Tag Archives: Developing Animal Characters

Of Maximiliano von Rabbit, Universally known to his legion of friends worldwide as Max

MaxHi, I’m Maximiliano von Rabbit, known as Max to my friends.

I got my start as a Cover Rabbit for Dr. Jeffrey Lant at www.writerssecrets.com

He told me one day, “You oughta be in pictures!” And the rest is history. I’ve appeared
in print media, in video, in pictures worldwide, and made lots of personal appearances
with Dr. Lant. There’s even a lot about me in Dr. Lant’s biography, “A Connoisseur’s Journey” at www.writerssecrets.com . And that is one important book!!!

Now I want to tell you how I’ve done it since you make A LOT of money… and
make new friends everywhere. I even met Baroness Margaret Thatcher in
London. And as all the world knows she kissed me. Yes, the Iron Lady. And I’m not
making  this up.

Contact me at www.writerssecrets.com

Dr. Jeffrey Lant just let the secret out of how to create Animal Characters that are as life like as Maximiliano von Rabbit. Characters that will draw people to your work, exactly what writer’s are looking for to build their readership!

You just missed out on this Writers Secrets Live Session with Dr. Jeffrey Lant but

Your in luck! All the Writers Secrets Live Session with Dr. Lant and Guests are recorded.

You can get it by signing up for Writers Secrets

Here is my story with an exert from “A Connoisseur’s Journey

“The Blue Max”.

I am about to do something I have never done before in all my twenty volumes,  volumes which have made me wealthy and attended to by thoughtful and ambitious people worldwide. I shall give you another voice now for a time, a different voice, an hospitable voice with kindness and tolerance the order of the day. This is the voice of Maximiliano von Rabbit, universally known to his legion of friends worldwide as Max. To accompany this momentous event, I have chosen the theme music from Jerry Goldsmith’s 1966 score for the film “The Blue Max”.  It is radiant, soaring, uplifting, even prayerful, a hymn to heroes… and thus suitable for what follows.


About Max.


Look for a minute at two magnificent signed photographs. Residing in The Blue Room, they are both of HRH (His Royal Highness) Franz Ferdinand. He was heir to the ancient throne of the Royal and Apostolic Habsburgs.


However, even with such an exalted destiny, he was not a happy man, not least because he had married a lady named Countess Sophie Chotek. She was not of equal rank to him, was in fact much lower… and so the man who would be emperor when the slender thread of his reigning majesty Franz Joseph (1830-1916)  snapped could not even walk up one of the grand staircases of Schonbrunn with the apple of his eye on his arm.


Thus when this dour and stern, grim man was shot to death by Slav terrorists in the high summer of 1914, in turbulent Sarajevo, his slumping body now lifeless, a thing of horror, launched a mighty war than resulted in the deaths of millions, the dislocation of more… including Maximiliano von Rabbit who once lived contentedly amidst his numerous  and distinguished family, never forgetting the day Countess Chotek, who could not live happily with her husband but could not be stopped from dying with him, gave Max an exceptionally fine lettuce leaf and stroked one of his silken purple ears, a color only  allowed to those in the Imperial house.


It was the day Max was assigned to the service of the three young children of Franz Ferdinand and (once) Countess Chotek, (now) Duchess of Hohenberg, the blighted princes who could not succeed to the throne because of their mother’s lowly rank, though as it happened all princes high and low were soon to be swept away forever.


He is remembering this kind and thwarted lady now and the children he only saw that  day. I know. I hear him snuffling but dare not look, for then I should snuffle too, and it is far too early for that…


He recalls little from his next days, and this is exquisite torture for such a sensitive creature as Max, for whom reliving the best of his happy memories is a special  happiness indeed. He cherishes these as anyone would. They are a strong and tenacious bulwark against other memories which are not so pleasant or reassuring.


He says he remembers, and perhaps he does, for Max is precise in everything he says and does, his last view of Schonbrunn, the only home he had ever known. He remembers being thrust into a hard wooden box with a hole just big enough to see the man who was celebrating the fall of the dynasty by grabbing as many of its treasures as he could, among them Max who knew he had to keep his wits about him, though his heart was breaking.


It is 1:33 a.m., and I have made myself as comfortable, that is to say, as warm as possible, though that does not suffice. I look outside the window, and I think of my godly ancestors who came to this barren and forlorn land, so adamant to bringing forth God and his Commandments that they embraced every  encumbrance and misery, pitting their frail bodies and unswerving beliefs against a Nature that seemed unconquerable until brought low by these same pilgrims. I am of this stock, and I draw on their strength to augment my own. That has never failed me though I have called upon it often and substantially….




Max’s memories of what happened to him after being kidnapped by the enterprising vandal who snatched him and turned his every hitherto happy memory into a cruel hoax, profoundly painful to recall, never to be regained, not even for a minute are slender and episodic. His body they might seize and torment, but his mind, his only asset, was free, always free and might still fly high.


Thus did a single act of outrage forge a lifetime of despair. No creature great or small could fail to be cast down under such circumstances, but Max had one  benefit that served him well during these bitter, trying times when the best that could be hoped was that things would not get worse.


