In 2009, I held a raffle to benefit Best Friends Animal Society, the largest sanctuary for homeless, abused, and abandoned animals. The prize was that the winner’s pet would become a character in one of my novels. The winner of the contest was a Labradoodle named Bocker.
The book I slated for Bocker was the third novel in my comic RED HOT chick-lit series, which is about the misadventures of a plucky rookie real estate agent named Molly O’Malley. The challenge was how to incorporate Bocker into my novel.
As it turns out, Bocker the Labradoodle is an actor who was in Steven Spielberg’s movie, War of the Worlds, and the Julia Roberts movie, Eat Pray Love. I must admit that I was rather taken by this aspect of Bocker’s celebrity, because if I weren’t a novelist, I would have been a movie star. (Well, that was the plan at one point in my life.) And I have been a devoted fan of Steven Spielberg ever since I learned he has Australian Shepherds. (The fact that he is an Oscar-winning director pales in comparison to the fact that he owns my favorite breed of dog. These are my priorities. What can I say?)
At the time that Bocker won, the only thing I knew about the planned third novel in the comic RED HOT series was that it was going to poke fun at all things supernatural. My vampire-themed young adult novel series, GLORY, was about to be launched, and I had spent so much time trying to save the world in the company of vampires, witches, and angels that I needed to lighten things up a bit. I came up with the title RED HOT VAMPYRE and waited for further inspiration.
Bocker the Labradoodle came to my rescue.
It occurred to me that—rather than have Bocker play a fictional character in the novel—I would have him play himself as an actor in a Steven Spielberg movie. A spooky, remote mansion that real estate agent Molly O’Malley has listed for sale is the location Spielberg chooses to shoot his new movie, RED HOT VAMPYRE. During filming, Bocker is kidnapped by “real vampires” who hold him for ransom until Spielberg agrees to use “real vampire actors” to play the “vampire characters.” (Are you following me here?) So, the novel RED HOT VAMPYRE will be real life imitating art imitating life imitating art. (Or something like that.)
Am I clever, or what?
In closing, I would like to post an open letter to Steven Spielberg:
Dear Mr. Spielberg,
My novel RED HOT VAMPYRE would make a great movie. I would be willing to write the screenplay. I could even star in it as Molly O’Malley…we look alike. (Well, except I’m a lot older, but being the brilliant director that you are, I’m sure you can figure out a way to compensate for that.) And I know Bocker would be willing to play himself. There’s also the role of Molly’s Australian Shepherd that one of your own Aussies could fill. (A little nepotism never hurts.) Please, Mr. Spielberg, consider the possibilities!