Friday, February 18, 2011

The Call of the Wild Meets Romance.

Today my guest blogger is Eva Gordon, author of The Wolf Maiden Chronicle series.  

Thank you Eva for joining us and giving us the insight on how your werewolves came to be.

My passion for wildlife, especially wolf biology (my degrees are in Zoology and Biology) and my love of mythology was like the mixing of chocolate and peanut butter to create the Reeses Peanut Cup. I had to combine my two great loves. The call of the wild meets romance. Why the wolf? That was easy. The wolf is one of my totem guides and in fact has been the totem guide for numerous cultures.  Nothing sends a chill down your spine more than hearing a wolf’s howl in the night. While at a wolf sanctuary, I spent the night in a trailer on the grounds and was privileged to hear night after night of thirty wolves in their nightly serenade.  No sound is more awesome. Wolves have traits we admire. They are powerful predators, with complex social behavior, and what appeals to most romantic readers, wolves are monogamous. In reality wolves have a low hunting success rate and the average wolf is the size of a German Shepherd so I made my lycan wolves huge, the size of bears with cool tribal tattoos. The Beast of Gevaudan legend of 1764 of Southern France spoke of such a large wolf creature/werewolf said to be the size of a bull. I knew then that my lycan had to be larger than the average wolf.

I studied myths about wolves from around the globe. In Native American culture the wolf is an important archetype. They had great respect for the wolf and often offered prayers before a hunt to the wolf spirit. Wolf spirit was also powerful medicine for shamans who traveled to the world of the dead.  In Europe just as in the New World, myths and stories about wolves are universal. Early Europeans Respected the Wolf as Protector and Teacher. From the Steppes of Asia Minor to the British Isles the Wolf was mighty totemic protector. Hecate, an Ancient Greek deity was worshipped as a goddess with three wolf heads. Rome was founded by Romulus and Remus who were fed by the she-wolf, Alcala/Lupa. In Ireland, King Cormac was nursed by a she-wolf. Myths about heroes being suckled or raised by wolves are ubiquitous and would take too much space for this blog. In the Viking world to be a member of the Wolf Clan, Ulfhednar was the greatest honor. Viking warriors believed that if they died a heroic death they would be turned into magnificent wolves. Vikings also believed wolves chasing and devouring the sun and moon caused eclipses. Two wolves accompanied Odin, ruler of the Norse Gods. He created the wolves Freki (Hungry One) and Geri (Greedy One) as loyal companions.  

Many of these wolfish tales were actually werewolf stories. As Europe went from hunter/gather to a agricultural land grabbing cultures the wolf was no longer seen as friend but rather foe.  Tales of ravenous wolves haunted the land. From Lycaon being turned into a werewolf by Zeus to Little Red Riding Hood, the wolf became the new evildoer. Werewolves roamed looking for human prey. There are numerous accounts of werewolves devouring people. And so many ways to become a werewolf, from wearing a wolf pelt, from a curse, drinking from a specific water hole or the classic bitten by a wolf and influenced by the full moon. I then I began to see history through the eyes of a werewolf. What if werewolves were real?  Mine would be genetic and super powerful. If they were, they would need to keep themselves secret.  Thus my creation of my werewolf universe, in The Wolf Maiden Chronicles. My  hero was to be possessive, protective and loving like an alpha wolf. Athletic like a wolf, my heroes have hot bodies an overwhelming sexual allure. Wyatt, Sigurd and Bledig are bigger than life lycan heroes. My heroines are smart kick ass women who drive their alpha males nuts with their independence.

Eva volunteering at Howling Acres Wolf Sanctuary.

My Lycan Universe

Since ancient times, the Lupercal Council has kept their people’s werewolf identity a well-guarded secret from man. They refer to their kind as lycans. The lycan shifts into a bear-sized wolf, bearing unique markings reminiscent of Maori or Celtic tattoos. The pack shifts during the full moon and are under the control of their alpha male leader. The alpha male and alpha female are not bound by the full moon and can shift at will. Lycans can only breed with their kind. The exception is the alpha male, which can only mate with human women known as wolf maidens. These human women bear the five-toed lycan paw print or mark of the wolf on their left hip. Female alphas are sterile but are the leading lycans governing the Lupercal Council. They are aided by selected men known as Lupercii who help inform the Lupercal of all human activity.  In their religion they worship the Goddess Feronia. The romance in my stories revolve around the alpha male and the wolf maiden destined to be his life mate not just in this life but throughout time at each rebirth.  There is much more detail, but this is it in a nutshell.  In each book I capture the realism of the historical period and the story unfolds as a ‘werewolf historical’ paranormal romance fantasy.

To start your journey you can start with Werewolf Sanctuary, a contemporary that leads to the ‘werewolf historicals’, however each novel is a stand-alone. Beast Warrior: Viking Werewolf is the second and takes place during the Viking Era. Then off to Arthurian times with White Wolf of Avalon: Werewolf Knight. All are available in print, kindle and nook as well as other formats.

Beast Warrior: Viking Werewolf 

Werewolf Sanctuary 

White Wolf of Avalon: Werewolf Knight 

Learn more about my musings on my blog where on each full moon I interview a famous werewolf and like creature or person. I also do werewolf and wolf lore workshops for writer groups.

Come visit on Monday when Lindsay McKenna tells you about her jaguar shifters.


Pat said...

This was a wonderful blog, your books are great! Eveyln I am so glad you started this. I like learning how my fav writers started and how they came up with thier ideas. Eva keep up the good work.

Evelyn M. Byrne said...

Pat, I am thrilled you are enjoying the blog. It's great that so many of my favorite authors are taking the time to give us this insight on their work.

Abigail-Madison Chase said...

WOW love your blog....

Evelyn M. Byrne said...


Eva Gordon said...

Thank you for the encouragement.