Aug 082011
As part of her book tour with Book Lovin’ Bitches Ebook Tours, I have Pepper O’Neal, author of Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny, here today with a guest post about why she writes about shifters.

I was asked recently why I decided to write about shifters. I have to admit it was probably because I think humans got a raw deal. We are supposed to on the top of the food chain, but animal senses are far superior to ours. Which means they are masters of their world, able to see, hear, and sense their surroundings in a way we cannot. Instead, our puny senses confine us to daylight hours and civilization, at least for the most part. Seems rather unfair to me.

Since I feel like I got gipped, it only makes sense I would combine animals and humans as characters in my writing. Though I can’t really say I ever thought about why I did until someone asked, “Why weretigers?” Given my love for cats of all shapes and size, it’s not surprising I’d make them the predominate species in my fantasy world. If you think about it, who wouldn’t love to be a cat? You could take sixty-four naps a day—on the clean laundry—leap from place to place as gracefully as a ballet dancer, and would always land on your feet.


Then there’s the attitude cats have. They know, without a single doubt, felines are the master race. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, they KNOW! They don’t discuss it, at least mine haven’t mentioned it to me, but you can tell just by looking at them. Take my cat Boo, whom I cast as a secondary character in my novella Love Potion No. 2-14, which was released by eTreasures in February 2011. Boo never questions whether he’s good enough. He knows he is. He is totally convinced he’s the center of the universe. All things revolve around him—and anything that doesn’t, should. Yet, I have never met a more loving and loyal cat. If I am depressed or feeling discouraged, he always seems to know. Then he plops his behemoth butt on my lap—he’s twenty-five pounds of muscle, pure black, and has evil-looking yellow eyes—leans against my chest, and purrs. That’s his way of saying as long as he loves me, all’s right with the world. Most of the time, he’s right.

Amur tiger

When I began writing the novel, Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny, released by Black Opal Books in April 2011, I was having a love affair with a tiger I met in a zoo in third-world country I promised not to name. This was an Amur tiger. I’m not exactly sure what differentiates them from other tigers, but this guy was just magnificent. I went to see him every chance I got. He was huge, just a little scruffy, and was perfectly content being what he was. I got quite attached to him in the few months I worked in the area. To get my weretiger character, I combined the Amur tiger with a man on my research team, a hunk, whose name I also promised not to reveal. I wouldn’t have minded having a real love affair with him, given half a chance…sigh…but that’s another story. Anyway, with the combination of the man and the tiger, I created one of my favorite characters: alpha male, weretiger-pride leader, Drake Gatos. Drake is cool—a fierce, hard man with a soft center. He’s a secondary character in Blood Fest: Chasing Destiny, but he’s starring in the second book in the series, Blood Fest: Cursing Fate, due to be released by Black Opal Books in late October, early November 2011.

As I take most of my characters from real life, I always try to give my friends a heads up if I use them in a book. So when I told the hunk I was using him as a secondary character in the first book, his only comment was, “Great, but when do I get my own book?” Like the tiger I paired him with, there didn’t seem to be a doubt in his mind that he deserved to have his own book. And maybe he does—for pure moxy if nothing else. You gotta love a hunk who knows he is one and thinks it’s only right. Still, I’d rather be a cat. They’ve got it all. Just ask Boo.

Thanks so much for explaining for shifter appreciation. I could definitely go for a research trip that included staring at beautiful animals and men.

About Pepper:
Award-winning author, Pepper O’Neal is a researcher, a writer, and an adrenalin junkie. She has a doctorate in education and spent several years in Mexico and the Caribbean working as researcher for an educational resource firm based out of Mexico City. During that time, she met and befriended many adventurers like herself, including former CIA officers and members of organized crime. Her fiction is heavily influenced by the stories they shared with her, as well her own experiences abroad.

O’Neal attributes both her love of adventure and her compulsion to write fiction to her Irish and Cherokee ancestors. When she’s not at her computer, she spends her time taking long walks in the forests near her home or playing with her three cats. And of course, planning the next adventure.

Want to win a copy of the book?

I have two ebook copies (PDF/Nook/Kindle) to giveaway to lucky readers. Entry is easy. Just leave a comment answering the following question:

What type of animal would make a bad shifter character?

Be sure to include your email address so I can contact you if you win. The giveaway is open worldwide until midnight Aug 14, 2011 (EST). The winners will be chosen using and will be contacted by email. They will have 48 hours to respond, or a new winner will be chosen.

Can’t wait to read it? Buy it now: Amazon or Barnes&Noble or Smashwords or All Romance eBooks

  18 Responses to “Guest Post: Pepper O’Neal + Giveaway”

  1. A rat would make a pretty bad shifter. all it has going for it is that its little.

    chelle2006 @ aol .com


  2. Perhaps a cockroach O.O Thank you for the giveaway. edysicecreamlover18@gmailDOTcom

  3. A giraffe! It would be really tough to get around with that long neck!!
    jwitt33 at live dot com

  4. A sloth! Can you imagine our heroine in mortal danger and hunky hero never turns up on time because it takes him 3 hours to cross the street 🙂

  5. I think perhaps a Manatee would just be too far out of the box for me – 🙂 Thank you for sharing about this series today, I will be looking into it, especially knowing it will be ongoing – love, love, love a good series. Thanks also for the fun giveaway opportunity.


  6. I think that a ant would make a bad shifter. He'd be so small and easy to step on.

    sstrode at scrtc dot com

  7. I think a worm would make a bad shifter. No arms, no legs, eats dirt…not a whole lot of fun!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

    darlenesbooknook at gmail dot com

  8. Hi
    I think that any bug would make a bad shifter, because shifters are supposed to be strong.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

    dany7578 at hotmail dot com

  9. A wereroach, although he would survive a nuclear holocaust.

  10. Hmmmm good one. There is the obvious bugs, but I'm thinking I'll go with a minnow. Poor little fishes are just sitting around minding their own business and someone plucks them up and feeds them to bigger fishes. I'm pretty sure there wouldn't be any advantage to being able to shift into one.
    lvs2dv at gmail dot com

    P.S. and by the way, I love cat shifters. I can just see sitting around with your honey in cat form (whatever that may be) a big ole purring ball of fur, just seems more attractive than a wolf.

  11. A bad shifter? that's a toughie, each animal has its advantages (there's a reason why they're not extinct yet, right?). Hmm, I would go with…Tapeworm. Yeah, I think that's as horrific as it gets *shudders*.

    And cat shifters are the most awesome of them all!

    advakramer at gmail dot com

  12. Canada Goose! LOL. I watch them outside my house and they just waddle by. I bet a lot of hunters would be after them too.

    ceeenndee at gmail dot com

  13. Alpaca. I'm listening to Kitty Goes to Washington by Carrie Vaughn and alpacas were mentioned as a bad shifter idea.

    meredithfl at gmail dot com

  14. This book sounds great! I love the cover! What animal would make a bad shifter? How about a rabbit? Thank you for sharing and for the wonderful giveaway.

  15. I think a goldfish would make a bad shifter animal. 🙂 smithlinda60(at)hotmail(dot)com

  16. hmmm good question

    id have to say a bad one would hands down have to be bugs but everyones saying bugs ill go with a hamster

    while it looks cute and cuddly unles s its super strenghth is the need to squeek a wheel

    ty for the chance

  17. A small rodent or insect like maybe a rat or cockroach. They would make terrible shifters.


  18. welll a sloth for sure 🙂 haha

 Leave a Reply

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>



CommentLuv badge