Big thank you to Lex for having me on her blog. My name’s Emma Jane and I’m the author of ‘Shuttered.’
When wildlife and landscape photographer Daniel Hopson gets a reading
from clairvoyant Rowan Foster at a local craft fair, he quickly realizes
it’s a con. But he sees the charm behind the chancer’s façade, and so
rather than expose him, he starts to date him—only to discover that some
of Rowan’s other cons are far more serious.
The so-called psychic owes ten thousand pounds to two men after deceitfully claiming
to be able to find the body of their murdered mother. Daniel must help
Rowan recover the genuine gift he possessed in childhood and contact the
spirits before the men catch up to them—and the key to doing so might
be Daniel’s telepathic connection with his dog Sasha.
As you can tell from the blurb, a huge part of the novel is the dog, Sasha. I adore dogs and have my own five year old Jack Russell/Poodle cross called Beau. Before him I had a rescue girl called Snoopy, who was a Jack Russell crossed with, I think, some sort of spaniel. I would rescue so many dogs if I could!
Snoopy was about a year old when I got her and I was quite young at the time so I don’t remember the story behind her being in a rescue centre but she was a great dog. The dog I have now, Beau, I’ve had since he was eight weeks old, so I’ve had the joy of the manic puppy stage. Initially I wanted a nice chilled out breed of dog, like a greyhound, but when I went to see Beau’s litter (always fatal!) I just couldn’t say no to that cute little ball of fluff.
Beau is my constant companion, even as I write this he’s curled up on the sofa next to me. I’ve been reading lots about MRI scans on dogs lately, where science tries to prove what we dog owners all know – that dogs love us back. Research showed that dogs reacted more strongly and positively when given reward cues from their humans, rather than from a stranger or a machine. Their brains lit up!
I watched a TV show called The Secret Life of Dogs where the narrator told us that the bond between a dog and its owner is the same as that of a mother and child – lots of oxytocin, the love hormone, flying around.
This was shown on UK TV but you might be able to find it on the internet somewhere. It’s definitely worth a watch.
All dog owners speak to their pets and know that our dogs understand us. For Shuttered I just wanted to give the dog a voice, and so when Daniel speaks to Sasha, she speaks back. I’ve had lots of positive comments about Sasha, which has been lovely. I often wonder what Beau would sound like if he could speak. Logically I guess he would have the same accent as me, and for those of you who wonder what accent I have, just imagine a female Samwise Gamgee.
Emma Jane was born in Somerset, England, in the 80s. She grew up in a
little village and then moved to a town where she still lives, but from
which she soon hopes to escape. She has been writing stories since
primary school, some of which still survive in notebooks in her dad’s
attic, and wanted to be an author as soon as she realised it was a
possible career choice and “Pony” or “Ninja” weren’t viable options.