Like her protagonist Shannon Kendricks, Cathy Parker is an attorney. She volunteered as a zoo keeper's aide for eight years and did have a very special beluga buddy, Mauyak, just as Shannon Kendricks has. As to encounters with alien children, as in the trilogy, she is not saying. She was also a radio and print journalist and once was the 'Jill of all trades' for a small satellite paper in Wyoming. She did everything from taking to the photos to writing the articles and op-ed pieces to helping with layout and hauling the newspapers through blizzards once a week. As a result, she saw lambs being born and went on a cattle drive and ate her first (and last) Rocky Mountain Oyster. She has seen mountain gorillas in the wild in Rwanda and orangutans in Borneo and even rocked an orphaned baby orangutan to sleep on her chest. She has volunteered with a chimpanzee sanctuary for former research subjects. So you can see where her heart lies. Currently she lives in Costa Rica with her black cat. All similarities between her cat and the trilogy's Narcissus are purely and probably coincidental.
This little sweetheart is my English mastiff Tulip. I took the photo when she was a baby, but she has grown over the last five years to 170 pounds. The protagonist Shannon Kendricks in the Power Rising trilogy also has an English Mastiff, but I wrote those books before my Tulip arrived. Not quite life imitating art, because I had another mastiff, a Neapolitan mastiff named Quiddity, prior to Tulip and my first book was dedicated in part to Quiddy. So art imitatimg life imitatimg art. The fictional mastiff, called Independence, Indy for short, steps up to play a major role in a major battle in The Power of Three and again steps in to protect Shannon in book two, Power Multiplied, although under very changed circumstances. I am willing to bet both Quiddity and Tulip would step up in just the same way. Unfortunately I don't have my Tulip with me because she would not fare at all well in the climate down in the part of Costa Rica in which I live. My vet put her foot down and said she shouldn't come with me, So I had to leave her with friends who would spoil her as much as I did. I miss her terribly, just as Shannon missed her own sweet girl, Indy.