Monday, December 14, 2009

More on Shape Shifters -- Why

Many people have thought of becoming an animal. I know I have. The reason for this is probably unique to each individual. What animal would you like to be. I'd opt for a cat, not a small cat but lately I've been spending some time with the large cats. Lions are group oriented and there is strength in numbers but they're not my first choice. I'm quite partial to cheetahs. In Africa, they're the smallest of the large cats and the fastest. They're also pretty. Leopards are beautiful cats but more solitary than most of the large Africal cats. They eat alone even when they have cubs. That's more aloneness than I'd like.

Now we get to the why. Why do I want to be a cat rather than some other animal? I'm not a dog person. Wolves and bears aren't my thing either. I'd choose a cheetah for all the things I'm not. Fast, pretty and predatory. That may be what attracts us to shape shifters. They can do the things we can't or won't.

Any opinions.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Shapeshifters and other weres

I'm fascinated by shapeshifting characters in books and have never written one, but perhaps one day I will. I think I prefer cats or maybe dragons but Mercedes Lackey and Andre Norton have done a good job with shapeshifting dragons. At least they had a good way of showing where the extra weight went. Dragons definitely weigh more than men and women. In fact my first encounter with shapeshifters was in Andre Norton's Witch World Series books I've read time and again.

Some of my friends and critique partners write about shape shifters, Jane Toombs recently sent my a blurb about one of her shifters. Dance Of The Cedar Cat from Eternal Press is a werecat story. Sussie has been trained by her grandmother to always go though a ritual on full moon nights where she chants Finnish words and locks a little cedar cat inside a box. As an adult, she sometimes forgets--until one night, under a full moon, something mind-calls to her to strip off her clothes and come out and join him in a dance. The first time, she rushes to the little cedar cat, chants, locks it in the box, and the urge to join whatever it is out there fades. But the time comes when she answers the call--and finds out what she really is... Haven't read it yet but will download it into my reader if it's available.

Jenna Kernan is a critique partner and her shapeshifters come in various kinds. Her first one out is a bear. The book is Dream Stalker and she uses Native American myths as a background for her stories. I've heard the book in part but I haven't read the end which I will as soon as I finish a book about dragons I'm reading.

I met Sara Taney Humphries at a book signing. I didn't buy a print copy of the book but I did download it into my reader. Her shapeshifters belong to one of ten animal clans. In The Amoveo Legacy her hero belongs to the Golden Eagle clan. The woman fated to be his mate is a hybrid whose father was of the Gray Wolf clan and her mother was human. Samantha has no idea of her heritage. The story tells of the troubles they face from others who do not want them to mate. I enjoyed the book very much.

The last one I'll talk about here is a hoot. The Seattle Barista Killer by Murdoch Hughes. We share a publisher in Mundania Press. I heard about this book for several years before publication. His hero is a vegan werewolf detective named Harley. He's really only half werewolf and sort of a loner. This book quite tickled my funny bone and still does with re-reading. As a detective Harley sets out to learn who is killing baristas, young women who work in coffee bars in Seattle. A sense of smell is quite an asset for a detective.

So if anyone wants to share their shapeshifters or help me find a way to turn the large cats I love into shifters feel free to post. Janet