Susan Grant on Bad Boys and Pets in Space

pets-in-space-600x900Nine of today’s leading SFR authors combine their love of Science Fiction Romance and animals to show that sometimes even an alien needs a pet.

Pets in Space combines two of my big loves, science fiction and pets. I also love that a portion of proceeds are being donated to hero-dogs.org who raise and train service dogs for US veterans.

I am delighted that each author in Pets in Space has agreed to share with us an insight into their story in the anthology and a little bit about why they decided to write for the anthology. Today’s guest is Susan Grant:

Bad boys—they make great book boyfriends. What about bad girls? Do you imagine yourself as a rebel? Someone who doesn’t stay with the lines? What about when that bad girl is not a human but a doggy? I have a fun story to share with you.

About ten years ago, Erin, one of my readers, wrote to tell me that she planned to name a newborn Collie puppy “Banzai” after the heroine in my action romance The Legend of Banzai Maguire. It’s not every day that you name a puppy after a book character, but there was something that really struck her about the book and the whole 2176 series.

Erin is a military brat—her father was a Marine Corps “Gunny” (Gunnery Sergeant). Her brother was a captain in the Air Force (like I was). Erin wanted to join the military herself, but life intervened, as it has a way of doing. Her path led her to eventually showing and breeding champion collies, a labor of love.

So, Banzai was born, and from day one she was spirited and special.

Baby Banzai

Baby Banzai

From her first shows, Banzai won. And she kept on winning. She eventually won the Westminster Dog Show, which is like the Olympics of dog shows in the US. Every time Erin wrote me with the great news, I’d cheer. Banzai’s personality and heart were huge, larger than life, just like the character she was named after—the legendary Banzai Maguire. It felt surreal, watching her stratospheric trajectory.

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Top Dog!

But, there’s another side of Banzai the showgirl that I alluded to earlier. Erin nicknamed her Banzai-Bad-Dog-Girlfriend” for a reason. From puppyhood she was a naughty girl—a rebel. I think Banzai was destined for a dual-career track—one was dog shows and the other was hellraising. Along with eating the decorative candles on Erin’s hutch (along with any other candles she could find) over the years Banzai has consumed a collector’s edition of “Old Bones: The Wonder Horse”, several treasured novels and cookbooks (I guess this is what you call sinking your teeth into a good read!), and a $300 statue of a mustang. At the shows, Banzai jealously eyes other dogs in other crates, pining after what they are chewing on, eating, or playing with. And yet, she is one of the winningest Smooth Collies ever.

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How the judges see her

banzai-personality

How she really is

Some bad girl moments caught on film:

banzai-bad-dog-1

uh oh!

banzai-bad-girl-2

uh oh again!

Despite all that, Erin says, “I can’t begin to tell you how proud I am of her. There will NEVER be another like her.” No, there won’t be. BIS/BISS Gold Grand Champion Tir Na N’ Og The Legend Of Banzai Maguire, aka “Banzai”, aka “Banzai-Bad-Dog-Girlfriend” is one of a kind, just like her namesake, Captain Bree “Banzai” Maguire.

Banzai would probably approve of this scene in Stray from the anthology Pets in Space where the alien K-9 named Bang-Bang clearly has his own agenda. It is written from Lt Lukas Frank’s point of view:

Bang-Bang swung around to look up at me, making that grumbling noise he does that makes it sound like he’s trying to speak. Apparently telling him to “heel” wasn’t the reaction he wanted. He took my pants leg in his teeth and tugged. Come on, he seemed to say. I jerked on the lead to get him to cut it out, although I always feel a little guilty about applying Earth-based K-9 training techniques to a creature as bright as Bang-Bang. And still he pulled on the lead, clearly intent on dragging me through a throng of partiers toward the nearest drinking hole! Then my platoon sergeant, Staff Sergeant Vu, spoke up. “Those starpilots. Sweet.” He pointed across the street, and Bang-Bang wagged his tail hard, like he’d been waiting for one of us to figure it out.

Huge thanks for having me on your blog! I always enjoy chatting about pets and books, so this was a win/win.

To find out more about Susan Grant, please click here.

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