Q&A with Terry Spear on Shapeshifter Romance
Amazon Romance expert Lena Cohen spoke with author Terry Spear about writing shapeshifter romance, her upcoming release, Jaguar Fever, and more.
Lena Cohen: I thought we could start by talking a little bit about Jaguar Fever. One of the things that struck me in this book was that the characters have a very real and almost tactile quality to them, from their sense of smell to the way they use their feline characteristics in certain situations. Did you research jaguars prior to writing?
Terry Spear: Yes, I watch videos on jaguars to see how they react or go to the zoo to see their behavior. I also use trip logs that other people have taken to the Amazon or Belize and I can pick up some details from that which adds to the realism.
LC: What originally drew you to write about jaguars? Are you a cat person? Do you have cats?
TS: I have had cats, yes, and I’ve had dogs too so I write both about wolves and cats. When I was doing the jaguar series it was interesting to compare the jaguars with housecats – they are really different. For example, housecats vocalize with their human companions, whereas jaguars do very little conversing with each other. You don’t hear roaring out in the jungle very often, but with wolves they howl to bring their packs in and are much more vocal than the jaguars. To me, that was really interesting.
LC: What do you think makes those animals a good fit for a romance storyline?
TS: Wolves are loyal packs, they take care of their young so people love that idea. Jaguars are not like that. With jaguars, I had to add the human element to provide that. Also, dogs don’t stick with a mate whereas wolves do, so that was part of why I turned to wolves.
LC: Where do your ideas come from for your books?
TS: Once I had a fan who sent me a picture of two Bengal tiger cubs and said these would be great for your characters. I started thinking about how I could have a jaguar special agent out in the jungle with his partner and then have two jaguar cubs left on his bunk so that he’s stuck with them. You know, it was that picture from a fan that gave me the idea. Another time there was a news story about how we were going to have the worst flu epidemic and I thought ‘what would happen if you have werewolves that couldn’t shift back if they got infected with this virus’? So that became Wolf Fever and that was so much fun.
LC: Do you find that when you write something based on a news story or something timely, do you hear back from fans that it really resonates?
TS: I think that a lot of people who write me say that they love the wolf stories because they have dogs that act just like the characters. They say things like ‘my dog is an alpha’ or ‘I’m the alpha’ and they’ll send me pictures of their dogs.
LC: Does that then further inspire characters?
TS: Yes, it does. I just love it. I think that’s some of the fun too, like with my werewolves, I hear from fans that say now they look at a really cute guy and they’re thinking to themselves, 'it would be neat if he was a werewolf.' I think that’s so cute.
LC: (laughs) So not only does a man need to be a great guy, he also needs to be a werewolf?
TS: (laughs) Yeah, so I just thought that was really cute.
LC: What are some of your favorite romance books or authors?
TS: I read a lot of highland books. Anytime the cover has a Scot on the front of it, I’m interested. One of my favorites is the Karen Marie Moning’s Highland series which is really a lot of fun.
LC: What’s next for you?
TS: I just finished Jaguar Hunt so that’s the third book in the series and then I’m writing A Hero of a Highland Wolf. Following that, I’ll be writing Mistletoe, Mayhem and the Highland Wolf so that will be the last of the big deal brothers in the series. I also have another seal story that’s coming out that is going to include a bachelor auction and that’s going to be so much fun.
LC: Thank you very much.
TS: Thank you!
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