Defining #shifters

Hey, so my latest book came out today. If you want to check it out, here’s the link to Amazon and Goodreads. And yes, I’m excited. It’s called Dawning of Light, and it’s the second in the Lightbearer series, following Into the Light, which came out in July. I’m having a party tonight over on Facebook, if you want to stop by to say hi.

The series is based around a group of magical beings called Lightbearers, and the shifters who hate to love them.

Into the Light dawningoflight_Cover

Here’s a question: why shifters? If I decided to create an entirely new magical being, why did I throw shifters into the mix? The answer is simple: shifters are one of my favorite genres to read. So not coincidentally, I also happen to enjoy writing about them. They are sexy, strong, powerful, hot, did I mention sexy? They can be obsessive and overprotective, but usually those potential character flaws tend to ultimately be good for whomever they are obsessing over or protecting. In my reasonably extensive research, I have learned a few things about these seductive alpha beings.

I’ve learned that they all have one thing in common. All shape shifters have the ability to change from human form into…something else. And that, as far as I have been able to determine, is the single aspect that defines every single shifter in every book I’ve ever read or written. Beyond that, well, every author interprets them a little differently. Which is the way it should be, right? We’re talking magic, and magic is defined by the imagination of the person writing it.

Some shifters can only change into the form of one animal. These are typically referred to as were-animals (werewolves, were-bearers, were- you get the picture). Others are able to shift into pretty much any animal, or, as I like to explain in my books, the form of any warm-blooded being. The shifters in the Lightbearer Series can even shift into the form of birds, if they are so inclined. This comes in handy when one wants to escape rapidly and he’s on the second floor or at the top of a cliff (both situations occur in the first book in the Lightbearer series).

Many shifters’ clothing cannot shift with them. The clothing is either shed before the shift or, if the shift must occur with little notice, the clothing is torn to shreds when the body changes and alters, and the shifter must figure out another means of covering his naughty bits when he returns to human form.

The shifters in my books can shift while wearing clothing, and when they return to human form, their clothing returns to their body exactly as it was before the shift. I admit, I made this decision out of convenience. I considering the no-clothing route because, let’s be honest, that makes more sense, from a non-magical standpoint. But I was having a difficult time writing the whole, “Hold on, I have to strip and hide my clothing for later” aspect into the various scenes and plots and sub-plots of the series. So I decided that if magic can make a person change from human to animal, then magic can make that person’s clothes reappear when they return to human form.

Some shifters have the ability to speak to each other telepathically. Some are able to harness other forms of magic, too. Some have glowing eyes. In my Lightbearer Series, the shifters’ eyes glow when they are feeling strong emotions. Anger, frustration, sadness, passion. Even if the shifter is trying to act stoic and passive, the object of his desire, if she is smart enough, can figure out pretty easily that he feels something, if his eyes are glowing. It’s practically a declaration of love.

Or lust.

Some shifters eat only red meat. Actually, the desire to eat red meat might possibly qualify as the second thing all shifters have in common, now that I think about it. Or maybe not. A vegetarian shifter could make for an intriguing storyline.

Many shifters have obsessive, jealous personalities. Like a dog, protecting his bone. Or his house. Or his mate. My shifters have this trait. In fact, it plays heavily into the next couple of books in the series.

I’m sure I’ve missed a few common traits. What other traits do you notice in your favorite books about shifters or weres? Which traits are your favorite?

And if you’re a fan, but haven’t read the Lightbearer Series, I encourage you to give it a try. I believe you won’t be disappointed!

Lightbearers #1 –Into the Light on Amazon and Goodreads (on sale 50% off right now!)

Lightbearers #2 – Dawning of Light on Amazon and Goodreads

Oh yeah, and happy release day to Cecilia and Finn from Dawning of Light! Don’t forget, the party is here.

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2 thoughts on “Defining #shifters

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  1. Love your idea to have their clothes disappear and then reform on them when they shift back to human! You’re dead right. If they can have the power/magic to change form, then their clothes can do magic stuff, too. I spent ages trying to write tattered clothes into my scenes lol. I look forward to reading this series!

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