Tag Archives: werewolf

The P.A.W.S. Institute, on Lisa Burton Radio

Don’t touch that dial, you’ve just landed on Lisa Burton Radio. The only show out there that interviews the characters that you love to read about. I’m your host, Lisa Burton, the robot girl, and my special guest today is Jessamyn, the head of the P.A.W.S. Institute. “Welcome to the show, Jessamyn.”

“Thank you Lisa, I’m privileged to be here.”

“Jessamyn, why don’t you tell the listeners what P.A.W.S. stands for.”

“P.A.W.S. is the Partnership of Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters. We are an umbrella organization for shifters all around the globe with branches in every continent. I am the head of the Midwest Institute that is located under the Jewel Box in Forest Park in St. Louis (though good luck in finding us – our magic wards are strong and unless you are a shifter yourself, and you’re invited in by me, you’ll not be able to penetrate them.)

“Here in St. Louis we host all kinds of shifters. Animagi are magicians who study hard and learn to become shifters. It’s a long and arduous process, as my son Danny discovered. He finally chose to become a Maine coon cat, but not before exploring all kinds of options from squirrels to sparrows.

“Werewolves come in two flavors. There are those who were bitten by a werewolf and those who were born to werewolf parents. Those who are bitten are initially only able to shift during a full-moon, but with practice they can learn to control their shifts and transform at any time of the month. Those born to werewolf parents generally don’t turn until they reach adolescence. There are rumors also of the existence of werecats in Europe that were said to be created by a Nazi scientist during the Second World War, but so far we have not hosted any of these weres at the Midwest institute.

“The rarest form is the true shapeshifter. They get their magic from silver charms that are passed on through the generations. It is said that the first charms were forged by Merlin and I once knew a magician who wore such a charm around his neck. Today at P.A.W.S. we host five shapeshifters: Miri Katz – a cat shifter from an old family from Vienna; Sandy and Sean Ryder – twins from Texas who joined us after their family was killed in unexpected fire on the family ranch. They transform into horses and can often be seen trotting around Forest Park; Zamir – one of our exchange students from the P.A.W.S. Institute of Egypt. His form is that of a snake and he’s training to be a Healer; and finally there’s Hugo Hogsworth, our chef at P.A.W.S. who is a rather large shapeshifting pig – and a wonderful cook! His truffles are to die for!”

“So you must be a shapeshifter yourself. What kind of animal do you shift into?”

“I’m one of the few animagi that can actually shift to more than one creature. All my forms are birds. I knew from the moment I decided to become an animagus that I wanted to be able to fly, and it has served me well. I flew as a young girl all the way from my ancestral home on Inis Fraogh in Ireland to New York. Not all at once of course. My companion and I rested on cruise ships along the way. For this trip I mostly took the form of a seagull. It’s important to blend in with your surroundings. But by far my favorite bird form is that of the eagle. I love its power and its beauty and the ability to fly high and still check out the world below. It has served me well over the years.”

“I like the idea that all kinds of shifters are represented. In a world where such things happen, there must be shrimp along with tigers. Not all of them will feel the need to be a hero, or a villain.”

“Oh yes we have all kinds at P.A.W.S. And we all try to work together even when it’s a stretch. For example we’ve recently become host to an exchange student from Canadian P.A.W.S., Gordon Pugh. Gordon’s chosen form is a Canada goose and a goose is not subtle. I’m constantly getting complaints about his behavior. He caused quite a ruckus over in Creve Coeur Park one day when he took a fancy to a young swan. His excuse that evening was “how was he supposed to know that they mated for life?”

“On the whole though, we work well together and use our joint magic to protect the greater population. P.A.W.S. you see receives its funding from a special secret magical department of the government. We take our responsibility seriously.”

“So there aren’t just shifters, there are powerful magical forces at work here too? You also mentioned protecting the greater population, can you tell us what you’re protecting us from?”

“Oh yes, at P.A.W.S. we explore more than just the magic of shifting. Every magic user has a special power. I, for example, have my illusion. I have been creating illusions ever since I was small. On Inis Fraogh as a child I would build illusory sandcastles filled with intricate detail. My mother, a Healer, used to scorn my skill, but I have learnt over the years that illusion is indeed very powerful.

