Make Me Howl 
Susan Shay welcome to Romance Lives Forever. Tell us about your
book, Make Me Howl.
I have a long
time real life friend who asked me this question on Facebook:
Seriously Susan Spess Shay, how on
earth did you write such an intricate piece, we all know how Castle does his research
for his um, books, but how did you come up with all the details, and do research
on Make Me Howl?
Okay, I’m no Castle (although I love
that show!) but I think she’s talking about Jazzy’s World. The research I did was
to watch all the old Wolf Man and Werewolf movies as I was growing up. (I still
watch them.)
That way, I knew what the norm was
for a werewolf and how I could change it.
Anytime we write a book, we have to
set up the world the book is set in. Whether it’s a straight romance, a mystery,
a paranormal or an inspirational.
Of course, setting up a world for
a straight romance is a little less complicated than a paranormal or sci-fi. For
my book, To School a Cowboy, I had to make up a town for my heroine to live in,
and a ranch for her to live on. (She rents a mother-in-law house from the hero.)
To make it easy, I used my hometown,
but changed it. I changed the name (of course) and a farm became a ranch and across
the road changed from non-usable land to a small farm. The road is still there,
and there’s even a school on that road, like in the book. Distances are different,
though.
For Blind Sight, my “world”
was a little harder. The heroine in this book is a touch psychid. She lived in an
old mansion that had been turned into a boarding house. I made that town and the
house up totally. But I can still see it in my head, so it kind of exists. Right?
There were other rules, too. As a
touch psychic (I’ve never met one, have you?) when she touched someone or something
that had been recently touched, she channeled that person’s feelings and saw what
was weighing on their minds. (Which is how she realized before the police they had
a serial murderer in their town.)
But I had to find a way for her to
be able to touch the hero—a debunker who decides to show the world that she’s a
fake. (If you can’t kiss the guy, the romance is going to fizzle out fast.) That
was a fun challenge to get past!
In case you’re wondering, both of
those books are still available on The Wild Rose Press and Amazon.
Make Me Howl was the most challenging
of all my stories to date. I had to change all of werewolf lore. (My son did that
when he wrote a werewolf story in fourth grade, so I figured werewolves were fair
game.)
I set up a world where being a werewolf
is an inherited gene. People are born werewolves. But I had to come up with a reason
some werewolves can’t control themselves and some (like Jazzy) can.
The-full-moon-made-me-do-it werewolves,
I decided, were the ones who got a virus when an out-of-control-angry-genetic-werewolf
bit them. And hey, who’s to say it’s not?
I learned from my good friend, Marilyn
Pappano, that the secret to a really good “world” is setting it up and
then not changing it toward the end. Often, a writer will write herself into a corner.
In order to get out of it, the heroine suddenly discovers she has a new “talent”.
For instance, let’s say I’d written
the entire book with Jazzy as she is, then had the viral werewolf chasing her to
the edge of a three hundred foot cliff. If I had Jazzy suddenly realized she could
fly, I’d be cheating.
And for some people, the book would
become a wallbanger. (That’s when the reader gets mad and throws it at the wall
rather than finishing it.)
So once I gave Jazzy her attributes,
I left them alone. After all, she’s a fashionista with a biting sense of humor and
a killer sense of style who knows how to shake her tail. What more could you want
in a werewolf/heroine?

Make Me Howl

When Chase Holliday’s gaze first met mine, something tingled
on my end. He was hot. Dark blue eyes, a square jaw, hair that was just a little
too long, and this way of focusing that made me wonder if I should attack or run.
And I never run.
Together we’d make a pair anyone would sit up and notice–at
least that’s what I thought. Then I learned that he planned to wipe werewolves from
the face of the planet. And since I was born with an active werewolf gene, well,
let’s just say our twain could never meet.
Until a Blood Moon occurred while I was in heat and all my hard
earned control went slamming out the window with me right behind it. That’s when
I learned that, like wolves in nature, werewolves mate for life.
I’m in deep trouble.

About the Author

I’m one of six kids, four sisters and a brother, and we all agree
we had the best parents in the world. A real Leave-It-To-Beaver upbringing. We all
like our hometown so much five of the six of us still live there.
I’m a reader first–I’ve been reading ever since I can remember.
And when I couldn’t read, I’ve always made up stories to entertain myself.
I had a blind date on December 7 a few years ago, and married
a that guy five months later. We have three sons. When I had the third one, I took
a Louis Lamour book with me on the delivery table. The nurse finally wrestled it
away from me when the baby was ready to make his appearance.
Almost as soon as the youngest was walking, we bought a pharmacy
and I went to work full time. At first it was only supposed to be for a couple of
weeks. Those two weeks lasted a looooong time. :-)
As soon as I had the time between playing with the husband and
kids, cooking, laundry and work, I started writing my stories down. Much more fun!
I sold my first short story to a children’s Sunday School paper. I made $35.00,
and the publisher issued it twice!
I’m not only a reader and writer, I’m a knitter, a gardner and
a darn good cook if I do say so myself. And I have an alter-ego I call Terminally
Curious, because I am, truly, terminally curious.

Find Me Here