I just have one question today. Do they keep the clothes or not?
Some shapeshifters who walk about as human (fully clothed) will shift to an animal form, then when they shift back, they’re clothed again.
Other shifters lose those clothes in the process of changing, and are nekkid when they switch back to human form. (That’s my personal favorite. You can do so much with a slightly confused naked man, can’t you?)
Other shifters take off actual skin to shift, such as selkies, and then there was that episode of Supernatural where the shifter tore off the skin to reveal his ugly shifty shape beneath. (I tried to find a pic of Dean Winchester shifting, but couldn’t. Sorry, I know beefcake is always appreciated.)
What about the shifter in The Terminator? Remember the second movie with that fluid-metallic shifter? He kept the clothes, the weapons, everything.
Some legends have men donning an animal fur in order to shift.
So what about you? Clothing optional? Or does it magically shift with the molecules and return after a shift?
As happens to many authors, I enjoy challenging myself by writing something new.
I was thrilled to be bought by Harlequin Intrigue in the first year of publication. My initial Intrigues were romantic mysteries, then suspense-thrillers. Eventually, I tried my hand at paranormal romantic suspense (my first stab at crossover fiction) and found that I loved being able to add that extra element to my stories.
Since I teach Writing Popular Fiction and Suspense-Thriller Writing in the Fiction Department of Columbia College Chicago, I had to expand my own reading to include new authors and genres. I began reading what was known then as Dark Fantasy, but which has morphed into what we now call Urban Fantasy. I found I loved the new genre. Or should I say two distinct subgenres. The stories that are primarily romances set in an urban fantasy world are found in the romance section of bookstores, while the stories that are stronger in fantasy and usually have a romantic subplot are found in the fantasy section.
I love writing both.
WOLF MOON, winner of the Romantic Times BOOKreviews Reviewers Choice Awards for Best Intrigue of 2007, is a werewolf story. I’ve always loved the idea of werewolves. Not the old 1940s movie “man in a wolf costume” werewolf, but the BLOOD and CHOCOLATE werewolf in which people actually turn into sleek, beautiful wolves. I know a lot about wolves and am fascinated by them as I am by most animals. I’ve written a couple other novels with wolves at the center. My research included taking a weekend wolf ecology workshop in Stevens Point, Wisconsin some years ago.
When I decided I wanted to write a werewolf story, I of course wanted it to be a little different. Every author should have her own version of a popular legend, complete with rules that remain unbreakable. My biggest change in the legend is that, in addition to a werewolf villain, I created a werehuman hero. Rhys started life as a wolf. He was attacked, his family killed, by a werewolf. Jens Lindgren brought him home to take care of him, only to see the wolf turn into a teenage boy. So now, when the “wolf” killings start, Rhys worries that he might be responsible. The story is very romantic, one of destined love. As a wolf, he saved Aileen McKenna’s life when she was eleven, only to be attacked by the werewolf and almost die. Now Aileen will have to save his life in return.
I also love writing Urban Fantasy with a romance subplot.
When my writing partner Marc Paoletti first asked me if I would like to write a book together (a big action-thriller), I said no. But much later, I thought about something I would like to try that I hadn’t done–a story in which each of us would be responsible for writing different characters. I would write the scenes from the points of view of the heroine and villainess and he would write the hero and villain. Since Marc wrote horror and I wrote paranormal romantic suspense, we agreed to write a thriller with a strong romance set in a dark fantasy world. The result was The Last Vampire, coming June 24 from Del Rey, and The Dark Agent, a sequel, coming in January.
I always love to hear what readers like in their stories. What kind of shapeshifter intrigues you? Are there any “rules” an author follows that you find particularly fun? Are you someone who sticks to shapeshifters or do you like all types of paranormal elements?
Whatever you like…good reading.
Today I have the pleasure of telling you about HEART OF THE WOLF, by Terry Spear. I love books with a hot romance and a lot of danger and suspense. And HEART OF THE WOLF fits that definition perfectly.
