I once read a historical romance that alluded to a hero who was a lynx shapeshifter, yet in the end I don’t believe he was. HUH??? Yep, it was like the author wanted to have the mystery, but didn’t want to really write that the hero was a shapeshifter or the publisher might not go for it as a historical romantic fiction.
So I felt…cheated! I wanted to know that he was, or he wasn’t. Preferably that he was. Variety in stories, of course, is what makes them fun to read. But still, if I’m sucked into thinking I’m reading a paranormal, I don’t want it to be an illusion.
In Winning the Highlander’s Heart, I have that the heroine has second sight. I love the paranormal, so I wanted to add it to a historical romantic suspense, but in a realistic way. And of course, it adds conflict, foreshadowing trouble, and it can spell doom for her if her Highlander companions believe her to be a witch.
In creating a shapeshifter world, we must show how different it is from our own, but how similar also. Do you feel cheated if the paranormal element is alluded to, but never fully explored? To me, it’s like having a witch who doesn’t use her powers and being a witch isn’t important in the scheme of the story. Then why have that’s she’s a witch? If the paranormal element can be removed and the story doesn’t change, then maybe it doesn’t belong.
To me, that’s so important with a shapeshifter story. If someone can shapeshift and it doesn’t really matter in the scheme of things, why have that the person can shapeshift? How does shapeshifting impact on his/her life and the lives around him/her? That’s what’s so important.
In that vein, it’s important to show the shapeshifting side of the characters early on and show the impact that it has on everyone else in the story. 🙂
So what do you think? Do you mind reading a shapeshifter story or other kind of paranormal that just alludes to the paranormal element? Or do you want to see the shapeshifter world and everything that it entails??
Heart of the Wolf (avail now), Don’t Cry Wolf (Coming Mar 1!!)
Betrayal of the Wolf (Fall 09), Allure of the Wolf (Spr 10), The Vampire…In My Dreams (avail now), Deadly Liaisons (vampire RS, coming Nov 15, 2008)