As an author, I try to keep my mind wide open because I never know what will spark a new story. Will it be a news article about the Wolf Pack — a band of shut-in, homeschooled kids in New York City who didn’t escape their parents’ grasp and see the real world for the first time until they were in their teens? Or perhaps the expression in a woman’s eyes when she bounds out from behind the deli counter at the supermarket and asks if I might be interested in some specialty cheeses? It’s hard to say, so I try to experience it all.
That said, I have to admit that the animals I surround myself with inspire large sections of my books. I like to think of shifters as amalgamations of the best and worst of both beasts and man. So watching the way my dog lives in the moment and my goat seems to exude pure joy helps build characters like Wolfie and Ember, respectively.
I’m also enamored of pop psychology. Scientists will tell you that your experiences as a child result in your adult attachment style — secure, anxious, or avoidant. Folks in the first category have those blissfully simple adult relationships, while people who are anxiously attached tend to cling so hard they push people away. Finally adults who showcase avoidant attachment behavior don’t get the same positive reinforcement the rest of us do from a simple smile, so they steer clear of many normal bonding rituals.
But here’s the kicker — as I learned to my delight when my husband entered my life, those of us who are anxiously or avoidantly attached can grow out of our neuroses if pair bonded with a normal, securely attached mate. Doesn’t that sounds like the setup for a romance novel that would really stick with you?