Guest Author Cathy Clamp

June 26, 2008 at 6:08 am (Deborah Cooke, Guest Bloggers) (, , , )

Hi everyone! Deborah Cooke here again. Please welcome today’s guest, Cathy Clamp. Cathy is one half of the successful author team of C.T. Adams and Cathy Clamp. In addition to her post today, Cathy is sharing some beautiful new covers with us. The first four Sazi books written by this talented pair are being re-released with new covers AND they have a new pseudonym for a new stand-alone book. Here’s the cover for that February 2009 release!

Magic\'s Design

And, here’s CATHY!

Hunter\'s MoonIncorporating animalistic traits into your characters

There are tons of shapeshifter romances out there nowadays, but the ones I like the best are those that are like the ones we write (which is probably why we write them that way. Heh… ) The traits that make a shapeshifter most appealing are those of the animal. Animals are both complex and simplistic. When they’re hungry, they eat. When they’re tired, they sleep. When the urge strikes them, they have sex. No worries about the mortgage, or whether the car needs repairs or if there will be enough money in the bank account for your kid’s next college payment.

Simple. Eat, sleep, love.

But animals have other traits too, and there are lots of quizzes that show up on the web or at places like Quizzilla about “what kind of animalCaptive Moon would you be?” Because there are traits that are very distinct to certain species, and people who raise show dogs know that certain breeds act certain ways. Lap dogs are often more territorial than bigger dogs. Greyhounds MUST run or they’re depressed. Bulldogs are stubborn and can be a challenge to train.

And what about the other species? House cats are aloof and will destroy things when annoyed, as will their wild cousins. Bears are often grouchy and easily angered. Snakes lash out at anything that looks like a threat (or food.) In our “Tales of the Sazi” shapeshifter series, we went one step further to let the characters knowingly deal with their animal traits. The hero in one book, CAPTIVE MOON, is a cougar/lion cross in his animal form. Antoine has a bad habit of breaking furniture when he’s Moon\'s Webangry—which is often. He comes prepared to meetings with lots of cash to replace items he knows he’s going to break. But he tries not to. He does recognize it’s wrong, but it’s tough to have the human mind win when put to the test. His cat nature makes him lash out.

And let’s face it, the animal is what a shapeshifter is all about in romance. It’s what makes them attractive and sexy. It’s the loss of control that makes love edgy and dangerous.

The Sazi have a council that has one member to represent all the shifting groups—wolves, cats, snakes, raptors and bears. (Except that there are two cats on the council, but that’s a long story if you haven’t read theHowling Moon series. Oh, and spiders now too. Yet another long story.) They’re all territorial, and they often squabble. The snake representative, Ahmad (a werecobra) takes his frustrations out on the staff of wherever the meeting is being held. He’s snide and sarcastic. He kills innocents without reason or regret, to the frustration of the other council members. He’s hateful and nasty and there’s always a question which side he’s on. And oddly, he’s the single most requested character to have his own love story (and he’s going to be . . . in this next book!)

Now, there are plenty of snide, nasty-tempered, sarcastic humans out there. But few women find them sexy. Most often, they’re described as “jerks.” Why then is the animal counterpart different? Is it that we excuse in a shapeshifter that which he/she can’t control? Often, in books, we pair that person with someone to temper those instincts, to hold them in check and make them somehow closer to humanity. But would that really happen in the animal world?

Let’s hear your thoughts.

Psssssst – visit Cathy and Cie’s website HERE!

6 Comments

  1. Deborah Cooke said,

    Phew! The pictures mostly came out okay – except the last one, which is hanging into Jennifer’s post from yesterday. What’s up with that???

    At any rate, Cathy, I just realized that we are monthmates in February 2009 – my third Dragonfire title, KISS OF FATE, will be out that month. Maybe we should do some joint promo…

    And welcome to the blog!

    Deborah

  2. Deborah Cooke said,

    Okay, I moved the new cover to the top, and that seemed to fix the formatting issue. grrrrrrrr!

    d

  3. Michele Hauf said,

    Wow, fab covers! Love the new pseudonym.
    Very interesting ideas you bring up, and yeah, I think we do give them the benefit of the doubt because we know ‘well they are half animal’. Maybe that explains some of my husband’s bad behavior? 🙂 He doesn’t tear anything apart though.

  4. Teresa D'Amario said,

    I just love these books. Great new covers too. And yes, I love the new pseudonym! Congrats on that! Makes it easier for you I bet.🙂

  5. Cathy Clamp said,

    Sorry for the late arrival. Work was a major PITA today. Couldn’t even log on to the internet. (Horrors!😉 ) Glad you’re enjoying the covers. We’re THRILLED with the terrific work the cover artist did.

    Sure, we could do some joint promo, Deb. Just drop me a line and tell me what sort of things you’re interested in doing.

    One of the best things about shapeshifter romances (IMHO) is that we DO forgive some things, but not others. We tend to roll our eyes when the wolf/cat/etc. is TOO human in their animal form. I think it’s that so many of us long to run wild through the trees in our real life, and don’t get to. We’d like to run or roll in flowers just for the sheer joy—not because we’re told to or have to. But we don’t get to. Too many rules, too many things to do, too many stigmas built into “civilization” to indulge. We’d occasionally LOVE to rip out the throat of the jerk down at the DMV who couldn’t wait that split second until we stopped sneezing to take the photo. We’d like to snarl and back a mugger into a corner and have THEM be afraid.

    But we don’t get to.

    So we indulge in private and cheer when the good animal saves the day and gets the girl or guy. Nothing better on the shelf for sheer, unadulterated release.🙂

    Cathy

  6. Savanna Kougar said,

    Cathy, so absolutely true. We don’t get to run free, and live our own animal natures. That’s the joy of reading and writng shifter novels for me. More than a release, it’s a power and a freedom most of us don’t get to have in our lives.
    One of the most appealing elements, for me, is the ability to extract justice when it’s right, and the ability to back the mugger into the alley. To save the day, or save your beloved. And to be fierce and ferocious doing it.

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