Confessions of a romance writer: An animal in human skin

Confessions of a paranormal romance author: Animal in a Human’s Skin #furry #freak #wolf #creativity #writing #excerpts

Camouflage is French for “mind your own business.” ~Anonymous (I don’t know who came up with this. I heard a friend say it, and thought it so clever he couldn’t possibly have thought it up himself. But if he did? My apologies. And hats off to you, K.B.)

Don’t you ever wonder where your imagination comes from? Why the fancies of one person’s mind can vary so greatly from another’s. Each one taking on a specific slant, a perspective leaning in a constant direction.
Like the too-close-for-comfort preternatural dramas of Stephen King, or the complicated sagas of JRR Tolkein. Both writers reveal a pattern, a legend to the maps of their minds’ inventiveness.
What does this tell me? It tells me that our imaginations are linked to our essential cores. That they are linked to who we are on the inside.
No matter what we look like on the outside.
What I mean is, yeah, we can look perfectly human, but there’s something else curled deep and safe inside of us: the inner self which can be truer to who we are than our own skins.
For some of us, that skin is camouflage. It doesn’t represent who we are on the inside. I mean, do you catch a glimpse of yourself in a mirror and get taken aback? As if the image in the glass isn’t what you expected to see?
Or that maybe inside your hands, when you look down at them, there is something aching to push out?
Happens to me. Which is how my first book came about. I dared to cage my insecurities and stepped a tentative toe onto the damning evidence of the page. Where the written word transformed itself into the accusing finger, giving the “normal” public a chance to scoff and malign the creatures escaping my imagination.
Since it was my first story, I stuck to the cardinal rule of authors: write what you know.
Still shy and afraid, I wrote in privacy, guarding my computer screen while I transported the animals inside me to the brutal exposure of the open page
This is how Beth was born. A woman living in human society. A woman out of touch with that society. Yeah, she blended okay, but there was always something others were put off by.
Always something she was put off by, but couldn’t quite put her finger on.
That’s me. I live with humans, but too often find myself saying, “What the fuck?”
Because I don’t get people.
Neither does Beth. Since I couldn’t do anything about myself, I saved her.
I conjured a wolf-man to come and show her where her real world was.
Wishful thinking? You bet!

From Luna: Book One of The Luna Chronicle by S.C. Dane:

Sunrise found me in my usual spot in front of the picture window, sipping my coffee and gazing at my reflection as I fantasized about the stranger named Alec. I was running into him a lot, and he seemed to be searching me out as often as I was looking for him. No guy or teenage horny-toad had ever pursued me, not even out of curiosity. So, why didn’t I find the whole situation unusual?
Because this man’s interest stirred me like I’d only dreamed about. I wanted him. Scratch that. I craved him. Hell, I was getting goose-bumps just sitting in my chair thinking about him. It was all I could do to keep myself from throwing my virginity at him.
So, I had to be careful. I had no experience in this sort of thing, and I sure as shit didn’t want to scare him off with my weirdness. Forget that I thought the guy could be a wolf. That was just me fantasizing again. The reality was that I was the freak, so if Alec found me interesting, I was going to have to act as normal as I could muster. Which meant not stalking him like a hungry predator.

This is a scene from when Beth still thought she was human. Before she learned there were wolf-people and she was one of them. At this time in the story, she thinks she’s a freak because she just doesn’t think like the people around her. She prefers spending her time in the woods. It’s the only place where she feels closest to her “real” self, without understanding why.
Like many of us, she has to put on a mask to get through her day. She has to pretend to “get” the rules of human interaction. Only in the primordial cradle of the forests does she slough her mask, to run and play with wild abandon.
For Beth, these private sojourns into the woods are necessary to her spiritual survival.
As they are for mine. I need to touch the earth with my bare feet or I’ll go bat shit. Know what I mean? Or can you keep your beast happy without leaving the city walls? If you can, I’d love to know how.

I’ll share more of Luna, Beth, and a romance writer’s private inner workings later. If you want to read more about Beth, be one of the first to comment, and I’ll send you a free, signed copy of Luna: Book One of The Luna Chronicle. Or check out another female misfit in the serial I published here on my blog. Titled Wolf Love, it’s free for the reading.

Thank you for coming along for the ride.

~S.C. Dane

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