Frankie Chandler is a pet psychic—at least that’s how she bills her services. Her “telepathic abilities” actually come to her via animal behavior books and her ability to cold read people, a skill that she learned from her tarot card-reading Aunt Gertrude, a.k.a. Madame Guinevere. That was before Sandy, a Golden Retriever with a secret, blows through Frankie’s mental barrier and shows her an image she’ll never forget.
This series came about because of an article I did for “Fido Friendly Magazine”. I submitted my mutt, Buster, to two pet psychic appointments–one via phone call and one in person. The phone call didn’t go so well. Apparently, Buster loves forest green. (Aren’t dogs colorblind?) If only I would deck him out in a kerchief of that color, his insecurities would evaporate as his popularity with people and pooches grew. Right.
Then animal communicator Ben Scuglia visited my home. Buster lay at his feet and woofed as Ben read him. Fascinated with his technique, I peppered Ben with questions. He graciously consented to an interview, which I still refer to as I write the series.
Then came the “what if” question that lurks in every writer’s mind. What if my sleuth really could read animal’s minds? And what if those same animals witnessed human violence?
Of course I ran the idea by my parish priest. Was I perpetuating occult ideas? His wise response was, “We don’t really know how St. Francis communicated with animals, do we?”
And Frankie Chandler was born.