Author Spotlight: Jessa Slade (Shares a Fluff Piece)

Everything I Know Actually Use I Learned from My Pets: A Fluff Piece

by Jessa Slade

This is only half a fluff piece, really. The other half is reptilian. The fluff half is Monster Girl, half black lab/half kelpie. The second, not so fluffy friend is Buddha Boy, the golden gecko.

Because I spend a lot of time in my head (or translating what’s in my head onto the blank page) I’ve found that having animal companions is a great way to stay grounded. And by “grounded,” I mean walking endless miles with Monster Girl and digging up garden grubs for Buddha Boy. If I didn’t have them, I might never leave my imagination.

Staying locked in my imagination sounds good—especially since I write urban fantasy, science fiction and paranormal romance—but in “reality,” my best ideas are usually sparked by something from the outside world. Which means getting up from the computer once and awhile!

Three Lessons from the Dog:

  • Exercise is fun! She hasn’t entirely convinced me this is true (despite her use of exclamation points whenever a ball is involved) but I’m willing to concede I am happier and more productive when I’ve been taken for my walks.
  • Don’t think too much. Monster Girl is half lab, and, trust me, labs are good at not thinking too much 😉 She thinks, but only about important things: “When is my next snack? Is it time for a nap? Do you want to play tug?” I try not to waste too much time fretting over unimportant issues either.
  • The joy is in the chase. Balls, cats, squirrels—indeed, life itself—are apparently meant to be pursued, but not necessarily caught. Indeed, catching requires letting go so the joy can continue. Being a goal-focused human, it’s hard for me to appreciate that lesson, but I’m learning (slowly) to let go and run some more.

Two Lessons from the Gecko:

  • Good things come to those who…lay in wait. The actual proverb is “those who wait,” but Buddha Boy knows better. He doesn’t sit around, wishing a moth might providentially fly by; no, he sets himself up in the moth flyways. Following his example, I try to put myself in the way of interesting possibilities.
  • The impossible is possible if you focus on the little things. For a century, no one understood how geckos can cling to glass. Apparently, it’s Van der Waal’s forces acting between the surface and the tiny filaments on their feet allow these relatively large reptiles to stick wherever they please. I like to think that if I take care of the little things, I can do cool stuff too.

I haven’t yet found a way to fit Van der Waal’s forces into a story, but I’m working on it. As for the other lessons… Well, I’m working on those too, and I have good teachers.

I hope you’ll share lessons from your wise animal companions, and if you have links to pictures of your pets, please post them. Or just say hey for a chance to win a signed copy of Darkness Undone and a set of Marked Souls Romance Trading Cards. Thank you for reading!

And thank you, Limecello, for letting me post with you today. I’m at the RT Book Lovers’ Convention in Chicago this week; come find me if you are here. I hope to see everybody at Authors After Dark in August in New Orleans!

*    *    *

The war between good and evil has raged for millennia,

and as a powerful new enemy ascends,

the Marked Souls are pushed to the ragged edge…

Sidney Westerbrook has always studied darkness and damnation from a sensible distance. Now, to earn his place as a league Bookkeeper, he must discover why Chicago is such a battleground of soul-linked warriors. But the research becomes personal when he finds himself over his head and under attack — and at the mercy of a waif with demon-lit eyes and a deep yearning in her heart.

Alyce Carver has been alone longer than she can remember, battered by the living nightmares that haunt her city. Cornered by yet another gang of demons, she unwittingly joins forces with a handsome scholar who can salvage her past, and she in turn may be the key to his investigations. But she won’t let him go until he shows her everything she’s been missing.

What begins as an experiment in possession becomes a trial by desire so powerful it threatens both their lives, even as it binds their souls.

“Slade’s plot packs plenty of action…in a group of forceful personalities.”
– Publishers Weekly

“[A] fish-out-of-water story that keeps a rapid pace, delivering a strong plot, enjoyable characters and a stunning world.”
–RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

Read Chapter 1 of DARKNESS UNDONE and find links to favorite bookstores.

Read the first chapters of all the Marked Souls novels here.

You can find Jessa online at: twitter, facebook, goodreads, and pinterest

0 thoughts on “Author Spotlight: Jessa Slade (Shares a Fluff Piece)

  1. Becky Ward

    I don’t have any lessons from my three dogs to share with you, but I can relate to what your lessons from Monster Girl are like. My one dog is half lab and half German Shepherd. I enjoyed reading the first chapter of Darkness Undone, this is definitely a book I’m planning on getting.

