Behind the Scenes: Desert Wolf
After writing Book 1 of the series, I wasn’t ready to stop following the story of Lana and Ty. And so the three Desert Wolf short stories were born! I fit writing them in between writing the full-length books of this series, and enjoyed the freshness that lent to my writing process.
THE INSPIRATION FOR THE STORY & CHARACTERS OF DESERT WOLF:
I love seeing a couple living their happily-ever-after, and so the first Desert Wolf story was born. I thought it would be fun to turn the tables on Ty and have him prove himself on Lana’s home turf. I love New England, and regularly visited friends in the Berkshires when I was growing up. The friends lived deep in the woods - the perfect place for me to locate Lana’s home pack. I had a lot of fun imagining what her extended family would be like and coming up with her brothers. You just know a tough woman like Lana had to have grown up with lots of brothers! Where Harrison the sasquatch came from, I’m not really sure! I remember seeing grainy sasquatch footage as a kid (and I still don’t know whether to believe the stories or not) and somehow imagined him right into the Berkshires setting of this story. As a big fan of Star Wars, the Chewbacca comparison came naturally, too.
The winter setting really works well in terms of pushing Ty even further out of his element, as does the sport I associate with the woods of New England: lacrosse (a sport that has its origins among the native tribes of this part of North America, so it seemed to fit right in). One of my goals for this story was to move Lana and Ty along their journey together, and the logical next step is a discussion of having kids. Frankly, I couldn’t wait to see big, bad Ty as a dad, and this story started him on that path.
If you’re curious about Harrison, stay tuned. I have his story in the pipeline, but it may take a while until I have time to revisit his neck of the woods. But the story will come, don’t worry! He’s a real sweetheart inside, and destiny has already picked out his perfect mate. They just need a little more time to get to where they need to be for everything to click…
ABOUT DESERT WOLF 2:
Originally, I was going to jump right from Desert Wolf 1 to Desert Wolf 3, when we finally get to see Ty cuddling a tiny baby in those muscular arms. But my fellow author and good buddy Ellis Leigh commented that she’d love to see an overprotective Ty with pregnant Lana, and I thought, what a great idea! I didn’t need much of an excuse to help Lana and Ty escape the pressures of the ranch and escape to the cabin they love so much. The really fun part was working in references to other books, such as the Lana/Ty shaving scene in Desert Blood (which I wrote before I wrote Desert Wolf 2). That’s why I brought Audrey in with her suggestion of a close, sexy shave. Don’t you just love to hate Audrey?!
I wanted to bring in a different shifter species, and javelinas fit right in to the desert Southwest. They’re giant javelinas, though - more like the 300 pound boars I once saw in Europe. I wanted a strong unifying identity for the javelinas and somehow decided on an Austrian theme (think Arnold Schwarzenegger). That’s why they all have Germanic names. I like all my shifter species to have different backgrounds, habits, and cultures, so I made the javelinas a little further on the beast end of the shifter scale than my more human wolves.
ABOUT DESERT WOLF 3:
Once Desert Wolf 2 was done, I could finally turn to the story that had been in my mind for so long: the story that shows Ty with his baby daughter while Lana heads out on a midnight run. I think every mother can relate to the need for an escape from time to time and the guilt that comes from leaving your baby behind, even in good hands, and Lana is no exception. She loves her baby, but a little break is just what she needs.
Of course, what started as a simple night run quickly turns into big trouble, but that was one of my goals: to allow the female wolves to overcome the challenge of an intruder on their own. I really enjoyed showing Lana’s friendship with Rae and following up on Ty and Zack’s friendship which I hadn’t had much time to explore since Desert Hunt. Above all, I loved letting Ty explore his feelings on fatherhood. He’s not an overly emotional guy, but baby Tana brings out his softer side. Finally, I couldn’t resist bringing in yet another shifter species who (shh! secret!) will feature in a later book in the Twin Moon series. Keep your eyes open for them and for another appearance of the javelinas!