Ah, what’s warmer on a chilly almost-winter night than a shapeshifter? Today, bring on the fur, because we’re looking at Dreaming of the Wolf, a new paranormal romance from author Terry Spear, who writes hot, sexy beasts better than most. Today, she’s talking about how to keep a series fresh. Dreaming of the Wolf is her eighth wolf novel, although each book reads as a standalone.
And Terry’s publisher, Sourcebooks Casablanca, is giving away two copies of Dreaming of the Wolf to commenters today, so be sure and leave your email in a comment at the end!
First, about Dreaming of the Wolf: Werewolf pack leader Jake Silver is an acclaimed photographer. He sees a beautiful woman at the art gallery where his photos are on display, and his intrigue turns into wolfish protectiveness. Alicia Greiston has never met anyone like Jake-he’s sexy, alpha, and totally irresistible, and he calls to something primal in her soul.
Now, let’s hear from Terry!
How to Keep a Series Fresh!
Dreaming of the Wolf is the eighth book in my wolf series, and it’s really important for me to write a new story each time, not just different characters, but a whole new story.
When I read a series, I want something new and not just a repeat of an earlier book.
In each of my stories, the heroine is spunky, not a wilting flower, so I can’t change that aspect of the books. But I wanted to give this heroine a unique past like I do with each of the stories. She’s human, a bounty hunter, and going after her mother’s killers—but she’s also the first heroine in any of my stories that has been divorced, twice. Lots of my friends or mother’s friends had been divorced more than once. I wanted to make a commentary in a fun way on the misadventures of being married more than once, and neither working out—because that’s how my friends viewed it. And how that relates to the trials of wanting another marriage, and the contrast with the wolf philosophy of being mated for life.
In this story, Jake Silver is in Breckenridge, Colorado, where I loved to ski, and he’s on a mission—drop off some of his floral photography at an art gallery to sell. So I set it in a different locale than I did the other stories. I also gave him a hobby that wouldn’t seem very alpha wolfish. Which was fun when he and the heroine get into some dialogue about what kind of art he does, and he’s reluctant to say.
Excerpt from Dreaming of the Wolf by Terry Spear:
Before he could ask her why she was a bounty hunter—figuring maybe for the excitement, for some sense of adventure, or because it paid better—she posed a question. “What were you doing at the art gallery?”
The notion she was in the business of asking questions and getting answers made him think she was like a police officer on a mission.
This got tricky, though. Only his pack members knew about his hobby, photographing flowers in the wild. Even if anyone thought it wasn’t a macho thing to do, no one let on. At least not to his face. As no-nonsense as she seemed, he imagined she’d think his hobby was foolish. And as much as he told himself that shouldn’t matter, he did care what she thought.
She didn’t miss a beat. “You have paintings you’re leaving off, right? Nude women? Old girlfriends? New girlfriends?”
He laughed. The woman was precocious. “I’m afraid that if I told you, I’d ruin your image of me.”
“Ahhh,” she said, drawing out the word. “I see.”
I also had a really instant attraction between the hero and heroine and a need to do something more with that attraction than I ever have done with any of the other books. It really has to do with the characters. And with these characters, it just worked out that way.
Some of how I keep a series fresh is I set the stories in a unique location. That does mean doing a lot of research, but it makes it worthwhile to help ensure each story is different. The characters might be wolves, but they’re also unique. Each has different kinds of personalities, special hobbies, unique pasts that mold them, different goals, original jobs that are unlike the characters’ occupations in earlier books.
I don’t do a character sketch, but instead the character develops as he or she is faced with conflict and must deal with it. In this way, since the conflictive situations are different for each story, the way the characters deal with the situations will be different also.
Some similarities will exist because it’s the same werewolf world and so the rules need to apply to each story. Since this story involves a human and wolf, it’s fun showing he’s constantly thinking in terms of wolf families and how they watch out for each other, and not liking the predicament she’s in where she has no family keeping her safe.
Another aspect I thoroughly enjoyed in this story was showing how varied her occupations were. So many interesting people I’ve met through the years have had a multitude of jobs, not just one that defines them. So when he’s asking about her qualifications for being a bounty hunter, I had fun with that.
Even though he loves to photograph wildflowers, Jake Silver is still alpha to the max!
I’ve watched bounty hunter shows and cop shows, and always thought it was interesting how they brought in the criminal. Consider this—you’re a bounty hunter, and a wolf gets in your way. Do you stop and play? And then take up your mission? Or are you hardcore all the way? But before you answer that question, look again at the wolf with the golden eyes on the Dreaming of the Wolf cover and tell me you wouldn’t want to stop and enjoy life to the max for a brief moment in time…first! 🙂
Thanks to everyone for stopping by and saying hi!
Thanks, Terry! Want to win a copy of Dreaming of the Wolf? Leave a comment and tell me your favorite kind of shifter (wolf? Big cat?), and you know the rest of the drill. One entry for comment, another for blog follow, a third for a Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and a fourth for a Tweet or Retweet. Be sure to include your email. Now…Go forth and comment!