It’s that time again! I love getting questions and comments from readers. Interacting with all of you really makes my day. Writing is by nature a solo profession. You have to sit at the keyboard and ‘see’ and then translate what you ‘see’ into words and sentences that make sense to other people. It’s not always easy. Some days getting words on the page is like getting blood from a turnip. Other days it’s like I get to play with my imaginary friends all day and they’re nice to me. At the end of the day , though, it’s about the stories I tell and how they can touch my readers. Without you guys, I’d be a kook with a wild imagination. Okay, maybe that’s exactly what I am, but you guys help me make a living from it. lol
I have three questions I’m going to answer today,. They’re simple questions, but the answers may be long and winding. I’ve touched on some of these in other Q&As, but I think I can expand those answers and really give you guys a look into how I started writing my Hemlock Wolf Pack Saga.
Question: How did you come up with the names for your shifter families?
This one depends on which family/pack/flight you’re talking about.
Hemlock Academy came to me before the pack did. It started in a dream I had, but was nothing like you’ve read in the books. In the original dream it was an all girls boarding school where I taught that had been invaded by zombies. I’m a huge Walking Dead Fan and my dreams often get zombies if I watch the show too much. The school in the dream was not Hemlock Academy. It has a name that sounds sort of close, but I’m not disclosing here. I always knew I was going to turn that dream into a book. I still might. Not in Mpreg, because I don’t think babies and zombies mix. Maybe I’m wrong. Let me know in the comments if you think Mpreg and the zombie takeover go hand-in-hand and would make for a good read. The pack ended up named after the school once I got to know Darian in Omega Studies.
I’m not saying what the school was called in the dream, because who knows. If I ever switch genres in the future I still might write the book in the original way I saw it.
The West Appalachian Wolf Pack were just named after the area they come from. I was born in West Virginia and just sorta tacked on West because of that. I love the nature and mountains of the region. Yes, Monta’s pack in part is based on some people I knew growing up. No one was killed from their crimes against their families. So, it’s really loosely based, but it’s there.
The Moonscales are the tricky ones. The name just came to me while I was writing a standalone which is yet to be released or finished. I’m hoping to finish it one day, but it won’t be until after the Hemlock vs. Raven Hallow War. It’s given us the characters of Clarence and Medwin and all of the Moonscales, though. They first showed up in that book that’s half finished. One of the MCs of that standalone novel is still a hatchling at the moment. So, for the sake of the timeline I won’t be worrying about that book just yet.
The Raven Hallow Wolf Pack is a bit more complicated. I could say it just came to me, because a lot of them do and it did. It came from their lore of being connected to ravens and crows. Though, they have heavy elven influence too despite it not being represented in the name.
I think I’ve covered all the main ones I’ve actually introduced this far. There are others on the map, because I needed to mark them because I knew they were there. If I’ve left anyone out drop me a message on FaceBook and I’ll include it in the next Q&A.
Question: What got you into writing MM?
Do you want the short answer or the long one?
The short answer: Harry Potter.
That doesn’t make sense unless you were part of the 2000s HP fanfiction communities. The first story I ever wrote to completion on a computer was when I was 14 and it was a Draco/Harry slash fanfic. Yep. The real reason I turned into a writer was because my young teenage self thought Harry and Draco should get together. I guess I liked tension even back then before I could explain it.
It probably has something to do with my gender identity too, but I’ll touch on that in the next question.
Question: What made you decide to write MPREG?
This one’s complicated too. I’ve touched on a lot of these things in my previous Q&A, but I’ll expand here since the question is what made me decide to write MPREG. I’m nervous about this one, because though a lot of my friends know and are super supportive I’ve never really talked about it in a professional setting. This is very personal to me and it’s taken me a long time to be comfortable talking about any of it in a public forum.
Since I was little gender has confused the hell out of me. Not just gender stereotypes, but gender itself. It’s like umm…. so there are two boxes and I have to stand inside of one? It’s not that I don’t like the boxes. It’s that neither box is for me. I identify as gender non-binary despite being born AFAB (assigned female at birth.)
What I love about Mpreg is being able to explore different ideas about gender roles and gender expression. Being able to not have to write inside those boxes. Yes, some of my omegas are what my dad and uncles would call ‘pretty boys’ (Hence, why the Appalachian Wolf Pack got it’s name and attitude.) but I’ve always admired men who are softer and gentler and love things that aren’t inside that box we’ve labeled “Masculinity.” And of course, vice versa. One of my favorite characters from the series is one who has only been mentioned. I hope to get her on screen soon.
I’ve been accused of having inadequate female representation in my books. I don’t think that’s quite true. Sure, male characters out number female characters, but I write gay romance. I need a pool of side characters to pull from and play matchmaker with.
I’m also very aware of how strong women can be perceived. I didn’t have my first female Alpha on screen until The Sleeping Omega Prince. Mostly, because I wanted to avoid the question of ‘How do female Alphas get their mates pregnant?” Many people have given their thoughts on this and if you don’t understand it, want to know, and are old enough to read my books – send me a message. I’ll tell you in the cleanest way possible. lol I write sex scenes, but I’m not that comfortable discussing anatomy publicly.
What actually lead to me writing Mpreg was a number of things. First, as I mentioned in my previous Q&A my early roleplay years had a lot of mpreg in them. Then mpreg fanfiction. I never knew it was a thing until two things happened very close together. A good friend introduced me to the genre on Amazon. Then an old ghostwriting client (yep that’s what I did before I went indie) e-mailed me and asked if I’d be interested in ghostwriting some Mpreg for her. I don’t do ghost work anymore and didn’t at the time. But I was mind blown that this was a thing in actual books now.
So, my little fanfiction heart had some original characters of its own to share with the world and on December 9th, 2017 I penned the first few chapters of what would become Omega Studies.
Thank you so much for submitting your questions. If you have more feel free to send them my way on Facebook to be included in the next Reader Q&A blog.