Meet Legacy and Dinks, my fur babies.
Even with the hair all over the couch, the chewed up chair legs, vet bills and a cabinet full of carpet cleaner, I love sharing my home with pets. They add love, warmth and a delightful unpredictability to life.
They are also great inspiration for writing shifter stories. While there are all types of potential shifters, a quick perusal of romance novels indicates that predatory shifters–wolves, big cats and bears– tend to dominate romance novels– thus, our fantasies. Since dogs are 99 percent wolf and house cats are essentially small tigers, living with them offers practical guidance for creating believable shifters. Here are a few things Legs and Dinks have taught me:
- Life depends on play. Predators learn to fight and kill through play. Legacy is rough and relentless, but she’d never hurt anyone.
- Touch is equally essential. They love to be petted, massaged, scratched. Legacy welcomes it, often solicits it. Dinks is pickier and you have to work with his timetable, but he eventually succumbs.
- They give warning before they attack. Whether its a rolling growl or raised ears, they let you know where they stand. Maybe not when hunting for food, but when dealing with threats, always.
- Nurture and nature shape a pet’s character. Both Legs and Dinks were from adopted as babies, from shelters. They are a happy lot. That’s clearly not true of other shelter pets I’ve met, adopted when they are older.
My pets are not my only inspiration when creating shifters for my stories. I also use pinterest. Come visit my Shifter Inspiration Board. Its full of wolves, eagles, bats (all in Shifter Trials) and many other glorious beasts.
What’s the source of your shifter inspiration?
Meet my shifters.