Pens, Paws, and Claws would like to welcome Roland Clarke to the blog!
Tell us about yourself and what you write.
I am a former equestrian journalist and photographer who had to retire when diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. I write mysteries, although I have written drafts of SF/fantasy stories. My debut novel was Spiral of Hooves, a mystery surrounding the death of a horse rider, set mainly in England and France. The sequel will be set in Idaho, USA, where we live.
My current WIP is Fates Maelstrom, the first book in a series about a female Goth detective in North Wales, who is attached to a burglary where the suspect is from a local Romani site.
How do your pets impact your writing?
We have two ‘designer’ dogs: a Cavachon– Cavalier x Bichon – called Quetzal; and a Chorkie– Chihuahua x Yorkie – called Treeky. Both bring me inspiration and give me a reason to keep living, especially Quetzal. Last year, when I was rushed to hospital, my wife was my first waking mainstay, but somehow, Quetzal was the one that came to me when I was about to give up in my sleep.
Also, Quetzal lies on my lap, in my wheelchair, at least once a day, encouraging me to rest or at least chill and not stress.
However, there are moments when the dogs want all my attention when I am trying to write. Sometimes, I interrupt myself and switch my focus – losing the plot. Other times, the distraction becomes a chance to relax before I get stressed out.
Do you include animals in your stories?
Animals have a habit of finding roles. My debut novel, Spiral of Hooveshad two horses as principal characters – not surprising for a mystery set in the sport horse world. However, a Flat-coated Retrieveralso plays a valuable role – a breed that I dreamt of owning – as does a Czechoslovakian Wolfdog.
Horses find their way into most of my stories. Fates Maelstromhas a Gypsy Vannerin a few scenes – a breed that has turned up in at least one short story. Dogs and cats are less common, but wild animals feature – wolves and eagles, although they tend to be animal totems.
The protagonist in my North Wales series, Sparkle Anwyl is adopted by a jackdaw that will feature in the series.
What is your funniest pet story?
This is my wife Juanita’s story and true. When she was thirteen, Juanita wanted to prove that a horse could fit inside the house. So, she led a big 16 hands horse inside through the kitchen, into the front room and then her mum’s bedroom. The horse behaved impeccably – no contributions for the rose-bed – and went out the same way.
Pretty neat. But her mum and dad didn’t understand and were not amused.
So, that’s me and the animals. Now to find time to watch Marley & Me– and go into an online game to tame a few wolves.
Let’s Be Social:
Please visit me on my website and blog: https://rolandclarke.com for more information about me and my work
On facebook at firstname.lastname@example.org