Friday, November 20, 2009

Gerry Bartlett & Jet

Who is in the photo at right?

I'm Gerry Bartlett, author of the Glory St. Clair, Real Vampires series for Berkley Publishing. I'm working on book 6 of the series now. Book 5, Real Vampires Hate Their Thighs, comes out this February. Book 3, Real Vampires Get Lucky, is a November release in mass market form. I enjoy writing paranormal comedy and have given Glory a canine bodyguard/shapeshifter named Valdez. This was inspired by my love of dogs and I always have at least one. Pictured with me is Jet, my rescue Whippet. He's a neutered male, age 6, who is a sweetheart.

What's the occasion for Coffee with a Canine?

Jet enjoys waking me up every morning and watching me get the newspaper then settling down with that and my Diet Dr. Pepper.

What's brewing?

I've never been a coffee drinker for some reason. It's strictly diet soda for me.

Any goodies to go with the beverage?

I usually have a fruit and nut granola bar.

Any treat for Jet on this occasion?

Jet likes Liv-a-Snaps treats.

How did your dog come to be united with you?

Jet's former owner had rescued him but then got cancer and could no longer keep him. We were happy to get him through Whippet Rescue.

How did he get his name?

He is a wonderfully fast runner, like a jet airplane.

Does he have any influence on your writing?

I've always been an animal lover and any person who would hurt a defenseless animal is a villain in my book. I use that when I write. Also, our pets are a great comfort and will defend us. I incorporate those qualities when I write my stories and usually include an animal.

Is Jet is the inspiration for Glory St. Clair's dog, Valdez?

Valdez is actually named after my brother's late Labradoodle. He was a wonderful dog, very intelligent and loyal. Valdez in my books is a shapeshifter who is usually in dog form and who would die rather than see Glory hurt. I think dogs have that same kind of loyalty and protectiveness.

What's an ordinary day like for Jet?

Jet is my alarm clock, getting me up to let him out then starting his day in the back yard before settling on the den couch. If I'm writing, he's on his dog bed near me in my office. Of course any time I'm in the kitchen, he's got to investigate the "action."

Do you and Jet have a favorite place to go for walk?

He plays in our backyard and walks are around the block in our neighborhood.

Stick, tennis ball, frisbee...?

He has a "baby," a stuffed animal that squeaks and likes to chase it or carry it around in his mouth. It's also his signal when he wants to go out. He doesn't bark unless there's big trouble.

Squirrel, cat, postman...?

No squirrels or cats are welcome in our backyard. We have a big oak tree and he makes sure intruders are chased away from the area.

What's Jet's best quality?

Jet is very attached to me and excited to greet me when I come home. It's a great feeling to be welcomed that way.

What's his proudest moment so far? His most embarrassing?

Jet is wonderful at lure coursing, chasing the fake bunny (a plastic bag) around the course. Too bad for him that since my husband passed away I won't drive the fifty miles (100 round trip) it takes to do this Little League for dogs.

His most embarrassing thing is that my husband was really into flyball with our late dog, Belle, who is featured with me on the inside back cover of some of my books before she died from cancer. She was the only Bedlington Terrier in the U.S. to ever achieve Champion Flyball status. John got Jet planning to train him to do flyball since Belle was almost blind and very old. Unfortunately, Jet didn't have any interest in a ball. He still won't chase a ball or even pick one up. They practiced for hours but Jet never got the hang of flyball, though he was certainly fast enough to have been an asset for our team.

Any last thoughts?

I am dedicating my next book to my stepdaughter Kathy Bartlett who spends every weekend at our local pound trying to save homeless animals from being euthanized. She also takes in sick animals and nurses them back to health so they can be adopted. She's an angel and there are so many selfless people like her all over the world who work without publicity to save neglected and abused animals. I wish more people would make sure, like Bob Barker always said on The Price Is Right, that their pets were spayed and neutered. There's no greater comfort than a sweet dog by your side. I've never understood how people could just dump a puppy out on the side of the road. One of my vampires would rip out the throat of a demon like that. Oops, better get off this soap box. Thanks for letting me spout off.

Learn more about Gerry Bartlett and her writing at, her MySpace page, and the Glory St. Clair Fansite.

--Marshal Zeringue