"Gabrielle Holly spins her stories in a way that will take you on an emotional rollercoaster you'll never forget!"
~Paranormal Romance Junkies

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Werewolf or Shifter? Yes, there is a difference.

I'm not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the line werewolf and shape-shifter became synonymous. I contend that they are two very different things. 

A shape-shifter takes on the all of the physical attributes of its totem animal but retains his human sensibilities. Pretty cool, but nowhere near as interesting or complex as a werewolf.

A werewolf is a hybrid of man and beast. He walks on two legs, has dexterous hands—he  might even retain the power of speech. His basic human personality is intact, but the darkest—most animalistic—side is enhanced.

That’s what fascinates me. I’ve always been drawn to tales of the duality of human nature. Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, The Wolf Man (1941), The Wolfman (2010)—all capture my imagination.

Maybe I’m just a sucker for bad boys, and they don’t come any ‘badder’—or sexier—than werewolves. I was influenced by all of the aforementioned stories when I wrote “Animal Behavior” – book 1 in the Wolf’s Mark series from Ellora’s Cave.

I made our hero—Alex—a true, old-school werewolf. He is a supernatural being, but at his core he’s a man struggling to control the beast within. Our heroine—Gwen—is searching for love, passion and purpose. She finds it all in the werewolf world.

Lest it seem I have something against shape-shifters, let me set the record straight—I adore them too. In fact, a smokin’ hot shifter will have a starring role in the second book in the Wolf’s Mark series. My first love, however, is the werewolf.

I have a particular soft spot for the 1941 film The Wolf Man, starring the brilliant Lon Chaney, Jr. Fans of the movie-monster classic will recognize names of actors, crew and characters scattered throughout “Animal Behavior” and the next two books in the series. It’s my homage to the film that inspired so many of my nightmares… and fantasies.

About "Animal Behavior"

Alex McKenzie and Gwen Chaney are both desperate for change. They find it in the mysterious, passion-filled werewolf world.

When shy veterinarian, Alex, turns to dark magic to cure his awkwardness around women, a botched spell transforms him—body and soul. By day he’s the star of TV’s Dog Talker, and uses his newfound powers to communicate with troubled pets. Under the full moon, he becomes a man-beast driven by his unquenchable need for sex.

Gwen is running from a string of bad relationships and a failed business venture when an unexpected inheritance brings her to the tiny northern Minnesota town of Talbot. She’ll soon learn that her grandfather left her much more than a cabin in the woods.

As Alex struggles to keep his insatiable libido under control, Gwen stumbles into his life and complicates everything. Until she understands the secrets of the werewolf pack—and her unique role in it—Alex must be on his best Animal Behavior.  


  1. The way I always explained shifters vs. werecreatures was shifters are born and usually appear indistinguishable from non-shifting animals when they transform, whereas werecreatures are made through some kind of act (usually biting) and take the form of a hybrid or appear different from their animal in some way. A congenital defect vs. passing on a disease--an imperfect analogy, since these things don't always have to be bad.

    1. Valid distinction, Aurelia! I concur! In book 2, my shifter character is in fact born, not "made." ♥