Every time I turn around someone asks me “have you read Lauren Dane? she writes great shapeshifting books”. Then there are the ones who read my books then say “have you read Lauren Dane? You remind me of her.” Well dang, I can’t fight words like that, now can I? So, when it came time to find myself a great guestblogger for today, who did I visit? Lauren Dane, of course.
By way of introduction, I’m Lauren Dane and I’ve been writing professionally since 2004. I write for Samhain, Berkley, Harlequin Spice and Black Lace. My first book, Triad, came out from Ellora’s Cave in May of 2005 and I’ve been happily writing away ever since. I write across several genres and heat levels from my contemporary small town romance series the Chase Brothers to futuristic erotic romance such as Undercover and Relentless.
One of my favorite tropes/storylines to write about are werewolves. Mmmm. My most recent release with Samhain, Cascadia Wolves: Fated, continues the story of the Warden family, the wolves who run the Cascadia Pack and the National Pack.
With this series I’ve been able to combine two of my greatest loves – stories involving large, loving families and paranormal worldbuilding.
Luckily, this has turned out to be one of my most popular series and I often get asked how I came to write this Pack.
Gosh, what seems like forever ago but was really only 2005, I’d just started writing with Ellora’s Cave and they put out a call for an anthology. I can’t even remember the title but the theme was men with dangerous jobs.
So I noodled around and came up with an idea for a werewolf cop of sorts, an Enforcer. I wrote the proposal and subbed it but they didn’t choose it. My editor wrote me and said she really loved the idea and she thought I should write it as a full length novel.
So it sat a while, because I had a dozen other things to do and by the time I’d gotten back to it, Lex had softened a bit and the original heroine had changed into Nina Reyes and some key elements had shifted. Pretty much, without my editor’s urging, I’m not sure I would have written it at all!
But I did and Cascadia Wolves: Enforcer was my first book in the Cascadia Wolves series. In the beginning, I’d really only considered it to be a standalone book but when I started Tri Mates, the story got really big and Warren Pellini was back so at that point I sketched out the idea for the werewolf mafia story arc to be told over a few more books.
I think for me, this series taught me a lot about letting the story have its way with you. Sometimes you have to rein yourself in as an author, keep your cast down to a manageable number, keep the story within the lines or it’s just too big and confusing. But other times, if you let yourself go a bit, you find things you hadn’t imagined at first.
Earlier this year the four book story arc with Pellini and the werewolf mafia ended with Standoff. I saved him for last for a few reasons, firstly the story arc needed to end with him risking his life to save his people and I felt like it would be more meaningful if he did it with his mate at his side. Also, he’s the patriarch of the series so there was an important element of saving the best for last.
So the story arc was over but there were other characters poking at me, werewolves can do that you know. And I got letters about them all the time so I decided to tell Megan’s story with Fated. It was fun to pick up a year and a half later and to start a new story without all the baggage of large multi-book storyline.
What I wanted to do was take the idea of the fated mate and turn it upside down. What if your mate was a werewolf who was raised outside a Pack? What if he hated what he was, feared it even? What if you’re happy living as a human and your mate is one of the highest ranking werewolves there is? How do you reconcile that? Because love and chemistry isn’t enough.
The book was a challenge but I’m thrilled with how it turned out and I hope readers are as well!
Thanks for having me today! If you’d like to read an excerpt or two from my books, you can head on over to my website (www.laurendane.com) to check them out.
Not sure what WordPress did to my post but it appears to have posted an older, temporary save of this post – so now adding back all the wonderful covers Lauren has, as well as letting you guys know, Lauren will be giving away one ebook – winner’s choice of Ascension or Enforcer. Just leave a comment- winner will be selected next Thursday!