(Geonn Cannon has two books in the Historic Fantasy StoryBundle, which only runs for five more days. Here he talks about how his werewolves ended up fighting Nazis in WWII. Stag & Hound is part of a series, so if you enjoy this book, there are more to track down. When we get into the final days of the offer, I'll blog about all the other books our authors have written. Note: I've made a minor edit to Geonn's original text regarding the timing of the StoryBundle offer because he first posted this on his blog a week ago.)
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Say, Say My Playmate
For one more week, you can head over to Storybundle and get a great deal on five novels – including my novel, The Virtuous Feats of the Indomitable Miss Trafalgar and the Erudite Lady Boone, which Kirkus Reviews named one of their best indie books of 2015. If you pay a little bit more, you also get access to six other novels. The bonus bundle includes another novel I wrote called Stag & Hound. It’s a complete standalone, but I thought I would say a few words about the greater universe in which it takes place.
Stag & Hound takes place in a world in which werewolves exist. Their species is canidae, and transforming is an ability they’re born with. They can change whenever they wish, meaning there’s no reason to wait for a full moon if they want to bring out the wolf, but there is a reason for the myth: the wolf is a part of who they are, so going more than a month without changing is extremely difficult. If they go more than three or four weeks, the transformation can happen abruptly. Canidae exist in secret after being persecuted and hunted for thousands of years by a group of humans called Hunters. Being bitten does transfer the ability to change but, if it happens when the victim is an adult, their body won’t be able to handle the transformation. The first change is a death sentence if it doesn’t happen before puberty.
I first started writing about canidae for a Halloween story invitational at Academy of Bards (a great place to find lesbian-centric fiction that grew out of the Xena fandom). I was stumped for an idea and decided “werewolves” and “private investigator” was a fun idea. So I created Ariadne Willow, a modern-day PI working in Seattle with her then-assistant, Dale Frye. I ended up liking the character enough that I wrote three stories for them. There wasn’t much of a response, so I sort of put them aside for a while. I came back when I was inspired for a fourth story, and people blew up. Commenting on the new story, telling me they’d gone back to read the others, asking when there would be more… It didn’t take long to realize there was a lot of potential in these characters and their world, so I decided it was time to turn it into a novel.
The Underdogs series is now five books strong, with a sixth on the way. When I was planning the second installment (Beware of Wolf), I came up with the idea of a historical event that Ariadne knew as a fairy tale that involved a female soldier in the Napoleonic Wars falling in love with a canidae. I didn’t want to wedge it into the story as a flashback (the novel already had two plotlines, and adding a third was just Too Much) so I wrote it out as a supplementary piece called Wolf at the Door. It allowed me to explore the history of canidae in a world just like ours without forcing the narrative on Ari and Dale.
So once those floodgates were open, I knew I wanted to write more of what I called “classical canidae.” So far the majority of them are follow-ups to Wolf at the Door, but I’ve also written stories about a canidae rumrunner and wolves in medieval times (you can find them here for free). And now, the second full-length novel featuring classical canidae takes them behind enemy lines in Nazi-occupied France. I hope you enjoy it!
There’s a whole world of stories waiting to be told in the future for Ari and Dale, but there is also a rich history just waiting to be discovered.