Amazon Romance expert Lena Cohen spoke with author Terry Spear about writing shapeshifter romance, her upcoming release, Jaguar Fever, and more.
Lena Cohen: I thought
we could start by talking a little bit about Jaguar Fever. One of the things
that struck me in this book was that the characters have a very real and almost
tactile quality to them, from their sense of smell to the way they use their
feline characteristics in certain situations. Did you research jaguars prior to
Terry Spear: Yes, I watch videos on jaguars to see how they
react or go to the zoo to see their behavior. I also use trip logs that other
people have taken to the Amazon or Belize and I can pick up some details from
that which adds to the realism.
LC: What originally drew you to write about jaguars? Are you
a cat person? Do you have cats?
TS: I have had cats, yes, and I’ve had dogs too so I write
both about wolves and cats. When I was doing the jaguar series it was
interesting to compare the jaguars with housecats – they are really different.
For example, housecats vocalize with their human companions, whereas jaguars do
very little conversing with each other. You don’t hear roaring out in the
jungle very often, but with wolves they howl to bring their packs in and are
much more vocal than the jaguars. To me, that was really interesting.
LC: What do you think makes those animals a good fit for a
TS: Wolves are loyal packs, they take care of their young so
people love that idea. Jaguars are not like that. With jaguars, I had to add
the human element to provide that. Also, dogs don’t stick with a mate whereas
wolves do, so that was part of why I turned to wolves.
LC: Where do your ideas come from for your books?
TS: Once I had a fan who sent me a picture of two Bengal
tiger cubs and said these would be great for your characters. I started
thinking about how I could have a jaguar special agent out in the jungle with his
partner and then have two jaguar cubs left on his bunk so that he’s stuck with
them. You know, it was that picture from a fan that gave me the idea. Another
time there was a news story about how we were going to have the worst flu
epidemic and I thought ‘what would happen if you have werewolves that couldn’t
shift back if they got infected with this virus’? So that becameWolf Fever
and that was so much fun.
LC: Do you find that when you write something based on a
news story or something timely, do you hear back from fans that it really
TS: I think that a lot of people who write me say that they
love the wolf stories because they have dogs that act just like the characters.
They say things like ‘my dog is an alpha’ or ‘I’m the alpha’ and they’ll send
me pictures of their dogs.
LC: Does that then further inspire characters?
TS: Yes, it does. I just love it. I think that’s some of the
fun too, like with my werewolves, I hear from fans that say now they look at a really
cute guy and they’re thinking to themselves, 'it would be neat if he was a
werewolf.' I think that’s so cute.
LC: (laughs) So not only does a man need to be a great guy, he
also needs to be a werewolf?
TS: (laughs) Yeah, so I just thought that was really cute.
LC: What are some of
your favorite romance books or authors?
TS: I read a lot of highland books. Anytime the cover has a
Scot on the front of it, I’m interested. One of my favorites is the Karen Marie
Moning’s Highland series which is really a lot of fun.
LC: What’s next for you?
TS: I just finished Jaguar Hunt so that’s the third book
in the series and then I’m writing A Hero of a Highland Wolf. Following that,
I’ll be writing Mistletoe, Mayhem and the Highland Wolf
so that will be the last of the big deal brothers in the series. I also have
another seal story that’s coming out that is going to include a bachelor
auction and that’s going to be so much fun.
LC: Thank you very much.
TS: Thank you!
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