Come by Urban Fantasy Investigations, where I am guest blogging on what books I read while growing up. Find out how they shaped the person I’ve become today. Enter to win a free copy of Alpha’s Mate. Hope to see you there!
A reader of “Alpha’s Mate” asked me recently why you placed your Lycanthropes in Siberia. The answer to that journey of discovery starts with the question. “Where in the world could you hide a large group of people who turn into wolves?”
So, I looked at a map and thought of several places:
China might work. But even though I love Jackie Chan movies, I couldn’t see him turning into a wolf. A tiger maybe or a dragon, but not a wolf.
I hesitated to put them into the United States because up until recently wolves were an endangered species in most states. So a group as large as I needed would stick out like a sore thumb and couldn’t possibly stay hidden. I hoped to give my world a sense of possibility, even in its paranormal structure.
Then I looked at Russia. Siberia is a huge part of the continent and is mostly forest and streams. The weather can be brutal, so having a warm fur coat would come in handy. Wolves are known for being a part of the eco-system.
Hhmm. Next step, let’s look at the country’s history.
Siberia was originally settled by different ethnic nomadic tribes and is regarded as the locus classicus of shamanism. It is inhabited by a variety of ethnic groups, many of whom observe shamanistic practices even in modern times. Many classical ethnographic sources of “shamanism” were recorded among Siberian peoples.
I liked this idea. My world of shifters would be very connected to the Earth, so shamanism would make sense for their belief system. We move on:
In the Far East is the Sakha (Yukutia) Republic. This is a large area almost the size of India and has a population of less than one million inhabitants.
That means a big place with few people. Okay, this sounds like a possible place to hide a group of wolf shifters. Let’s look on:
Now the find, which made it imperative to place my shapeshifters here in Sakha, Siberia.
The legend runs as follows. After a battle, only an injured young boy survives. A she-wolf finds the injured child and nurses him back to health. He subsequently impregnates the wolf which then gives birth to ten half-wolf, half-human boys. One of these, Ashina, becomes their leader and founds the Ashina clan that ruled the Göktürks and other Turkic nomadic empires.
What a great connection to my lycanthrope world! A mythology that has a she-wolf as a mother to ten half-wolf, half-human boys. It wasn’t hard to think they could shift between forms. And so the Lycanthropes of Siberia are born. Welcome to my world! Thank you for joining me on this journey of discovery and your interest into why I placed my Lycanthropes in Siberia.
MoonKissed, A Comment.
If you have visited my links to “Alpha’s Mate” it might be confusing to also read “MoonKissed, A Work of Fiction”. So I thought to explain:
“Alpha’s Mate” is set in current time in Russia, but is a completely different world from the world of MoonKissed. I decided to experiment in writing in first person and MoonKissed was born. I also wanted to write something humorous as well as encompass a mystery. Amanda McKenna became my first werewolf detective.
I always wondered about the Werewolf mythology, connecting the actual shifting into a wolf to the full moon. If you look at some of the beliefs about the moon being a feminine energy, connected to the tides and 28 day cycle. It made sense to create a world where only women can be werewolves. Also the word “luna” is the root for “Lunacy” or “Lunatic” and it is believed that everyone gets a little crazy under the full moon. Besides being crazy, it can also mean “foolishness” or “foolery”.
So there you have it. Two worlds for people who are kissed by the moon. I hope you join me in the journey.
Chapter One, Part Two:
Anyway, today I was looking for a missing kid. I had a lead that a little boy matching the description had been seen wandering down by one of the creeks, or runs as they are called in Virginia. I had been following my nose as it were and had picked up the smell of bubblegum and sweat. Thinking that I might have caught a break and could get this kid home to his worried parents by dinner time, made me elated. That is the part of the job I love the most, happy endings.
So I followed the smell into this abandoned building. Instead of finding the kid I was looking for I found a bank robber who had a thing for bubble gum. When he pulled his gun I just knew my day wasn’t going to get any better. Of course I lunged at him, the moonkissed can move pretty quick, and got a bullet to the shoulder for my trouble.
“Damn that hurts”
After, I subdued the culprit and had him handcuffed, my foot in the middle of his back. I debated what to do about the blood running down my arm. I knew it would heal quickly, but if I called the cops in they would want me to see a doctor or at least an EMT. But I can’t do that. Keeping our status as moonkissed, has been a secret for thousands of years. The ruling council of priestesses wanted to keep it that way. Don’t get me started on the ruling council. My aunt just happens to be the head priestess and yes, she tries to make my life miserable.
So, I could change into a wolf and the wound would disappear completely. But that meant giving the bank robber a peep show since I would have to strip in order to save my clothes. Decisions, decisions…. Finally I decided to knock the guy out so he wouldn’t see me change. I don’t let just anyone see me naked.
Chapter One, Part One:
Being a were-wolf gives a whole new meaning to the phrase “that time of the month.” Because when it’s that time of the month for a female were-wolf, you don’t have to “just” worry about PMS or cramps, you have to worry about things getting hairy.
Of course all were-wolves are female. There are no male were-wolves, and all the books and movies that say so are wrong. It has to do with the moon, and the tides, and the female energy, and finally with the X chromosome. And it’s not a curse, in fact it was originally a blessing given by Luna to her priestesses. It was called being Moonkissed, which is what the older were-wolves like to be called. That or “The descendants of the priestesses of Luna.”
Then it was passed down from mother to daughter through the ages until today. So here I am, Amanda McKenna, one of the Moonkissed living in the greater Washington DC area, oh, and I am a Detective. Yes, I’ve heard all the jokes about taking a “bite” out of crime and sniffing out the clues. My cousin and partner, Derek Cartwright, won’t let a day go by without some wise crack or other. He’s just jealous because he’s normal. Which also gives a different meaning to the word “Bitch” or maybe not.