Thursday, March 17, 2011

Guest Post: On Writing a Werewolf Story By Cara Marsi

Today, I have one more Guest Post. She is Cara Marsi, an author of Cursed Mates. Check out what she said about Werewolf.


Aleetha, thank you for having me. I love the cat on your blog. It looks just like my beloved Happy who was a great companion for sixteen years.
I’m here today to talk about another kind of animal - the werewolf. I love real wolves, those magnificent beasts much maligned through the centuries. I have pictures of wolves in my office and I donate money to several organizations that are trying to save these great animals.
I write contemporary romance and romantic suspense. Plus I write short romance stories for women’s magazines. Although I write contemporary romances, I love reading paranormal romances. I decided to try my hand at writing one. Because I love wolves I knew I had to write a werewolf story.
Do any of you remember the old Lon Chaney Wolfman movies? I never thought he was sexy and I doubt any of you did either. The werewolves in the paranormals I read now are men - hunky, tortured men - who shift into real wolves, not some silly looking hairy man. I wanted my hero to be sexy and hunky and tortured. And I wanted him to shift into a powerful white wolf with yellow eyes. I made up a legend that werewolves who transform into white wolves with yellow eyes have never killed a human. I didn’t want Nick, my hero, to be a murderer. What I like about writing paranormals is that I can use folklore or myths as a basis for my story, yet build my own world and add a twist to the myth. The legend of the white wolf was my twist.
I researched werewolf lore and learned some interesting facts, particularly about the transformation process. On the night of the full moon, werewolves locate an isolated area and trace a circle in the soil. They make a fire in the center of the circle and prepare the magic ointment. The ointment is made of nightshade, belladonna, and henbane. I used that information in my book and even composed an incantation poem.  
Another interesting fact: the earliest incarnation of a shapeshifter appeared 30,000 years ago in prehistoric art as the lion-headed man of Hohlenstein-Stadel, Germany. In Greek mythology, Zeus curses King Lycaon to spend the rest of his life as a wolf. This is where the word, “Lycanthrope,” which is used to describe the werewolf phenomenon, came from. There are other stories of shifters who transform from man to wolf. Many times these are the results of curses for some misdeed. In 1530 my Nick is cursed by his political rival, a demon, to forever be a slave to the full moon.
Of course the moon has a big influence on werewolf lore so I studied the phases of the moon. When I was writing “Cursed Mates,” the full moon came to mean something more to me than just a bright orb in the sky. I imagined Nick going through the hell of transforming and fighting his bloodlust. Once when I’d first started “Cursed Mates,” and was still a little unsure if I should continue with it, I received what I perceived as a sign to go on. My husband and I were power walking around our neighborhood. It was early evening and the full moon was just beginning its ascent. We’d been out about fifteen minutes when we passed someone, a stranger, walking a pure white German Shepherd. White German Shepherd. White wolf. Full moon. That was my sign. 
While I had fun with the research and used a lot of it to make my book realistic, I’m a romance writer and the love story is central to anything I write. I had my hero. Now I needed a heroine. But she couldn’t be any shrinking violet. She had to be tough, especially when dealing with otherworldly creatures. Then an idea came to me. Why not make my heroine a were-hunter? Thus Kyla was born. And what if Kyla falls in love with Nick, then finds out he’s her target? And what if Nick loves her, but knows she’s duty-bound to kill him? And what if he implores her to let him kill the demon shifter who cursed him before she fulfills her vow to slaughter any and all werewolves?
I had my story, but where to set it. A few years ago I spent a week in Maine with my family. That area of the country is dark and mysterious and it’s easy to imagine supernatural creatures inhabiting its rocky and wild coast. Stephen King lives there after all. I made up a quaint, but strange, little town on the Maine coast and called it Heavensent. Only there’s nothing angelic about this town. Then I set about populating it with my werewolf, my hunter, assorted demons and a witch.
I went out of my comfort zone and had fun writing “Cursed Mates.” It may seem different from what I usually write, but it really isn’t. Many of my books and short stories are reunion stories. “Cursed Mates” is a reunion story of a different kind. My romantic suspense stories feature very bad villains. “Cursed Mates” has a villain whose evilness is unequaled.
After writing “Cursed Mates,” I started to write another paranormal about a witch, but had to set it aside. I went so deeply into the darkness with “Cursed Mates” that I sometimes scared myself. I needed to write something light before going back into the darkness. I think I’m ready to go back now.
Thank you again, Aleetha, for allowing me to talk about “Cursed Mates,” a book dear to my heart.
Thanks for stopping by Cara.
 If you love to know more about Cara Marsi You can visit her website. Follow her on twitter.  You can also check her facebook. You can watch her video for “Cursed Mates.” on Youtube
You can Buy “Cursed Mates” from Noble Romance Publishing: here. It is also available at All Romance Ebooks and from Amazon.
 This Guest Post is one of feature from Book Lovin' Bitches Ebook Tour.


Larissa said...

Original premise, that looks awesome!

Cara Marsi said...

Larissa, thank you for posting. As I said, I really enjoyed writing "Cursed Mates."

Aleetha, thank you again for having me today.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, Cara...I loved Cursed Mates and enjoyed learning more about the folklore of werewolfs!!

Author said...

Cara, what an interesting blog on your research for you story. I would never have known. You are awesome!

Cara Marsi said...

Tess and Vicki (author), thank you both for visiting and for posting. I'm glad you enjoyed the werewolf lore.

Aileen said...

Thanks for passing on the research info. I hadn't heard most of that before.

Cara Marsi said...

Aileen, thanks for posting. I was surprised at some of the info I found regarding werewolves.

Robin Haseltine said...

Interesting information on the research. I've never cared much for vampires, but like you I've always loved wolves. There's something incredibly sensual about them, and they mate for life. A terrific blog and Cursed Mates is a WONDERFUL read :)

Cara Marsi said...

Thank you, Robin.

Caffey said...

Hi Cara! Its so neat learning this lore! That is totally neat on how they prepare there area before shapeshifting to a wolf. Thats what I love so much about paranormals too, is that I don't know where the creativity of the author will take me with the story! Even if it has some common uses in the book, there is always so many other surprises that make the world unique to their story. When you put together such a world for your book, do you plan to go back and write more stories set there? I do have this book and so hoping to read REAL soon! I can't wait. Absolutely a fab post! And love this blog too!