Bird is the Word

A friend commented once on my first novel (after she had read the manuscript), “Well, I can tell you’re a bird person.”

To be fair, some of my bird references are obscure, like character last names.  She is a bird person, too, so she caught them; most non-bird people would miss some.  (Her favorite was the conversation between Captain Harris and Colonel Swainson – both were named separately and so it didn’t occur to me that both are hawks.  She thought it was a clever, subtle reference, but it was truly a happy accident.)  I will grant her the fact that there are some obvious bird references as well: one character could best be described through a comparison to a heron (tall, thin, gray), a situation with a falconry bird becomes a small but pivotal plot point, and pigeons are used to carry messages, just as examples.

It should be legitimate, though, for a self-professed Bird Nerd and former raptor trainer to have bird references in a novel.  Authors who are musicians may have a heavy music influence in theirs; those with experience in hunting or law or riding motorcycles would be excused for their references as well.  There are birds in my book; this shouldn’t be a surprise.  In fact, one of my favorite scenes has a girl becoming very emotional over a change in her expected gift of a hunting hawk. 

The surprise to me is the lack of birds in the new book – maybe the dragons have chased them away.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Trackback: Steps to a Story: Names « Butterflies and Dragons
  2. Trackback: Clever Metaphors | Butterflies and Dragons

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