Thursday, April 7, 2016

The Tale Of Three Roscos

The 1st Rosco--a beagle?  Really?
I'm often asked if my novels are autobiographical.  I've loosely based a few characters on people I know (either they way they look or aspects of their personalities).  I even use the first or last name of somebody I know in a character's name (or the name of a street in one case).  The main character, Levi Garvey, likes some of the same things I do--80's music, old movies, Panama hats, pie, etc.  Other than that, Levi is fiction.  I had stories to tell, and didn't want to spend a lot of time researching details so I worked in a few interests of my own.

But when it comes to Levi's German shepherd Rosco, it's a different story.  The Roscos are real.  So here's the story.

I've always been a dog person--my wife Valerie, too.  When my wife and I first met, we rented.  I was really looking forward to getting into a house, and getting back to being a dog owner.  I even told my daughter Jaclyn that one day we'd buy or build a house, and then we'd get a dog we would name Rosco. 

A few years went by, and we finally built that house--by then Jaclyn was a teenager.  Before I had the chance, Jaclyn went out and got a Beagle.  You'll never guess what she named him.  Rosco!  She stole my dog name!  So my daughter actually owns a dog name Rosco and I never have . . .
"Rosco the Lethargic" from the novel One Last Shot aka Roxanne
We later got a female German shepherd that we named Roxanne.  That was twelve years ago and she's been the best dog I've ever had.  By the time I got writing the novels, Roxanne was getting a little long in the tooth, but I used her as the model for Rosco.  That's why Rosco in the first book was kind of lazy and nicknamed "Rosco the Lethargic."  Rosco was lethargic because Roxanne was lethargic (and still is).

Roxanne has been such a good dog, we realized as she grew older, we should probably get another dog so when the inevitable happened, our youngest daughter Katie might adjust better.  I worked that into the second book--without spoiling anything lets just say there was a new Rosco puppy in my book.  There is also a new German shepherd puppy in the Creason household--we named her Gracie.
"Rosco the Explorer" aka Gracie (she's about a year and a half old now and 85 pounds)
In the new book, Rosco the Explorer will be more Gracie than Roxanne.  Roxanne is still around--moving slower than ever at the age of 12.  If you were paying attention, Roxanne actually had a cameo in the second novel A Shot After Midnight.  Levi stops to pet Mrs. B's German Shepherd, Roxanne!  I told Roxanne about it, but she was asleep at the time.

The real Rosco is still around, too.  Jaclyn spells Rosco incorrectly with an e (Roscoe).  I won't even get into the number of arguments we've had about that--you'd think the daughter of a writer would know how to spell.  Roscoe is an old beagle now, too--just a little younger than Roxanne.

And Gracie?  Remember how I said Roxanne was such a good dog.  Lets just say I'm not prepared to say that about Gracie yet--perhaps when she stops chewing up my socks and drinking out of the toilet.  If you'd like to know a lot more about that crazy pup, you'll just have to read my next novel A Beer and a Shot due out in late 2016 or early 2017.  She plays a pretty critical role in that one.

So it is true--sometimes art does imitate life. 

~Todd E. Creason

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