Identifying with Shifters #fur #reading #shifterromance #escape
Last week I talked about camouflage, and how there is an inner beast prowling inside some of us that we won’t let out. For various reasons, and all of them personal. And visceral. But, I’m getting sidetracked already, thinking about guts. Because that’s leading to…See? Sidetracked.
What I want to talk about this week is how when that inner beast gets poked at its damned hard to keep her passive.
So, please forgive me as I stand here as Captain Obvious and announce: We read paranormal romance novels for the pleasure of it. What, you want to know, does reading books you love have to do with our own hidden animals?
Because when it comes to reading the subgenre of Shifter Romance, I think we read it for the escape. From un-reality, my friends. The world most would call normal…isn’t. For those of us who don’t fit into it, the “un-real” world is a confining and confusing space. With waaay too many rules many of us just can’t understand. Or tolerate.
So, we escape to places that do make sense. Sure, some call them fictional. Let them. By now, those of us who claw at the steel of our invisible cages are used to being patronized. Being accustomed to something doesn’t mean we like it, though. We’re baring our fangs, lifting our hackles. But being the awesome, adaptable creatures we are, we camouflage it.
But, man oh man! Wouldn’t it be AWESOME to really show your teeth?
Being the author of my…I’m gonna call them get-aways, I get to create scenes that let me vent. You know, like something happened with some humans, and I so, so wanted to clutch their throats in my jaws. Thrash ‘em around a bit, make them see sense.
Instead of acting on my instincts, I hide my true nature, and retreat to my keyboard. Here’s a scene from my book Kenrickey to show you what I mean:
I shuffled to Hersey’s office at his request when class was over.
“God, Ken, you look like hell.”
I stared at him.
“Er,” Hersey cleared his throat. “Well, then.” He rubbed his hands together like he was cold, or nervous. “The reason I wanted to see you–”
“Stay the fuck away from my house.”
He shut up, his guilt blooming on his cheeks.
The rush of blood to his face stirred me, awakened the predator within and I crept forward, my muscles shivering tensely, aching to hurt him. I stopped when our toes nearly touched, then followed my nose toward his neck, where his fear puffed in whiffs from his quickening pulse. I leaned back to lock his eyes with mine. “Come near my property again, I will personally cut your legs off and throw them in the river.”
“I didn’t-I wasn’t—”
I arched an eyebrow at his stuttering lies.
I raised my hand to point at his chest and the pussy flinched. “Don’t ever beckon me to your office again, Mark. I’ll come when I think it’s necessary, and not before.”
I turned my back on the pathetic crumb, and left the building without waiting for his reply. ~Kenrickey: Book Three of the Luna Chronicle
See? Of course, there is a ton of pre-story to this scene. Ken is being sucked into the world of wolf shifters with some strange and fearsome side effects. But I think the scene shows the gist of what I’m talking about. Sometimes, you just want to show a liiiitle of that beast inside you. Let just enough shimmer to the surface so the one you’re confronting feels your intensity.
I think of scenes like this in all my books when my hackles are up and I want to shred someone a new a**hole. Don’t you? When you find yourself in these situations, do you remember a shifter character you’ve read about, and picture yourself in their stead? Or imagine yourself adopting their can’t-give-two-shits attitudes when it’s going to kill you to roll over one goddamned more time?
Me, too. It’s why I love to read shifter romance, and love to write it even more. When problems surface, I find myself thinking what would Kenrickey do?
How about you? Is there a favorite character you fall back on to get you out of crappy situations?
Thanks for getting what I’m talking about. There’s nothing scholarly, or particularly rational about this post. I’m just sharing. And, hopefully, letting you know you’re not alone in there.
Enjoy your day. Shake your fur. It needs fluffing.
~S.C. Dane is a paranormal romance novelist with four books to her credit, and two in the works.