not fond of cats. I’ve lived with cats, will go out of my way to pet a cat, have fed and cared for stray cats—and let’s face it, there’s nothing more adorable than a kitten, except maybe a litter of kittens. But at the end of the day, the animal at the foot of my bed (or upside down in the middle of my bed, snoring) is a dog. Three dogs, to be exact.
 
Why my fascination with dogs? I don’t know, although I will say that I identify with them, from their eagerness to please to their loyalty to their need for companionship. My friend and I have long had a theory that people can be divided into two categories: cats and dogs. As our theory goes, cats are self-reliant, generally not people pleasers, aloof, more pragmatic. Dogs, on the other hand, are more social and people-pleasing, less content to be alone, optimists. No matter how outgoing a cat is, a cat has a self-contained quality that those of us who are dogs don’t quite get. And many dogs wear their hearts on their sleeves.
Of course, there are exceptions—and if you’re reading this, you’re no doubt coming up with one right now. That’s why our theory is flexible: there are dog-like cats (you know, the folks who are congenial and outgoing but prefer ultimately to do exactly what they want to do) and cat-like dogs (social, but more reserved).

Consider the people in your life. I bet if you think about it, you’ll be able to categorize nearly everyone you know. In my case, my mom is a dog, my dad was a cat. My husband is a true, could-survive-in-the-wilderness-with-only-one-eye cat; my boys are dogs’ dogs—some big, goofy breed that greets the world with a madly wagging tail and a slobbery tongue. Or play the game with television characters. Gilligan on Gilligan’s Island was a dog. The Professor was most definitely a cat. You get the drift.

In fact, if you really want to have fun with it, the “dogs” can be broken down into breeds—consider a Golden Retriever (friendly, good-natured, a little needy) versus a Bassett Hound (stubborn, loyal, and slow-moving) versus a Poodle (intelligent and dignified). Personality differences, certainly . . . but all still dogs. You can do the same with cats.

Of course, there’s a shadow side to dogs and cats.

For those of us who are dogs, the risk of wearing your heart on your sleeve is having it crushed, and
the risk of being an optimist can be difficulty accepting reality. For cats, perhaps the risk of being careful, of holding the world at bay with a pragmatic attitude and calculating demeanor, is that you may be too careful or close-minded—and miss out on some of the good stuff in the process.

I use these categories when I write. Despite my dog-like nature, most of my female protagonists are cats. I respect their independence. It makes them good heroines in thrillers and mysteries, and their shadow selves are ripe for development as a novel progresses. But dogs are needed as well, and it’s fun to pair the two on the page. As in the real world, a dog provides emotional openness and a nurturing nature that can help bring life to a novel and provide a good counterpoint to a cat.

Ultimately, neither is better—they’re just different. That’s why in fiction, as in life, there needs to be yin and yang, Mars and Venus . . . dog and cat.
Wendy Tyson is an author, lawyer and former therapist whose background has inspired her mysteries and thrillers. Wendy has written four published crime novels, including Dying Brand, the third novel in the Allison Campbell Mystery Series, which was released on May 5, 2015. The first in the Campbell series, Killer Image, was named a best mystery for book clubs in 2014 by Examiner.com. Wendy is also the author of the Greenhouse Mystery Series, the first of which, A Muddied Murder, is due to be released just in time for spring 2016. Wendy is a member of Sisters in Crime and International Thriller Writers and she is a contributing editor for The Big Thrill, International Thriller Writers’ online magazine. Wendy lives on a micro-farm just outside of Philadelphia with her husband, three sons and three dogs. Visit Wendy on Facebook or at: www.WATyson.com.



                                                                                                            

14 comments:

Warren Bull said...

Thanks for sharing on WWK. I think your theory is as useful as many more famous ideas. But I don't want to sound catty.

Grace Topping said...