“But every member of P.A.W.S. has their own special magic. Josh, one of our resident werewolves is particularly skilled at tracking, and my son Danny, is adept at telekinesis. Most of us at P.A.W.S. learn to control our magic and use it to help others, but there are other forces outside of P.A.W.S. with strong, unchecked magic. One such force is Alistair.

“I have met him once, but that one meeting left an indelible mark on me, and tore someone who was dear to me away. His power is that of persuasion. He can control those around him with a word and a touch and his pack adore him and try to emulate him. He claims he is immortal and his immortality comes from consuming human flesh on the full moon. And with each passing full moon he grows stronger.”

“So let me get this straight. More magic means more power, and this Alistair dude eats his victims to gain more power? That’s disgusting! In order to face him, do you have to eat some victims too?”

“Oh no, I would never do something so terrible and neither would any of the members of P.A.W.S. The werewolves we have hosted in P.A.W.S. have all sworn never to attack humans, rather on the night of the full moon they feast on squirrels and vermin. But Alistair’s pack grows stronger each full moon and they must be stopped.”

“Thank you, Jessamyn, for being my guest today. I think I speak for everyone when I hope you find a way to stop Alistair. Today’s show was sponsored by P.A.W.S. by Debbie Manber Kupfer. I’ll include all the important data on the blog site.

“Don’t forget to tip your waitress. That means click those sharing buttons at the end. When your character appears here, you’ll appreciate others sharing your interview. If you’d like to arrange an interview for one of your characters, please use the email address inside my contact page. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

P.A.W.S.

When Miri receives a silver cat charm from her omama on the night before she dies she has no idea that the charm holds a secret, a powerful magic that saved her omama’s life and is about to make Miri’s a whole lot more interesting.

Join Miri on a mysterious and supernatural journey with her new friends, members of an underground St. Louis society known as the Partnership for Animagi, Werewolves, and Shapeshifters, better known as P.A.W.S.

http://amzn.com/B0129GG6YQ

http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B0129GG6YQ

 

Argentum:

Argentum is the thread that binds all magic …

The silver of Miri’s cat charm passed on through the generations.

The silver of Jessamyn’s scepter, the source of her illusions.

The silver of Quentin’s scrying bowl, forged by Merlin.

All intertwine in Argentum.

With Alistair gone a measure of peace returns to P.A.W.S., but Miri is tormented by nightmares. The silver charm that had recently hung around Alistair’s neck is now in Miri’s possession and seems to have taken on a life of its own. And then it mysteriously disappears.

Jessamyn seeks help from Quentin, who claims to have repented his past association with Alistair, but can he be trusted?

And what of Jenna? The young girl rescued from Alistair’s pack house holds a terrible secret. One that could determine the future of P.A.W.S.

https://amzn.com/B01M74MSAR

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01M74MSAR

Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in the London. She has lived in Israel, New York and North Carolina and somehow ended up in St. Louis, where she works as a writer and a freelance puzzle constructor of word puzzles and logic problems. She lives with her husband, two children and a very opinionated feline. She is the author of the P.A.W.S. series has stories in several anthologies including Fauxpocalypse, Shades of Fear, Winter Wishes, and Sins of The Past. She has also published a book of logic puzzles, Paws 4 Logic, with her son Joey. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!

 

Follow Debbie at these locations:

Paws4Thought: http://debbiemanberkupfer.wordpress.com/

Paws4Puzzles: http://paws4puzzles.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DebbieManberKupferAuthor

Twitter: @CiciCat42

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Debbie-Manber-Kupfer/e/B00DHPNJ5I/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7142164.Debbie_Manber_Kupfer

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjFGmnQLrtSBTkxa3BYddHA

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Let’s all speculate a bit

Last night was a pretty rare celestial occurrence. I watched the eclipse from my Idaho driveway last night, and thought it was wonderful. I’ll spare you my pitiful iPhone photo, because others have posted some wonderful images online.