Terry Spear has written a very unique shape-shifter romance because she’s studied wolf pack social relations and transferred what she learned to a shape-shifter wolf pack. Or rather two packs–the grays and the reds.
HEART OF THE WOLF is the story of Bella and Devlyn, two shape-shifter lovers who have what looks like an insurmountable problem. When her red wolf pack is killed in a fire, Bella is taken in by the grays. But she’s forced to flee her adopted pack because Volan, the abusive alpha male, wants her. And she loathes him. Devlyn is the beta male, and he must do Volan’s bidding–including bringing Bella back to the pack where she will be forced to submit to the leader.
If Devlyn wants to claim Bella for his own, he must fight Volan to the death. Does he want her enough to fight for her? Is he strong enough to win out? Or will he die trying?
But Volan isn’t their only problem. The red wolves are on a killing spree, and Devlyn and Bella must flee the police and also their vengeful pack leader–while coping with their overwhelming need for each other.
Terry Spear rolls all that into a sensual, action-packed read that you won’t want to miss.
Will the following people email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with their snail mail address so I can send them their Shape Shifter Romance magnets! Thank you SO much for stopping by and commenting on the guest interview with Keri Arthur!
In today’s world the internet has opened up so much. We can chat with our readers, we can email back and forth and we can do our own advertising, giving the author a chance to reach the people who would find their work interesting and fascinating. 🙂
One of the new mediums that have opened to authors and readers alike are “book trailers”. I think the first one I ever saw was by Christine Feehan, and that opened the door for me to watch. Our own Rebecca York uses them with the expertise of a true artist, even including herself and her husband in one. 🙂 As a new author, I have been excited by this new medium, but find for shifters it offers an unusual challenge.
How does one show the magick of the book in a trailer when part of that magick is the shift?
A true graphic artist can perhaps merge the shifter with the human, but then, I’m not so great at that. 🙂 How important are these videos to you, the reader? Once they have led me to purchase a book I was later disappointed in. Often I find they tell less about the book and more about the person creating them. There are exceptions to the rule. Rebecca’s always seem to tell exactly what you need to enjoy her books. You get what you expect when you crack open the fresh pages and start that read.
So my question to the reader, do book trailers help you? Do you find the ones for shifters are more disappointing than helpful?
I was going to imbed this next video, but apparently for licensing reasons, it cannot be done so, but here’s my favorite “shift” video.
And since today is memorial day, just a little reminder.
Some gave None, Some Gave Some, and some, the Bravest of the Brave, gave all. Thank you. While having your cookout, don’t forget to remember those brave in your thoughts and prayer, for without them, the US would not be the great country we are today.
Congratulations, Savanna Kougar! Send me your snail mail address at email@example.com. Have a great (and safe) weekend. And if you see any weregeese flying overhead, RUN! 😉
That’s right in stores today –(hopefully) Wild Hunt! It’s always exciting when a book hits the streets–but much more exciting is when people start to read it and send you letters (nice letters, I’ve never received a not nice letter, but I have friends who have…). Anyway, I’m excited. 🙂
In honor of Wild Hunt’s release, I thought I’d talk a bit about the different types of shifters I use and how they are each unique to me.
There are three books so far in the series (part of Silhouette Nocturne line). All three books, the heroes have been some type of canine shifter. Unbound and Wild Hunt had hellhound heroes. Guardian’s Keep had a garm hero. Neither of these are dependent on the moon to shift, and as I’ve mentioned here before, their shifting is painless. There is something very important though about what happens when they shift.
In my world some beings use magic and some are magic. My shifters (which I term forandre) ARE magic. When they shift they release magic. Other beings, like witches (heroines of Unbound and Guardian’s Keep), can use this magic as it’s released. (Do not ask me where I came up with this because I have zero clue.)
