Spoke with my Mom today. Her copy of the book still hasn’t shown up, but she read my aunt’s copy. While she may not get around well these days, I believe her when she threatened to buy several cases and sneak copies into hotels to place alongside The Gideon’s nightstand offerings.
I am flattered.
Parents are required by law and custom to lie to their children about their water colors and macaroni pictures. That said, Mom was always more interested in engaging and challenging her kids rather than flattering them.
Mom may be biased as hell, but I can live with that.
We talked about dreams today. I remember being a toddler when she told me of her nightmares about the hellhound that would sit menacingly at the foot of the bed. When Ghostbusters came out, she was a little disturbed that the devil dogs in the movie looked like horned versions of the thing from her dreams. After that, I was keenly aware of the many stories shared by friends and strangers about giant, shadowy dream-dogs. It seemed a common theme. So, it made its way into On Both Banks.
Now, we have always been a critter-oriented family and it seemed odd that the object of her fear, time and again, was a canid. As I listened to her share these dreams, I came to realize that the dogs were intent on being seen. They wanted her to wake up. They needed her to. So, that also made its way into the book.
There were numerous “devildog” stories that were written ahead of On Both Banks. They served as inspiration for Baskerville and her compatriots. Perhaps there will be occasion to take them out for a walk sometime soon.