She’s Not Me

Victoria Schade Dog Training, Writing

I read somewhere that every first novel is an autobiography.

It’s easy to assume that the main character of my first novel, Life on the Leash, is me. After all, Cora is a dog trainer who offers private lessons in her clients’ homes, and she lives and breathes positive training. Of course her training philosophy is mine. Of course every word of advice she gives mirrors what I would suggest.

But folks, that’s where the similarities end. Cora’s feelings, reactions and adventures are uniquely her own. Just a few examples:

1. I’ve never had the hots for a client. (My husband of 18 years definitely would’ve had a problem with that!)

2. I don’t speak French. (I speak some passable family-style German. Enough to do low level gossiping with my mom, that’s about it.)

3. I’ve never had a top secret blog. (Although I did have a not-secret blog called “Life on the Leash” a few million years ago.)

4. My career wasn’t inspired by a “Cooper.” (Poor Cooper.)

5. I don’t have a pit bull. (Someday!)

6. I do love to dance. (Seriously. I dance to everything but 80’s music. The Chicken Dance? Yup. The Boot Scootin’ Boogie? Count me in. Electric Slide? Watch out.)

Sure, there are silly little Easter eggs in LOTL, like tributes to dogs I’ve known and loved and character name shout-outs (Beth Ann’s name is the combined middle names of two dear friends), but LOTL isn’t a roman à clef.

Just ignore the fact that her name is nestled within mine; ViCtORiA.

(Totally an accident, I swear!)