In addition to both being canine (hellhounds are giant dogs, garm are wolves), both of these hero types are alphas. But even though both hellhounds and garm tend to be alphas they have very different motivations for what they do. Hellhounds are hunters. They were originally bred to use in the Wild Hunt and bring back souls for various gods, and witches. Garm are protectors. Think of it as comparing an Australian Shepherd with an Akita. Both may be very alpha–but their basic outlook on life is worlds apart. That’s my garm and hellhound.
In two of the books, Unbound and Wild Hunt, there are also secondary characters who shapeshift. I can’t say a lot about them without going into spoiler territory, but to neither of them is shifting as much a part of them as it is to the hellhounds and garm. For one (Wild Hunt) it is more something to be feared, an aspect of this character’s personality that she is trying to control, but isn’t sure she can. In Unbound, the character is using the magic creating part of shifting to work towards a personal goal.
So, that’s a bit of information on my shapeshifters. As you can probably tell, I see each of them as individual beings with characteristics and motivations that belong just to their group of shifters. It’s very personal to me.
How about you? What personality differences and/or motivations do you see with different types of shifters–what makes them special/unique and not just a being that can shift from one form to another?
There are a lot of shapeshifters out there. Although Unstable Environment is about werecheetahs, werewolves will always be my favorite. I love reading and learning about wolves in the wild, so it makes sense that I’d write about them. I also like goats, rabbits, and giraffes, but that doesn’t mean I want to “were-ify” them, too.
This topic came about when I was talking to my coworkers about my book. “Danger, Will Robinson! Danger!” Anyway, they wanted to know if there were any other weird, shapeshifting animals I had written about because cheetahs sounded strange to them. Then again, the words “paranormal romance” left them looking a bit confused, too. When one of them brought up something about werehamsters, I laughed and rolled my eyes.
Are there some boundries I wouldn’t cross when it comes to shapeshifters? You bet your fangs there are.
There was a time I thought any animal could be made into a shapeshifter as long as the story was believable. Then, my practical thinking got in the way because it starting calculating body mass and things like that. IMHO, certain animals are not meant to be shapeshifters. Case in point: imagine a 200 pound weresquirrel roaming through your backyard looking for nuts. If you’re rolling your eyes, frowning, or laughing, then your probably understand where I’m coming from.
Wereaardvarks, donkeys, and elephants are too out there for me. If a writer is putting it in the context of Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Wererabbit, then okay. I don’t mind a good laugh. But if someone wrote about a shapeshifting cow, I’d probably roll my eyes at the book and put it back on the shelf. Why would I choose a novel with reservations when I could have a pry-it-from-my-cold-dead-hands read by Lori Handeland, Kelly Armstrong, or any one of my fabulous co-bloggers?
Am I being too judgemental? If so, it wouldn’t be the first time I’ve been accused of that. So, help me free my mind here.
Maybe if the story is good enough, I might be able to set aside my laughter and put on my “serious” cap. But the minute the writer talks about squeezing the tits on that shapeshifting cow for a glass of milk to go with the hero’s oatmeal cookies, I’m through. There won’t be enough romance in it for me to keep a straight face after that. Were-goats? Not buying it either. In fact, that borders on perversion in my mind. Not sure why, but it does. *shrug*
Now with all of that being said, there are some werecreatures I can believe. The standard ones (werecats, werewolves, gargoyles, mermaids, dragons, etc.) are definite winners. Shapeshifters based on myths and legends are fine with me, too. If the writers does such a fantastic job that I find myself saying, “Wow. I can totally see that happening”, then I’ll buy it. I don’t mind stretching my imagination as long as it doesn’t trip me out of the story. But if I end up with a book about a shapeshifting meerkat, I’m abandoning ship without a life preserver. Stuff like that, should be left for Disney movies.
What kinds of shapeshifters do you draw the line at, if any? Also, I’ll be choosing a winner for an autographed copy of Unstable Environment, so tell everyone you see to stop by and post a comment.
Barb Webb won the fairy teddy bear! Thanks so much to everyone who participated!
If you’ll send me your snail mail address, Barb, I’ll ship the bear!
Again, thanks to everyone! 🙂 Terry
Heart of the Wolf