by Terry Spear, guest blogger
Have you ever wanted to shapeshift? Maybe not exactly thought of it in those terms, but haven't you ever wanted to be a fly on the wall? To hear and see what was going on at some event that you couldn't/wouldn't dare intrude on otherwise? But were dying to know what went on?
Or have you ever wished you could stretch up and reach something you can't without a stepstool or ladder? Or wished you could run like a gazelle? Or had four hands so you could do whatever job you were doing that needed more than two hands? What about looking out over a mountainous ravine, watching an eagle soaring above the treetops? Ever wish you could fly like that?
Or swim deep into underwater caves or around exquisite corals and through colorful tropical fish, or under icebergs to see what's down there, without the aid of scuba or snorkeling gear or wetsuits?
What if you could show off a pair of wickedly sharp teeth if someone really aggravated you and that would make him or her back off-quickly?
So now, have you ever wanted to shapeshift?
Why werewolves? In truth, I started out with vampires, and then somewhere along the line I created a futuristic world-a warrior who is grounded on a planet where the heroine is a panther shapeshifter and her brother, a dragon. But then, I began considering wolves, werewolves and how they got just as bad a rap as vampires in the beginning. Someone needed to love them, as they were. Many stories show werewolves living in our society, some as a fantasy element, some where they are more closely related to the old werewolf tales-man hates his being a werewolf, can't remember what he does in the middle of the night, dead bodies everywhere.
Mine are about a race of humans, unsure how they were turned, though various thoughts persist, from alien forces to a mutated virus from the bite of a wolf early on. I try to keep my stories as true to wolf behavior in the wild as I can-but of course, their actions are moderated by their human halves. And while they're human, they have their enhanced abilities that give them an advantage over regular humans.
In Heart of the Wolf, which was named one of Publishers Weekly's Best Books of the Year, they said this: "The vulpine couple's chemistry crackles off the page, but the real strength of the book lies in Spear's depiction of pack power dynamics, as well as in the details of human-wolf interaction. Her wolf world feels at once palpable and even plausible."
And The Romantic Times had this to say: "A solidly crafted werewolf story, this tale centers on pack problems in a refreshingly straightforward way. The characters are well drawn and believable, which makes the contemporary plotline of this story of love and life among the lupus garou seem, well, realistic."
In Destiny of the Wolf, I wanted to show a werewolf pack that actually runs a town, a fictional place called Silver Town, based on several silver towns in Colorado. Lelandi is a red wolf from another part of Colorado, who knows her sister has been murdered, but when she arrives in Silver Town to locate and dispense with the murderer, she finds herself on his new hit list. And Darien, the gray alpha pack leader, soon changes his mind about sending the luring red back to her own pack, and keeping her right where she is-for her protection, of course.
So why wolves? They're fiercely protective of their own, mate for life, and live in family packs, loyal, courageous, cunning, and strong. Just seeing them nuzzling each other, shows their human, I mean, loving side. So why not werewolves? Combined, it makes them a hot new item where the term alpha male takes on a whole new meaning.
If you could, what would you like to shapeshift into?