Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Predators and Inspiration [Explicit Content]

You never know when, how, or where inspiration will strike. Amazingly, the inspiration for "Manimal Attraction," started early one morning around 7 a.m. when my husband called me to the kitchen window. "Bring your camera. Quick!" Who knew?

The image is fuzzy, and he was across the yard, but he looked pretty big, and sometimes common sense kicks in--I wasn't going outside. But the zoom picked up pretty well--enough to inspire a story which morphed into "Manimal Attraction." My thought was that he might be a hybrid. But with me have absolutely no experience with this predatory population, I wasn't certain. Looking back now, especially after having visited "Wolf Haven," the sanctuary that's nearby, the head does looked pretty coyote-ish. But he was not small. There's a wildlife sanctuary behind our house and the information says there's at least one coyote that we apparently have as a neighbor. I did call to report the sighting. Never did get a call back. Oh well, everybody's busy.

Anyway, back to the writing of "Manimal Attraction."

My first draft started out something like this:

It was by accident I saw him that morning. Big. Gray. Powerfully-built. His thick silvery coat gleamed in the early dawn light. He lifted his head to scent the air. Ears tipped forward, alert to the presence of any danger. Powerful shoulders and haunches. It appeared as if he thought all of the world belong to him–very much an alpha male secure in his dominion.

And that's what I saw outside my window. And I called it, "The Wolf." First drafts are after all, just first drafts. It morphed, of course, and things changed as I started to get into the story and the "what-ifs" and scenarios that writers tend to consider. And my muse had her say. The first lines of the story ended up starting:

“She’s the third one,” Sheriff Taggart Este said as he squatted down to catch an identifiable scent, his coyote shifter instincts fully engaged. It was there, just like with the others, but subtle and slightly elusive.

Yup, Taggart ended up being coyote, not wolf, and not a most loyal species perhaps by any means, nor is Taggart particularly trusting. But Taggart is extremely loyal to at least one other resident of Rapture Bay. That person is the mayor, and he's a wolf shifter by the name of Lash MacKenzie.

And the other complication. Abigail Pembroke was back in town to deal with her grandmother’s death. Abby—Lash’s former lover—descendent of the third Harmony—Lucinda. A woman Lash had not forgotten. Nor had Tag. Nor could they ever. She was a Harmony and now that the elders were dead it would be up to Lash, Tag, and Abby to take their place. Whether Abby wanted to or not.

Trust me, Abby doesn't want to return to Rapture Bay. But trouble's come to town, and on the winds of a series of murders, Abigail Pembroke returns to town. Abby, who hurt Lash deeply when she left. Coyote's don't forgive easily.

Abby could feel him close by. Not just him, the other one was near as well. But it was he who came first, he she was grounded to before the other.
Distance may have diminished the connection, but now that she's back, he's something she's going to have to contend with, and it's not going to be easy, because they're the last Harmonies left, and no one else has a hope of helping the residents of Rapture Bay.

Remember that line in the first draft? Yes, it made it's way into the final story, but you won't find it on the first page.

Morning came all too soon. Coffee. God, did Abby need a full pot of it right now just to get her going. And then she made the mistake of looking out the kitchen window.

He was standing there—truly a primal statement. And he was making it to her. She trembled, almost dropping the coffee mug as she stared at Lash, unable to take her eyes off him. How close she had come to shifting last night. Not that she’d ever allowed herself to shift before, she’d always fought the most elemental—that most innate call of her blood.

Big. Gray. Powerfully-built. A breeze ruffled the thick, gleaming silvery coat in the early dawn light. He lifted his head to scent the air. Ears pricked forward, alert to the presence of any danger. Powerful shoulders and haunches. His stature said the world belonged to him—very much an alpha male secure in his dominion.

Except he was in Abby’s backyard.

But it means more now. Now, we know who, and what he is, and we are connected to him.

But what about Taggart? How's he going to handle all this? His first loyalty appears to be to Lash--but what will he do to protect him? How far will he go? In this scene, he's all coyote predator.

Tag circled his desk and walked to Abby. He sensed her fear, her desire to retreat. He admired the fact that she stood her ground and faced him down. He purposefully stepped into her space. She stepped back. Something dark and dangerous reared its head inside him and he found himself herding her back to the wall.

Sexual heat surged through him. He knew Lash needed her—they both did in order to secure the barrier. But there was more to it than that. He yanked the handcuffs from his belt. Before she knew what hit her, he had her cuffed to the rack where his hat rested above, right next to his coat.

“Tag, what are you doing? Let me go.”

He drew closer, inhaled her scent.

“Did you fuck Brice just to irritate Lash?”

“Damn you, no. It was only lunch. He invited me.”

He slowly began to undo the buttons of her blouse and revealed the soft skin beneath. “Did he,” Tag murmured, his full attention on the pretty, soft skin he was revealing. “I wonder what he has in mind? Do you like him better than Lash? Maybe it’s not that you like him, but that he’s safer. Is that it? Did he convince you to go upstairs with him? Did he spread you out on one of those beds and eat you for dessert?”

He pulled out his jackknife and cut the fragile material of her bra, baring her breasts. He heard her inhale sharply. It wasn’t fear, it was desire, and the scent of it permeated the room.

He watched her breasts rise and fall with each deep breath. Dusky nipples puckered, so dark against her honeyed skin. He looked into her eyes. She looked at him, no fear evidenced in the wide stare she gave him. He fitted his hands to her narrow waist.

He dropped to his knees and as he leaned in he moved his hands to the hem of her skirt, slowly lifting it until he revealed her panty-covered pussy. He inhaled loudly, taking in her scent.

Things are definitely heating up in Rapture Bay, all because of one glimpse of a dangerous predator out my kitchen window.

No comments: