Wordsmack, an African publisher of speculative fiction, will bring out The Guardian's Wyrd some time next year. Some of you might recall me bashing away furiously at my computer during April this year. I had it in my head to write a story for kids. Only it mutated into something a little edgier aimed at a YA audience rather. Oh, and it has dogs. Or, specifically A DOG.
A Belgian Shepherd, to be exact. They're the next best thing to having a black wolf in a story (and the picture here is of my boy, Nietzsche, who is very good at doing an impression of being a thick, shaggy carpet).
I've had Belgies since I was 11, specifically the Groenendael variety. My first was Sandra, and she was my shadow from the age of 12 all the way to 26. Fourteen good years, and I still get choked up about having to say goodbye to her. I got Nietzsche in 2005 and he's been keeping guard at my gate ever since.
Belgies are very loyal to their people, and make highly alert watch dogs. Traditionally they were bred to be multi-purpose animals: they drew carts, guarded business premises and yes, were used to herd livestock. (Nietzsche, however, is only good at being a carpet, dragging my husband uphill on walks and howling at the moon.)
Nowadays, they're used in police and military work (the Malinois variety), as well as agility and obedience at shows.
I prefer them as the dog with the big heart who's your best mate, who'll go on all your adventures with you and will be your shadow, and The Guardian's Wyrd is a story about friendship, and not being afraid of going through dark places. Adventure, magic, devious beings and mysterious worlds: The Guardian's Wyrd is chock full of it, and I'm looking forward to sharing this tale with you soon.