Pens, Paws, and Claws would like to welcome author, KB Inglee and her menagerie to the blog.
Tell our readers a little about yourself and your writing.
My name is KB Inglee. My parents started calling me KB as an infant to differentiate me from all the other Katharines in our family. When I attended my first writing conference in the 1990s, I was surprised how many other women were using their initials instead of their full name.
I write historical mystery short
stories, and work as an interpreter at a local living history museum. The
picture I have included shows me in 18h century farm wife attire trying to keep
a sheep from running out the open gate behind me. I am not reaching down to pat her.
I write three protagonists, Emily Lawrence, lady detective in the late 1800s, Faith Ivey in early colonial New England, and Iccarus Norton, in the early republic. Only Iccarus has an animal, his horse, Medusa. I think I came up with the pair because I had no animal in my other work.
Emily has her own book, The Case Book of Emily Lawrence. The others appear in short story anthologies.
Tell us about your pets. Are any of them models for pets in your
We have five turtles, two budgies (Blueberry and Pi), four cats, and one dog. None appear in my writing. Though after much urging by my dog Wendy, I have started a series of short stories about a service dog.
What are you reading now?
Aria to Death by Nupur Tustin. I love fiction about real
people, and this is a well researched series. No pets. No farm animals. I
think she mentions a cart horse now and then.
How do you use animals in your writing? Are they a character in their own right or just mentioned in passing?
When I realized I had no animals,I did two things. I went back and gave Emily a kitchen cat and I named one of the carriage horses Benjamin. Last Christmas, for my holiday story, I started a series about a service dog and the college professor who relies on him to get around. It is fun to write. Anonymous Dog has yet to find his way into print.
Do you have any working or service animals in your stories? Tell us about them.
I’ve started a series of short stories about a Portuguese Water Dog/Irish Wolfhound that is a support dog for a college professor with a degenerative bone disease. The human is based on my daughter who is just beginning her search for the right dog. The story is from the point of view of the dog, so I don’t have to be specific about the ailment, or much of anything else. How much do dogs actually know? Like all dogs he is red green color blind but he has great senses of smell and hearing.
What’s your favorite book or movie that had an animal as a central character? Why?
I love the Will James books about life in the west. They are illustrated by the author with action packed line drawings. They are about horses but when I read them I felt like I was reading an adult book.
When did you know you were a writer? And how did you know?
I think it was fourth grade. I wrote a story about a girl and her horse. When my daughter was young, I wrote a series of kids’ stories that she could have read to her when I was away. I didn’t start writing adult stuff until I was in my 50s and ready to retire from my day job as a psych social worker.
What do your pets do when you are writing?
Wendy (the dog) finds writing boring, so she sleeps through it. The birds yell. Do you think they are sending me plots? The cats are in the other room, and the turtles don’t care about anything except food.
What’s in your “To Be Read” (TBR) pile right now? And how many TBR piles do you have?
My bedroom floor is my TBR. It divides into fiction and non-fiction. I read probably one non-fiction for each two fiction. Lots of the nonfiction is research either for my writing or my job. I just finished a book on the difference between how native people and European settlers behaved toward animals. Fiction pile consists mostly of mysteries.
What’s the most unusual pet you’ve ever had?
We had an iguana that came from an iguana rescue. Something was wrong with how her front legs worked, but she got around well anyway. Oh, yes and a rooster who lived in my dining room. The museum got a shipment of chicks to work in the garden, lay eggs for us and on occasion, provide a meal. We chose dominiques since they would have been common in the 1750s. One bonus chick was included, a Hamburg rooster. The Dominique hens beat the s**t out of him, so I took him home to heal, but I was never able to introduce him back into the flock.
What advice would you give to someone who wants to be a writer?
Start early and persist until you learn the craft. Find a community to support and teach you.’
Visit KB at her website.