Kelly Cochran is a long time dog lover, with twelve four-legged family members having brightened her home at some point throughout the years. As the author of Buying Time, the first in her humorous mystery series, Kelly embraces her K9 characters--the good, the bad, and the smelly. Learn more about Kelly at her website, her series website, and her blog.
The Dogs under My Desk: A Tidbit of Karma
My commute to work involves walking down my stairs to my basement office. I do not spend my days alone. My co-workers keep me company as they busily nod off in their beds beneath my desk. I am lucky to have such interesting co-workers who constantly amaze and amuse me. They are my dogs and the best co-workers a writer could have (cat lovers don’t despair; cats make wonderful co-workers too!).
I have three co-workers, but today, I’m writing about only one-- Tidbit. She is a Bichon Frise, a breed recognized by the American Kennel Club since 1972. Tidbit is white and fluffy on her good days, but she’ll never win ‘best in show’ at The Westminster Kennel Club or any other for that matter. She bounces without warning, her nose is pink, and she has no pedigree papers because she came to us a lost soul.
In my first humorous mystery, Buying Time: An Aspen Moore Novel, I gave my protagonist’s client, Mr. Quetzalcoatl, a Bichon Frise named Mr. Personality. At the time, our home was blessed with four dogs, not one a Bichon Frise, and I had no idea how ‘Karmic’ writing the story would be.
Two years before publishing Buying Time, and within weeks of one another, our Rottweiler/Australian mix, Bear, lost his leg to Osteosarcoma and our Lemon Beagle, Wendy, lost her life to lung cancer. Needless to say, it was a devastating summer. Fast forward to Thanksgiving of that year: our neighbors found a Bichon Frise wandering the streets. They could not care for her and so they asked my husband if we could take her. We tried to find her parents and when that failed, I let that little dirty, matted Bichon Frise climb up onto the lap of my heart. She became our tidbit of joy.
Although Tidbit is not the K9 model on the cover of Buying Time, she still played an important role. As my co-worker, she helped me revise my manuscript before publication, allowing me to flesh out Mr. Personality and to confirm my description of him as being “...built like a fluffy white slipper you longed to spend a rainy day in.” Tidbit’s contribution to my next book, Borrowed Time, was important and her assistance in researching the opening scene, which takes place at St. Louis’s annual Beggin’ Pet Parade, priceless.
Be it karma, serendipity, or synchronicity, Tidbit found her way into my life that day and it was a blessing. I am so excited she is a part of our family, but even more excited that I didn't choose to give Mr. Quetzalcoatl a pet python.
Kelly’s other co-workers, Skipper and Boomer, will be highlighted at a later date on her blog.
Buying Time: An Aspen Moore Novel
Aspen Moore has a new life in a new city, complete with a new career. As a personal concierge, she sells her time to those who don’t have enough. One of the perks of her business is focusing on other people’s lives so she doesn’t have to face the demons in her own.
When Aspen’s most loyal customer dies and his suicide looks eerily like murder, she anonymously tips off the police so she won’t expose a secret she desperately needs to keep. But, murder and mayhem are a bothersome duo and she soon finds herself caught in a web of chaos.
A string of crimes, long enough to make a real detective sweat, threaten her livelihood and ultimately her life. Aspen’s only hope is to untangle the mess before they cause permanent damage. Pursuing the truth means solving the mystery of a decade-old land deal, while juggling a quirky DJ and his dog, an eccentric paraplegic, a curious set of twins, and a flirtatious neighbor with spy gadgets.