Tuesday, August 27, 2013
Writers are always researching and learning, and sometimes we discover some really weird stuff.
For example, when I started writing Very Bad Things, I did some reading up on intelligence in animals. Which may seem strange for a NA romance writer, but my heroine Nora Blakely is kinda quirky, and one of her idiosyncrasies is assigning an animal to the people she meets. For example, she calls her timid best friend a bunny; she names the evil bitch at school a viper; she calls her best guy friend a lion. She pretty much has this whole people-animal menagerie in her head.
Needless to say, she's a bit different.
Here's the surprising part: Nora compares Leo (the love interest) to a rat because he's a caretaker. What? Did I just say that right? Yes, forget all about the sharp teeth and humped-up back, my friends, because rats are cute and cuddly; rats are sweet; rats are loving; rats are your best friend...not your dog. You see, even though the movies and books often portray rats as greedy and villainous, researchers have proven that rats are very intelligent, socially benevolent creatures. In fact, there was one study where the scientist presented a lab rat with either eating chocolate chips or rescuing another rat from his cage. The rat first freed the friend-rat from his cage and then they ate the chocolate chips together. I don't think I'd do that. Not if chocolate is involved.
To take this a step further, Dr. Jaak Panksepp, a professor of comparative anatomy at Washington State, made this video of rats GIGGLING while he tickled and played with them. Yes, I typed that right. I watched this thing several times. Almost made me want a pet rat. Almost. That Bubonic Plague event is still in the back of my mind, though.
Video of freaky rats giggling
So the next time, you come across a rat, just reach down and give them a little tickle. Yeah, video that and send it to me. I'd like to see what happens. I may even write a story about it.
On a side note, Very Bad Things releases September 10. It's a dark, sexy read, and there were no rats harmed (or tickled) in the writing of this book.
Also, my cover and new trailer made USA Today! That's kinda a big deal, peeps. Check it out.
Okay, I couldn't leave you with that insane, scary pic of the rat up there, so here's a sweet one to send out into the world. Rats rock.