Need Inspiration? Walk With Your Dog

    The question most asked of any author is probably, where do you get your ideas? It’s a hard question to answer thoroughly, because by the time a thought has been pondered, massaged and conceived into an idea by a writer it has gone through a process so complex as to scare Sigmund Freud. However, we can often trace the idea back to a point of inspiration, and that is the way we usually answer the question, by relating what inspired the idea.

    A writer is always searching for sources of inspiration, and one of the best for me has been to walk with a dog. Now, I’m not talking about dragging your pet around on a leash once a day so they can poop, although that can be rewarding in itself. No, I’m talking about taking a walk with your dog, where the path is a mutually agreed upon decision between two friends.
    If you let a dog lead the way, he will take you on the road less traveled. Years ago I had the great fortune to have been a central figure in the life of a wonderful basset hound named Beauregard. Over the course of a dozen years, Beau and I hiked over a thousand miles together around the Carolinas and Georgia, often with him leading the way and sometimes blazing a trail of his own for us both. It was he who led us down a side path off a trail near the Blue Ridge Parkway that afforded this view and inspired in me thoughts that a dragon might dwell amongst these rocks and fly over such terrain.
   Years later, when I needed artwork for The Dragon of Doughton Park, I was hooked up with the artist, Ray DeLotell. Ray dove into the project with great enthusiasm, and it wasn’t long before he was sending me photos of natural settings and sketches. He was inspired, and the ideas were flowing. I asked myself, wow, where is all this coming from?
    Then one day I visited Ray at his apartment and I met his friend Booth, a large, friendly black lab hybrid. Booth’s enthusiasm for life and the outdoors is infectious, and he regularly takes Ray for romps along the local greenway. Suddenly, I understood very well what was going on. See if you can find the various elements in the photos taken on their walks that found their way into the final cover art.
   Booth might be one of the wolves.   
 And that tree...
  Those limbs stretching across...
... all combined:

   Cool, huh? Ray’s done the cover for both my books, which you can purchase by clicking on any of the links below. (The ebooks are only $2.99!) He’s also volunteered to do the cover for Red Wolf Rising, which is due out at the end of this year. You can see more of what springs from the mind of Ray Delotell (and Booth) at
    Until next time...  Happy Reading!
The Draculata Nest -----------------------------------------------------------------------
Click on the link to order:
ebook for Kindle    ebook for Nook    ebook for Kobo    in Paperback
in Charlotte    Smashwords

The Dragon of Doughton Park ----------------------------------------------------------
Click on the link to order:
ebook for Kindle    ebook for Nook    ebook for Kobo    in Paperback
in Charlotte    Smashwords


  1. It's true inspiration is everywhere. You just have to recognise it when you see it.
    BTW, you may have inadvertently let your dog become the Alpha. LOL!

    1. Oh, Beau was unquestionably the alpha. He took over the couch, the bed, the prime spot in the tent, my life. :)


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