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June 28, 2012

Wolves and Werewolves by Karilyn Bentley

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.
Click the covers above for Amazon links. For TWRP links click Werewolves in London or Wolf Mates


Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer said...

I love werewolves or shapeshifters. Thanks for sharing this interesting comparison between wolves and werewolves.

Liz Lipperman said...

Karilyn, I have to admit to not being much of a werewolf lover--or paranormal in general. I guess that comes with my scientific background that requires definitive answers to everything (medical,) However, your books are in my kindle waiting for a vacation--coming up!! I can't wait to read about how you made wolves hot looking guys!

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Kimbacaffeinate,
Thank you for stopping by! Glad you enjoyed the post. Have a great day!

Hi Liz,
No problem! I understand the walk on the paranormal side isn't for everyone. :) Thank you for downloading my books!! I hope you enjoy them!

Angi Morgan said...

I definitely have a mix-reaction. Although, I love the look of wolves. Love shapeshifter stories. And much like the UNDERWORLD series, if they have control--what's not to like?

Thanks for sharing, Karilyn.

Cara Marsi said...

I love wolves, the real ones, and werewolves too. I contribute monthly to Defenders of Wildlife and other organizations committed to helping these much maligned creatures. When I worked, my cubicle was decorated with pictures of wolves. My office at home has pictures of wolves. For my werewolf story, "Cursed Mates," I did research on werewolf legends and not on actual wolf behavior.

Thank you for this post. When I saw it involved wolves, I had to comment.

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Angi,
Thank you for stopping by! I loved Underworld series! A bit violent, but good story line. My werewolves have control. Mostly. :)

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Cara,
Thank you for stopping by! I too have joined an organization, NRDC, which helps the wolves, among other concerns. I have really strong feelings about wolves, but didn't want to get on my soapbox on a blog. :) I'll have to check out your story. It looks good! Have a great day!

Vicki Batman, sassy writer said...

Hi, Karilyn: I haven't ventured into wolves; however, since you are a PP gal, I might have to go there soon. Congratulations on your work and what a great post!

Sasha Summers said...

I'll read whatever floats my boat - be it werewolves, shapeshifters, or wolves. And shay control is fine - it adds an air of danger to it all. LOL! Fun post!

Alisha said...

Oooooh, you KNOW how much I love wolves, Karilyn!!! One of my very favorite genres to write, I'm like you, I create most of my worlds up..isn't that the most fun? And I know you do it very well because you won the Got Wolf? contest at The Wild Rose Press! I remember when they made the announcement and I was jumping up and down in my! Great blog post!

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Vicki,
Thank you!!! If you check mine out, I hope you enjoy! Shapeshifters are fun. :)

Hi Sasha,
Thank you!! Glad you liked it! Lots of things float my boat too. :)

Hi Alisha,
I KNOW how much you love wolves!! :) You do a great job of creating worlds. I like your werewolf stories. And yep, I definitely remember you letting me know about winning, I was in a state of shock for the rest of the evening!! :)

Kelly L Lee said...

I've always said men are dogs...some more than others. :)

Jodi said...

Although I love Liam Neeson, I had to protest The Grey because, frankly, I love wolves more. As Cara mentioned I too am a member of Defenders of Wildlife and sign at least one petition a week in behalf of our beleaguered wolves. And in that I love the paranormal, it seems only natural I'd be a fan of werewolves. Besides, for you True Blood enthusiasts, Alcide is simply the hottest!

Sylvia said...

Late to the party here. I like wolves, but I'm not a werewolf fan. But then again I'm not a vampire fan. So I'm kind of out out of fashion right now. I think wolves are actually beautiful creatures. Interesting post and you've made me curious about your book. Like Vicki, I may have to check it out.

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Kelly,
LOL! I've heard that too. :) Maybe in some guys I dated way back when, but definitely not in the one I married. :)

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Jodi,
I am with you 100%. I refused to watch that movie even though Liam is one of my favs. I don't watch True Blood, but I did read the books. You're right, Alcide was one of my favorites too. :)

Thank you for stopping by!!

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Sylvia,
Thank you for commenting! I love wolves in nature. And I really like paranormals (in case you couldn't tell! ha!). Glad to hear I've interested you in reading about my werewolf pack. Hope you enjoy!!

Kathleen Baldwin said...

There's just something about wolves, isn't there?
They're so mysterious. And beautiful. and dangerous. I see where all the mystic about them comes from.

And men are basically like wolves, aren't they? mysterious and dangerous. Sigh.

love the beasties.

Phyllis said...

I've always loved and respect the wolf. Actually considered owning a wolf hybrid at one time.

Werewolf is not in that category for me, neither are vampires. Space, alien world - well, these are more believable to me.

I've got your dragon stories....I wonder why I accept dragons more readily than the werewolf or vampire?Something to think about.

Good job on your research. They really are the coolest animals.

Phyllis said...

Although not a werewolf - the one story I just loved and it played so well by turning the man into a wolf - it was the movie Lady Hawk where he turned to a wolf and man by the sunrise/sunset.

Shelley Munro said...

I adore werewolf stories - any sort will work for me as long as the author's world is consistent.

Karilyn Bentley said...

Hi Kathleen,
Yes, there is something about wolves. Hmm, I've never thought of that comparison before, but I guess you are right! :)

Hi Phyllis,
Thank you for reading Magical Lover! I'm glad you liked the dragons! Maybe you have a hard time with werewolves and vamps b/c we grew up with them being evil and now they are heroes. Maybe?? I too loved Lady Hawke! Great movie!

Hi Shelley,
Thank you for stopping by! I'm glad you like werewolves too! :)