We had such a good time with New York Times bestselling author Kresley Cole on Wednesday for her live chat (see transcript here) that we didn’t want to let her go! She’s graced us with one more story, about a surprising instance of fiction inspiring real life…


Truly, a Royal Hound
Truly, a Royal Hound

Real life inspires my books, but sometimes the books inspire real life.

Take the example of our newest edition to the pack.

My hubby Swede and I found this guy limping back and forth across a highway, sending cars veering off the road. So we picked him up, hesitantly, because he was  scary looking, with crusty red eyes and ropes of drool that made him look like a catfish. We high-tailed it to the vet to get him patched up while we searched for his owners.

Swede and I are suckers for strays—it’s so bad that I sometimes think strays talk about us out on the street—but surely this dog had a home somewhere (canvassed for weeks, no takers), and surely we couldn’t take in a strange beast that had Cujo eyes and incomprehensible jaw strength.

I started calling him Grendel, because he reminded me of this.

We’re big fans of waggy dogs, the kind whose eyes constantly say, “Love me, love me, PLEASE.”

Grendel’s red eyes constantly said, “I’m not sold on this. Why don’t you try harder, punks?”

He could hop our fence in a single bound and even climb trees. Then he would look down at us like we were his puny subjects, cackling at our attempts to get him down. He was instigating riots with our other animals, who all adored him and followed his bad-boy lead (especially Boomer, that instantly smitten hussy). He was growing at an astronomical rate. We’d thought he was full grown at 50lbs; 50 more pounds later, the joke’s on us!

But as the weeks went by, we realized that Grendel was . . . [gulp] ours. And out on the street, the strays sang, “Suckers!”

One day Grendel ran into our room and jumped up on the bed, settling there with delight. He crossed his forepaws over the edge, and it struck me who this dog reminded me of.

Bo Jr., Lothaire and Ellie’s dog.

The Royal Hound of the Dacian Court was just there, embodied. When I tilted my head at him, he tilted his head at me, his tail going thump thump thump against the comforter.

It was like love at 1000th sight. I was a goner.

I saw everything he did in a new light. He wasn’t bad, he was just “ornery.” Of course he could climb trees, because he’s unique, fit for a king (and just as red-eyed as Lothaire). We believe he was born in January 2012, maybe right when that book was released? Coincidence?

I can’t say Grendel is my favorite of all the animals in Casa Cole’s sleep pile. That’s a lie–I can, and I will. I am utterly enamored with that big lug. [Oh, come on, Swede, I know you secretly call Boomer Daddy’s Little Princess.]

Grendel has no idea that the reason he’s sleeping on our bed this very minute is because he reminds me of an imaginary dog I once wrote about.