In Love with Shifters

May 15, 2008 at 2:06 am (General) (, , , , )

GHOST MOON Win an autographed copy of my first werewolf book, KILLING MOON.  Tell me why you like shapeshifters.  On Monday, I’ll pick a winner from the comments on this post and ask the winner to e-mail me her address.

So why did I fall in love with werewolves?  It all goes back to when I discovered science fiction–in fifth grade, the morning the “book basket” from the DC Public Library arrived in my classroom.  When the teacher put RED PLANET, by Robert Heinlein, up on the eraser ledge, the cover illustration made me want to read the book.  So I fought my way up to the front of the room to get it before anyone else could.  From then on, I was hooked.

I absorbed fantasy and science fiction stories as fast as I could find them.  And I read my first werewolf book, DARKER THAN YOU THINK, by Jack Williamson, when I was 15.  It’s about a man discovering his werewolf powers–and his werewolf mate.  Williamson wrote so vividly that he made me want to BE a werewolf.  Then in the 90’s, I read Robert McCammon’s THE WOLF’S HOUR and I fell in love all over again.   McCammon’s hero, Michael Gallatin, is one sexy guy.  And if you haven’t read this book, you should. There’s even a romance in the story, although Michael’s not looking for a wife.  One of the big disappointments in my life is that McCammon didn’t write a sequel to this story.

Few people know it, but I dabbled in shapeshifters in my first novel, THE INVASION OF THE BLUE LIGHTS, a kid’s science fiction story.  It’s about an evil alien and a good alien who land in the woods across the street from my house. And the good guy can change to any shape he wants.

It took me a long time to write my first adult shapeshifter book.  That was back when paranormal was “out,” and I kept thinking, “who would buy a werewolf book from me”?  But finally I had to write KILLING MOON.  So I carved out time from my “day job,” writing Harlequin Intrigues, and wrote the whole book on speculation, because I was sure I’d never sell it on a proposal.  Luckily, I found an agent who loved the book, although he told me it might be a hard sell.  Cindy Hwang at Berkley bought it and asked me for more werewolf books, which is how I ended up with a series I didn’t plan.

The latest book is GHOST MOON, and the hero, Caleb Marshall, is a ghost who was killed 75 years ago by his cousin.  The heroine of the story comes from a parallel universe, where life is very different from our own.  More than a hundred years ago, a “psychic revolution” destroyed civilization.  And the city-state became the biggest political unit.  Quinn comes here to find a safe haven for her pregnant friend with the Marshall family.  With her psychic powers, she’s able to sense Caleb, who forges a very sensual bond with her.  Still, she terrified that he’s going to attack her friends to revenge his death.

I’m working on the next book in the series now, ETERNAL MOON, about a woman who’s the reincarnation of a goddess.  She meets her one true love over and over through the centuries, and each time a demon destroys their relationship.  It’s going to take a very special man–a werewolf–to break the cycle of death and destruction.

What do you like best about shapeshifter books?  And where would you like to see shapeshifter stories go?




  1. shreela said,

    Would shifters from earth lose their ability to shift if they traveled in space, because they’d be far away from the moon? What if they went to a planet with more than one moon?

  2. Becky said,

    Maybe its me, but I think alot of the lovers of shapeshifing stories are also animal lovers–all shapes and sizes. I really enjoy seeing a character I can relate to being able to meanigfully communicate as a member of another species. Vibrant descriptions of the characters when in their animal form always reel me in and keep me wanting more.
    Part of the fun is in seeing how the characters learn to manage and control their inner beast. I’m not sure where I’d like to see shapeshifting stories go–maybe some kind of inner species conflicts could be interesting. A story developing a battle between species over territory would be interesting–especially if written with a Romeo and Juliet type of romance. Seeing the two “families” POV in the conflict would increase the tension and emotional involment. What do you think??

  3. Rebecca York said,

    My shifters would have no problem in space since they are not controlled by the moon–despite Berkley putting “moon” in the title of every book.

    I love the idea of a battle between shifter species!

  4. Colleen said,

    Hmmm… I love shapeshifters because they belong to the world of paranormal… Anything is possible and great creativity allows us to join in that world! From wolves, cats, dragons, etc. we are pulled into a world of new dangers, feelings and wonders of others… we see things in a new light… secrets, loyalty, betrayal, and discovery all bring a story to life!!! 😀

  5. Teresa W. said,

    This is my favorite genre to read. I love reading about shapeshifters because they can be many different things. I must admit my favs are vamps and werewolves. I’m reading a good werewolf story now called Ravenous by Ray Garton. It’s not for the faint of heart.

  6. Ann M. said,

    I love shapeshifters because it gives another interesting aspect to the character. I enjoy reading how the character deals with their differences. I also enjoy reading the worlds that writers have created around their shapeshifters. Sometimes they are the only paranormal aspect of the story and others add vampires, fairies, etc.

  7. Lilly K said,

    Since I was small child I have always loved animals and been fascinated by them. I often wished I could change into one so that I could see what it would be like. This is why I like shapeshifters. How wonderful it would be to change into a bird and experience flight, lazily drifting on a thermal updraft, or a wolf running through the woods, interpreting the hundreds of scents permeating the air. How lucky we would be to have this ability to shape-shift.

  8. Greta said,

    The reason why I love shapeshifters, particularly wolves & big cats, is the true animal insticts that these animals have make the human much more interesting than the normal contemporary man. Those instincts being survival, provide for their own, and protect their own even to the death.

  9. Larena Wirum said,

    I love shape shifters because of the potential. What can happen. I also love the different view points. I love to read from the point of view of what the character feels and senses when in their animal form. I also love the fact that their senses are so much more than humans.

    I really enjoy where shape shifter stories have gone and all the different forms that have been written. I would love to see it continue with the way it is headed.

  10. Savanna Kougar said,

    Rebecca, I luv the premise of your Blue Light alien story. Why do I love shapeshifters? For all the reasons stated above. And ever since I was introduced to the idea, it felt like it should be a natural ability. After all, we supposedly have all the junk DNA, the DNA of all of ancestors, human and animal, why shouldn’t we be able just to shift to that DNA strand? I know as a kid I felt like animals at times, especially a horse.

  11. Jackie said,

    Shifters are so much fun to read because they can go in any direction. You can have evil and good ones, immortal and mortal, hunky sex gods as well as the geeky types. Shifters can’t be stereotyped because there is no set description of what they are. Granted, when anyone (who doesn’t read the paranormal genre) think of werewolves, they think of the movie versions that are ravenous monsters. But that’s not all there is. You have them, but you also have the heroes and the lazy bums. 🙂

  12. Christy H. said,

    I like reading about shapeshifters because it’s such a great fantasy. I remember when I was a little girl I would have dreams where I could fly like a bird or run fast like a cougar.
    Shapeshifters are also great because the here’s can really let their alpha’s out.

  13. amberkatze said,

    Shapeshifters are the best. As an author you make your characters change into whatever you want. As a reader you get to see into the lives and ways of a whole variety of creatures.

  14. Liz Cranage said,

    Into space other worlds
    I adore shapeshifters the ability to shift and recount with nature and to be able to run free. I like the entire concept and wish I was one

  15. tasha t said,

    cause can change and be other, could fly, or run very fast, or howl at mooon, though i like to do that anyway L))))
    im really starting to like about wolves, how they mate for life

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