My Dearest Fellow Conspirators,

In case you didn’t know it, I have the best dog in the world!

I’m not sure if I’m the best person, but I’m a work in progress, and my dog seems to realize that and gives me room to pursue my never-ending efforts at self-improvement.

As a writer, I spend most of my days housebound. My dog makes sure I get outside and take in some sunshine and fresh air from time to time.

Rain, sleet, snow, or muddy swamp-fest, we go for two hour-long walks and one shorter walk every day. It’s good exercise for both of us, and, for me, other than being in the tub, it’s the next best time for inspiration to strike.

Here are just some of the reasons I love my dog and why I couldn’t be a writer without him:

He kindly interrupts my writing to bark—with slobbering, foam-mouthed ferocity—at the letter carriers and assorted delivery people to let me know someone is about to walk up the driveway and interrupt my writing.

He is very good at looking over my shoulder at my laptop and nodding his head, impressed with my creative prose, and then bolting off and scratching at the back door to let me know that his right to pee supersedes my right to finish the chapter I’m working on. 

Just like me, he has hobbies. One of his favorites is falling into a deep, snoring sleep with his head on my keyboard, so you now know why you might read a passage that goes something like, “Then Brohn turned to me, romance in his eyes, and said, ‘jkjkmgfkphdmgkojjkpjmpdph.’”

Another favorite hobby of his is plopping his heavy head down on my arm, his slobbery lips draped gracefully over the edge of my laptop while I’m trying to write. Fortunately, his ears double as sponges and wind up absorbing quite a bit, although not nearly enough of his drool.

When he’s especially flatulent, he’s good at forcing me out of the house and onto the back deck with my laptop where I can write in peace in the frigid morning air next to the garbage cans and the steaming organic recycling bins.

Like many dogs, he is an instinctive critter. One of his more powerful instincts is the uncanny ability to know when I’m really immersed in the “writing zone”—especially now that I’m working on finishing Seeker’s Quest from the Seekers Series and Travelers from the upcoming Transcendent Trilogy—that’s when he helpfully grabs one of his toys of rope or hard rubber and helpfully rams it over and over into my leg to helpfully let me know that it’s play time.

Ever since I published Recruitment a while back, I’ve been fond of writing for a few hours every day in bed, which is fun because my dog loves to curl up against me, slowly nudging me over more and more until I finally plummet down in a blanket-tangled heap to join my laptop and my mug of coffee on the bedroom floor.

Although he’s since grown out of it, when he was a puppy, he used to demonstrate his affection for me by nipping at my hands with his playful puppy fangs, which is why I spent several months writing with band-aids on my fingers and blood spatters gracing the screen and keyboard of my laptop.

He’s a sometimes spazzy, super friendly, occasionally oblivious, always hungry, always playful, stunningly gorgeous red-headed (and red and blond-bodied) golden-retriever. He’s a major goof and a bit of a wimp, but, when the chips are down, he’d stand between me and any danger—from the most chittering squirrel to his deadly nemesis, the dreaded butterfly—and protect my life with his own.

Simply put, my dog is the best, and I don’t know how I ever lived or wrote without him!

He’s a golden retriever, and his name is Cardyn.

Thank you for reading!

Conspiratorially yours,

— KAR