Events like that get my creative juices flowing. This was not only a full moon, it was a super-moon. Add into that the designation blood moon, and that is enough for most people to be pretty rare. This was also a total eclipse. There are frequent eclipses, but they are partial eclipses.

I’m more likely to avoid such an occurrence in my fiction. It’s just so rare as to be unbelievable. It’s also likely to be glommed onto by half the speculative authors out there. It has that special snowflake thing going for it in my mind.

Still, it’s a hot topic right now. So here’s how I might speculate about it. I always start off asking questions, the most prevalent one being “what if.” Note that many times the first few aren’t all that great.

What if it disappears and never comes back?

The moon influences the tides. What if all the special circumstances gave it an influence on other liquids, like magma?

It was called a blood moon. What if the tidal influences were felt upon our very blood. What would happen?

Geologists tell us the Earth has reversed polarity multiple times. Could this gravitational pull cause that to happen? What would happen if it did?

Perfect night for werewolves. Could the eclipse screw them all up? Maybe they line up and dance the Time Warp.

There certainly has to be an arcane ritual that takes advantage of the situation.

What if the shadow on the moon looked more angular and geometric than Earth’s shadow? The cloaking device worked perfectly for the invasion fleet, but the shadow gave them away.

Some ancients believed a monster swallowed the moon during an eclipse. What if it were true?

What if it were a solar eclipse? With the sun behind the moon, it revealed an image like candling a giant space egg. What if during the lunar eclipse, astronauts saw something similar inside Earth?

Maybe the fact that everything lined up caused what we used to call a radio skip. A spy agency gets wind of some pending terrorist action. Maybe alien messages are intercepted.

What if they predicted the eclipse and it didn’t happen? Something changed celestially. What is it?

To be honest, this doesn’t trip my trigger as a speculative element. I’m much more interested in the idea of flowing water on Mars. I enjoyed it immensely, but that’s the limit of where I’m going with it.

I think this particular eclipse is going to find its way into a lot of fiction. My only suggestion is not to take the easy way out with it. It screams druids, witches, lycanthropes, and demons. Maybe that isn’t the best way to incorporate it into a story. There will be a lot of competition in this arena too.

What do you folks think? Is this the speculative element of your dreams, or are you inclined to pass it over?

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Let’s do something crazy

Writers all know how hard it is to get noticed on the Internet. We all try the same things with one degree of success or the other. Guest posting is extremely valuable to our efforts. Today I was honored to appear at P. H. Solomon’s blog, and at Rachel Carrera’s blog. If you haven’t visited them, please consider checking out their blogs.

These invites are wonderful, particularly when the host has hundreds more followers than I do. I have one more scheduled appearance involving werewolf month over at Mari Wells‘ place. Intrigued? I’ll let everyone know when it goes live.

It’s time for me to pay it forward. I’ve hosted a few things, and I need to do more. Most of them have been affiliated with the Rave Reviews Book Club, but I’m expanding my horizons. I was concerned about trying to keep things genre specific, but in the end, does that really matter? I read broadly, and I’ll bet most of you do too.

This leads me to my second topic. Stick with me here, because I’ll bring them both together at the end.

It’s time to talk about Lisa Burton. Lisa is the robotic main character in Wild Concept. (Linked cover off to the right.) She is also the one who helps me around the writing cabin, for you who enjoy those posts.

Lisa is fabulous, for lack of a better word. She’s into her fashion, and is really concerned about passing for human. She never had parents like we did, so she learned about hair and makeup from YouTube videos. It can come out a bit garish on occasion. She also got about $25,000 worth of GMO skin tattooed when she made her first group of friends.

I’ve relied upon Lisa so much for my posts about word metrics, writing struggles, and tips that it’s time for her to do more. I don’t know of a single other writer trying this stunt, so I am. Lisa Burton is going to be the new spokes-model for Entertaining Stories.

I went back to Lisa’s original cover artist, Sean Harrington, and had him prepare a group of images to use on the blog. I’ll use them sparingly, and will probably use each one more than once. I gave him minimal instruction and got out of his way. He’s also receptive to guest blogging here, and I hope to post something from him soon.

