In addition to writing mystery novels I write children’s books. Adventure novels for 9 to 12 year olds, set in British Columbia’s southern Gulf Islands. I love, love, love this scene with two of my favorite characters from those books; Larry and Graham, two hapless seagulls with large personalities and small brains. Scenes like this are so difficult to cut out of a book, but this one had to be removed from Sugar and Clive and the Movie Star for structural reasons. Fortunately there’s no reason I can’t share it here with you.
As a bit of background, for those not familiar, here is the cast of characters for this scene:
Sugar: a medium sized dog with a large-sized heart and our heroine;
Clive: Sugar’s best friend, a barn swallow who is as dignified as he is kind;
Willa: a dog who normally acts in films;
Liz and Kayla: Willa’s humans;
Marion: Sugar’s human;
Larry: an enormous and smelly seagull with a hero complex;
Graham: Larry’s slightly smaller, and slightly less bright, seagull cousin.
The next morning, Sugar did one of her very favorite things; she formed a plan. She thought that if she and Willa could find another animal who had worked in the movies, that creature might be able to tell her about other jobs that were available in the industry. In the early morning, Liz and Kayla dropped Willa off at Marion’s again. Willa didn’t have any scenes on the call sheet that day, and her humans rightly imagined that the dog would have more fun with Sugar than hanging around inside a trailer all day.
The idea Sugar had about talking to someone who had worked in films was a bit of a stab in the dark, but the problem was that every other job Sugar and Clive had suggested to Willa the day before hadn’t appealed to her. She was animal who needed an occupation; that much had been made very clear. So if the movies were what she was familiar with, and if she liked the people and the atmosphere on a movie set, then that was the industry they needed to find out more about.