December is here, and you know what that means... There's one song I'll be muttering under my breath for the next three weeks. No, it's not Mariah Carey's Christmas song. The husband is already wanting to strangle me for singing Trixie Mattel's "All I Want For Christmas is Nudes" nonstop the past couple of days. But you're not here to hear me sing, and if you are, you've come to the wrong blog article.
December also means y'all get another Ask An Author! Let's see, lemme dig around. I know I got one here somewhere. Jeezums, it's dark in— AH, GOT ONE! Took me a bit, but here ya go. Time to see what @WolfM is up to...
What was the draw for writing and creating in this genre?
Maybe it was my name that started me down this path. I do have a passion for the furry beasts I’m named after. More seriously, for as long as I can remember, the idea of shapeshifters has been a favorite fantasy of mine.
I’ve written about being homeless and living on the streets a couple times. It wasn’t a pleasant world on the best of days. Creating in this genre made for a fantasy world I could escape into where I was able to hide from what was around me. Beings that don’t usually get sick, are strong enough to protect themselves, and can heal injuries just by shifting between their different bodies had a big appeal to a teen who tried act like he was never scared.
On second thought, it was definite because I’m named Wolf. 😉
In almost all of your stories, the characters both primary and secondary may start single or coupled; but by the end they almost always coupled. Is there a reason that you tend to put your characters into relationships?
To be honest, it’s not something I really gave much thought to. When I started writing Running with the Pack, I wanted it to be a boy meets boy story. I didn’t think of it as writing a romance story, but that’s partly what it became. For me, I really didn’t see myself as someone who’d have a meaningful relationship with anyone, but it was fun to see in print.
While I was more-or-less happy being single while I wrote, I wanted something a little more for my characters. Aiden got Ethan. Casey got Darius and Cody, the greedy bastard. In The Journal of Chris Williams, it seemed like a natural progression of Chris’ healing that he found his true mate; what’s considered the ultimate happiness for a shifter in the world I create. Dorian was going to remain single, but I liked the character of Karissa Ryan and had fun when I expanded on their time together. I also thought she was just the person to knock some sense into the man. In Embers, Brandon is based on me more than any other character, even though Ethan’s beginnings match mine, so he started with his mate to match mine.
I guess I could have created a similar dynamic between characters without putting them in a relationship. Through multiple books, Trevor had always been the playboy; always playing the field and getting laid with as many women as he could. So far I haven’t mated him off to anyone, though it came close. At the end of Higher Education, despite his summer relationship he does return to Harvard a single man.
Maybe I’m just a romantic at heart.
While this genre would be one that would lend itself to outdoor setting; you seem to set not only this story but others in areas with amazing outdoor sites. Is there something about the outdoors that really call to you, or more just that this genre needs to have some of those settings?
I’m not an especially big fan of the outdoors and yet I’ve spent a lot of my life in it, which is probably why I’m not a fan. It’s a vicious cycle. That said, I kind of felt with my characters being part animal, they need to be outside of a bustling city with places they can shift, hunt, and run. I did kind of go against that in Embers with the ones living in Sydney.
With Higher Education I decided to reuse the same rural Northern California town from The Alpha. The way I’d left that pack offered a good starting point for another book. Trevor hadn’t spent much time in that pack’s territory, so it was natural to have him explore. While there’s many fun and incredible things you can do in a city, I prefer writing the relaxed setting of the outdoors. Visiting a beautiful waterfall or climbing to the top of a volcano usually aren’t usually available options in a metropolitan location. I did place or mentioned shifters in and around San Diego and Los Angeles. If I hadn’t, Trevor wouldn’t have had the fun he did with Brandon in Hillcrest’s bars and restaurants. Well, the nude beach definitely qualified as outdoors near a big city.
Where I’ve used a real location in a book, I’ve tried to see what’s around for my characters to do. Between the time I wrote The Alpha and Higher Education, I got to spend time in the area controlled by the Pit River Pack and was able to experience some of what I’d written about. That alone, increased my desire to reuse Burney, CA as a story location. Trevor was able to see more things than I used the first go around. Tourists do tend to find more than the locals who are used to having it around.
Maybe the outdoors does call to me more than I’d like to admit. Just as long as camping isn’t involved. I get enough of that as a firefighter.
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Thanks for the interview, @WolfM! It's always a pleasure chatting with you.
Well, if you didn't catch my subliminal message before the interview, I'll reiterate. We've reached the bottom of the barrel again, folks. There's no more stories in the piggy bank. Help a little blogger and give him a few Q&A sessions for Christmas. If YOU have read an awesome story recently and want to learn more, send me THREE questions in a personal message pertaining to an author's story.
Have a good holiday, y'all! See ya next year.