The Labradors are an essential part of the success of Writing with Labradors and I thought they deserved a section of their very own.
When my first book was published, I set up this website. It was very much a learning curve as I’d never done anything of the kind before. Richard, my brilliant husband, who is a software designer, was able to work out the technical aspects for me, but it was up to me to learn how to set up the pages, write the blog and publish it to the world. In the first few weeks, I had no idea what I wanted to put on the website, and when Richard asked me for a working title, I came up with Writing with Labradors because that’s exactly what I was doing. My two elderly labradors, Toby and Joey, had taken to snoozing in my study while I was working, and I found it very soothing writing and researching to the sound of their snores.
I think I had some idea that I would change the title of the website once I came up with something clever and related to writing historical novels, but nothing came to me. In the meantime, since I hadn’t published before and didn’t have much to write about, I posted photographs of my dogs, not just on the website but also on my brand new author facebook page and on Twitter.
I was a bit nonplussed when almost all of my early responses from people had nothing to do with my books or my research and the historical posts I was writing. People loved the photos of my dogs, and asked questions about them, sent pictures of their own pets and exchanged anecdotes. However, I am always happy to talk about my dogs and it introduced me to some lovely people on social media. I discovered, over the months, that people who love dogs often love history and books as well.
These days it would not occur to me to change the title of my website or my blog. Blogging with Labradors is what I do. A lot has happened over the past few years. People have read my blog posts and now I get messages about my books as well as my dogs. Last year we had a new arrival in the shape of gorgeous Oscar and tragically only three months after he arrived, we lost my old Toby, who died peacefully in his sleep with no previous sign of illness at all.
Oscar has fitted into life at Writing with Labradors like a veteran, although my working day is punctuated now with the need to get up and race around the garden playing football or fetch rather more often. I miss Toby every day, and the outpouring of sympathy and understanding from people all over the world when he died was an enormous comfort as well as a surprise. Although he is no longer snoring behind my chair, he is still with me in spirit and still an essential part of this website.
I hope you all enjoy meeting Toby, Joey and Oscar at Writing with Labradors as much as I enjoy posting about them.