When I was in grade school, the DC Public Library used to send a “library basket” to each classroom once a month. The teacher would display the books on the chalk shelf below the blackboard, and we’d get to come up and choose which ones we wanted to take home. One morning, when I was in fifth grade, she put up a book called RED PLANET, by Robert Heinlein. On the cover was a picture of a person in space suit and a weird-looking creature. As soon as I saw that cover, I knew I had to read that book, and I elbowed a couple of boys out of the way to grab it off the ledge.
That’s how my love affair with the weird began. Until my early twenties, science fiction and fantasy were my chief reading material. Just like with my first science fiction novel, I have vivid memories of reading my first shapeshifter story, DARKER THAN YOU THINK, by Jack Williamson. I was fifteen at the time, and he made me want to BE a werewolf. But it took years before I dared to write my first werewolf book, KILLING MOON. Looking for a unique theme, I settled on a werewolf detective who used his wolf senses to solve crimes. (Yeah, like Moonlight for vampires. But I thought of it first.)
I’ve been writing shapeshifter books ever since, but I haven’t given up my love of the paranormal in general. MORE THAN A MAN, coming out in August, is one of those books that’s hard to fit into a category. It’s about a man named Noah Fielding who’s lived for seven hundred years. Of course he’s left a lot of lovers behind and escaped lots of dangerous situations, but he meets his match when a dying millionaire devises a diabolical plan to discover Noah’s secret. And he’s willing to use any means, including kidnapping the woman Noah loves.
Living forever is such an appealing concept, but it brings a whole host of problems with it, as Noah has discovered over the years. And it’s an interesting challenge for a writer. Kind of like the Superman problem. If you can’t die, what puts you in jeopardy?
RT gave MORE THAN A MAN a Top Pick 4.5.
They said, This top-notch mystery could be the best of the 43 Light Street series! . . . York has outdone herself with first-rate characters, a roller-coaster ride of a story and a plot that will keep readers holding their breath.
Needless to say, I was thrilled. And I was astonished to see how much the guy on the cover looks like my son.
If you’re not reading shapeshifter books, which paranormal themes do you like best?