What inspired me to write the Convergence series?
The series was actually inspired by a dream I had. This is not uncommon, to this date, there is not a single story I’ve written that wasn’t originally inspired by a dream. Going forward that might not always be the case (such as my next novel project), but for now, it is. All of my short stories, my novelette, and the convergence series, are all dream-based. I have a weird mind that is apparently far more creative subconsciously than it is consciously…usually.
In my dream, there was a young woman who visited an old dilapidated tree-house, and she was sad, then a wild-looking young man appeared (yes, a wolf-man) and suddenly she recognized him as being her long lost friend, presumed dead, and that he had also presumed her to be dead, and then they embraced, and that was where the dream ended.
Naturally, that’s not much to go on, so of course, I had to fill in all the details in a way that would allow that dream scenario to form into a full story, but that little dream was what started it all.
Aside from writing fantasy, I’ve also written some horror, which includes body horror. I don’t shy away from describing things like cuts, gashes, broken bones, getting stitches, or recovery times, and that is because I have lived a very hard life. Just about all those things, I’ve personally experienced. They say write what you know. Well, I’ve known a hell of a lot of physical trauma.
-Broken 6 bones in my lifetime, including a rib. I know what a hairline fracture, fracture, and, yes, even a compound fracture, are like. Compound fracture, if you’re not aware, is when the bone breaks out through the skin. Yeah, that happened to my thigh bone. It was not fun.
-I know what it’s like to live with a broken rib, how it literally hurts to breathe or talk, and how it greatly limits your ability to sleep comfortably.
-I know what it is like to go into shock, yes medical shock, not an emotional shock.
-I know what stitches are like; I’ve had over 80 in my lifetime. (And staples).
-I know what major operations are like. I’ve had 3.
-I know what it is like to bleed out. I have had several blood transfusions.
-I know what it is like to walk with a cane, crutches, and use a wheelchair. I once spent a year learning how to walk again.
-I know what severe muscle atrophy is like.
And, while all those things certainly sucked at the time, I don’t regret my life experiences. They do give me very good references for when I write about injuries in my stories, which is a lot.
Another thing I am somewhat familiar with is medicinal botany (no, not pot). In my early college years, I loved learning about plants that were/are used for healing. I still have quite a few books on the medicinal powers of plants. One of my favorite college professors was a botanist, and I loved his nature walks where he would explain all the various uses for the plants, or when he would allow us into the greenhouse. Don’t get me wrong, most plants will just make you vomit or shit yourself, but there are actually quite a few plants with some surprisingly useful applications, and so I do try to incorporate some small amount of medicinal botany knowledge into my writing, particularly with Batsuba, and now, Halea. The fantasy world in which they live is relatively without modern medicine, so they mostly have to make do with what’s available in nature.
Is Varg a werewolf?
Technically, no. The Convergence series certainly has many aspects that would appeal to readers who love werewolf-based fiction. Some of the common werewolf tropes are there; shape-shifting, superhuman strength, speed, sense of hearing and smell, the whole mating bite thing, and of course, that hot sexy alpha male cliché that we all love so much, but I wouldn’t actually classify him as a werewolf.
-Werewolves in fiction, at least traditionally, don’t have full control over their shape-shifting (newer interpretations of the werewolf myth have obviously taken liberty with that). The Lycans of the Convergence series can change, or not, at will.
-Werewolves, traditionally, are cursed, whereas the lycans of Convergence are born shape-shifters descended from the gods and are not the only therianthropes in the Convergence universe.
-Werewolves are vulnerable to silver. Lycans are not.
-Werewolves worship the moon. Lycans worship the ancient wolf gods, though I’m sure they think the moon is cool n’ all.
-Werewolves, at least in the more recent werewolf romance fiction, tend to have one destined mate, with whom they fall in love at first sight. Lycans have to have a strong and profound personal connection before they can choose a life mate (no insta-love).
Now, of course, I am aware this might just be splitting hairs, and I confess to willingly marketing the Convergence series towards those who enjoy werewolf romances because of the many similarities, but I will still argue that they aren’t werewolves in the traditional fiction/horror sense, but that may not matter. Modern interpretations and adaptations, especially in fantasy, urban, or paranormal romances, have taken all kinds of liberties with the classic archetype of the werewolf. Gone are the Lon Cheney Jr werewolves, and apparently here to stay are the Jacobs, the hot sweaty, shirtless, pack boys, who want to steal your heart more than eat it, and I guess that’s just what werewolves are now.