We've all seen the shows, the movies or even read the books. These days, apart from the Underworld series, mainstream is all about the nice, pretty girl, who loves the rough, handsome, and troubled loner. They fall in love, only to find out that he is a werewolf/vampire. Then comes the question... Can their love endure? Will his wild, bestial true self destroy the love that they share? Blah blah blah blah blah! Are you tired of it? I know I am. Werewolves are monsters, and while they are also human, some of us are more concerned about the monster part, not whether the teen-wolf will shift during prom because there is a full moon!
That is why I wrote these characters the way that I did. I wanted to instill the idea that these people are dealing with how shifting into a lycanthrope affects their lives. What happens to them when they find out that they become a monster?
What's a Lycanthrope?
A lycanthrope is a mythological creature that can shift into an animal form, most commonly into the form of a wolf. However, I choose to use other types in my novel. Some of these have mythological equivalents, but not all. Some are taken from playing D&D when I was younger, as they had other ones beside werewolf. In my novel I use, werewolf, werebear, weretiger, wereboar, werecroc, wererat, werefox and weresnake. In the book, these original eight are referred to as Trues. Those who gain lycanthropy from Trues are called Pures, and those who gain it from Pures are called lycans. The original Trues were created by Druids.
Druids, you say? Like those guys who dress up in white robes and gather at Stonehenge? No. Not those guys. Druids were priests and scholars of the Celts. They were considered to be Priests of nature, though, like most things that have to do with Druids, nothing is known for certain. Celts and Druids kept no written histories and almost all of what we know of them is from outside information. This made them perfect to use as the main force behind my story as I was given a lot of latitude to create my own history of them. Druids were believed to be magic users and also able to shape-change into animals. This made the perfect backdrop for what I wanted. Shape-changers and a central conflict.
Nature vs. Civilization
Since Druids were nature priests I felt this would lead to different schools of thought. One that believed that man was part of nature and as such could co-exist with nature, with the proper teaching. The other would believe that civilization was abhorrent to nature and that the only way from nature to survive was if man was subjugated and forced to live in a way that would not harm nature. This conflict is timely as it also mirrors, to some extent, a debate that is happening right here and now.
Back to the future
I thought long and hard about whether to do this in the past or in present day/future. The thing that decided me was that as it is portrayed in the book, these monsters were created and existed at that time. Mythology and folklore were not things of late night TV or National Enquirer. In the minds of people of the time, these things were real. Where is the fun in that? So instead, I brought it the here and now. How would things play out in a world that only knows these things from books and Hollywood's imagination? How would society deal with these kinds of monsters? Are they numb to these things since many of us have grown up watching movies with these types of monsters? Or would we be scared shitless? How would it be possible for these things to exist?
Stem cells? You're kidding right?
Obviously, a large part of how this would be possible is fantastical. But, shouldn't there be something scientific about the whole thing? Well I thought so. So, how to make this make some semblance of sense? How would it be possible for a human to change into lycanthrope? There would have to be a change on a cellular level right? And what cells can become any cell they need to be? Stem cells. A stem cell can become bone, muscle, nerves, skin... you name it, that's what it becomes. As needed. So, if the body needed to change completely into something completely different, stem cells could effect that change. What's more, lycanthropes in my novel are supernaturally strong, they also can heal from almost any wound. They do this through manipulation of stem cells. So, with the combination of magic and science, I think I re-invented the werewolf mythology.
In the first book, I wanted to deal with each of these individuals as their lives are thrown into chaos when they shift for the first time. How they deal with it, how others deal with it, and if given this amazing and frightening power would you use it for good? Evil? Or try to run from it?
I hope you will discover it for yourself.
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