HIDDEN FORMS.an indie mix for being twentysomething and cursed, for chilling at coffeehouses with your werewolf friends and wearing silver jewelry as a political statement and having to explain to your significant other why you never sleep over on a full moon. For holding down a job, getting through another month without killing anyone, and learning how to admit you were wrong. For growing up wild. listen.
Full Moon: Black Ghosts//The Wolves: Ben Howard//Wolf Like Me (TV On the Radio cover): Ana Calvi//I Know I’m a Wolf: The Young Heretics//As the Moon Sets: We Are Wolves//Monster: Imagine Dragons//Coyote: The Lonely Forest//Werewolf: Cat Power//The Draw: Bastille//Howl: Florence and the Machine//The Ugly Side: Blue October// You’re a Wolf: Sea Wolf//My Body is a Cage (Arcade Fire cover): Boho Dancer.
The cat jumped nimbly onto the fence, his black pelt blending in perfectly with the night. Only the Moonlight gave him away, illuminating him and making his look more silvery, like a creature made of starlight. It was strangely poetic and he licked his fur in appreciation. He sat, waiting. He could smell a dog in the area, one he hadn’t scented before. Just the thought made him bristle. This was his nighttime path, his turf. He wasn’t going to give it up willingly. Already, he’d been in several fights with other cats just to protect what was his. An upstart dog would be no different.
His ear flicked toward a small sound, the sound of a snuffling nose, and he turned bright blue eyes in that direction. Jumping off the fence he stood in a shadow, waiting. It wasn’t long before a creature other than himself became visible. A dog, tiny, hardly any bigger than he was. Okay, it was bigger, but it wasn’t a monstrous dog, so he considered it small. It’s pelt was golden and fluffy. It was kinda cute, in a dog-ish kinda way. Still, that wasn’t going to score it any points. Crouching down with his fur puffed out, he bared his teeth and hissed.
It finally happened, my book “Shapeshifters – The Beginning” got translated from German to English and you are now able to buy either a copy here (6.95$, but careful the cover got messed up) or an eBook (4$, 3.55€, £2.59)
It’s a fantasy novel about Leara, a girl who just turns 15. She lives in a kingdom of Shapeshifters who get their animal form on their 15th birthday. The form can be anything, from a bug to a dragon, although dragons usually don’t happen as this is one of the forms of the rulers. But Learas ceremony doesn’t go as planned and she finds herself the center of a prophecy, that is hundreds of years old which she is now forced to fulfill, although she really would rather not to, as she has to leave her home and will be hunted by the rulers. Cerin, the son of two of the rulers, runs away from home and meets Leara, keeping his identity secret, as does she. But Cerin isn’t your usual prince. After only a short amount of time, Leara gets horribly annoyed by him. On her travel through the kingdom, Leara has to learn a lot about who to trust, and also that a lot of people underestimate her, just because she is a girl. Although the prophecy never mentioned the gender of the one to save the people, everyone just assumed it would be a boy… I wrote that story when I was around 14 years old and actually found a German publisher willing to publish it, without charging me money. Over the span of only a year, it sold almost 1000 times, hardcover and eBook versions combined. The second volume is already written and published, but only in German. If this one sells well enough, I will put money into getting the second one translated too.
It has been my dream to be a writer since I was about 9 years old and I was thrilled, when my book got published at 16. This was also the time, when I joined tumblr and it influenced my writing big time. Although “Shapeshifters – The Beginning” was written before, it’s rather feministic, as I already refused to write my main character as a damsel in distress. When I began to write the second volume, I decided that I would try to put in more and more diversity, testing, how far I could push my publisher. For the beginning, I included a gay main character, who doesn’t fulfill stereotypes and whose character ark doesn’t revolve about being gay. I also tried to make one of the characters transgender, but it’s only slightly recognizable. After that got through, I began my third book, the one I’m writing at the moment, that hasn’t got anything to do with the “Shapeshifters” but has a really diverse cast. Most characters are mixed or have a really dark skin, one is asexual and I’m planning to maybe make another one bisexual. I’d be really glad if I get that one through too, because that would mean that I can provide more diversity and relatable characters for young readers, who want to identify with their heroes.
