Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Wolves and the Writing of Stormrider


Amazing creatures. Family oriented, intelligent and loyal, which in my estimate puts them heads and shoulders above lots of people I’ve known. 

Today I decided I’d talk a bit about one of my favorite books to write, Stormrider, what went into it and how it came to be. 

I’ve always loved nature and animals and wolves have had a tender spot in my heart for as long as I can remember. 

A friend had a hybrid wolf-dog which was more wolf than dog and it was fascinating being around her. The wolf, Bonita, was certainly not docile, but neither was she vicious. It always seemed though that she was most definitely in charge. From her I extrapolated my main character, StrongHeart who was the ‘gentlemanly’ leader of the pack of Nashirian wolves in Stormrider. The pack would be considered misfits, each with a draw-back, a hinderance (StrongHeart an outcast from his pack, One-Eye blind in one eye, Little Foot with a deformed paw), but all supporting one another. And there is one more member of the pack, Stormrider, aka, Tanith Aesir, a Janissary, warrior woman and protector of the weak, she finds she had a mental link and emotional tie with the wolves, a gift of the amazing planet on which she dwells, and is drawn into the pack. But even then she can’t give up her quest to bring peace to her war-torn world and put a stop to the crazy man who wants to rule. So, the wolves join their strengths to hers in her quest.

Now, admittedly ‘normal’ wolves can’t talk, mentally or otherwise (though their howls are amazing communication between them), but on Nashira they can. Not only that, but they can be smart-alecky, snarky and irritated, yet there is unwavering loyalty between them – including their human pack member. 

All that is patterned on actual wolves and their habits and behaviors. If you take the time to watch a few videos or a movie like Never Cry Wolf, or National Geographic’s page on wolves  or NOVA’s site on wolves you’ll get a general feel for their behaviors which inspired the creation of the three powerful wolves in Stormrider. 

Creating them as characters with distinct personalities in the novel I wrote, Stormrider, I used such resources as mentioned above to spin each wolf’s individual personality. Obviously I stretched things and created new twists, but it’s the research that provided the backbone and the jumping off place of where to begin. When I begin a book such as this it’s always best to know some solid facts before beginning to fantasize a tale. Grounding the story in reality, even when it’s a science fiction or fantasy story, makes it stronger and breathes more life into the characters and the background, hopefully making it a much more enjoyable read, one that draws the reader into the story and doesn’t jostle them out.  

The research for the book also unearthed things like wolf howls that I used in creating the accompanying book trailer to create a more in depth feel of being there.

Come on into a writer’s brain and read a sample of Stormrider  and see how the reality of wolves can blend with the fiction of an adventurous story. 

 -come visit, like, and stay tuned for Stormrider give-aways 

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