One of the characters in my first novel Star of Justice is a dog named Jasper. He’s wiry with liquid brown eyes and big ears and a white-tipped tail. He bears a remarkable resemblance to this handsome fellow, mostly because he’s based on a real dog named Jasper. My dog.
Jasper is a minor character in the book, although he shadows one of the major characters and lends a helping paw more than once. I don’t know if he’s a crowd favorite, but it felt natural writing him into the storyline.
My Jasper took The Long Step several years ago, after I finished writing Star of Justice. I’ve missed him, some days more than others. I’ve missed him a lot lately.
My current WIP is based in the same world as Star of Justice. Many of the same characters show up, including Raven and her dog. The problem is I don’t see fictional Jasper as clearly as I once did. I want him in the story but he keeps detouring to tend to mules and track missing children and basically hang in the shadows while everyone else hogs the spotlight.
He never used to be so shy.
I’ve come to that point in the author’s journey when a good author photo is essential. I mean to make the appointment but I find reasons to avoid dialing the number. You see, Jasper was supposed to be in that photo with me. I don’t want to be in it without him.
I promised him a trip to Idaho. He didn’t care about Idaho, but I wanted to see it, and I thought he’d enjoy it. We never took that trip. I’m sure he didn’t hold it against me, but I sit at my keyboard and wonder what it would have been like, just the two of us roaming through landscape much like I imagine the fictional Jasper and his mistress roam in their world.
I miss my friend. I miss him most when I’m writing about his alter ego, so much like my Itty Bit in so many ways, except one. OK, two.
Be careful, dear writer friends, who you put in your books. They may return to haunt you.