|wolf image creator Gary Kramer, National Digital Library|
What are the similarities and differences between wolves and werewolves and how does this play into my werewolf novellas? If you’re dying to know the answer, you’ve come to the correct place today!
Let’s start with the differences. First and foremost, real wolves don’t change into humans. There. I’ve said it. You can stop looking for your favorite sexy werewolf in a wolf pack. If you go to Yellowstone, Idaho, Montana or Wyoming and run into a wolf, it will not change into a human. Okay, now that we’ve got that out of the way, what about similarities?
Well, that varies from author to author. Some authors do research on werewolf legends and write their stories from that standpoint. Others do extensive wolf behavior research and write their werewolves to resemble wolves. Others just make their entire world up, including the legends and behaviors. Where do my stories fall on the continuum? Closer to the wolf behavior authors, although I did make things up.
I researched wolf behaviors. Not extensively mind you. Despite being a research coordinator in my day job, I’ll admit a dirty little secret—I despise doing research to look things up. Now, I might like it if I could actually find things on the internet, but that rarely happens. The Hubster can sit at the computer, think up a topic and poof, he’s found a dozen websites devoted to his topic. Me? Three hours later, my eyes have crossed and dried out and there is no websites to be found. Go figure. This is why I write paranormal, so I can just pull ideas out of my head and not have to worry.
Or not have to worry much.
Back to the werewolves. I wanted to do wolves justice. So many things out there focus on the negativity of wolves and it drives me nuts. Not to get on my political activist soapbox here (b/c really, who wants that??), but let me say that I wanted to create a world where wolves are looked upon favorably and not seen as some sort of evil being stalking humans for no apparent reason. In order to do that, I needed to get over my research phobia and find some wolf behaviors.
Which was actually pretty easy to do. Here is a link I found helpful. So, armed with a bit of wolf behavior knowledge, I started writing. In my first werewolf novella, Werewolves of London (which was originally released in an anthology and has just been re-released as a stand-alone novella), I did not use a lot of the research. Most of the story centers around my heroine, a werewolf who has never met another werewolf. When she finally meets the werewolf pack, the only wolf-like behaviors are those of a submissive to an alpha.
However, in the second of the series, Wolf Mates, there is a scene where the wolves hunt. I did research to find how wolves hunted and ate prey and used that knowledge in the novella.
I find wolves fascinating and hope to bring that fascination across a bit in my werewolf novellas. If you’ve read them, let me know if I’ve succeeded. :)
What are your feelings about wolves? Or werewolves? Like them? Hate them? Scared of them? Curious minds want to know.