Before beginning my career as an author, I studied animal behavior, a subsection of psychology, in college. When I was a youngster, I was obsessed with Dr. Dolittle. I remember watching the Rex Harrison movie version over and over again. A man who could actually converse with animals was my dream.
Growing up, I purchased every book I could find on how to “speak” animal whether it was a cat’s body language or a chicken’s vocalizations. I loved watching the Nature and Nova series on PBS, especially when they referred to animal communication. I even became a licensed wildlife rehabilitator when I lived in Georgia.
I was a junior in high school before I finally discovered the field of animal behavior. Visual and vocal signs of animals are studied and interpreted in order to better understand how animals think and interact with their world. In addition, animal behaviorists help with various psychological problems. I was amazed! How can a person lessen separation anxiety in a dog? What about thunder phobia?
After college, I was able to put some of those studies to use as an apprentice dog trainer for a local organization. Once again, I learned how to “understand dog”. When an owner/trainer/handler can figure out how to best communicate what they want with the canine, both dog and person are happier for it. Next, I apprenticed at a zoo for a summer, this time working with a variety of non-canine animals.
Finally, I was ready to take the giant leap and become a self-sufficient artist and author. My first book series, the Incarn Saga, and particularly the Theriomorph race, have been inspired by years of working with and studying animals and their behavior. Animal communication continues to fascinate me, and I am fortunate to be able to express some of that love in my writing.