One of the things I love about writing paranormal romance is the ability to create new worlds with new rules. When I created the werewolf world of my Wolfgang County novels, I wanted to create a society that released the shackles of the human world and left human societal norms and rules behind.
In my first book, Heart Of The Pack, a human called Lena moves to Wolfgang County and finds a community that is so different from her human world but in the most wonderful of ways. The wolves support each other, and allow each other to flourish, not constantly finding fault with each other. Being gay is seen as quite natural, and there are no gender roles. Male and female children are allowed to find their own way of expressing themselves as they grow. A female could be a warrior, and male could be a caregiver, every wolf has the independence to fulfill their own destiny.
In the second in the series, Soul Of The pack, I wanted to explore the idea of someone growing up in the human world, but feeling kinship with wolves, feeling at home with wolves, having everything in common with wolves, but being human.
The human in this case is Maddox ‘Ripp’ Rippington and she, a bit like all those of us who have struggled with their sexuality, felt like there is something wrong with them because they do not conform to society’s norms and gender roles, feels segregated from human society, and all alone in the world.
When she finds Wolfgang County, she sees people who think like her, feel like her, and discovers that she is perfectly normal. Exactly like the first time you meet other gay people, you go to your first gay group, pub, club, and see other people just like you. You feel validated, and realize you are just as you were meant to be.
I remember the first time I went into a gay bar and mentally letting out a sigh of relief because I had finally found a place and people who made me feel at ease with myself. This is how Ripp feels as she begins to understand the secrets of Wolfgang County.
I thought the parallel between a human having wolf heritage, or the soul of a wolf, and a feeling that we in the LGBT community have, an interesting one to make.
Sometimes people look at paranormal stories as just stories of monsters and frightening worlds, but really they are about us, the monsters are just really a reflection of the best and worst in us as humans, but the worlds they live in are a blank canvass to me. Somewhere I can explore how our society or world could be better. You wouldn’t think a werewolf society could be a warm, happy, supportive utopia, but that is what Wolfgang County is to me.
What a wonderful world it could be…