You maybe ask yourself why I’m telling you all this, maybe you don’t. Maybe you already understood, that I need more publicity, to fulfill my plan. 1000 books sounds a lot, but it’s not even enough to pay bills. To be honest, I barely make 1000€ a YEAR. That’s why I had to try to have an English version, to make the book more accessible and gain a greater fanbase. Maybe fantasy isn’t your genre. But the books aren’t expensive and a reblog doesn’t hurt. If you want to help me, order a copy (don’t matter if eBook or physical copy) of the book or spread the word. Maybe give the book to your younger siblings (starting at the age of 12 is fine, but there are some bloody scenes). But always remember, to me, the most important thing is that you actually enjoy the story. I don’t write to make money, I write to make other people happy. So let me know if you liked it! Also, you can order a German copy if you want. Just go to my homepage (http://laura-bitterlich.de) and look at “Bücher”. My current goal is to create a second homepage in English, but that will still take some time. And check out http://blueberry-me.deviantart.com, she designed the cover after all!
Everyone knew Paul Lahote was a hotheaded, bad-tempered young man. It only got worse when he was mature enough to shapeshift into a giant furry beast. He had to learn real control then. But it was easy for him, because all he had to do was kiss you and he was calmer than ever.
You were talking with a boy from your senior year, as you were all making preparations before prom. Paul decided to come with you and help, but he certainly didn’t like the exchange the two of you were having. There wasn’t enough space between your bodies.
So he did what Paul would do to keep calm. He marched up in between the two of you, “excuse me,” and pressed his lips hard onto yours, you taking a few steps back from shock. His hands cupped your cheeks as he kept kissing you. Your schoolmate felt awkward and left.
One of my main characters can shapeshift into different animals and I'm unsure of how much and how to describe the process. Can you help?
You bet I can!
I’m not sure how shapeshifting works for your character (magic, technology, genetic mutation, superpowers), but you shouldn’t have to describe the process in depth too much. I think when you show the character first using the power you should go into a detailed visual description so the reader gets an idea of how it functions. You should also probably do it when he transforms into a really impressive animal (like a dinosaur) that’s out of the ordinary for him to use or a transformation that’s incredibly difficult. You can also use the description to establish a tone. I wouldn’t go into great detail other than for those points because otherwise it’ll become tedious for the reader.
I’m going to use Digimon as an example of that tedium. The first time I ever saw a digivolution sequence, it was pretty awesome. Then, the show started using the full sequences all of the time, for every transformation, and it got old fast. If you’re not familiar with that show, they do the same thing with the transformations from normal girl to magic girl in Sailor Moon. Showing how these things work is best used in moderation.
For the times where you don’t need to use a detailed description, you can simply say, “He transformed into a hawk.” or “When I looked at him again, he had suddenly become a hawk.”
For the rare, detailed descriptions you should consider these things:
What visuals are associated with the transformation? Does it happen in a flash of magic light? Does your character grow in size and burst out of his clothing or does he shrink and suddenly find himself swimming in it instead? Do the clothes transform with him? Does he have visible forms in between the human and the animal (half-forms) or does he just swap between human and animal in a blink?
What sounds accompany the transformation, if any? Can you hear the crunch and snap of bone as their structure shifts? Does your character make the sound of that animal when he transforms? What can he hear after, especially if he’s transforming into something that has a much better sense of hearing than humans?
How does your character feel? Is the transformation painful the whole way through, just at the beginning or not at all? Does he feel invigorated by it? Does the instinct (predatory or otherwise) of the animal he’s transformed into take over? How much of himself does he retain after a transformation? Does he run the risk of being stuck in different animal forms if he uses them for too long? Is there another type of consequence? Does he fear it?
What does your character sense after the transformation? This is applicable to any creature that has an extra sense or ability that humans don’t, including nightvision, heatvision, echolocation, enhanced sense of smell, electroreception, UV light perception, binocular vision, etc.
As an example, say your character was transforming into a gorilla: “He felt a sudden primal rush, releasing a roar that echoed through the empty warehouse. His muscles tensed and grew, stretching the fabric of his clothing until it burst. The remnants fell away, revealing thick, black hair all over his body and as he slammed his fists into the concrete, his beady eyes stared into the darkness.”
I hope that gave you a decent idea of what to do. Happy writing!