  2. Liz

    Darkness Undone sounds fantastic, I’ve got it on my TBR!

    I really enjoyed your post. I have grown up with pets, everything from tanks full of African Cichlids to my daughter’s pet rat, BellaRat, who used to sit on my shoulder while I cleaned her cage.

    From my cat, I learned:
    *It’s always time for a nap
    *If someone isn’t paying attention to you, get your claws out

    From my husky, I learned:
    *If you stare at someone long enough, eventually they’ll give you a piece of their sandwich (his nickname is Mooch)
    *Why use the doggie door when a bark will get the big door opened?
    *There’s always time for a cuddle

    I loved the pic of your animals, Monster Dog looks like a sweetheart. Thanks for stopping by and posting today, I wish you much success!

  3. Carolline

    haha oh my goodness I loved this post. I think most times I like animals more than people. I have three dogs, a cat and am currently watching my brothers snake Samantha while he prepares for his deployment!.

    Lets see from Samantha I have learned to strike quick when I see an opportunity.
    From my cat Easter I have learned that even if you are fiesty you are still loveable and being unique is much cooler than being normal and age only makes things better.
    From my dogs I have learned that only siblings can mess with siblings ~ anyone else is fair game for a beat down. Everything can be solved with kisses and cuddle time. If you scream loud enough people pay attention, and if you keep screaming they take a hint and do what you want them too (even if they are yelling at you to be quiet). Sometimes you just need to lay around in the sun and take a nap and watch the sky.

    A word of warning for this summer if you ask about my pets I have a billion pictures that I will whip out!

  4. Diane Sallans

    I should get a dog to take me for walks too – I’m not even a writer and probably spend too much time on the computer.
    That Librarian on the cover looks pretty good – not a bit like the librarians I’ve met.

  5. Pingback: Cute pet pix | Jessa Slade

  6. Laurie

    Don’t enter me for the book, I already have, thank you very much! Just wanted to say I had 2 cats and I guess the lesson from them is to just stop and take a nap whenever you feel like it! Ha, they know when to slow down and take a break, I need to remember that more often, life can be crazy at times. Hope you are having fun at RT!

  7. elaing8

    Enjoyed rading your post.I don’t have any pets so I don’t have any lessons learned to pass along.
    Your book does sound good though and I look forward to reading it.

  8. Stella (Ex Libris)

    Thank you for the lovely and fun post Jessa, I enjoyed it a lot, and what cute pictures 😀

    Some lessons I learned from my dog:

    – a hug makes everything better
    – the promise of chocolate is worth going up/down 2 stories (whenever we opened a chocolate on the ground floor kitchen she raced down from the 2nd floor at break-neck speed to be ready and begging when we got the wrapper off :-D)
    – meals should be enjoyed as they are highlights of the day 🙂

    Thank you for the chance and have a great weekend Jessa!

  9. librarypat

    Your picture of Monster Girl is so true. Ours had the same pose many times over. Labs are such wonderful dogs. Our lab mix was a pound puppy from a litter we fostered for the local shelter. We have a terrier from another litter we fostered. She is an absolute nutcase: pingy, yappy, and a sweetheart. We have had many pets over the years – snakes, lizards, dogs, cats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, rats, mice, gerbils, hamsters, guinea pigs, fish, frogs, and whatever. Our children are carrying on the tradition.
    Each one has its own personality and we respond accordingly. They teach us unconditional love and responsibility. They also teach us to let go and enjoy the moment. Chasing the ball may serve no real purpose, but it is fun and that is all that matters. We all need to do things for the fun of it and nothing more.

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  11. Limecello Post author

    Hi Jessa! Thank you so much for guesting with us! I absolutely loved this post! And I didn’t even add an intro/ending because I thought it was perfect as is. Anything I said would only have detracted from it.
    I would totally love to meet Monster Girl some time – what a puppy personality! (Oh, uh, and you too. 😉 heh. Actually, I missed you at the first RomCon – Sybil said she thought I’d like you. :D)
    I don’t know what lesson there would be from my dog. Maybe “I’m a princess – and I rule the universe.”

  12. Pingback: I Know. Winners. Finally. « Limecello

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