A conversation I had with myself while I was working on the synopsis

You just wrote a novel? What is it about?

A werewolf.


There's a serial killer. And she's worried it might be her.

Sure. Then what happens?

She stops the serial killer. But she has to defy her newfound wolf pack to do it.

So who is the serial killer?

Spoilers! It's somebody close to her though.

Okay. Why does she want to stop the serial killer? Is she a cop?

No, she has to stop the killer because she's worried it might be her. She feels connected to the deaths. And she has werewolfy superpowers like the ability to track people by scent, which she can put to use.

What else is going on?

She’s trying to land a programming job in a gaming software company except that she finds she’s kind of lousy at it, she’s trying to help her best friend overcome alcoholism, there’s a cop who thinks she’s suspect number 1 in the murders, another werewolf who’s trying to kill her, and a heavily armed anti-wolf vigilante group roaming the neighborhood.

So how is this different from… say… Carrie Vaughn's Kitty series?

The character is older — thirty — and she's got a lot more emotional baggage going into the story. She's a recent widow with survivor guilt issues and she grew up in an abusive religious cult. The werewolves are different, mostly hereditary, with a long history of isolation and a distinct culture. Also, it's not set in a world with a lot of other supernatural monsters. You don't have vampires and zombies and other shape-shifters and so on.

Wait, it's hereditary? She's been a werewolf her whole life?

Potentially. She doesn't start changing until the start of the book. It takes a violent incident to prompt the first change.

It sounds okay, but… tell me something to really get me interested.

It's set in Seattle and the werewolves are from Louisiana and based partly on Cajun legends of the Loup-Garou.

Keep going.

She's an extremely committed vegetarian and really hates it when the wolf eats small animals. Or, you know, people.

The wolf eats people?

Just their guts. It's a symbolic thing, a way of expressing dominance over an enemy.

But she's not the serial killer?

No, the wolf kills in defense of others. Or when people try to kill her. That really pisses her off.

I can imagine.

You sold yet?

I don't know. Tell me what's at stake?

The life of the serial killer's latest potential victim. Her own life. And her identity. She knows the wolf is a killer, but can she morally justify the people the wolf kills? And how much guilt does she bear for what the wolf does?

Another thing at stake is the survival of her — people, I guess. The Loup-Garou are very powerful as individuals but there aren't many of them. They count on secrecy to keep them safe. They think her tendency to change shape whenever badly hurt is the kind of thing likely to attract attention unless she can learn to control it. So they have good reasons to try to restrict her activities, even though she ends up going against their wishes. She also has good reasons not to fully trust them, even though she likes them.

What will I see in this book that I have never seen before?

A werewolf in a corset.


She slips right out of most of her clothes but the corset is kind of stuck there. So the wolf wriggles around trying to get it off.

Are you sure I've never seen that?

Well, I've never seen that.

Why is she wearing a corset?

She's dressed up like a video game character when she goes wolf-shaped.

What else have you got?

Somebody wearing a hat in the shape of a duck wearing a hat. Karaoke. Taxidermy. YouTube videos. Pumpkin mochas. A garbage bag worn as a dress. A werewolf lobotomy. Fake psychic abilities. A sex toy shop. Brutalist architecture. Barefoot jogging. Utilikilts. Banana schnapps.

I don’t know. I don’t hate it but I’m still not loving it.

*sigh* Why are you such a hard sell?

Don’t blame me, I’m just embodying the relentless logic of the marketplace.



*double sigh*

The serial killer is her co-worker, a tiny, harmless-looking young woman who literally thinks she is a vampire. She seems so harmless that even when the protagonist and the cops figure out who it is, they still think she must be procuring victims for the real killer. Also, she keeps incredibly snarky diaries.

Okay, now I’m interested.

1 Comment

  1. Author

    Hah, no Mudede. It has a couple of scenes in Freeway Park, though.

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