Then he would retreat into a special place of oblivion and reverie, where he  passed whole years, avoiding the present as much as possible to embrace the  still so fresh memories of everything lost forever. And so he contrived to live with but a single hope to sustain him, that somewhere he might find a friend, a friend who might understand him and provide a place where memory was always welcome and at hand. For such a peaceful place he might yearn, though he had moments when yearning seemed hollow and unprofitable,  rueful, acrid, and bitter.


Yet it was all he had and it was valued accordingly… along with the memory of that fine lettuce leaf, the Duchess, her children and the grim Archduke who had once smiled at him as a thing who gave pleasure to the lady he loved and the fruit of their world-changing romance. That memory never grew dim and so though he dared not say so, there was hope…



Calliope, 33 Brattle Street, a friend.


It was one of those dog days where just the thought of going out and about made you hot, draining all resolution and endurance. Still I went to the Square, Harvard Square, because I had to; it is, after all, the center of my universe. Thus it happened that I came to pass a shop now gone, Calliope, a thing which I had done so very often before. Only this time was different. There in the shop window warm to the touch was a little fella whose fervent, unyielding hope called to and delivered… me.


He looked like I did that momentous day long ago when Dr. Marshall Gordon let me be, so tuckered out did I look, though I thought I saw rather than heard him say, “Help me!” If so it was an irresistible plea. I walked into Calliope, the childrens’ toy and clothes store and, if I but knew it, into far more than a good deed. It was a life changing event, the kind that transforms your whole existence for the better, if you let it. I must have been ready, too.


$60 changed hands, and it was all worth it right from the start. I asked the clerk for any information she had, but she could only say “the bunny” had just come in and he seemed so sad. I could tell she immediately regretted saying that since it might induce me to change my mind and get something more cheerful or just get nothing at all. She hurriedly put my new acquisition in a bag, closing the transaction with the kind of instantly contrived smile successful  clerks maintain for such an occasion.


As soon as I was outside, I looked in the bag. Then he said, I’m sure he  said, though smug know-it-alls always tell me purple rabbits can’t talk  “Thank you”, and I felt just the slightest squeeze. You see, that was the last of all the hope he had left. Establishing contact with me took everything he had… and if this wasn’t kismet, I don’t  know what is.




“I am Max,” he said. “I know”, I said. But how did I know? Yes, it was kismet alright.


It is 10:46 p.m., my fingers make rebellious progress over the frigid keys. I am determined to write this uncomfortable night, a thing which done need not be done well, only well enough to confirm my superiority over other, lesser beings.


Little By Little.


As soon as Max identified himself to me, there was a deep audible breath as if a great weight had been taken off his hitherto overburdened shoulders. Deep breath, then immediate sleep from which he did not emerge for two worrisome days. Had he struggled so long, with such pertinacity only to be overcome here, with me, in a place of peace? I was anxious and concerned.


Then one day when I was having my afternoon nap (a necessary concession made by age for the sustenance and renewal of near boyish energy), I felt a slight push. I thought it was a dream, but it was Max revived, his expression an undeniable smile. He said, “I am well, Your Excellency. Is there anything I can do for you?” And so from this very first minute our relationship took form, he the majordomo of my domain, me the somewhat feckless nobleman who needed an experienced guide and councillor of state ready for any eventuality, for in my life there might indeed be any eventuality.


“Vive L’Empereur!”


The first thing that he did was to slowly, laboriously inventory my collection, a Herculean task that continues to this day. Wise, he did not rush through this task, which might cause me to question his motives; our relationship was, after all, new and fragile. No, experienced courtier that he was (though he constantly reminded me he was only at the lowest level in the Imperial service in case I should ask for  more than he knew) he went slowly, carefully, a born conservator and preservationist.


Of course, he found many treasures; that is, after all, the purpose of the collection, to dazzle, to awe, to astonish and to generate the necessary “Wow!” Factor that makes the arduous, expensive, exasperating, and time-consuming business of  collecting so very worthwhile and satisfying.


Max was inside a cabinet (he’s only 7 inches tall after all) documenting some of my mother’s jewelry, when his practiced eye fell upon an Imperial presentation box marked simply “Klinkosch”, that is to say the Imperial court jeweler. Max knew at once, for all his pooh poohings that there was something significant in the box, and what’s more, something that pertained to his own difficult, storm-tossed history.


He asked me to open the box since his paws were trembling. At that moment we were both startled by the opening bars of the Kaiser Hymn, originally composed by Joseph Haydn for the Emperor Francis I in 1797. Where had these unmistakable notes come from, for there was no doubt at all what they were. Max stood up to his full height and saluted. His was the very picture of the True Believer. I  stood  up, too, but rather sheepishly.


But then I had never been a member of His Imperial Majesty’s Court… and  Maximiliano von Rabbit, named for Franz Joseph’s hapless brother Maximilian, had. That Maximiliano (1832-1867) had died at the stern, unyielding hand of Benito Juarez who might so easily have let him live, his blue blood saved for better endeavors  than enriching the ancient, arid soil of Mexico. Such things were sacred to Max,  plus royaliste que le roi. He knew his duty, and he did it now.


“God save Francis the Emperor, our good Emperor Francis!

Long live Francis the Emperor in the brightest splendor of bliss!

May laurel branches bloom for him, wherever he goes, as a wreath of honor.

God save Francis the Emperor, our good Emperor Francis!”


Of course he sang it in German. It was the only way to render it for the True Believer, and Max’s manners are comme il faut and never more so than with the  Habsburgs, whom he never ceased to revere.