We’re pleased to welcome author Grace R. Duncan today to chat about shifters and her new novel Patience. Enjoy and then be sure to click on the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for the chance to win a variety of prizes, including a $10 Dreamspinner Gift, a signed paperback copy of Devotion (US Residents Only), or a backlist e-book of your choice (one for each of the 12 musical blog posts).
Having Fun with Shifters
I love to read and write about shifters. I didn’t always. It wasn’t until Mary Calmes panthers that I got over myself and picked up other shifter books. When it comes to sci fi/fantasy/paranormal, there tend to be some standard ideas authors like to stick to. Things like leadership (and the ever-argued alpha/beta dynamic), shifted form size vs. human size, and even attitudes about being a shifter and how serious or not they tend to be.
I’ve, of course, never been one to always go with the crowd on things. *straightens her halo*
Now, my Forbes Mates does have an alpha/beta dynamic, but I wanted to step away from some of the other things so common to shifter books. One of the biggest of these is, to me, an insistence on alpha wolves and alpha men being big and serious and badass. Sure, some can be, but I quickly discovered my wolves weren’t like that.
The mythos behind any shifter world requires the author to make a number of decisions that, if we don’t know, we will get called on. How often do they shift? How big are they compared to their human form? When do they shift? How does it feel? And so on.
My guys are forced through the shift on the full moons. I wanted something they couldn’t necessarily control. But they also have a need to shift voluntarily more often than that. If they don’t or if they let stress get to them? Well, this is where the fun comes in.
They can start acting like dogs… while they’re in human form.
Tanner mentions in Devotion when one of the teenagers in the pack gets stressed out over finals and chases the mailman down the street. In Patience, Jamie mentions he’s lucky he didn’t start chewing on his roommate’s slippers and that, if they let it go too long, they could end up with full-blown ADHD issues. Not good when you’re finishing a semester in college.
As serious as Devotion was, I wanted to keep this series fairly light and fun. The third installment, Acceptance, features a jaguar shifter who… you guessed it… acts like a cat sometimes (complete with chasing yarn!).
They all joke about it, of course, mentioning how other shifters in their world would be horribly offended, and so on. But I wanted to make sure the books didn’t get too serious and I hoped some of that might be fun.
What sorts of things about shifters drive you nuts? What aspects do you like? Do you think they take themselves too seriously?
Blurb: Jamie Ryan was almost ready to accept he’d never find his destined mate. They’re uncommon to begin with and same-sex versions downright rare. Since his gay best friend found a destined mate, Jamie figured he was out of luck. Until end of semester stress forces him to go through the full-moon shift early. Stuck in wolf form, he runs into none other than his destined mate. Who’s human.
Chad Sutton has always had good instincts. They served him well as a detective and continued on when he went private. Those instincts tell him there’s something about the dog that comes up to him while running away from animal control that isn’t quite right. He works to put the pieces together, but is unsuccessful until his dog turns into a human before his eyes.
Jamie has no idea what a shifter’s mate bite will do to a human. He’s terrified to try—and possibly kill his mate. They hunt together for answers while working together on a case for Chad. It’s easy to see they belong together, but Jamie fears the gods gave him someone he can’t keep.
About Grace: Grace Duncan grew up with a wild imagination. She told stories from an early age – many of which got her into trouble. Eventually, she learned to channel that imagination into less troublesome areas, including fanfiction, which is what has led her to writing male/male erotica.
A gypsy in her own right, Grace has lived all over the United States. She has currently set up camp in East Texas with her husband and children – both the human and furry kind.
As one of those rare creatures who loves research, Grace can get lost for hours on the internet, reading up on any number of strange and different topics. She can also be found writing fanfiction, reading fantasy, crime, suspense, romance and other erotica or even dabbling in art.
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