So here’s the deal. I’m more open to hosting people on my blog, and can usually accommodate a Tuesday or Thursday request. I’m also available to prepare something for your blogs. I’m kind of like a creature from the Never Never. You have to invite me in, but I’m pretty harmless. Lisa Burton is standing by to take your calls.

 

 

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Filed under Blogging, Muse, Writing

A Writing Buddy

A few weeks ago, Mari Wells put out a call for a writing buddy on her blog. I’ve always enjoyed her blog, and the deep research he she does into paranormal creatures and themes. This is real dedication that can serve a writer well. She asked for someone to bounce ideas off of, plot issues, character traits, that sort of thing. She wanted someone she could trust to keep things confidential, and asked for someone with a fifth grade sense of humor.

I thought, Hey, I have a fifth grade sense of humor, and dropped her a line.

We’re still getting acquainted at this point. I haven’t asked her to pull my finger or anything – yet. (Or was that a fourth grade sense of humor.)

I was surprised to learn she’s somewhere in Idaho. I know people from all over the world, and didn’t expect that. We’ve never met and may never meet. (Idaho is a big place.)

We exchanged projects and she sent me a short story. It was an awesome piece about one of her characters when she was young. It was really intriguing and she submitted it to an Anthology. I’ll let her tell you more about it over at her blog.

I may have taken advantage, because I sent her the entire manuscript for Will ‘O the Wisp. She stayed up all night and read it straight through. She had some complimentary things to say about it, and I’m pretty excited to share it with the world. She also suggested a few changes that I think are spot on.

I think I’m in her debt now. There is a difference between a short story and a novel. I look forward to her next request. This is kind of fun.

Mari just spent a month blogging about vampires, and there are some really unusual legends I’ve never heard of. One of her posts gave me some really good ideas. I may never write a vampire story, but if I do I know what I’m going to write about.

Mari is a creative lady. I’d appreciate it if my followers would go check out her homes on the web. Leave a comment and consider giving her a follow.

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Things I’d love to write about, but won’t

I’m sure most writers have a list similar to this one. For one reason or another, there are things we enjoy, but will never write about.

Keep in mind, this is a blog post, not a vow. If I ever get popular, I reserve the right to change my mind.

Werewolves. I love classic werewolves. The scary ones, where you wind up having sympathy for the human with an uncontrollable condition, and with the madness that comes from knowing what he’s done. I really don’t like superhero werewolves, prancing shirtless werewolves, cat people, werepigs etc. And what’s with the trend where they can change any old time they like, moon or no moon? I’m afraid a return to the traditional wouldn’t even get a second look from readers.

The Headless Horseman. This is just a cool character. He’s been done well, and he’s been done poorly. He’s just something I prefer to enjoy. I don’t feel the need to write about him. There are other revenge based stories I can write.

Vampires. Again, I mean the classic traditional vampire of legend. There was a romantic tragedy about them that created sympathy in readers. They’ve become everything from splash, gore, and shock to boy toy eye candy. They can walk around in daylight now. The traditional protections don’t seem to work anymore. I’m afraid they’ve been bastardized beyond recognition.

Zombies. I actually wrote about them a couple of times. I think it’s out of my system now. In one case, I changed them into something else entirely. I never used the word zombie at all, and now they are something else. It was the hive mind I needed, not the undead. One of my favorite zombie characters are the Cybermen from Dr. Who. If you think about it, Cybermen use humans to make more Cybermen. They’re scary, and I think they’re done well.

Classic monsters are like a magician’s trick. We’ve been shown how it works, and the magic is gone. The public has seen so many of them they aren’t frightening any longer. Readers expect a zombie or werewolf behind every rock.

I respect those who want to take them for one more ride. They can be as unique as we are; therefore, their stories can be different. I just won’t be one who takes them out and plays with them.

I don’t feel the same way about robots, magic, or space. Natural dangers sell themselves. Sharks, psychos, evil corporations, and governments are in the evening news. These are broader brush issues and variations are easier to come up with.

What do the rest of you think? Are there characters you love, but won’t write? Are there characters you won’t read about anymore? Movies that you’ll pass up, because the monsters are tired?

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