Friday, May 18, 2012

Morphing Monsters Into Heroes

Imagination is a blessing and a curse.  For the past ten years I've loved writing books with sexy vampires, werewolves, and dragon-shifters.  But I wasn’t always so comfortable with the world of dark fantasy creatures.  Not when I was a kid with a vivid imagination.

At the age of four, I moved with my family to an apartment building with an elevator that broke down periodically, trapping tenants for hours.  I was terrified to ride that elevator by myself, so I’d dash up or down five flights of stairs to our apartment.  Unfortunately, I’d also learned about vampires, and they’d be right behind me in the dark stairwell, their cold breath chilling the back of my neck.

When I was eight, we moved into a house, where the kid up the street had a gruesome collection of Tales from the Crypt comic books that gave me nightmares.  Why didn’t I stop reading them?   Probably only a psychoanalyst can give you the answer.

I graduated from comic books to scary novels and short stories.  Dracula was my next vampire.  I read Bram Stoker’s classic when I was 15, and the count scared me spitless.

But everything changed later that year when I stumbled on DARKER THAN YOU THINK, by Jack Williamson.  It was about a guy named Will Barbee (of all things) being turned on to his werewolf heritage by a sexy woman named April Bell.  Williamson wrote it so well that he made me want to BE a werewolf.

Okay, maybe these creatures of the night aren’t so bad.  Especially when the writer makes them sympathetic.  And you can identify with them.

My early reading was mostly fantasy and science fiction.  I’d never read a romance until a friend asked me if I wanted to write one.  When she brought over several bags of romance paperbacks, I loved them.  And I realized I’d always looked for a romance subplot in the fiction I read.  Like the relationship between Will and April in DARKER THAN YOU THINK.

That story stuck with me for years.  And another werewolf, Michael Gallatin in THE WOLF’S HOUR, captured my imagination later.  Those books made me want to write my own werewolf story.  And I finally took the plunge with KILLING MOON.  The hero is Ross Marshall, the head of my Marshall werewolf pack. A private detective who uses his wolf senses to solve crimes, he’s brought his clan into the 21st century.

I love my sexy werewolf guys, alpha males who are tortured by their  heritage yet search for the one special woman who will renew their bond with humanity.  The latest is Cole Marshall in DARK MOON, available as a trade paperback and as an e-book on Amazon,, and other online outlets.

He works for a new detective agency I’ve created, Decorah Security.  When he and fellow Decorah operative, Emma Richards, are sent to rescue a kidnap victim on a cruise ship that’s been converted to an S&M playground, their relationship heats up as the web of danger around them tightens.  It’s my kind of book, where the intensity of the peril heightens the development of the love story.  And Cole’s werewolf traits are a key factor in saving their lives.

Do you like guys who are more than human in the books you read?  If so, which are your favorites?

Rebecca York


Willa Blair said...

I love your books! I've always enjoyed reading about unusual abilities, including shape shifters. You make them sympathetic, sexy and fun!

Rebecca York said...

Thanks, Willa.

Eli Yanti said...

Difficult choice because i have so many favorite : vampire, wolf, lord, pirate, fey, son of satan, greek's god.

Michele L. said...

My favorite are the take charge kind of guys that save the damsel in distress. I love undercover spy books, navy seals, secret ops, etc. Plus, I do love the macho, sexy vampire stories where the vampire has a lot of heart. Michele Bardsley has some great books with alpha heroes. I recently read her book, NOW OR NEVER, and I just loved it! Great characters in this book.