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Guest Post: “The Reality of Loving a Paranormal Shifter” by Wendy Sparrow

Taming the Pack Wendy Sparrow

I know! I know! Paranormal romance isn’t all about reality, but when you’re creating a paranormal world—you think of weird things. You have…concerns.

The first quandary I have when I start a new world is how I will deal with their clothes. Seriously. That’s my very first detail to work out. Do the clothes shift with them? Do they bust out of their clothing and go through a wardrobe of clothes? If they do destroy the clothing they have on, will they wind up somewhere naked? It takes something out of the sexy momentum when your tux-wearing hero shifter ends up hiding in bushes at a party after he wolfed out. And, sure, maybe they’ll undress some of the time, but in an emergency—you’ve hit the climax—and clothing is a casualty because all hell has broken loose. But, that’s not the only thing jiggling loose, if you know what I mean. The awkward could be high. Sure, some heroes and heroines could pull it off with panache, but they’d still be starkers.

Then, there’s the shift itself. No matter how many times I write shifters, I always think, “How would it really work?” There’s the Hollywood shift where the hair grows in slow-mo as the bones twist and enlarge. There are stages as one or the other form recedes. Human to hairy human and then to upright human-wolf followed by some mixture of wolf and human. How far does it go? To full creature? Full-wolf or bear or whatever? Would it be loud or quiet? Fast or slow? I vary it up in different worlds, but I figure I might as well embrace the magic and assume the definition of paranormal invites interpretation of what’s possible. I get a little contrary with my inner voice and yell, “Don’t blind me with your science!”

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