Research for a Paranormal by Allison B. Hanson
I’ve heard some people say that writing a paranormal is easy because the author can always use magic when they write themselves into a corner. I tend to write in a lot of different genres, but I find paranormals to be the most interesting and complex.
After all, I’m writing about something that’s not real, but I have to find a way to make it feel very real to the reader. I can’t read a book or Google what if feels like when a human being shifts into an animal, because humans don’t really do that. But yet, it needs to be written in a way that makes the reader doubt that fact without hesitation.
In my new book Pledged, I put a lot of thought into what it might feel like to have my body transform into another being. The thing I was most certain of was that it would be painful.
I find my muscles and joints protest after sitting on the floor for too long, and they’re just morphing back into the form of a normal, standing human. Surely when femurs stretch, and muscles bind there has to be a good bit of pain involved.
There’s also bound to be pain from organs moving, and that itchy feeling of fur sprouting out of your skin. All in all, it must be a pretty strenuous thing for a human body to go through.
So then I thought there has to be a payoff. Some great freedom that makes it worth it, that makes the shifter feel like this oddity is actually a gift. That they are special and even superior to a normal non-shifting human.
For the wolves in my Pack of Lies series, the freedom is not just about the ability to run over terrain at high speeds with the wind in their fur. It is the emotional freedom.
To be able to step away from all the human emotions and drama. To just be, and do, and yes… run with the wind through your fur.
Camille Anthony was abandoned at an orphanage when she was only a year old. She knows nothing of the parents who left her with strangers, and has spent her whole life struggling to fit in, without success. But on the night of the full moon, she undergoes a change she’s never felt before—she becomes a wolf. She hopes the changes will finally give her a place to belong, as well as answering questions she never knew she had.
Will Holbrook knows he can’t have anything long-term with Camille. After all, he is a wolf, and he was raised knowing wolves only marry other wolves. When she reveals to him that she is changing in the same way he does every full moon, he thinks things will finally work out for him. Until a new fear arises. Wolves are usually pledged at birth, and Camille has no memory of anything that might have happened before she was left at the orphanage. Could she have a mate already? What will he do if one shows up?
Maybe it was the flu.
People got aches and pains with the flu. She watched her muscles twitching under her skin and nodded.
Just in case it wasn’t the flu, she decided to get ready for Plan B.
If she did turn into a dog again she didn’t want to eat cardboard.
She checked under Gia’s bed for any stashed contraband. All clear.
She dumped the granola bars on her bed, and with throbbing, shaking fingers she pulled them from their wrappers. She made a box of mac and cheese in the microwave and set the bowl on the floor.
With the last of her energy used up, she took off her clothes and curled into a ball on her bed to convulse and moan. Her body began to twitch harder, throwing her arm out and then her foot. Her head pulled up, and she tensed against what was coming.
The increasing tide of pain washed over her, and she was left panting on the bed in confusion.
She slid off the bed onto her four paws and went straight for the bowl of cheese-flavored pasta. She downed that in a few quick gulps and sniffed the air hoping for more.
On the table by the bed was some kind of bars. She swallowed them down without chewing.
With her hunger momentarily sated, she began with the pacing. When she passed the mirror, she stopped and looked at herself for a long moment.
A thin, lanky wolf with pure white fur looked back at her with curious blue-green eyes. Her reflex to shy away from the wolf in the reflection subsided as she realized it was her. She was safe.
She was a wolf, but she was safe.
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