Great observations, Wendy. My husband and I have never owned dogs or cats, but we seem to spend a lot of time caring for our grown daughters' dogs (one each). We call them our grand dogs. One is a very large Rhodesian Ridgeback that looks menacing but would only protect us if a burglar tripped over him. The other one, a lab/boxer/pit blend, is half the size of the ridgeback, but his growl would scare away anyone. When developing some future characters, I'll have to keep their "characteristics" in mind. It may help inspire me.

James Montgomery Jackson said...

I never really bifurcated humans into dogs and cats traits – it’s an interesting concept that I’ll keep in mind.

~ Jim

Annette said...

I love this, Wendy. I've always broken it down as introvert and extrovert, but "dogs and cats" are much easier to grasp. I'm mostly a cat, but with some dog qualities...a "dog-like cat" as you mention. My husband is definitely all dog. My mom is all cat.

I'll be thinking about this and using it to flesh out characters from now on. Wonderful post!

Julie said...

I admit it, I'm a cat. There are days - weeks even - when I'd like to be a dog. I like the idea of a big pack. The reality is that large groups wear me slick.

Cat.

I bet T.S. Eliot was a cat. How else Old Possum's Book of Practical Cats?

I bet Agatha Christie was a cat. She did after all disappear for a time just to be alone.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, a cat who wanted to be a dog. It explains so much...

Fun post!

Wendy said...

Julie, I would guess that many authors are cats. Keen observation skills and a disdain for the norm, things that contribute to great writing, are stereotypical cat qualities. But that's where the flexibility of the theory comes into play. I've met a few famous authors who are most definitely dogs, but they have those same qualities.

Annette--based on my own observations, most couples are dog-cat. It often corresponds to introvert/extrovert, but not always. We have neighbors who are both pretty reserved, although one is more social. Once I got to know them, I realized that the more reserved one is really the dog, and the friendlier, sociable one is a true cat. Go figure.

E. B. Davis said...

I agree with Jim. The thought never occurred to me. It's an interesting concept. I've never thought much about being a Gemini, but in many ways it seems, I'm a true split. I can see cat and dog characteristics in myself--at times antisocial and independent and other times, ready to please and social. What interests me are the many facets of personality.

Thanks for blogging with us, Wendy.

Wendy said...

My pleasure! Thank you so much for having me here today.

KM Rockwood said...

As someone who pretty much always had cats and dogs, I don't really divide them and their characteristics into categories. They are individuals.

Presently we have only two dogs but six cats. The dogs are rescues and the cats just show up. We don't turn any away. At times we've had other animals--an injured possum, who lived in a Styrofoam cooler on the back deck until it recovered & reached adulthood, baby raccoons who showed up without a mother & hung around until they could fend for themselves, etc.

When we take the dogs for a walk, usually several cats come along. And after supper, animals sit in a ring around whoever's clearing the dishes, waiting patiently for the scraps--all the way from Hamish, a big labradoodle, to Jack, a tiny cat.

Kara Cerise said...

Fun blog, Wendy! I used to be a dog until I married my husband who was a cat. Now he has dog-like traits and I have cat traits. We've learned from each other.

Gloria Alden said...

Wendy, I never thought of dividing people into cats or dogs. I've had both over the years - still have a dog and two cats. I think I'm probably more of a dog person. I have a friendly, lovable full-sized collie. She is so happy to see me when I come home. The cats less so. Still, dogs require more attention. Still I love the companionship of having her with me on my morning walks in the woods. However, as a writer, sometimes I wish she'd go away and leave me alone instead of nagging me for attention, but she is such a lover and quite funny at times, too.

Wendy said...

Kara--you are so right! I am definitely more cat than I was before I met my husband, too!

This has been fun. Thank you again for allowing me to be part of WWK for a day.

Rowena said...

I am most definitely a dog-like cat person!

Nancy G. West said...


Have to confess: I'm probably a dog-like cat. Depends on the day, I guess.
One more thought:

DOGS HAVE OWNERS. CATS HAVE STAFF.