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I love me traditional shifter tropes in stories: pack, dominance, fun magical spells, and superpowers. I’ve read a few stories in which the instant-mate factor was perfect.
One of my favorites was a heterosexual wolf whose life-mate was a gay guy. The fun switch in that book was that the gay guy freaked out about their mating. The straight one was fine with his new mate. He said, okey dokey, let’s get started with this new life!
Sidenote: If this plot sounds familiar, please, let me know the title. It’s a few years old, and I cannot find it in my library.
However, the great thing about shifter worlds is that there are very few fans who get annoyed when you play with the rules and invent your own. I get the impression that with some sub-genres, like vampires, readers get ruffled when authors use only some of the rules but abandon others.
And making up rules, messing with tropes, is one of my favorite parts of writing—or reading. That’s partly why I love K J Charles’s latest historical (not a shapeshifting book!) Think of England. She took something familiar and changed expectations.
I’ve loved the idea of something different in the shifter world for years. Revealing Skills, a m/f romance published by Samhain in 2006, was inspired by someone making a joke about having a hero shift into a rat. That was my hero—although he took on other forms as well.
My release this week, Revealing the Beast, is part of a series. My first shifter book set in this world, cowritten with Linda Gayle, Predator’s Passion, is a historical, mostly m/f with some m/m. (And it’s only .99 until July 15) We explored the idea of shifters who don’t live in a pack and are part of a mostly human family. They’re loners desperate to understand their different nature.
The two books set in this world published with Samhain are m/m contemporaries, and like the characters in the first book, the shifters in this world are basically on their own. Sometimes even their own families abandon them. Hey, if you’re not entirely a pack animal, you’re not as likely to stick around with others of your kind, including your own offspring. That’s primarily true for Jake Bander, one of the heroes in the first book, Taming the Bander. Other types of shifters form families, but nearly all of them have to avoid cities and crowds of people.
These shifters aren’t completely separate species. They’re mostly human, but every now and again, shifter genes prevail.
There’s also no one and only soul mate for my shifters. Instant attraction, though—oh yeah, that’s there.
Other variations: the males are fairly alpha, but they’re probably not going to take control of anything other than their own environment. Their shifter forms only vaguely resemble creatures found in nature—no straightforward wolves or tigers, just echoes of those animals.
I took out another shifter standard: secrecy and conflict with human society…but for this third book, Revealing the Beast, the conflict went back in. After all, a lot of people don’t like minorities.
I’ve just finished writing my fourth m/m set in this only slightly different world and I’m still having a blast. There’s nothing more fun that writing paranormal romance. You can draw on all the conflicts and pleasures of a regular world but intensify everything with a touch of supernatural.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Summer Devon is the pen name writer Kate Rothwell often uses. Whether the characters are male or female, human or dragon, her books are always romance.
You can visit her facebook page, where there’s a sign up form for a newsletter (she’ll only send out newsletters when there’s a new Summer Devon or Kate Rothwell release and she will never ever sell your name to anyone).
Her blog is available here.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
“Solitary Shifters, Book 2”
Colt Easton is easygoing, fun loving, good with little kids and he occasionally turns into a beast capable of ripping out a man s throat. It s a family secret he d be more than happy to keep if there wasn t a little boy s life at stake.
A deathbed confession revealed the child could carry Easton blood. The only way Colt can monitor the boy is with a job at his day-care center. The problem? New laws decree that all shifters be tagged. No blood test, no job.
Dr. Jasper Glen is instantly drawn to the outgoing Colt and is certain any child would be safe in the handsome shifter s care. He ought to know he s been studying shifters for years, even invented the blood test that now, to his shame, the government is using against them.
All it takes is a quick vial switch. Except Jasper s good deed blows the lid off a secret he didn t even know he was keeping. And triggers a chain of events that makes them all moving targets.
Releases: July 8, 2014 by Samhain