Visiting today is author Amy Lee Burgess, author of About Face. Check out what she has to say about world-building and orientation dynamics in her series mythos:
The other night a friend and I were discussing world building issues in my Wolf Within series. She asked, “I know your shifters need hetero sex to shift, but is there any room for you to write about a gay couple? Can two guys or two girls bond?”
I thought I had the answer. “Well, they have triads in packs to deal with this. They can’t shift without hetero sex, so two same sex lovers can bond with someone of the opposite sex to provide that angle.”
“Yeah,” she said. “But what if that opposite sex bond mate dies? Do the two same sex mates have to find another opposite sex mate? Are they even still mated by Pack law?”
“Why wouldn’t they be? You can only break the bond on birthdays or if you are exiled,” I said, but wheels were turning in my brain. “The only reason they’d need to find another opposite sex bond mate is if they were young enough still and hadn’t been Alpha yet. Because the only people who can be Alphas in their packs are those who can still have children.”
“What if they already had been Alphas and they had a child? Can a same sex couple bring up a child in the pack?”
“Absolutely,” I said. “At least one of them is the biological parent of this child and the Great Pack doesn’t have a hang up about kids being brought up in a father/mother environment. Hell, the whole pack brings up the kids, not just the parents.”
“What if there was duo, a man and a woman, and they were killed? They had a child. Could a same sex duo adopt this child?”
I thought about that. “Sure, why not? If they had a good home to offer the child. Especially if one of them was related in any way to one of the dead parents.”
My friend grinned at me. “So maybe you’ve got a plot for your next Stanzie novel?”
“Maybe the one after the one I’m already writing,” I said. Which, oddly enough, features a little Pack girl and her father who have spent years on the run because of something the little girl can do that can be potentially exploited.
I have awesome friends, don’t I?
At the time I made the rule that it takes a m/f pairing to shift, I had a good reason. Of course, two years later I can’t remember what it was. Probably it’s tied to the idea that only Alphas can have children and I wanted everyone in a pack to have the option to be an Alpha and to have a child if they wanted.
I suppose two guys who never want to be Alpha and never want children could bond, but they’d have to find a woman to help them shift when they wanted to let their wolves out to run. Since sex outside bonds is not only tolerated in the Great Pack, but encouraged, they wouldn’t have a problem finding a willing partner.
I wonder if this scenario has ever happened in any of the packs in my Wolf Within world? I suspect it has. That might make fun novella to write someday.
This is what I love about a series. The possibilities are nearly endless.
About Amy Lee Burgess
Amy Lee Burgess is a transplanted New Englander living in Houston, Texas with two dogs and lots of DVDs. In an attempt to bond with the city after being forced out of New Orleans post-Katrina, she turned to her writing. Determined to finally finish that novel she’d been hacking away at since high school, Amy managed to come up with a wolf shifter character named Stanzie Newcastle. She and Stanzie have been BFFs ever since.
In addition to Stanzie, Amy has also forged a relationship with several vampires, a witch or two, and other assorted supernatural creatures she hopes will entertain her readers. But she will always have room for coffee and butterscotch squares with Stanzie.<
About Face (Book #5 of The Wolf Within Series)
Stanzie’s job as Advisor to the Great Council is discovering other people’s secrets. When those secrets are being kept by the ones she loves most, can she find the courage to expose them?
Under orders from a Councilor, Stanzie journeys to Dublin and the MacTire pack. Her mission: warn her estranged bond mate, Liam Murphy, to abandon his overzealous search for the man responsible for the death of his first bond mate. Not only is he endangering himself, but also disrupting the delicate balance between opposing factions in the conspiracy threatening to tear the Great Pack apart.
Liam needs Stanzie’s help to protect their Alpha, who has entangled himself in the conspiracy’s deadly web. But he also desperately wants her back. In a race against time, Stanzie and Liam discover enemies often wear the faces of friends.
CONTENT WARNING: Vulgar language, sexual situations, some violence.
A Lyrical Press Paranormal Romance
About Face by Amy Lee Burgess
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Mystery