Thank you!

Thank you for all the support you've given the Climbing Rose Young Adult line of The Wild Rose Press. Our stories are still available on The Wild Rose Press website, however, since we aren't publishing new stories, our blog is no longer active. We thank you again for the time you spent with us and invite you to visit our Climbing Rose bookstore.

Characters and the Florida Keys

Uh-oh. Itchy's telling me it's time to get back to work again.

It's a bit disheartening for me to begin a post with an apology, but here I go. When my SO/BF finished reading my interview with Blaize, he informed me that Randy Wayne White's character, Doc Ford, was never a Navy Seal as I had claimed him to be. At least he doesn't think so. Well maybe... Honestly, it is a puzzle for readers to figure out exactly what Doc's clandestine identity is. That's part of what readers enjoy about the character. And we do love characters, don't we?

Map of the Florida Keys

Speaking of characters, on Sunday I mentioned I'd tell you a bit about a charming critter living in the Florida Keys. Well, that endearing (to some folks annoying) creature is the Florida Key deer. Believe me, these deer are truly characters. Although Key deer are very small, averaging about the size of a German shepherd dog, one of these adorable endangered animals plays a major role in my book, Island Sting.

Over 9,000 acres of the Florida Keys have been set aside for the National Key Deer Refuge. Much of this land is on Big Pine Key, the setting for Island Sting. (Check the map above. Big Pine is between Marathon and Key West.) On this island the deer share their habitat with many humans, a situation ripe with stories-- some amusing, many tragic, none dull. Resident humans tell tales of unexpected deer house guests, deer hopping into their vehicles or sleeping under drydocked boats in backyards, even leaning through windows to steal food off counters and tables. The Key deer are curious and will eat practically anything. As you can see, these traits can get them into trouble--trouble that is often fatal. It is a major no-no to feed them. Against the law, in fact, but many people ignore this law. Even when residents don't intend to feed the deer, the animals raid bird feeders, forage in garbage cans, and gobble down garden plants, including thorny shrubs and cactus.

The antics of these toy deer and their interactions with humans are the source of limitless local stories--tales that inspired me to imagine what might happen if a deer fell into great danger and started a chain reaction of events. I kept asking after that, then what? Answering question after question evolved into Island Sting. That's my pattern for creating characters and stories. Observations coupled with what ifs. I see, hear, or read about interesting animals, people or events and wonder what would happen if ... If only it were as easy as it sounds.

The first question regarding the tiny deer, Molly, was What if teens decided to save her? Kenzie and Angelo became those teen characters. Because they also take steps to care for the environment, they're green teens like some of you out there. Don't forget to let me know what you and your friends are doing to live green.

Tell me about your green news.

More about other Keys' characters next time.

Go green!

Bonnie Doerr

Intrigue, Treachery and Intrepid Teens


Blaize said...

I spent a week in the Keys once and never saw any deer :( Saw lots of chickens, though. That was pretty cool!

Anonymous said...

You must not have been on Big Pine Key!

Anonymous said...

Blaize, were you staying on Big Pine Key? There are well over 100 miles of islands.

Blaize said...

We were close to Key West but I don't remember the name of the exact place. I do remember the rooster--with his harem of hens--who would strut by our house morning!

Anonymous said...

Those deer sound way kool. But are they really that small? Wish I could go to the Keys and see them. Your dog's cute too.

Anonymous said...

Chickens and Key deer? Now I have to get there to see them. You will save room in your suitcase for me to fit into next year, right? I'm on a diet so I'll be thin enough to squeeze in by then.