I enjoy writing shifters and had already had a few out when I decided to write Rescuing Jack, the first book in my A Forever Home series, so I wanted to do things a little differently with this world. I like writing about small towns so that was an obvious choice, but I also wanted to play with the idea of werewolves actually being out in a world of humans. There would be complications, of course, and while I was developing a world where werewolves walked among the humans places and people started coming to life in this little town. In the cities things might have been easier for a werewolf, but I wanted to know the life of a man in a small town; somewhere that everyone knew each other and where a man who could turn into a wolf wouldn't be able to hide who he was.
It was hard for Marius in the town at first, and sometimes it still is. Fear creates idiots everywhere, even with a guy as charming and genuinely nice as Marius is. After Marius was figured out I began to build the town, the people, and his connections up around him until the world was complete. As always, writing a whole new world was fun and I enjoyed getting to spend time in this one.
When I begin a shifter story I look at what I like most about the books I've read and pull from those memories and ideas. I haven't yet written a hard, bloody shifter story but that isn't to say I won't ever go down that path. I prefer my shifters softer, where the focus of the story is more them and their relationships and the shifter side of them is another facet to their characters instead of being all of what they are. I believe that it keeps the love story, which is what the book is really about to me, at the forefront, while the fact that they can turn into wolves is just another part of who they are.
There are plenty of shifters out there to read and write about. So far the list of what I've done includes wolves, mustangs, dragons, clouded leopards, unicorns, deer, and one demon who can shift into a crow. I'd like to write about birds soon and writing about prey species is different which is nice. I'll probably always come back to wolves though. Its to hard not to want to write about them when I usually spend my writing time with my two dogs stretched out on either side of me. Wolves have a distinct family structure within their pack and playing with those dynamics is something I enjoy, and twisting them to try new things is even more fun.
Balancing the person and the animal is sometimes a complicated endeavor, depending on how you want the character to come across. I like my shifters more person than animal, but I've seen the opposite done very well too. Something I like trying in my books is seeing how far the animal can go when the person isn't around other people for extended periods of time and they no longer have to pretend to be human.
Whatever you like about shifters, there are a lot of choices out there for something to read and I'm sure you'll find your favorites. Thank you for spending a little time with me today while I talked about Rescuing Jack and my new series, A Forever Home, which is out now through Dreamspinner Press.
Werewolves are real. Marius enjoys the irony that everyone calls him a dog whisperer, not just because he’s a werewolf, but for his work at the local animal shelter. He has a unique talent for pairing families with their perfect pets upon first meeting them. But he’s still looking for acceptance and a forever family of his own. Then Jack comes into the rescue looking for a big, mean dog. To prevent Jack from making the wrong choice, Marius convinces him to adopt a needy spaniel mix instead. But when Marius learns Jack is tormented by horrible memories while at his apartment, he opens his home to the sweet, scared man. As their relationship grows, Jack feels comfortable telling Marius about the horrors he suffered. Marius hopes his steady presence, protection, and love can help Jack reclaim the pieces of himself broken on that terrible night.