Do you like heroines who don't know they're shifters until it's too late and the change is upon them? Or, heroines who become shifters unexpectedly and then must deal with pack politics? It makes for an interesting twist on the usual alpha male "I'm your mate and I'm mating you now, damnit!" storyline.
Luckily there's a lot of leeway in the werewolf lore. Authors can take advantage of that to create their own twists on the shifter world. Recently I was reading a blog by Paige Tyler on her new werewolf cop series and she has this to say about hers:
To start with, my werewolves are essentially born, not made (getting bitten or scratched by another werewolf won’t turn a person into one). They’re born with what I think of as a recessive gene that lies dormant inside them, only turning on when the person (man or woman) reaches a certain age, essentially when they become an adult.
By itself, the gene isn’t enough to make that person a werewolf, though. Once the gene flips on, the person has to go through an adrenaline-pumping, life-or-death situation. Something about the physiology of almost dying allows the gene to do its work, and that person becomes a werewolf. If that isn’t hard enough, the gene only stays active for a certain period of time. If the latent werewolf doesn’t goes through that dramatic event during that open window, which could be a few months or a few years, he or she never changes.
As you can imagine, that leaves a pretty small window for actually becoming a werewolf. But notice that the people can carry the gene - without knowing what they are - until a life-or-death situation triggers the change.
I like the idea of trigger as well. In my Sexy to Go serial, the heroine Casi has a shifter bloodline but she's unaware of the animal lurking within. Only after she meets and mates with a local shifter do the first inklings appear. Here's how the story starts out:
Volume 1 - she meets the alpha Liam and his mate Dahlia. They have a menage in the woods which leaves her body thrumming.
Volume 2 - Casi returns to the woods and meets Flint aka Snake. They have an intense sexual encounter which ends with him mating her.
But neither of these instances are enough to trigger Casi's wolf to appear .... although she's quickly rising to the surface. What's Casi's trigger going to be? Check out the next installment in Sexy to Go, Volume 3 for more info!
AND catch up for less! Sexy To Go Volume 1 is only $0.99 for all of April!