First things, you’ll notice the site change as I mess around with it–hopefully all these changes will be improvements.
Beyond that, it’s getting to the point where I ought to get a head start on talking up the book. As I’ve said before, I don’t think I’m writing the next Great American Novel–Tamed Hearts is just a fun story about werewolves. Girl meets boy, figures out his secret, gets on the wrong side of his rivals… Well, let’s not dwell on the plot too much. Most people realize there are only so many stories, and I definitely don’t claim Tamed Hearts is an original. What defines a story, makes it ‘speak’ for people–certainly for me–is giving the characters depth and motivation. So, for the next few weeks, I’m going to talk a little about the major characters of Tamed Hearts, Wild Souls–and hopefully in a way that will interest people enough to actually check the book out.
First, though, it might be helpful to cover some of the basics…
There have been all kinds of shape-changing half animal monsters throughout the legends of human history. I consciously chose to model my werewolves very closely on the ‘classic Hollywood’ conception of the monster. The Full Moon for a werewolf is a time of fear as they know their Beast will rise and completely take over, quite likely bringing grave harm to the people around them. Since werewolves are my favorite monster, they are, by definition, the most badass thing in this world. That’s not to say that a weak werewolf and a highly trained human might not be closely matched–but again, since this is me writing, all other things being equal, bet on the werewolf.
As a rule, werewolves can’t Change at will, but some very special Wolves can–the reader learns quickly about one of these, though not the full reason why. Generally, Wolves in their human form are limited to a better sense of smell, modestly better strength and coordination, and a certain heightening of instinct that makes them notably intuitive. Changed werewolves are frighteningly strong, shockingly fast, and usually totally brutal. But those Wolves who can control their Change have the advantage of being able to access a vastly improved sense of smell, along with being dramatically stronger and faster. Such control, though, often comes with a price.
There are two major ‘groups’ of werewolves–neither calls themselves anything special, but they do have a name for the other ‘group’. Hunters are werewolves who embrace their Beast and for the most part do not try to control it. They tend to have better memories about what they do under the Beast’s influence, but they’re not ‘in control’. Hunters congregate into Packs–these are analogous to wild wolf-packs and in the same way are generally led by an Alpha. A werewolf Alpha can be male or female, though any Alpha is almost guaranteed to insist on being the dominant partner in any romantic pairing, and male werewolves who readily accept this situation are rare. Alphas can be scheming politicians or dedicated crusaders, but they always have a vision and the ambition to see it brought to light. Hunters look down on ‘Omegas’, werewolves who deny their Beast and try to keep from hurting anyone–as far as they are concerned, such sniveling puts these Wolves at the absolute bottom of the werewolf ‘pecking order’.
Needless to say, Hunters and Omegas have a long-standing habit of not getting along. And Hunters, by nature, tend to be better-organized and more determined…